MS in Criminology

Complete your degree online from anywhere!

Applications for the MS in Criminology are currently being accepted for Fall 2023 admission. The program is fully online and asynchronous and so can be completed on your own time, from anywhere in as little as a year. Please email with any questions!

The MS in Criminology is an online degree program that focuses on the nature and causes of crime, characteristics and behaviors of people who commit crime and who are affected by crime, how law enforcement agencies and criminal justice systems work, how society reacts to crime, victims, and people who commit crime, and connections between crime and other social institutions (such as work, schools, media, etc.). The Criminology MS is ideal for beginning and advanced learners who plan to (or already) work in settings that require a strong background in crime or law, with associated skills in analyzing and interpreting data relevant to that discourse, including careers in policy analysis, nonprofit or social service organizations, and public safety.

Degree Requirements

The MS degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of master’s-level courses, including twelve (12) credit hours of mandatory coursework:

  • SOC 587 Criminological Theory
  • SOC 606 Social Research Methods
  • SOC 504 Social Statistics
  • One Sociology elective from this list: Life Course Sociology, Urban Sociology, Race & Ethnicity, Social Stratification, Sociology of Poverty, Sociology of Gender (or other course with permission of the Graduate Studies Committee)

The remaining credit hours will be filled with at least 9 credits of  criminology electives (such as Neighborhoods & Crime; Crime & Public Policy; Race, Crime & Crininal Justice; Sociology of Punishment; Families & Crime, Sociology of Law, etc.), as many as 6 credits of advanced methodological courses (such as Multiple Linear Regression, Qualitative Research Methods, etc.), and/or 6 credits of Portfolio Guidance (optional).

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 short research paper, based on informational interviews with 2-3 people working in an industry or field of interest to the student. 

Graduate Handbook
Further information about the MS degree, including policies, requirements and coursework, can be found in the Graduate Handbook.

Full-time Students May Complete the MS in as little as ONE Academic Year!

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

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

Contact Us

We encourage prospective students to get in touch with us directly by emailing Susie Sheron, our graduate coordinator, Ashley Barr, our Director of Graduate Studies, or Jared Strohl, our Director of Criminology MS. 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.