Our Philosophy

The Criminology program at York is housed, along with ten other interdisciplinary social science programs, in the Department of Social Science. The program admitted its first undergraduate students in the fall of 2003 and has since grown to over 750 majors. Our program is distinguished by its critical, interdisciplinary approach. Reflecting the diverse origins of criminology itself, the program approaches issues of crime, criminality, and criminal justice from the perspective of a variety of different disciplines including: anthropology, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, socio-legal studies, and sociology. This interdisciplinary approach is reflected in three essential aspects of the program:

Core Courses
All of our core courses are rooted in an interdisciplinary approach and incorporate contributions from many of the disciplines mentioned above.

“Extended List” Requirement
Students are able to select from courses offered by 14 other departments and programs as part of our “extended list.” This allows students to expand their academic horizons while gaining further insights into the interdisciplinary nature of criminology.

Our faculty come from a range of backgrounds and are involved in diverse research projects which draw on the connections between criminology and fields such as food studies, gender and surveillance studies, cultural studies, immigration and border security, global and transnational studies, and business and finance.

Department of Social Science
Our home in the Department of Social Science offers students the opportunity to participate in talks and events hosted by ten other interdisciplinary programs. Students may also build unique degree programs (e.g. double majors and major/minors) which combine Criminology with other programs in the Department. For example, students may double major in Criminology and African Studies and examine issues such as abuses and corruption in the Nigerian oil industry. Or students may pursue a double major with Urban Studies and examine the city and urban design as contexts for crime and its control. In this respect, the program benefits from an intellectual environment unlike any other Criminology program in the country.

Through this interdisciplinary approach, students are not only provided with a strong foundation in criminology as a field of study, but also analytical and critical thinking skills that allow them to see across individual disciplines and to approach problems such as crime and criminal justice from a variety of different perspectives and viewpoints.

Our Degree

Criminology is an honours-only degree. We do not offer a three year degree option or a minor in Criminology. All Criminology majors are required to complete a set of core courses at the first and second year level. These introduce students to the fundamentals of criminology including criminological theories, the criminal justice system, and criminological research methods. At the third and fourth year level, students are able to choose from a range of different course options depending on their interests. These range from youth crime, to policing, to gender and crime, to corporate and white-collar crime. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a thorough grounding in the history and central debates of the field. It also assists students with the development of transferrable skills that are valued by both public and private sector employers in a variety of fields. These skills include: (1) research; (2) communication; (3) critical thinking; (4) problem-solving; (5) time management; and (6) teamwork skills. Using this knowledge and skill set, Criminology graduates have gone on to careers in law enforcement, probation and the courts, conflict mediation, border control, immigration, law, journalism, human rights advocacy, social services and public policy.