Carleton University’s Criminology and Criminal Justice undergraduate program has existed for over 40 years. It is one of the longest-running criminology programs in Canada. It was first introduced as a concentration in Criminology and Corrections within the Majors of Psychology and Sociology, as well as the combined Majors of Psych/Soc, Psych/Law and Soc/Law.

The interest in Criminology steadily grew, and it became a Major unto itself in 1998 while keeping the interdisciplinary format for which it has become so well known. Enrollment far exceeded expectations, and the program continues to be one of the largest BA programs on campus today.

Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice 25th anniversary info video

Why the ICCJ at Carleton?

The Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice is a dynamic social justice-oriented national hub for interdisciplinary critical criminological researchteaching, and engagement. The strengths of our Institute lie in our internationally recognized and award-winning experts and teachers, as well as our emphasis on the limits of criminalization and punishment for ensuring a safer and more equitable society. Our unique program provides a strong footing in criminology’s foundational disciplines: law, psychology, and sociology while also exposing students to insights from fields such as political science, Indigenous studies, critical race, gender and sexuality studies, among others. Our field placement offers our students hands-on experience in real-life situations—including front-line work with criminalized individuals, victims and survivors of violence, lawyers, and non-governmental organizations—as well as with researchers and policy analysts.  Finally, we offer a thriving academic community with two student associations, a range of academic and community events, and the benefits of our location in our national capital on unceded Algonquin territory.

Learn about penal and transformative justice, practices of criminalization, surveillance, prevention, policing, courts, sentencing and corrections. Add a concentration in Law, Sociology, or Mind and Behaviour. Gain hands-on experience through field placements in organizations such as the Crown Attorney’s Office, criminal law offices or social justice organizations. Work with researchers and policy analysts involved in criminal justice, transformative justice and crime prevention.

What students are saying

I chose to study Criminology at Carleton because of how versatile the program is. Carleton is one of the few (if not the only) universities that provide for-credit field placement opportunities for Criminology students. Apart from that, the courses you’ll take will challenge your pre-existing views of the field and will give you an in-depth understanding of crime and punishment through a combination of legal, sociological and psychological perspectives.


The Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice is an academic unit within The Faculty of Public Affairs (FPA). Our faculty brings together diverse academic units that prepare graduates to address regional and global challenges with the aim of building better societies and attracts students and scholars who seek to interact with and bring positive change to the community and world around them.

FPA offers its students a number of valuable opportunities, including:

  • International learning experiences
  • Carleton University Research Opportunity (CUROP)
  • IPAF 4900 research mentorship opportunity