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School of Education & Social Policy

Major in Criminology

Department of Criminology

The School of Education & Social Policy


  • Chair (2015-2016): Associate Professor Krista McQueeney
  • Associate Professors: Karen Hayden, Tom Nolan
  • Assistant Professors: Brittnie Aiello, Alicia Girgenti-Malone


Statement of Philosophy and Purpose

The field of Criminology studies crime as a social phenomenon; specifically, Criminology is the systemic study of the causation, patterns, and control of crime and criminal behavior in individuals, groups, organizations, cultures and societies.  Criminology fosters theoretical debates and ideas about lawmaking, lawbreaking, and the social consequences of both. Criminologists work toward reducing crime and improving criminal justice policies.

The Criminology program at Merrimack College provides students with an understanding of crime that recognizes the complex relationship between society and its members.  Courses in Criminology at Merrimack College focus on the degree to which people‚Äôs lives are influenced by broader socio-cultural, political-economic, and historical forces. The study of Criminology cultivates critical thinking and informed analysis about the legal system, crime, and systems of punishment and social control. The Criminology program at Merrimack College examines how inequalities of race, class, gender, age, and sexuality are intertwined with systems of control and punishment.

Students learn the theoretical perspectives and research methods criminologists use to systematically study the multifaceted aspects of crime.  Through our required internship program, students work with various criminal justice and legal agencies where they apply criminological reasoning to their supervised fieldwork experiences.  The internship allows students to experience possible career options; to learn from professionals working in the field; to consider post-graduate education; and to establish valuable contacts for future full-time employment.

With a degree in Criminology, students are prepared to enter a number of areas of work.  The Criminology program provides students with the necessary preparation and background to pursue a career in Criminology or a related professional field such as law, criminal justice, conflict resolution, or social work.


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School of Education & Social Policy
Department of Criminology, Austin Hall


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