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Bachelor of Arts in Criminology

Nelson Mandela memorial
"It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails." – Nelson Mandela

Responding to and understanding the causes of criminal behavior are major preoccupations of society — and the pursuit of justice has never been more complex or challenging. Whether we are trying to balance the rights of victims and offenders, create just laws, or protect communities, we often look to the criminal justice system for solutions.

Criminal Justice is both the machinery of justice — the police, the criminal courts, and prison systems — as well as the individuals, organizations, social values and legal systems that shape it.

Our BA in Criminology focuses on the criminal justice system and its relationships with individuals (as victims and/or offenders), professionals (prosecutors, police officers, youth workers), and communities. You'll learn about central issues facing the system, why some issues are so controversial, as well as some of the innovative and creative changes which are possible in handing down justice.

Double major options available after first year: Criminology and History, Criminology and Politics and Governance, or Criminology and Sociology. 

Students admitted to the Bachelor of Arts in any of Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology or Sociology may transfer from their current program and plan to any one of the other eight plans for the Fall term of their second year of studies. Applications are available through the Program Office and must be submitted by February 2nd. Transfer applications are considered on a competitive basis subject to program capacity, and therefore, program choice cannot be guaranteed.

Students intending to transfer to Criminology for second year from any of English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology, or Sociology, should note that a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 (B) is required for program transfer consideration, subject to competition and available second-year spaces.  Possession of the minimum recommended 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.  

The Department of Criminology offers full-time students a number of awards each academic year, a brief description of each is provided below. Please visit the Office of the Registrar's website and utilize their award dashboard for detailed guidelines and applications on these awards and many more. 

Criminology Department awards:

Second Chance Award

  • Awarded to one undergraduate student in the School upon their entrance into the program; or must be a student in good standing currently in the program; must demonstrate a commitment to overcome personal, social, and/or economic disadvantage.

Zonta Award in memory of Marlene Simmonds (Up to $3500)

  • Awarded to one female, undergraduate student in the School upon completion of third year of full-time study; must demonstrate an interest in the area of improving the social, economic and legal status of women.

Student Engagement Grant (Up to $500)

  • The purpose of this grant is to support extra-curricular activities of Criminology students and to help facilitate their greater involvement in a wide range of criminal justice-related activities in Toronto, in Canada, and internationally. Grants are given to support planning, organizing, and implementing projects as well as for attending and/or presenting at conferences and other activities. Student Engagement Grants have a maximum of $500 per application per year.

There are many exciting and dynamic career opportunities for graduates of Criminology. Here are just a few of the options:

  • Work for a non-profit organization assisting justice-involved people
  • Become involved in community-based alternatives to the criminal (in)justice system
  • Work for organizations in the capacity of safety administrators, operations compliance officers or those that assist with anti-fraud measures
  • Defend the human rights of migrants and non-status peoples as an immigration consultant or legal worker
  • Help deescalate and resolve conflicts as a mediator engaged in restorative justice
  • Work with women in conflict with the law, or who are in situations of violence
  • Work as a police officer or security worker
  • Work with prisoners as a correctional officer, case worker, or probation officer
  • Support and advocate for the rights of people upon their release from prison
  • Work with young people in the community or in an institutional setting
  • Provide services to victims of crime, by helping prepare them for court or by providing other supports to them in the community

In addition to employment directly upon graduation, you'll also be prepared to apply to law school or graduate studies in disciplines such as Criminology and Social Justice, Socio-Legal Studies, Immigration and Settlement, Social Work, Policy Studies etc. which can lead to additional career choices.