Criminal Justice Core Curriculum – Criminology

While the average criminal justice student will be required to undergo a host of courses designed to increase their working knowledge about the criminal justice system, the most influential of these courses is criminology. In fact, many students will utilize the topics covered within this course within their daily life as a criminal justice system employee. Whether you wish to enter the workforce as a law enforcement officer, corrections officer or a criminal psychologist, criminology lays the foundation for all other specialty courses.

The Basics of Criminology

Criminology courses within the realm of criminal justice degrees are available within the associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree levels. It’s within this course, students are taught the basics of the crime and criminal behavior. In fact, this course is so detailed many students decide to major in criminal justice with a concentration in criminology. Check here for the full list of the elements of a criminology course. Several basic elements of which are outlined below:

Study of Criminal Behavior – Within this topic, students discuss the various elements of criminal behavior. Topics generally discuss criminal behavior in the general population as well as in specific cultural settings. By delving into the general and focused topics of criminal behavior, students are given a better understanding of the psychology behind a criminal.

Socioeconomic Influences – How do the economic statistics within a particular social group influence the role and activity of criminal behavior? Within this topic, students discuss the various impact socioeconomic influences have on criminal behavior and actions.

Sociocultural Influences – The culture in which a person is raised can directly influence the level of criminal behavior. While there are exceptions to every rule, by understanding the role a culture has on the development of criminal behavior, they’re able to grasp a better understanding on how law enforcement and crime prevention techniques must be altered based upon the culture in which they operate.

Juvenile Delinquency – This topic, within the criminology course discusses the process of criminal behavior in juveniles. This topic pieces together information from social workers and juvenile psychology to understand how a child’s environment alters the psychological and emotional development of said child. This is an essential topic for those wishing to enter a career working with juvenile offenders.

Victimology – While this topic is generally discussed within its own course, many criminology course briefly touches upon the role a victim plays within specific types of crime. Concepts such as how victims are treated within the criminal justice system and how victims should approach reporting a crime is often discussed.


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