What Can You Do with a BA in Criminology?
Career Paths to Consider:
Social Services - Domestic/Sexual Violence or Human Trafficking Centers, Victim Advocate
Corrections - Probation Officer, Detention Deputy, Re-Entry Programs
Law & Courts - Court Clerk, Diversion Programs, Lawyer, Paralegal, Pre-Trial Services
Private Sector - Private or Fraud Investigation, Loss Prevention, Risk Management
Juvenile Justice - Group Homes, Residential Officer, Case Management
Cybercrime - Intelligence Analyst, Cyber Threat/Fraud Analyst
Law Enforcement - Federal & State Agencies, Police Officer, Crime Scene Investigator
Questions to Ask Yourself:
- At what stage of the criminal justice system do you want to be involved with?
- If you want to help people, how directly or indirectly do you want to work with them?
- What type of job components/functions are you interested in?
What is the Difference between Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic Science?
The main job of a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) is to document, identify and collect physical evidence at a crime scene. CSI’s are often police officers, although with some agencies there are civilian CSI positions. The BA in Criminology is a degree option for this career path.
A forensic scientist is first a scientist, who is an expert in their science. When a scientist’s knowledge and expertise is used to help lawyers, juries, and judges understand the results of scientific tests, the scientist becomes a forensic scientist. Careers in forensic science require knowledge from specific disciplines and often require advanced degrees/professional training well beyond the undergraduate level. Students interested in being a forensic scientist should major in the subject area they want to become an expert in. Criminology can be a good option for a minor or possibly a double major.
Common Types of Forensic Scientists
- Psychiatric & Behavioral Science - Forensic psychologists generally major in psychology/behavioral science during their four years of college, complete an additional one to two years of training for a master’s degree, and spend an additional four to six years in graduate school to obtain a PhD in psychology.
- Criminalistics (analyze evidence in a lab) - The minimum educational requirement for a criminalist is a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, physics, molecular biology, forensic science, or a related physical science.
- Anthropology - Forensic anthropologists usually earn a PhD in anthropology with an emphasis on the study of human osteology and anatomy.
- Digital & Multimedia Sciences - a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, preferably in computer science, information technology, or engineering
- Pathology/Biology - All forensic pathologists are medical doctors with an MD or DO degree.
Forensics Information provided by American Academy of Forensic Sciences: www.aafs.org