MS in Criminology

A student is taking notes at home during an online class.

Earn your master's degree from anywhere!

The Department of Sociology and Criminology offers a fully online Master of Science (MS) degree in criminology. With supportive faculty and an asynchronous learning model, you can complete the program on your own time, from anywhere.

Are you an Undergraduate or a Graduate in another department?

You can start taking graduate coures while completing your bachelor's, or for credit towards a different graduate degree! Contact Maggie at for more information

About the Online MS Program

The online master’s degree in criminology has a strong foundation in sociology. You’ll focus on the following:

  • The nature and causes of crime.
  • The characteristics and behaviors of people who commit and are affected by crime.
  • Social inequalities linked to crime and criminal justice systems based on race, gender and social class.
  • The inner workings of law enforcement agencies and criminal justice systems.
  • Social reactions to crime, victims and people who commit a crime.
  • Connections between crime and other social institutions.
  • Data analysis and interpretation for public audiences.

Degree requirements


The MS degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of master’s-level courses, including 12 credit hours of mandatory core coursework and 18 credit hours of sociology and criminology electives.

Core Requirements

  • SOC 587 Criminological Theory
  • SOC 606 Social Research Methods
  • SOC 504 Social Statistics


  • Life Course Sociology
  • Urban Sociology
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Social Stratification
  • Sociology of Poverty
  • Sociology of Gender
  • Neighborhoods and Crime
  • Crime and Public Policy
  • Race, Crime and Criminal Justice
  • Sociology of Punishment
  • Families and Crime
  • Sociology of Law
  • Multiple Linear Regression
  • Qualitative Research Methods
Complete in as little as one academic year!


Semester 1: Social Statistics, Social Research Methods, Criminological Theory, one criminology elective, portfolio guidance.

Semester 2: Sociology elective, three criminology electives, portfolio guidance.


We accept students for fall and spring admissions!

We are accepting applications for Fall 2024!


Master's Portfolio

The MS degree also requires the completion of a Master's Portfolio. The portfolio summarizes and displays the student's criminological and sociological knowledge, skills, and problem-solving capabilities beyond an academic audience. It includes a statement of professional goals, a resume, a public-facing professional profile, and a written product, such as 2-3 policy briefs, a white paper, or a short research paper based on informational interviews with 2-3 people working in an industry or field of interest to the student. 

Jumpstart your career

The Criminology MS is ideal for learners who plan to enter or advance in careers requiring a strong background in crime or law, including:

  • Policy analysis
  • Data analysis
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Social service organizations
  • Social justice advocacy
  • Community development
  • Law enforcement
  • Public safety

Contact us

We encourage prospective students to get in touch with us directly by emailing Maggie Balles, our graduate coordinator, Jared Strohl, our Director of Criminology MS, or Ashley Barr, our Director of Graduate Studies. You may also complete an information request form or email to learn more about UB or pursuing graduate work in other departments. Current UB students may also contact their faculty advisor.