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Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Program Website:
Administered by: Department of Criminology
Program Format: Full-time, four-year program.

The four-year baccalaureate degree program in Criminology has as its major focus a critical understanding of the structural, administrative, political and professional context of the criminal justice system and broader agencies associated with social and legal regulation.

Admission Information

O.S.S.D. with six Grade 12 U/M courses, including Grade 12 U English.


  1. ENG4U/EAE4U is the preferred English. 
  2. A grade of 70 percent or higher will be required in Grade 12 U English.
  3. Subject to competition, candidates may be required to present averages/grades above the minimum.
Program Overview/Curriculum Information

Students will learn to question the assumptions behind both administrative practice and policies that emerge from a variety of sources, and to evaluate them on a range of criteria, including the empirical, theoretical, and ethical bases. This will also include an analysis of the influence of race, class, gender, and other forms of social inequality on the administration of criminal justice and broader institutions. The tools to engage constructively with both state and non-state/community responses to crime will be a theme throughout. This will include analyses of events that initiate the criminal process, the various paths through which the criminal cases proceed, the professional roles and responsibilities of workers within that process, prospects of reform and the policies that provide the professional context in which decisions are made.

Graduates of the Criminology program will be able to pursue careers in a variety of capacities both inside and outside government. These may include working with victims, people in conflict with the law (such as young offenders), policing, the criminal courts, the correctional system, or community-based justice agencies. Graduates may also pursue further education through law school or graduate studies in disciplines such as Criminology.

Criminology is an interdisciplinary program which draws on the theories, methods, and practices of a broad range of social sciences and humanities. The Criminology program thus builds on a first year that is common to many other programs in the Faculty of Arts, with specialized study in Criminology in years two to four.

Semesters One and Two: In the first year, which is shared with the programs in English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Politics and Governance, Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology, students are introduced to Criminology through introductory core courses that provide an overview and assessment of the administration of the criminal justice system in Canada, the main theories of criminality, and the nature and extent of crime in Canada. Students also acquire skills and knowledge in Academic Writing and Research and Critical Thinking, and choose electives from a broad range of areas, such as Business, Law, and Natural Sciences.

Semesters Three and Four: In second year, students study the foundations of criminal law in Canada, the role and experiences of victims of crime, and concerns about social inequality in the criminal justice system. In addition, students are introduced to the quantitative and qualitative research methods that are necessary to study criminal justice effectively.

Semesters Five through Eight: In the upper years, students study criminal justice issues in greater depth, exploring such topics as youth justice, aboriginal justice, strategies of crime control and prevention, criminal justice ethics, security threats and a series of special topics such as how crime is depicted in the media, the establishment of the International Criminal Court, and many more. In addition to program courses, students choose courses from a broad range of subject areas that complement their professional studies and broaden their career preparation. These include courses in Business Communication, Human Resources Management, Law, Nonprofit and Volunteer Sector Management, Interdisciplinary Studies, Economics, Geography, Politics and Governance, Sociology, Psychology, and the sciences such as Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics.

Students intending to transfer to Criminology for second year from any of English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology, or Sociology, are encouraged to present a cumulative grade point average of 2.67 (B-) in their first semester studies at Ryerson to maximize their chances for consideration, subject to competition and available second-year spaces. Possession of the minimum cumulative grade point average does not guarantee program transfer. Students must have successfully completed CRM 100 in order to transfer to Criminology for the Fall term of their second year of studies. It is strongly recommended that students complete both CRM 100 and CRM 102 in first year.

Students must take two lower level liberal studies courses and four upper level liberal studies courses to graduate. Students must not choose courses that are restricted for their program or major.

Please refer to the liberal studies chapter of this calendar for more information on the Liberal Studies Policy. Further information on liberal studies can also be found at the Faculty of Arts' Liberal Studies website.

Table A - Lower Level Restrictions

Criminology courses and PHL 214 are not available for credit.

Table B - Upper Level Restrictions

Criminology courses are not available for credit.

Students may pursue any Minor offered by Ryerson (with some exceptions). Please refer to the Minors chapter of this calendar for further information on individual Minor requirements and exclusions.

Undergraduate students wishing to pursue a continuing education certificate program should be aware of possible program exclusions. Please refer to the Certificate Registration section of the Curriculum Advising website for complete details.

Full-Time, Four-Year Program


CRM 100 Introduction to Canadian Criminal Justice
CRM 102 Introduction to Criminology
SSH 105 Critical Thinking I
SSH 205 Academic Writing and Research

REQUIRED GROUP 1: Four courses from Table I.

One course from Table I or Table III.



CRM 200 Criminal Law
CRM 204 Criminal Justice Research and Statistics
CRM 400 Indigenous Governance/Justice
SSH 301 Research Design and Qualitative Methods

REQUIRED GROUP 1: One course from the following:

CRM 202 Victims and The Criminal Process
CRM 205 Gender, Sexuality and The Law
CRM 206 Race, Ethnicity and Justice
CRM 402 Criminal Justice and Social Inequality

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL: Two courses from Table II.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table I, Table III or Table IV.



CRM 322 Ethics in Criminal Justice

REQUIRED GROUP 1: Two courses from the following:

CRM 300 Policing in Canada
CRM 306 Corrections in Canada
CRM 308 Criminal Courts in Canada

REQUIRED GROUP 2: One course from the following:

CRM 310 Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
CRM 315 Advanced Quantitative Research Methods

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL: Two courses from Table II.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: Two courses from Table III or Table IV.

Revised curriculum begins 2020-2021 for students admitted Fall 2017 and after.


CRM 406 Seminar in Criminal Justice

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL: Five courses from Table II.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: Two courses from Table III or Table IV.

Program Advisory Council

A Program Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of volunteers that provides expert advice to a school or department on program related matters such as curriculum, program review, technology and trends in the industry, discipline or profession. For more information, see Senate Policy #158 (Program Advisory Councils).

Please see Criminology department website for updated information.