Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Criminology and Criminal Justice Major

Criminology and Criminal Justice Major

As a criminology and criminal justice major, you’ll study the causes, patterns and control of crime and criminal behavior in individuals, groups, organizations, cultures and societies.

What You’ll Learn

In the criminology and criminal justice program, you will:

  • Deepen your understanding of the complex relationship between society and its members.
  • Focus on the degree to which people’s lives are influenced by sociocultural, political-economic and historical forces.
  • Cultivate critical thinking and informed analysis about the legal system, crime and systems of punishment and social control.
  • Examine how inequalities of race, class, gender, age and sexuality are intertwined with systems of control and punishment.
  • Learn the theoretical perspectives and research methods criminologists use to systematically study the multifaceted aspects of crime.

Hands-on Learning

100% of criminology and criminal justice majors participate in at least one internship.

In our required semester-long internship program, you’ll learn to apply criminological reasoning through supervised fieldwork experiences at agencies like the U.S. Probation Office, Essex County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Children and Families. Bonus? Not only will you get to test-drive your career options and learn from professionals in the field, you’ll gain a better understanding of your postgraduate education options and build a network for potential full-time employment after graduation.

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the criminology program, you’ll be well-equipped to pursue a career in criminology or a related professional field such as law, criminal justice, conflict resolution or social work. Positions may include:

  • Correctional officer
  • Criminal profiler
  • Crime-victim specialist
  • Federal special agent
  • Forensic-science technician
  • Forensic psychologist
  • Fire investigator
  • Probation officer
  • Security specialist

Criminology and Criminal Justice Major Requirements

General Education Requirements

In addition to the major requirements below, you will also need to complete Merrimack’s general education requirements.

Upcoming Changes to Major Requirements Below

The major requirements listed below reflect the 2021-2022 Merrimack College catalog. Beginning in fall 2022, CRM 1200 and CRM 2600 will no longer be offered and CRM 2400 will be renamed to CRM 2150.

To see more details about the major, please visit

Major Requirements

The first courses for all students in the Criminology and Criminal Justice program are Introduction to Criminology (CRM 1000) and The Criminal Justice System (CRM 1100). These prerequisite courses give students baseline knowledge for all courses taught in the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department.

This bachelor’s degree program requires a minimum of 124 credits. As part of the overall 124 credit minimum, satisfying the requirements for the major in Criminology and Criminal Justice includes completing a minimum of 44 credits in the major and a minimum of 11 courses as specified below. For a major, students must achieve at least a 2.0 grade point average in their major courses.

The following six courses are required of all Criminology and Criminal Justice majors:


Elective Courses

Criminology and Criminal Justice majors select five electives from the following courses:

Cognate Elective Options

A maximum of two Criminology and Criminal Justice electives can be chosen from the following list of cognate courses. Cognates are courses related to the field of criminology and criminal justice, but offered outside of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.