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Criminology

For the most current information regarding the CUPE 3903 labour disruption, please visit York’s labour disruption website. Students will be able to find information about the status of their courses on the Course Status website or via eClass.

We understand that you may have questions and concerns about how this evolving situation may impact you as a student. The University’s top priority is to continue supporting you and your learning. For information regarding campus access, resources and more, please consult our FAQs.

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 sociology, politics, gender and cultural studies, immigration, global and transnational studies, development studies, surveillance, and business and finance.

Our grads have gone on to careers in law, human rights advocacy, probation and the courts, conflict mediation, border control, police services, immigration, journalism, social services, public policy, research analysis, civil society (e.g. working with victimized populations), and private security.

What you’ll learn


  • Understand criminology from an interdisciplinary social justice/equity perspective drawing on current theories and research.
  • Learn the roles of state and non-state agencies in policing, crime prevention, violence and human rights violations.
  • Explore and critically analyze criminological theories about causes of crime, criminal justice policies and social justice/equity.

Hands-on experiences


  • Develop professional capacities (including critical thinking, research, communicational skills) in practical contexts (e.g. research and policy analysis, seminar presentation, working with marginalized populations).
  • Attend guest lectures from experts of the criminal justice system or individuals who experienced the criminal justice system.
  • Attend job fairs featuring professionals in the field.
  • Access co-op opportunities to gain paid work experience.

In our program, we talk about the social conditions and contexts that crime unfolds in. We examine how social perceptions affect what people do and what happens to them after they commit a criminalized activity. We look into popular representations of crime, and what they say about our values and understandings as a society.

— Tuulia Law
Assistant Professor & Program Coordinator, Criminology

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