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Understanding crime, criminality and the criminal justice system is central to understanding society. 

Get the tools essential to understanding the complexities of criminal justice issues and how they are shaped by larger social, political, economic, cultural, and historical contexts. With our uniquely interdisciplinary approach, you’ll get a strong foundation in the field of criminology and become a more engaged citizen.

Our professors have diverse backgrounds. You’ll benefit from teaching that draws on the connections between criminology and fields such as gender and cultural studies, immigration, global and transnational studies, surveillance, and business and finance.

Our grads have gone on to careers in law enforcement, probation and the courts, conflict mediation, border control, immigration, law, journalism, human rights advocacy, social services and public policy.

What you’ll learn

  • Understand the criminal justice system from historical, sociological and legal perspectives, including current theories and research.
  • Learn the roles of state and non-state agencies in regulation and policing.
  • Explore and critically analyze criminological theories about why people commit crime.

Hands-on experiences

  • Learn from guest lecturers from the criminal justice system, individuals on parole who talk about their prison experience, and those who discuss their interactions with law enforcement. 
  • Participate in field trips to relevant destinations, such as a correctional institution.
  • Attend job fairs featuring professionals from the criminology field.

“I see how much people of colour in society really struggle and they can't really fend for themselves because of how the justice system works. I want to be the person there for them to go to when they are in trouble. Having the higher education, I feel helps me go farther, and helps me to achieve anything. I'm about being inclusive and being there for others, so me and York have a lot in common.

— Penelope Guevara
Student, Criminology

Read more testimonials from our alumni


Check out our Frequently Asked Questions or contact Program Assistant Pamela Lamb at or Program Coordinator Tuulia Law at