at Meredith College

Criminology is the study of crime and related issues from a liberal arts/social scientific perspective. As a criminology major, you’ll explore the theories, practices, and trends in crime and the criminal justice systems in our society. 

“I’ve been so lucky; my relationship with Meredith’s faculty has been one of a kind. Their knowledge and experience have been more than simply teaching curriculum.”

Our Criminology Major

A Meredith student talks with an officer.

When earning a criminology degree from Meredith, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills to prepare you for a career in the criminal justice field. You’ll understand how and why crime occurs, ways to examine these trends, and possible steps to intervene or punish those who break the law. 

In most criminology programs, the majority of students are men. Because law enforcement agencies seek to hire more women, they frequently come to Meredith’s campus and talk with students about possible careers.

You’ll have numerous networking opportunities with multiple levels of law enforcement agencies because of Meredith’s location in the state capital. These opportunities lead to excellent placements for field research and internships.

Why Get Your Criminology Degree From Meredith?

  • Meredith prepares graduates for careers in criminology through a focus on leadership development, internships, and opportunities to connect with local, state, and national professionals in the field. 
  • All criminology majors are required to complete a 90-150 hour internship, which places them in the field for a hands-on, professional experience related to their area of study. Recent internship placements include
    • Department of Public Safety, NC – Central Prison Psychological Services
    • Raleigh Police Department
    • State Bureau of Investigation
    • U.S. Federal Marshals, Eastern Region
    • Wake County Public Defender’s Office
  • The total credit hours needed to complete a criminology degree is 43-46 hours.
  • All criminology majors participate in research because of its importance in a well-rounded curriculum. 
    • All students are required to explore the logic of scientific inquiry from a social science perspective in SOC-374 Social Research Principles.
    • All students complete a major research project that involves an internship or significant involvement in the community combined with research in criminology for SOC-496 Applied Research.
  • The Dr. Rhonda Zingraff Academic Excellence in sociology and/or criminology Award is given to an exceptional senior majoring in sociology or criminology who has a GPA of at least 3.5 and has shown evidence of her personal integrity while a student at Meredith College
  • Examples of student success include Aspen Degler, ’22, who found success through working closely with her faculty mentors. Her advisors continuously encouraged her and helped her navigate her academic journey in sociology and criminology. Thanks to their support, Aspen secured a paid internship with the Surf City Police Department.

What Can You Do With a Criminology Degree?

  • Careers with a criminology degree include private investigator, jury consultant, probation officer, forensic scientist, clinical social worker, police detective, lawyer, and criminal profiler
  • Professional positions held or graduate schools attended by recent alumnae include
    • Dispatcher, Guilford County Sheriff’s Department
    • Corporate Accounts Manager, Lenovo
    • Telecommunications, Wake County Sheriff’s Department
    • Prison Officer, Central Prison
    • Graduate student, NCSU
    • Paralegal student, Meredith College
Students observing a police K9 demonstration.

Through two internships, sociology and criminology major Nia Simpson, ’24, discovered a passion for working with juveniles and improving the justice system. Next up: Earning a Master of Social Work from NC Central University.

Transfer student Aspen Degler, ’22, earned a double major in criminology and sociology with a minor in forensics. Meredith’s StrongPoints® program, an internship, and faculty mentors helped her determine her strengths and explore her career interests.

Videos about Meredith's Criminology Program

Criminology News and Events

Managers and supervisors in criminal justice professions are increasingly expected to have a greater understanding of forensic psychology research, theories, and practical uses. To support this need, Meredith College has added a concentration in behavioral forensics to its Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program.