Criminology and Criminal Justice Major (BA)

Criminology students at Hamline University

If you are interested in understanding the complex roots of crime and the criminal justice system, then Hamline’s criminology and criminal justice major is for you. As you progress through the major you will examine crime through a theoretical lens, examine challenges in the criminal justice system, and learn about the various methods of collecting and analyzing criminal justice data. Hamline's program is one of the only criminology and criminal justice majors in the region and offers a wide array of courses from faculty and professionals in the field.

You will have the opportunity to dive deeper into specific topics like victimization, juvenile delinquency, mental illness, courts and sentencing, policing, and forensic psychology. Your academic experience will culminate with an internship during your senior capstone to apply your academic studies in a professional setting.

Student research opportunities

At Hamline, students have the opportunity to participate in research with faculty as early as their first year, something usually reserved for graduate students at other institutions. You'll design and conduct your own research project based on your individual interests and goals.

The list of possible research projects is as varied as our students. For example, picture yourself:

  • Collaborating with faculty to study the roots of mass shootings and designing programs to prevent school violence
  • Analyzing police and community engagement, and the efficacy of various community-based crime prevention programs
  • Designing and testing intimate partner violence screening tools for first responders and medical professionals to help identify people who need help
  • Writing a meta-analysis of pyramid schemes and multi-level marketing studies and proposing methods to prevent further victimization
  • Creating a curriculum for juvenile justice programming
  • Planning and organizing a conference on mental illness and the criminal justice system

During your research process, you’ll collaborate with professionals at major research institutions, publish your research in academic journals, and present your work at local, regional, and national conferences.

Kimia Kowsar Hamline Student smiling

I walked into the bookstore and I could see myself here. When I realized Hamline had a great criminology and criminal justice program, too, that was it. It had a magic to it."

— Kimia Kowsari '24; criminology and criminal justice; of Maple Grove, Minnesota

Internships for criminology and criminal justice students

We make sure you leave Hamline with work experience in the criminology and criminal justice field on your resume. And the opportunities are boundless. Whether you want to explore a career in victim advocacy, criminal justice reform, statistical analysis, or more, we have internship opportunities for you.

Examples of past criminology student internships include:

  • Tubman, resource counseling advocate
  • Humanize My Hoodie housing intern
  • United States Postal Service, inspection service intern
  • Saint Paul Police Department, intern
  • St. Paul and Ramsey County domestic abuse intervention, legal advocate
  • AMICUS, re-entry service assistant
  • Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections, adult probation officer intern
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, intern
  • Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, investigative intern
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness, intern
  • Sexual Offense Services of Ramsey County, intern
  • Women of Nations, criminal legal advocate
  • Restorative Justice Community Action, assistant case coordinator
Klaire Petersen, criminology major at Hamline

Studying criminology, I've learned about different aspects of the criminal justice system. It's fascinating to look at the criminal justice system through lenses of psychology and politics."

—Klaire Petersen '22; criminology and criminal justice; of Lincoln, Nebraska

Explore career paths

Our innovative courses and one-on-one mentoring by faculty will give you the tools to succeed in a variety of jobs, such as:

  • Domestic violence survivor's advocate
  • Sexual assault prevention advocate
  • Juvenile probation officer
  • Police officer
  • Corrections officer
  • Reentry specialist
  • Youth prevention case worker
  • Crime statistician

You can also put your degree to work in any number of fields, including:

  • Victim advocacy
  • Crime prevention
  • Reentry case management
  • Research analysis
  • Carceral system
  • Law enforcement
  • Criminal justice policy

Take your studies further with graduate school

Our graduates have gone on to graduate schools across the country in the pursuit of master’s and doctoral degrees. Examples of programs and schools include:

  • Master's in public policy, George Mason University
  • Master of Science in criminology and criminal justice, Arizona State University
  • PhD in criminology and criminal justice, Florida State University
  • Master of Science in criminal justice, University of Cincinnati
  • Master of Science in forensic psychology, North Dakota State University
Headshot of Professor Jillian Peterson
October 2 2023 / Inside Hamline News

Peterson Keynotes Canadian Academy of Health Sciences Conference

Criminology Professor Jillian Peterson gave the keynote address at the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences Conference . The conference, titled "Gun...
Jamie Spaulding Header
September 25 2023 / Inside Hamline News

Professors Peterson and Spaulding Publish New Research

Professor Jillian Peterson and assistant professor Jamie Spaulding collaborated with Dr. James Densley (Metro State University) and David Reidman (K...
Hamline University logo
August 14 2023 / Inside Hamline News

Larson Publishes Research on Gun Violence

Ryan Larson , assistant professor in the criminology and forensic science department, is the lead author on a new research article entitled " Temporal...
Headshot of Professor Jillian Peterson
February 20 2023 / Inside Hamline News

Peterson Published in NY Times

After two mass shootings last week in California, Jillian Peterson , associate professor of criminology and criminal justice , co-authored an op ed in...
Dr. Jillian Peterson smiles at the camera
June 20 2022 / Newsroom

Dr. Jillian Peterson Wins Minnesota Book Award

This spring, Dr. Jillian Peterson , associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at Hamline University, added an exciting new title to her...