Program calendar icon Program Length

  • 4 Years

Program credential icon Credential

  • Bachelor Degree

Program option icon Options

  • Major
  • Minor

Program location icon Location Offered

  • Nanaimo

Hone your critical thinking, legal analysis, project management, communication, conflict mediation, research and analysis skills with VIU’s Criminology program.

Criminology is an exciting, dynamic field of study that looks at the social and psychological factors that contribute to criminally deviant behaviour and its consequences. Students interested in current events, psychology and social justice will find their stride with our degree in Criminology.

Criminology studies grads are attracted to a range of careers in the criminal justice system, with Crown corporations and in the private sector, such as bailiff, correctional officer, court reporter, criminal investigator, legal assistant, parole officer, police officer, research, victim services specialist, and many more. Check out the careers page on the Criminology program website for more options.

In fourth year, Criminology Majors have the option of either conducting an applied research project or participating in a field placement.


The Criminology (BA) Program

Criminology is an interdisciplinary science that focuses on law and its interpretation by the courts, patterns in crime, the explanation of deviant and criminal behaviour, and society’s reaction to law-breaking. The program introduces students to criminal law, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and case-law decisions made by the courts. Students will examine in separate courses the three main components of the criminal justice system—police, courts, and corrections—that form an organized response to crime. The program addresses the trends and correlates of crime, including the influences of age, ethnicity, gender, and social class. The major explanations for crime try to account for these patterns by looking at historical, individual, and social causes. The criminological focus is broadened with courses from other disciplines in the Social Sciences and Humanities. 

The program aims to provide students with conceptual, critical, and applied skills to work in fields where a legal/justice focus is beneficial. The curriculum emphasizes the development of professional and applied skills through training in professional ethics, conflict mediation, use of information technology for researching relevant topics, writing, presenting data, and working in small groups on specific tasks. In the fourth year, Criminology Majors have the option of either conducting an applied research project or participating in a field placement.

Although the core of the curriculum is centred on justice-related issues, students will find the degree program applies equally to areas in the private sector where research competence, project management, legal analysis, and communication skills are essential.

Students interested in Criminology may apply for admission to the B.A. with a Major in Criminology. Admission to the Major in Criminology is competitive. A Minor will interest students wishing to include a criminological aspect to their declared Major or other declared Minor. The lower level requirements will provide students with a foundation in several key areas of the discipline including criminological theory, Canadian law, and the Canadian criminal justice system. Access to all of the upper-level criminology courses, with the exception of the Field Placement course (CRIM 475), allows students to concentrate their studies in a particular area of interest (e.g., law) or gain exposure to a wide range of topics related to the discipline. Students who successfully complete the requirements for a Minor in Criminology with a minimum program cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 will receive a Minor.

Requirements for a Major

Students must fulfil all the institutional B.A. degree requirements, including Degree English Requirements, and the courses listed below:

Program Outline

Year 1

Credits

CRIM 101 - (Intro to Criminology) or
three credits from INTR 102 (Intro to Criminology and Sociology)

3

CRIM 103 - (Psycho-social Explanations of Criminality) or three credits from
INTR 104 - (Criminological Theory and the Lived Experience) or
PSYC 103 - (Psychological Explanations of Criminal and Deviant Behaviour)

3

CRIM 131 - (Intro to the Criminal Justice System)

3

CRIM 135 - (Intro to Canadian Law and Legal Institutions: a Criminal Justice Perspective)

3

Select at least one course from the following list:
PHIL 100 - (Rhetoric and Reasoning)
PHIL 111 - (Intro to Philosophy: Theory of Knowledge)
PHIL 112 - (Intro to Philosophy: Ethics)

3

PSYC 111 - (Contemporary Psychology I)

3

PSYC 112 - (Contemporary Psychology II)

3

SOCI 111 - (Intro to Sociology) or
three credits from INTR 102 -  (Intro to Criminology and Sociology)

3

Degree English Requirements
Note: students who achieve a grade of “B+” or better in ENGL 115 or ENGL 117 do not have to take additional English credits, but will need to take a further 3 credits of electives towards a Major in Criminology.
 

3-6

Total Credits

30

 

Year 2

Credits

CRIM 204 - (Deviance, Crime and Social Control)

3

Select one of the following Research Methods courses: 
CRIM 220 - (Research Methods in Criminology) or,
SOCI 250 - (Introduction to Social Research) or,
PSYC 204 - (Research Methods) or,
SSID 250 - (Introduction to Social Research)

3

CRIM 230 - (Criminal Law)

3

Select at least one course from the following list:
CRIM 200 - (First Peoples, Colonization, and Justice)
CRIM 210 - (Law, Youth and Young Offenders)
CRIM 213 - (Gender, Crime and Justice)
CRIM 241 - (Intro to Corrections)
CRIM 251 - (Intro to Policing)
CRIM 290 - (Alternative Conflict Resolution in Criminal Justice Systems)
CRIM 297 - (Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program – Exploring Critical Issues in the Justice System)
CRIM 299 - (Current Topics in Criminology)

3

Select one of the following statistics courses:
MATH 161 - (Intro to Statistics for Social Sciences) or,
MATH 181 - (Introduction to Statistics) or,
MATH 211 - (Statistics I)
QUME 232 - (Business Statistics I)

3

POLI 151 - (Law and Politics in Canada)

3

Select one or two courses from the following list:
Any INDG 100, 200, or 300 offering
SWAG 210 – (Introduction to Indigenous Feminisms)
SWAG 211 – (Introduction to Indigenous Gender) 
SWAG 310 – (Unsettling Canada: Indigenous Women's Activism) 
SWAG 311 – (Healing Words: Indigenous Women's Storytelling)
SWAG 340 – (Indigenous Feminisms and Indigenous Law)
HIST 116 – (First Nations People in Canadian History since 1867)
PHIL 113 – (Indigenous Philosophy: Comparative Perspectives)
Note: Students who only take 3 credits of Indigenous course content will need to take a further 3 credits of electives towards a Major in Criminology. CRIM 200 cannot be used to fulfill the Indigenous requirement.

3-6

Two to four electives chosen from any 100/200/300/400-level courses. The number of electives required depends on the number of Indigenous and/or ENGL credits completed.

6-12

Total Credits

30

Note: Students who have completed a total of 60 credits and all first- and second-year requirements for the Criminology Major may apply to receive a Criminology Diploma. 

 

Year 3Credits

CRIM 301 - (Trauma, Resilience, and the Justice System)

3

CRIM 321 - (Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Policy)

3

CRIM 334 - (Law and Society)

3

CRIM 350 - (Qualitative Research Methods) or,
SOCI 350 - (Qualitative Research) or,
SSID 350 - (Qualitative Research) or,
PSYC 304 - (Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology)

3

CRIM 351 - (Quantitative Research Methods) or,
SOCI 351 - (Quantitative Research and Analysis) or, 
PSYC 300A - (Statistical Methods in Psychology I) 

3

CRIM 360 - (Advanced Criminological Theory)

3

Twelve credits of electives, with a minimum of three elective credits chosen from 300/400 level courses.  
 

12

Total Credits

30

 

Year 4Credits

CRIM 400 - (Law and Human Rights)

3

CRIM 475* - (Justice Capstone Tutorial and Field Placement) or,
CRIM 473** - (Capstone Research Preparation) and,
CRIM 476** (Capstone Research Project)

6

Select nine credits from the following list:
CRIM 420 - (Green Criminology and Environmental Law)
CRIM 435 - (Charter Issues in Criminal Law)
CRIM 440 - (Alternate Conflict Resolution and Negotiation Skills)
CRIM 450 - (Criminal Justice Systems: An International Perspective) 
CRIM 460 - (Drugs, Crime, and Criminal Justice) 
CRIM 470 - (Dynamics of Terrorism)
CRIM 480 - (Organizational Crime: A Global Perspective) 
CRIM 497- (Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program – Advanced Topics) 
CRIM 499 - (Selected Topics in Criminology) 

9

Twelve credits of electives, with a minimum of three elective credits chosen from 300/400 level courses. 

12

Total Credits

30

* Criminology Majors taking CRIM 475 must have fourth-year standing and should schedule their classes to allow two free weekdays for working in an agency field placement.

** Completing CRIM 473 requires fourth-year standing and the supervision of a faculty member to be arranged at least one semester in advance of starting the course. 

 

Requirements for a Minor

Students must fulfill all the Institutional B. A. degree requirements, including Degree English Requirements and the courses listed below:

Years 1 and 2Credits

CRIM 101 - (Intro to Criminology) or,
three credits from INTR 102 (Intro to Criminology and Sociology)

3

CRIM 131 - (Intro to the Criminal Justice System) or,
CRIM 135 - (Intro to Canadian Law and Legal Institutions: A Criminal Justice Perspective)

3

Two courses from the following list:
CRIM 200 - (First Peoples, Colonization, and Justice)
CRIM 204 - (Deviance, Crime and Social Control)
CRIM 210 - (Law, Youth and Young Offenders)
CRIM 213 - (Gender, Crime and Justice)
CRIM 230 - (Criminal Law)
CRIM 241 - (Intro to Corrections) 
CRIM 251 - (Intro to Policing)
 

6

Years 3 and 4Credits

Additional eighteen credits of CRIM courses numbered 300 and above with the exception of CRIM 475 which is reserved for CRIM Majors only.

18

 

Completion Requirements

To receive a Bachelor of Arts, Major or Minor in Criminology, students must successfully complete the degree program with a minimum program cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00. Additionally, students in the Major in Criminology must receive credit for CRIM 475 or CRIM 473 and CRIM 476.

 

 

For admission to first-year university courses, see General Admission requirements.

Admission to Criminology Major

Students may apply for admission to the four-year B.A. with a Criminology Major at all years of the degree, however, we normally admit to years one, two, and three of the degree. Applicants must meet the general admission requirements for VIU's Bachelor of Arts degree in order to be eligible to apply for the Criminology Major.

First year entry

  • General admission requirements apply.
  • English 12 with minimum "C" or equivalent. 
  • Foundations of Mathematics 11 or Pre-calculus 11 with minimum "C", or equivalent. 

Second year entry

To be eligible for admission to second year, students must have completed a minimum of 24 credits of university courses towards the Bachelor of Arts Criminology Major program. Competitive admission averages will be calculated on the eight most recently completed transferable post-secondary courses (minimum 24 credits). 

Third year entry

To be eligible for admission to third year, students must have completed a minimum of 54 credits of university courses towards the Bachelor of Arts Criminology Major program or possess a recognized Criminology diploma including completion of the Degree English Requirement. Competitive admission averages will be calculated on the eighteen most recently completed transferable post-secondary courses (minimum 54 credits).

Additional Requirements for Transfer Students

The overall GPA of students will be a minimum of 2.33 ("C+"), calculated on the most recent 24 credits completed.

Notes on Admission – Criminology Major

Enrolment in this program is limited. Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted to the program and students with higher grades will be considered first. 

Applicants will be prioritized by overall Grade Point Average. A wait list will be created if required. 

Aboriginal students can apply for reserve seats by submitting the Access Initiative for Indigenous Students form

Students who wish to take individual courses without being admitted to the program may do so where space is available and when prerequisites have been completed. Students who take courses in Criminology without being formally admitted into the program are not guaranteed entry into the program. 

Notes on Progression - Criminology Major

  • During the semester when Criminology Majors take CRIM 475, students must schedule their classes to allow two free weekdays for working in an agency field placement. 

Domestic Fees | International Fees

Domestic Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees for One Year* Amount
Tuition (30 credits x $163.14 per credit) 4,894.20
Student Activity fee (4% of tuition) 195.77
Student Services fee (30 credits x $7.21 per credit) 216.30
VIU Students' Union fee (8 months x $26.59 per month) 212.72
Health and Dental Plan fee ($265.00 per year) 265.00
Approximate cost for books and supplies for one year 1,500.00
Notes

The VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.


International Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees for One Year* Amount
Tuition (2 semesters x $10870.72 per semester) 21,741.44
Ancillary Fee (2 semesters x $463.40 per semester) 926.80
VIU Students' Union fee (8 months x $26.59 per month) 212.72
Health and Dental Plan fee ($265.00 per year) 265.00
Approximate cost for books and supplies for one year 1,500.00
Notes

Tuition in the above table is based on $776.48 per credit, up to a maximum of $10,870.72 per semester for 15 credits; $776.48 per credit beyond 15 credits. Ancillary Fees in the above table are based on $33.10 per credit, up to a maximum of $463.40 per semester for 15 credits; $33.10 per credit beyond 15 credits.

The VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.

Domestic (Canadian)

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Next Intake(s):

The Bachelor of Arts, Major in Criminology program has one start date each Fall.

Application Fee:
$44.27
Admissions Assistant:
Name: Nic Ismirnioglou
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2531
Email: Nicolas.Ismirnioglou@viu.ca
Chair Contact:
Name: Scott Brodie
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2169
Email: Scott.Brodie@viu.ca
Document Deadline:

Official transcripts showing grades for Fall term and enrolment or grades for the Spring (January term) are required by:

  • January 31, 2024 for early admission for third year entry
  • April 15, 2024 for regular admission for third year entry

Official interim and/or final grades are required by:

  • April 7, 2024 for first year entry
Comments:

B-CRIM (third year) applicants will be encouraged to apply by the early consideration deadline of January 31, 2023.

Note: Aboriginal students can apply for reserve seats by submitting the Access Initiative for Aboriginal Students (see Notes on Admission).

Students interested in the Criminology diploma must apply to the Bachelor of Arts, Major in Criminology. Students who have completed a total of 60 credits and all first and second year requirements for the Criminology Major may apply to receive a Criminology Diploma.

International

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Anticipated intake for someone applying today:
Next Intake(s):

The Bachelor of Criminology has one intake each Fall.

Application Fee:
$150.00
Accepting Late Applications:
No
Waitlist:
No
Testing Required:
No
Chair Contact:
Name: Michael Down
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2797
Email: Michael.Down@viu.ca
Co Chair Contact:
Name: Scott Brodie
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2169
Email: Scott.Brodie@viu.ca
International Admissions Officer Contact:
Name: Elham Akhoundi
Email: Study@viu.ca
Comments:

B-CRIM (third year) applicants will be encouraged to apply by the early consideration deadline of January 31, 2022.

Admission is limited and applicants who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be offered admission to the program.

Students interested in the Criminology diploma must apply to the Bachelor of Arts, Major in Criminology. Students who have completed a total of 60 credits and all first and second year requirements for the Criminology Major may apply to receive a Criminology Diploma.

For prospective international applicants, please send your inquiries to World VIU at WorldVIU@viu.ca.

Further information on this program can be found on the Department website.

Visit the Department Website

Previous versions of this program can be found in the Program Archive.