St. Bonaventure University will begin offering a Bachelor of Arts in criminology this fall.
St. Bonaventure is especially well positioned to offer a criminology degree as the program aligns with the university’s well-established peer social sciences, such as sociology, psychology and political science, and is in keeping with the university’s Franciscan mission of service to others.
“The study of crime extends far beyond basic detailing of information regarding crime rates, trends, and the function of the justice system. Criminology, at its core, is concerned with the dignity of the person, inclusiveness, and service. These elements are common to our university’s mission and the study of crime, mirroring each other in a variety of ways,” said Dr. William Elenchin, associate professor of sociology and director of the criminology program.
Criminologists develop marketable analytical skills as they study the complex, multidimensional nature of crime. They collect data and analyze their findings to provide actionable information and recommendations. As part of their analysis, they consider psychological behavior, socioeconomic and economic indicators, and environmental factors.
Criminology differs from the related field of criminal justice, which primarily prepares students for the duties of police and other security officers. Both can be the degree of choice for those pursuing careers in policing, corrections and related fields, but the study of criminology extends far beyond basic police work.
Job opportunities for criminologists, outside of traditional police work, include positions in industrial security, fraud investigations, juvenile justice, offender rehabilitation, victim services, and as military police and intelligence officers. About 20 percent of criminology majors go on to graduate studies, finding they qualify for a wide range of graduate programs, depending on their interest and undergraduate coursework.
Criminology and criminal justice continue to be among the most popular majors for prospective college students, ranking sixth among the 10 most-popular college majors in 2014, according to an article in USA Today. Regionally, job postings for bachelor’s-level criminology professionals increased 12 percent between 2014 and 2016, and employers posted approximately 3,500 job openings in the past year alone. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts criminology to be a high-demand major through 2026.
The new major is a perfect fit for St. Bonaventure, said Dr. David Hilmey, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.
“The criminology major leverages our experienced faculty to provide education and professional training for an important and popular field of study,” said Hilmey. “I am excited that our students will have access to this interdisciplinary degree, which investigates the fundamental principles of the discipline while looking toward the future of the profession and the associated careers of tomorrow.
“Combining the professional and disciplinary excellence of this program with the underlying liberal arts and Franciscan values at St. Bonaventure, our graduates will be ideal candidates in the job market,” he said.
Courses in the program will enable students to appreciate the complexity of crime, historical and contemporary trends in crime, criminological theory, and criminological research methods. The 36-credit major gives students great flexibility, letting them choose from among a broad sampling of electives in criminology and related areas, such as addictions, cybersecurity, policing, family violence, law, and terrorism.
For additional information about the program, visit www.sbu.edu/criminology.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
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