While the state of Nevada is not home to any specialized criminology degree programs, there are a handful of universities and colleges that incorporate criminology studies into their criminal justice degree, with the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, or UNLV being the most popular.

A student that has chosen to learn criminology through the criminal justice program at this university will find that the course of study is well documented and a common choice among beginning freshmen. This line of study is very popular and is one of the top choices at the university.

There are certain things that a new student can expect as they follow a typical criminology education at UNLV.

The degree requirements for a criminal justice major at UNLV are relatively straightforward. To begin the major program, there are some specific requirements that the student will need to have completed before being accepted into the program. To begin, a student will need to have a grade point average of no less than 2.0 to be considered a pre-criminal justice major, also known as Pre-CRJ.

To obtain the full status of having criminal justice as a major, the student will need to complete at least 30 credit hours of study, including some specific courses, such as a basic English composition class as well as an Introduction to Administration of Justice course and an Introduction to Criminology course.

After being accepted into the program as a criminal justice major, the student interested in criminology will need to complete a total of 27 credit hours within specific criminal justice course offerings and an extra 21 elective credits in the same branch of study, with nine of these credits coming from upper level classes.

In addition, the student will need to satisfy the general UNLV education requirements to receive their diploma. In total, 124 credit hours will be needed for graduation.

The first year of study as UNLV may be mostly comprised of getting the core credits out of the way. These include general study topics, such as mathematics and the previously mentioned English composition course.

Most first year criminal justice students decide to take the Introduction to Administration of Justice course as their first class in their chosen branch of study and may also choose lower level electives that are related to criminology and urban affairs.

Students that have already decided on the criminal justice major often take the second intro class, Introduction to Criminology in the second semester of their first year.

The second year of a criminal justice major at UNLV largely consists of completing the remainder of the core credits and spending more time in criminology and criminal justice courses. By the end of a student’s sophomore year, the core credits should be completely finished and the student should begin to concentrate on the courses that make up the bulk of a UNLV criminal justice degree.

This may include upper level classes, such as the Sociology of Law or Social Inequality and Crime course. In addition, some electives unrelated to the chosen criminology major are taken during the third year. For the fourth and final year of study, the student should be completing their education and taking advantage of the internship opportunities that UNLV has in place with local, state, and federal agencies.

These internships can serve as a bridge between the student’s formal education at UNLV and their entry into the working world of criminology. With the popularity of the criminal justice program at UNLV, there are a large amount of information resources available to students and a degree from the school can certainly prepare the student for what to expect in future criminology careers.