Criminology is the scientific study of the causes and prevention of criminal behavior, informed by normative, legal and philosophical perspectives on scientifically established facts. In 1924, Edwin Sutherland defined Criminology as “the body of knowledge regarding crime as a social phenomenon that includes within its scope the process of making laws, of breaking laws, and of reacting toward the breaking of laws.” Criminologists are drawn from a wide range of disciplines including economics, history, law, psychiatry, psychology, political science, and sociology.
The Department of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania exemplifies this interdisciplinary tradition. Our faculty engage in teaching and research informed by a host of related disciplines, including economics, epidemiology, law, neurosciences, psychiatry, psychology, sociology, and statistics.
The University of Pennsylvania has the longest continuous program of research and teaching in criminology of any American university, with a rich history, strong tradition, and distinguished group of alumni.
Today, Penn offers an interdisciplinary undergraduate major in Criminology, a unique research and applied M.S. in Criminology, and a Ph.D. program for a highly select group of students, as well as a wide-ranging research program under the affiliated Jerry Lee Center of Criminology.