About Criminology

Criminology is an interdisciplinary discipline that studies the causes and prevention of criminal behavior, informed by normative, legal and philosophical perspectives on scientifically established facts.  The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) has a long history of internationally renowned scholarship in criminology.  The Department of Criminology was established in 2003, reflecting the impact of the growth of the discipline, its importance as a social science that informs public policy, and its intellectual heritage at Penn.  The Department focuses on contributing to quantitative applications in criminology that have policy implications. 


The department is home to the Crime and Justice Policy Lab and the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, reflecting the department’s focus on applied research advances from such fields as economics, geography, statistics, and computer science that informs public policy. Department faculty are drawn from a wide of disciplines including criminology, economics, law, psychology, sociology, and statistics. Our courses include introductions to criminology and the criminal justice system, crime and human development, biopsychosocial criminology, the neighborhood dynamics of crime, wrongful convictions, forensic analysis, and a number of research methods including data analytics in R, statistics for the social sciences, experiments in crime and justice, among others.