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Why a Criminology Minor?

Which acts should be labeled as “crime,” and how should society respond to criminals? Answers to these questions vary dramatically across different societies and eras. In the Criminology Minor, you will critically analyze competing theories of the causes of crime, different models of criminal justice, and the roles of the media and inequality in shaping these views. You will also examine different crime types, victimization, and the U.S. criminal justice system, as well as how experiences with each of these can be powerfully shaped by race-ethnicity, gender, class, and sexual orientation.

What Career Paths Might I Consider?

In the Criminology Minor, you will develop an extensive knowledge of crime and the criminal justice system.  You will also develop your critical thinking and writing skills, and you will learn how to conduct research studies. As a result, many of our students go into criminal justice reform advocacy and non-profit organizations, victim-focused services, criminology research, teaching, as well as into corrections and law enforcement, and various U.S. and international justice-related governmental agencies.  This minor also provides you with a foundation to pursue advanced degrees in a graduate program or law school.

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Degree Requirements 

6 Required Courses (18 credits)

(1) JUST 201: Criminal Justice System*
(2) JUST 202: Justice and Inequality
(3) JUST 241: Research Methods in Justice Studies
(4) JUST 312: Theories of Criminal Behavior*
(5) Elective #1: Any Justice Studies Department course*
(6) Elective #2: Any Justice Studies Department course*

* For students also majoring in Justice Studies, JUST 201, JUST 312 and any electives used for this minor cannot count towards your Justice Studies major. Additionally, although Justice Studies majors may sign up for a Criminology minor, only two classes (i.e., JUST 202 and JUST 241) will count for both programs.

Transfer Credits: The program will accept a maximum of one course (3 credits) in Criminology from other colleges and/or universities towards the minor, subject to approval by the Department Chair.


Recommended Electives

Although you may choose two electives from any of the courses offered by the Justice Studies Department (other than JUST 101, 202, 241, and 301), we recommend the courses below:

JUST 309: Portrayal of Crime in the Media
JUST 311: Women, Crime, and the Criminal Justice System
JUST 313: Prisons and Jails
JUST 314: Police and the Minority Community
JUST 316: Crime, Violence and Culture
JUST 317: White Collar Crime and Elite Deviance
JUST 318: Gangs in Chicago
JUST 319: Latinos/as and the Criminal Justice System
JUST 321: Violence Against Women
JUST 322: Women, Justice, and the Law
JUST 324: Women as Political Prisoners
JUST 326: Juvenile Justice System
JUST 329: Politics of Punishment
JUST 330: Legal Research and Bibliography in Criminal Law
JUST 334: Criminal Law and Procedure
JUST 336: Postmodern Law and Criminology
JUST 340: Sociology of Law
JUST 355: LGBTQ Communities and Crime
JUST 364: Terrorism in Media and Law

Program Contact Information 

For more information about the Criminology Minor, please contact the Justice Studies Department at (773) 442-4790, or by email at

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