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Honours in Criminology

Calendar | Course Sequence | Field Placement | French Immersion

Joint Honours in Criminology and Women's Studies

Course Sequence | French Immersion

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Criminology involves the scientific analysis of crime, of the criminalization process and of social control. It’s an applied discipline in which students explore various forms of intervention to help resolve problems and conflicts.
Criminology focuses on five broad phenomena:

  1. the nature and dynamics of behaviours that contravene social norms;
  2. the social construction of norms and of the notion of crime;
  3. the criminalization of specific behaviours, individuals and groups in social relations;
  4. the goals and workings of the criminal justice system; and
  5. contemporary forms of intervention.

Students who have a degree in criminology work in a diversity of settings: adult correctional system; juvenile justice system; health and social services; crime prevention programs; policing and security related organizations; cybercrime; community organizations working with persons in conflict with the law, victims and marginalized people; governmental agencies and departments.

General admission requirements

Province Prerequisites Admission averages
Ontario English or Français 4U Mid 70s
Quebec – CEGEP English (603) or Français (601) Mid 60s
Quebec – Secondary V English or Français 84%
Michael Kempa with a student

Prof. Michael Kempa engaging with students in his Public Criminology course

Program highlights

  • uOttawa’s Department of Criminology is one of the largest in the world. Our professors and researchers come from a variety of fields and this allows us to expose our students to multidisciplinary perspectives.
  • Our students gain practical experience through valuable internships.
  • Our research is nationally and internationally recognized for its cutting-edge approach to criminal justice issues such as crime prevention, social justice, policing, violence against women, drug policy, sex work, prisons, youth, media representations of crime, political violence, human rights, victimology and cybercrime. In their 4th year of study, our students benefit from seminar-style courses (max 20 students per class) which help them delve deeper into topics that interest them.

Potential careers

  • Practitioner with youth in conflict with the law or in need of protection
  • Probation, parole or correctional officer
  • Victim support worker
  • Police services officer (may require additional training)
  • Penal policy designer and analyst
  • Front line worker in community residential centres (youth and adults)
  • Security specialist
  • Restorative justice mediator

Note: A professional association for criminologists is in the process of being established in Quebec. Once the association is up and running, membership will be mandatory for criminologists working in the province of Quebec with minors (child protection services, addiction centres) or in a hospital setting. Other sectors of the profession may eventually require membership. Criminology graduates who also complete a 12-unit placement as part of their degree program (9 units for the placement and 3 units for field placement seminar) will be eligible for licensing.

Nevena Aksin


“The Public Criminology course with Professor Michael Kempa, is not only fascinating, but extremely useful. He explains how to organize ideas in a way that’s concise, interesting and that can attract the attention of media. Leaders from news outlets came into our class, heard our ideas and gave us advice on how to write pitches, columns, features and even video scripts. While it can be intimidating at first, they coached us and taught us how to communicate more effectively. It was a great experience!”

Nevena Aksin, student

Justin Piché

“We teach our students alternative ways of thinking about the harms we’ve come to call “crime”. By pursuing a criminology degree, you develop the skills needed to engage critically, and more responsibly, in a sector where your decisions have a tremendous impact on the most marginalized members of our society.”

Justin Piché, professor

Discover more testimonials (Department of Criminology)

Our videos are often available in one language, however, we always try provide closed captioning in French or English.

Be sure to check out another Student Testimonial from Stephanie Connolly

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