"TU wasn’t just the place I went to get my degree. It was the place I grew up and I am forever thankful for my Dragon family. It’s always a great day to be a Dragon.”
– Allison Marie Staunton, Class of 2016
TU’s crime science program was intricately developed from a model of crime prevention, known to be ahead of the curve in crime science education. TU’s program uses an active approach in determining why crime occurs and preventing it by focusing on the act of the crime itself, rather than the mind of the criminal. The study of crime science is a perfect match for a criminal justice professional seeking to advance in their field, and for those non-criminal justice practitioners, such as city planners, architects, corporate security personnel, school administrators, and civil engineers whose professional responsibilities include the design of environments intended to minimize the effects of crime.
Crime science focuses on why crime occurs, when and where it occurs, and how to curtail it using an evidence-based and scientific approach. It does not examine the motivation of the criminal, as do the fields of forensic psychology and criminal behavior. Instead, crime science draws from disciplines like law enforcement, psychology, engineering, biology, architecture, and urban planning, for the common goal of understanding why criminal acts occur in a given environment and how they can be controlled through intentional and evidence-based environmental design.
The field of crime science program focuses on three core tenets: the study of crime problems, scientific methods, and reduction of harm. Some basic concepts of crime science include image management, target hardening, access control, territoriality, and surveillance, all of which are examined in TU’s crime science program.
TU’s crime science program uses an active approach in determining why crime occurs and strives to prevent it by focusing on the act of the crime itself. Today in the U.S., there are only a few collegiate and private program offerings in crime science, and TU is proud to crime science as a concentration to its MS in CJ degree.
Crime Science concentration – 30 hours
This is a sample course sequence to illustrate course offerings for this major. Consult the official Academic Bulletin for detailed registration and advising information.
Online - Offered in two terms per semester starting in January, March, May, July, August and October
Crime Science Overview: Theories, Principles and Methods (ENF 511) - This course provides students with an overview of the field of Crime Science. It examines general theories of Crime Science including Routine Activity theory, Crime Pattern theory, and Rational Choice theory, among others. The course introduces students to the various aspects of Crime Science in practice including situational crime prevention principles and techniques. Students will become acquainted with the various methods used in Crime Science including crime scripting, agent-based modeling, and social network analysis. Finally, the course offers explanations of the relationships between the Crime Science field and related fields such as Criminology, Law Enforcement, and Forensic Science, and many others.
Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (ENF 515) - The purpose of this course is to examine Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and its components. Through evaluation and discussion of a wide range of multi-disciplinary topics and issues, students will gain an appreciation for the role of CPTED as a component of crime science. Students will also learn to identify and engage appropriate assets, capabilities and resources to apply CPTED in an effort to reduce crime. The course will review standards related to CPTED as part of community planning and physical security. The course will also compare CPTED to other crime prevention approaches.
Evidence-Based Policing (ENF 621) - This course will introduce students to the body of knowledge and research in policing. Evidence-based policing involves decision making through careful examination and evaluation of the best available evidence from multiple sources by applying critical thinking skills to successfully appraise the evidence in order to address answerable questions. This course will distinguish evidence-based practices from opinion and assumption in the field of policing. Students will gain an understanding of the need to develop their own evidence-based practices and learn to use the best available evidence to inform and challenge policies, practices, and decisions in their own professions.
Geographic Information Systems in Criminal Justice (ENF 622) - The focus of the class is to provide an overview of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the techniques used in the study of criminal justice. This class will cover some of the major concepts that can aid law enforcement in becoming more efficient in the decision-making process in the areas of tactical, strategic, and operational functions. The course will focus on both the theoretical work, which will give a fundamental grounding in the work of environmental criminologists, and in practical application, giving you an understanding of how GIS is applied in law enforcement.