What Can You Do With a Master's in Criminology?

Criminology is the scientific study of criminal behavior in individuals and society as a whole. The interdisciplinary psychology, sociology, and criminal justice coursework in a master's-level criminology program can prepare graduates for a wide variety of employment opportunities. View article »

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  • 0:00 Criminology as a Career
  • 0:17 Criminologist
  • 1:02 College Professor
  • 1:26 Fraud Analyst

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Video Transcript

Criminology as a Career

There are a wide range of options for those with a master's degree in criminology. Criminology, academics, and fraud analyzation are three of the most common career paths that we'll take a closer look at.


Criminologists are primarily involved in research and consulting services in an effort to prevent or predict crime. Local, state, and federal law agencies are the primary employers for those in this field. Criminologists often conduct sociological studies in order to collect data on crime and criminals and then use their findings to develop crime prevention strategies. Additional work may include questioning potential suspects, studying data and behavior, maintaining records and writing reports, and creating criminal profiles through evidence and research. Additionally, criminologists may analyze intelligence and build terrorist profiles for federal entities, such as the Department of Homeland Security.

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College Professor

Individuals with master's degrees in criminology can teach at community colleges. Criminology professors often teach introductory courses to students who are enrolled in transfer programs or studying to become law enforcement and corrections officers. Job duties include developing curricula and syllabi, preparing tests and assignments, grading student work, and giving lectures.

Fraud Analyst

A fraud analyst investigates accounts and transactions to uncover illegal behaviors. Fraud analysts are crucial in the detection and prevention of fraudulent activity. An understanding of economics, psychology, and law can be helpful in this line of work. Duties include identifying trends and vulnerabilities, designing countermeasures to prevent fraud, working with engineering teams to develop and test new tools, and gathering relevant data for review teams.

Those who have obtained a master's degree in criminology may find job opportunities as criminologists, professors, or fraud analysts, among others. Professors will approach the topic from a more theoretical level, while fraud analysts and criminologists will be more hands-on in the prevention and detection of illegal behaviors.

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