IUP's criminology program is awesome. I have learned so much over my past years in this major. The professors, internship and networking opportunities are great and I wouldn't trade it for the world. We are also one of the largest majors on campus. Despite this, there is still a lot our peers don't know about us.
1. Not all of us want to be cops.
Yeah. We get it that cops don't need a bachelor's degree. Guess what? We don't all want to be cops (although some of us do). Many of us are here to further our education because we eventually want to earn a Master's, doctorate or even a law degree. Plus, having a 4-year degree plays a role in job security, earning potential and earning possible promotions.
2. A criminology major is not the same as a criminal justice major.
DO NOT USE THE TERMS INTERCHANGEABLY. Criminology is the study of crime, what causes it and its effects on society. Criminal justice is the study of the criminal justice system and how it deals with crime and criminals. LEARN YOUR DEFINITIONS.
3. Majoring in Criminology isn't taking the "easy way out."
Stop telling us our major is easy. Criminology is a branch of sociology that combines law, psychology and components of statistics and research. I had two exams, a quiz, two long papers and a variety of smaller assignments and readings to keep me busy this past week alone. We get stressed too. Not to mention many of our career aspirations involve very physically and mentally taxing work. Don't put down what we do.
4. Criminology students have a variety of interests.
Most of have at least one minor or concentration (such as a pre-law track, forensic bio-sciences, statistics, ROTC, etc.). Many of us have several or are even double majors (a popular choice being double-majoring with psychology or computer science). There is A LOT you can do with a criminology background, and most of us are doing a lot more than just getting a criminology degree.
5. We don't all play a sport.
Common misconception. Although physical fitness is pretty important to many of us striving to land physically demanding jobs. Some of us are also content with an office job, and some of us even lack any athletic ability whatsoever.
6. We aren't all constantly partying.
Despite the fact that it is IUP and most of us like to have fun, we aren't all constantly drunk. In our major, one underage citation could cost us our career. Many of us take this very seriously.
7. We take our academics very seriously.
For those of us who take our education seriously, we strive to maintain our high GPAs and learn as much as we possibly can about our field (even though many of us may zone out and roll our eyes during required gen-ed classes).
8. Working in our field isn't like being on a "CSI" show.
Despite the fact that I wish that I was extremely skilled in hand to hand combat, could perform complex calculations in my head and solve a crime in 30 minutes to an hour while wearing high heels, life does not work that way. The reality is a lot of paperwork and data analysis (ugh).
9. We are passionate about our major.
Many of us are here because we want to make a change in our field and help people. Some of us just want to legally drive over the speed limit.
10. Yes, I am 5 ft tall and want to go into law enforcement. Funny, right?
5' 3" to be exact. And yes, I am willing to work extremely hard to reach my career goals. Didn't know that magically hindered my ability to get a job in my field.
Bonus: Yes, we do love doughnuts.
If you are a criminology major, I am sure you have had a professor bring in Dunkin' Donuts at least once. I see them in Wilson all the time. Don't lie criminology majors, you love them. I am especially partial to the blueberry cake ones.