Bachelors of Arts in Criminology

Undergraduate Major

Penn offers the only undergraduate major in criminology at an Ivy League university.

  • The undergraduate criminology major is based on an interdisciplinary focus on theory and applied criminological research over 14 course units.
  • The major is designed with an emphasis on theoretical and methodological frameworks developed in the social sciences for generating and assessing knowledge about crime and social control. These frameworks, from statistics to neuroscience, constitute a truly liberal approach to the subject of crime.
  • Course offerings in criminology are interdisciplinary and expose students to an expanding body of applied science that has practical importance, including becoming knowledgeable on functional aspects of controlling crime, the structure of the courts, and the evidentiary basis for public policy decisions in crime control.
  • The major in criminology emphasizes applied quantitative social science and how the products of that science can inform public policy.
  • All majors develop a research project as part of their senior capstone course. Students majoring in criminology and graduating with Honors expand on their senior capstone project and write a senior thesis. The program is quantitatively oriented and students writing a thesis generally collect and analyze data for their research


**Please note: In order to participate in the Criminology undergraduate program, you must be a student of the University of Pennsylvania. Please visit Penn's admissions page to apply.**