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What does getting into Criminology programs entail?

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I'll be applying to graduate schools by next Dec., which gives me some time to think about how I stack up with others. Just a little background: GPA is 3.6, major (psychology): 3.85. I'm predicting by the time I apply, I'll have an average of 3.6-3.75 for my overall and 3.7-3.9 for major. I have experience working in a lab for a semester at the medical school, but the research topic proved to be unreflective of me ultimately. I'm joining the honors program starting next semester, so this will help me get invovled with more in-depth research, possibly with another lab and produce a 30-page thesis. I'm feeling a little better about this than before!


I didn't enter college thinking I'd be interested in Criminology, but it's been something I've always found unique in my major, after taking classes in both Criminal Bx and Forensic Psychology. I'm looking particularly at the specialized research aspect of the field; I'm interested in research of juvenile delinquency and crimes of youth. But I wonder if I'll be well-prepped for MS in criminology? I'm specifically eyeing the one-year Upenn program. I have yet to take the GRE, which I will do over the summer. For this uncertainty, I'm unsure if I'll be well-prepared for PhD programs. I would hope to enter a graduate program directly after my undergrad though...


What do you guys think of this situation? Thanks!

Edited by la_noire93
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  • 2 weeks later...

I think it sounds like you are a good candidate for the MS. Not sure specifically about UPenn, so make sure you apply to several schools. In my experience (just entered a PhD program in Crim), your GPA, GRE scores, letters of rec, and some experience are all important when you apply to a master's program. Just make sure you really think about the fit of the program with your interests and communicate that to people you talk to. Reach out to the graduate director or coordinator and ask a few questions. It helps to talk to people at the school to let them know you're serious. And when you write your statement of purpose, focus more on all the great stuff you've done than what a wonderful person you are (a common mistake I see in people applying to master's programs). Focus on your research experience- even if it doesn't align completely. Tell them what you've learned from it. You have already done a lot and seem prepared. Be confident and don't stress too much!

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Guest criminologist

Does the UPenn program give out assistantships to the people who are accepted? otherwise seems like overkill to go there to study criminology

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