Undergraduate Programs

  • Criminology at IUP

    Prepare for All Aspects of the Criminal Justice System

    The issue is not whether there are jobs waiting for you within our criminal justice system. The question you should be asking is which career path is best suited for you?

    That's one reason why we approach criminology holistically-to give you a broad understanding of the whole process of the criminal justice system. As a criminology major, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of policing, juvenile justice, corrections, white-collar crime, environmental crime, terrorism, the media, violence, and victimology-because understanding how all of the pieces work alone and together will make you better prepared and far more valuable when you choose your career path.

    Why Criminology?

    The American criminal justice system is huge and is charged with providing safety and justice for all citizens. A criminology degree provides you with a deep understanding and perspective of this diverse and complex system as a whole, encouraging you to think critically about crime and justice issues while preparing you for careers in the criminal justice system. Your degree will prepare you for:

    • Employment and leadership in the expanding field of criminology and criminal justice and all their agencies.
    • Furthering your education and career opportunities if you are presently employed in the field.
    • A better understanding of the process of criminal justice as a cultural part of your higher education.
    • Graduate study and/or research in criminology.
    • A career in law.

    Elizabeth Letelier, alumna

    Professor Brought in Guest Speakers for First-Hand Accounts

    “During Professor Sam Goldstrohm's policing class, he brought in a lot of guest speakers who were able to give us first-hand experiences of what their jobs in the criminal justice system were really like. Professor Goldstrohm's class made me realize that I wanted to become a crime scene investigator.”

    Elizabeth Letelier, Class of 2016, Criminology and Psychology double major with a Spanish minor

    The World Needs Criminology Majors

    Here is a reason criminology is the largest major at IUP and the largest in the Pennsylvania State System: nearly every level of government offers opportunities for professional careers in criminology. Employment opportunities exist in more than 80 federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Drug Enforcement Agency; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; National Security Agency; U.S. Marshals Service; Internal Revenue Service; and military investigative branches.

    Criminology majors also pursue careers in social work, victims' advocacy, and other service-oriented jobs that involve rehabilitation, treatment, and counseling.

    Expected Outcomes for an Undergraduate Degree in Criminology

    Students pursuing a criminology major at IUP are required to take courses in three major areas:

    • The Criminal Justice System
    • Critical Issues in Criminology
    • Diversity Issues in Criminology

    Students can then choose between a BA in Criminology or a BA in Criminology Pre-Law. These degrees will prepare you for careers in local, state, and federal agencies of criminal justice such as law enforcement, probation, parole, and the custody and treatment of adult and youthful offenders. You will also have the academic foundation to pursue a higher degree in criminology/criminal justice or law.

    The IUP Difference

    The Criminology/Criminal Justice Faculty. Our full-time professors offer a wide range of real-world skills and scholarship. Many of them are nationally recognized in their disciplines. While all are expected to conduct research and publish, their primary emphasis is teaching and advising their students.

    Criminology Advising Center. Open 30 hours a week, this center is the first line of advisement for our undergraduate population. It's here that you get information on various topics, including scheduling, liberal studies, and graduation requirements. Appointments are not necessary. Students are seen by an advising counselor on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Internships. If you want experiential learning before you graduate, we'll make sure you get it. We have dedicated a professor to our internship program. Because of our department's history and reputation built from sending thousands of IUP BA, MA, and PhD graduates into the criminal justice system, you'll be able to get an internship in your field of interest.