Criminology Goals and Objectives

Students majoring in Criminology should study and demonstrate understanding of the following:

The nature of crime in the U.S.
Students should be able to:
a. explain the socio-political nature of defining certain acts as criminal.
b. gain knowledge of current trends in criminal activity.
c. critically evaluate the various methodologies used to measure crime.
d. display clear knowledge of the harm caused by white collar crime.
e. understand that the criminal justice system is not the only institution that functions to prevent and respond to crime.


The role of criminological theory.
Students should be able to:
a. describe the role of theory in building criminological knowledge.
b. compare and contrast the different theoretical perspectives.
c. apply these theories to criminal activity and crime control efforts.


The role of evidence in criminal justice.
Students should be able to:
a. identify the basic methodological approaches in gaining criminological knowledge.
b.  compare and contrast various research methodologies.
c. design and complete a written research project.
d. critically assess published research.


The role of data analysis.
Students should be able to:
a. describe the role of data analysis in testing criminological theories and assessing crime reduction efforts.
b.  use computer software for statistical analyses.
c. assess appropriate statistical techniques.
d. draw valid conclusions from the data analysis.

The nature and operation of the three components of the criminal justice system.
Students should be able to:
a. describe the functions of police, courts and corrections.
b. clearly elaborate instances where, when, and how the process works efficiently.
c. discuss instances where the system does not work effectively.
d. explain the influence of extra-legal factors on the operation of the system.
e. differentiate between “getting tough on crime” and “getting smart on crime.”


Communicate knowledge effectively.
Students should be able to:
a. produce well written papers that clearly express knowledge of crime problems and operations of the criminal justice system.
b.  clearly express the above knowledge in verbal presentations.
c. demonstrate critical thinking.