The Department of Criminology was established in 1972, and began offering Master's degrees in 1974. In 1998, it became the second department in the State of Florida to offer the PhD degree in Criminology. A study published in the Journal of Criminal Justice Education, ranked USF Criminology faculty as seventh in the nation for scholarly research.
The faculty consists of well-respected researchers who have contributed to the study of macro and micro-level models of criminal behavior, victimology, race, violence, juvenile justice, corrections and radical and green criminology.
Criminology is defined as the interdisciplinary scientific study of crime, criminal behavior, and the social control of crime. The Department of Criminology provides a scientific, philosophical, and humanistic approach to the understanding of these subjects in contemporary society. The Department is committed to a liberal arts education, believing that this pedagogy best prepares students for whatever choices they might make upon graduation. Accordingly, faculty strive to achieve excellence in the dissemination of knowledge, to be at the cutting edge of advances in the field, and to participate with both public and private agencies involved in the prevention and control of deviant behavior. The faculty is dedicated to ensuring that the perspectives of the academic criminologist, the criminal justice professional, the offender, the victim, and society are each critically examined within an academic/scholarly framework.
The Department of Criminology is committed to supporting the University of South Florida's affirmative action policies and diversity policies. The Department currently operates undergraduate (B.A., B.S., and BA-MA), master’s (BA-MA, M.A., MACJ, MACJA, and MA CyberCrime), and doctoral (Ph.D.) degree programs.