Course Requirements

Major Requirements

**NOTE** For all students admitted to Penn before Fall 2015, our former curriculum applies. Please see the former requirements at the bottom of the page.

The requirements are as follows, with up to 2 approved substitutions allowed upon departmental approval.

Successful completion of the Criminology major requires a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0, and satisfactory performance in CRIM 410, which students take in the fall of their Senior year.  A "D" grade is not considered satisfactory performance.

 

Our newly updated curriculum for the Criminology major will apply for anyone admitted to Penn in the Fall of 2015 and forward. 

1. Core Courses (3 c.u.): Topics in Core Courses constitute fundamental knowledge about criminology and criminal justice that are necessary for criminology majors.  CRIM 100 and CRIM 200 are survey courses which primarily cover theoretical contributions to the field, and should ideally be taken in a student’s freshman year.  CRIM 410 is a senior year seminar course that covers modern applied research.

CRIM 100 - Introduction to Criminology

CRIM 200 - Introduction to Criminal Justice

CRIM 410 - Research Capstone

 

2. Socio-Political Context of Crime (3 c.u.): Students in Socio-Political Context courses learn to think critically about crime and criminal justice topics from a social science, legal, and/or humanities perspective.

Students may fulfill this requirement outside of the department if the undergraduate chair determines that a substantial component of the course is devoted to crime, criminal justice, or social science content important understanding crime or criminal justice institutions.  

Recommended Courses:

* Course content varies by semester, and requires special approval from Undergrad Chair

CRIM 250 - Corporate and White Collar Crime

CRIM 280 - Neighborhood Dynamics of Crime

CRIM 300 - Law and Criminal Justice

CRIM 330 - Drugs and Gangs

ECON 001 - Introduction to Microeconomics

ECON 030 - Public Policy Analysis

ECON 033 - Labor Economics

ECON 036 – Law and Economics

ENGL 066 – Literature and the Law

*ENGL 266/366/466 – Topics in Law and Literature

SOCI 002 – Social Problems and Public Policies

SOCI 125 - Classical Sociological Theory

SOCI 135 - Law and Society

*SOCI 430 – Gangs and Organized Crime 

HIST 168 - History of American Law to 1877

HIST 169 - History of American Law since 1877

PHIL 008 - The Social Contract

PHIL 077 – Philosophy of Law

PHIL 277 - Justice, Law and Morality

PHIL 278 – Contemporary Political Philosophy 

PSCI 130 - Introduction to American Politics

PSCI 271 - American Constitutional Law 

*URBS 210 – The City

 

3. Bio-Psychological-Social Analysis of Crime (3 c.u.) Bio-Psychological-Social Analysis of Crime courses expose students to an important form of scientific analysis that can help address crime and criminal justice.  In these courses, students develop expertise in biological or psychological sciences and can undertake laboratory-based analyses. 

Students may fulfill this requirement outside of the department if the undergraduate chair determines that a substantial part of the course curriculum is devoted to biological or psychological content directly applicable to understanding crime or criminal justice institutions.  

Recommended Courses:

* Course content varies by semester, and requires special approval from Undergrad Chair

CRIM 260 - Crime and Human Development

CRIM 270 – Biosocial Criminology

CRIM 340 - Neurolaw

BIBB 109 - Intro to Brain and Behavior

PSYC 001 - Intro to Psychology

PSYC 125 - Drugs, Brain and Mind

PSYC 149 - Cognitive Neuroscience

PSYC 162 - Abnormal Psychology

PSYC 160 - Personality

PSYC 170 - Social Psychology

PSYC 280 - Developmental Psychology

*PSYC 470 – Psychology and the Law

 

4. Criminal Justice Research (2 c.u.):  Criminal Justice Research courses train students to undertake and critically evaluate quantitative research on crime and criminal justice.  Data collection, data management, and data analysis are included.

Students may fulfill this requirement outside of the department if the undergraduate chair determines that a substantial part of the course curriculum is sufficiently methodological and rigorous.

Recommended Courses:

CRIM 150 – Evidence Based Criminal Justice Policy

CRIM 320 – Practical Data Analysis

ECON 103 – Statistics for Economists

CIS 105 – Computational Data Exploration

CIS 110 -- Introduction to Computer Programming (more advanced)

MATH 115 – Calculus II with Probability and Matrices

STAT 101 – Introductory Business Statistics

STAT 111 – Introductory Statistics

 

5. Criminology Electives (3 c.u.):  In addition to completing the distributional requirements, students are able to take upper level criminology electives to deepen their understanding of any of the three central components of the criminology curriculum. Students meeting the eligibility requirements for graduating with honors may take CRIM 450 as one of their upper level electives. 

Recommended Courses

Any CRIM course numbered 250 or higher

Any non-CRIM course that meets the Bio-Psych-Social, Socio-Political, or Research distributional requirements.

 

 

Honors Option: Students pursuing Departmental Honors will drop one Elective course and take CRIM 450 Senior Research Thesis.

 

 

Elective Track Option: Students satisfy two of their Criminology Elective credit unit requirements by completing an Elective Track. These tracks are intended to prepare students for graduate study or competitive research positions in a Criminology-related field (Psychology, Sociology, Economics, or Public Policy).

Students completing an Elective Track would need one (rather than three) upper level criminology electives in order to complete this 5th part of the major.  This provides students with an incentive to complete the requirements for a minor degree in a field that complements the skills developed in the criminology major, but otherwise has limited overlap with the major requirements.

Since these tracks are aimed at encouraging students to develop additional expertise in a subject area, individual courses may count for either the elective tracks or the distributional requirements.  For example, PSYC 160 may be used to fulfill either the psychology minor track or the Bio-Psychological-Social distributional requirement, but not both.

Minors Fulfilling an Elective Track:

  • Psychology
  • Math
  • Computer Science
  • Statistics

Our former curriculum for the Criminology major will apply for anyone admitted to Penn before Fall 2015. 

REQUIREMENTS FOR CRIMINOLOGY MAJOR (NON-HONORS)

14 Credit Units (CUs): 6 Core Criminology Courses, 1 400-level Criminology Capstone Course, and 7 Cross-departmental Courses.

  • Criminology Courses (6 CUs, or substitutes indicated)
    • CRIM 100 - Criminology
    • CRIM 150 - Evidence-Based Crime and Justice Policy
    • CRIM 200 - Criminal Justice
    • CRIM 260 - Crime and Human Development (or PSYC 280 - Developmental Psychology)
    • CRIM 270 - Biosocial criminology
    • CRIM 280 - Neighborhood Dynamics of Crime (or SOCI 140 - Sociology of Conflict)
    • CRIM 300 - Law and Criminal Justice
  • Research Capstone Seminar in Criminology (1 CU)
    One 400-level course (CRIM 410-412)
  • Socio-Political Context of Crime (4 CUs) 
    The following courses are pre-approved. You may also request to have other courses reviewed for approval by the Department Chair (please email requests to gocaro@sas.upenn.edu).
    • ENGL 16 - Discipline and Punish: Crime and Criminality in Early America
    • HIST 168 - History of American Law to 1877
    • HIST 169 - History of American Law since 1877
    • HIST 352 - Legal History: English Fundamentals
    • PHIL 077 - Philosophy of Law
    • PHIL 277 - Justice, Law and Morality
    • PHIL 278 - Comparative Law
    • PSCI 130 - Introduction to American Politics
    • PSCI 271 - American Constitutional Law
    • SOCI 003 - Deviance & Social Control
    • SOCI 125 - Classical Sociological Theory
    • SOCI 135 - Law and Society
    • SOCI 140 - Sociology of Conflict
  • Bio-Psychological Analysis (3 CUs)
    The following courses are pre-approved. You may also request to have other courses reviewed for approval by the Department Chair (please email requests to gocaro@sas.upenn.edu).
    • BIBB 109 - Intro to Brain and Behavior
    • PSYC 001 - Intro to Psychology
    • PSYC 162 - Abnormal Psychology
    • PSYC 160 - Personality
    • PSYC 125 - Drugs, Brain and Mind
    • PSYC 149 - Cognitive Neuroscience
    • PSYC 170 - Social Psychology
    • PSYC 280 - Developmental Psychology

REQUIREMENTS FOR DEPARTMENTAL HONORS

14 Credit Units (CUs): 6 Core Criminology Courses with minimum GPA of 3.4, 1 400-level Criminology Capstone Course, Senior Thesis, and 6 Cross-departmental Courses.

  • Criminology Courses (6 CUs, or substitutes indicated)
    • CRIM 100 - Criminology
    • CRIM 150 - Evidence-Based Crime and Justice Policy
    • CRIM 200 - Criminal Justice
    • CRIM 260 - Crime and Human Development (or PSYC 280 - Developmental Psychology)
    • CRIM 270 - Biosocial criminology
    • CRIM 280 - Neighborhood Dynamics of Crime (or SOCI 140 - Sociology of Conflict)
    • CRIM 300 - Law and Criminal Justice
  • Research Capstone Seminar in Criminology (1 CU)
    One 400-level course (CRIM 410-412)
  • Senior Thesis (1 CU)
    CRIM 450 - Senior Research Thesis
  • Socio-Political Context of Crime (3 CUs) 
    The following courses are pre-approved. You may also request to have other courses reviewed for approval by the Department Chair (please email requests to gocaro@sas.upenn.edu).
    • ENGL 16 - Discipline and Punish: Crime and Criminality in Early America
    • HIST 168 - History of American Law to 1877
    • HIST 169 - History of American Law since 1877
    • HIST 352 - Legal History: English Fundamentals
    • PHIL 077 - Philosophy of Law
    • PHIL 277 - Justice, Law and Morality
    • PHIL 278 - Comparative Law
    • PSCI 130 - Introduction to American Politics
    • PSCI 271 - American Constitutional Law
    • SOCI 003 - Deviance & Social Control
    • SOCI 125 - Classical Sociological Theory
    • SOCI 135 - Law and Society
    • SOCI 140 - Sociology of Conflict
  • Bio-Psychological Analysis (3 CUs)
    The following courses are pre-approved. You may also request to have other courses reviewed for approval by the Department Chair (please email requests to gocaro@sas.upenn.edu).
    • BIBB 109 - Intro to Brain and Behavior
    • PSYC 001 - Intro to Psychology
    • PSYC 162 - Abnormal Psychology
    • PSYC 160 - Personality
    • PSYC 125 - Drugs, Brain and Mind
    • PSYC 149 - Cognitive Neuroscience
    • PSYC 170 - Social Psychology
    • PSYC 280 - Developmental Psychology