Criminology and Sociolegal Studies

Criminology and Sociolegal Studies: Introduction

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Faculty Affiliation

Arts and Science

Degree Programs

Criminology and Sociolegal Studies

​​MA​​
PhD

Combined Degree Programs

Collaborative Specializations

The following collaborative specializations are available to students in particip​ating degree programs as​ listed below:

  1. Addiction Studies
    • Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, MA, PhD
  2. Diaspora and Transnational Studies
    • Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, MA, PhD
  3. Sexual Diversity Studies
    • Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, MA, PhD
  4. Women and Gender Studies
    • Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, MA, PhD

Overview

The Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, founded in 1964, offers advanced interdisciplinary study in two closely related, overlapping areas: criminology and sociolegal studies.

MA graduates find employment in government (in areas such as child and youth services or addiction as well as criminal justice fields), in governmental organizations in the criminal justice field, in social science research, or in other positions for which a background in criminology and sociolegal studies is useful. Some choose to go to law school, and many have gone on to other post-graduate work, such as in criminology, sociology, law, and social work.

PhD graduates have mainly found employment in tenure-​track positions, most often in sociology departments or in criminology programs. Both the MA and PhD degree programs are academic rather than professional/vocational.

Students enrolled in doctoral programs in other departments of the University of Toronto may apply to be appointed as Junior Fellows at the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies. The objective of the Junior Fellow Program is to involve doctoral students whose work overlaps with the research conducted at the centre and to enhance the interdisciplinarity of the centre. Junior Fellows have come from history, geography, law, and sociology. Exceptionally, doctoral students pursuing degrees at other universities but residing in Toronto may apply to be appointed as Visiting Junior Fellows.

Contact and Address

Web: www.criminology.utoronto.ca
Email: crim.grad@utoronto.ca
Telephone: (416) 978-7124 ext. 225
Fax: (416) 978-4195

Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies
University of Toronto
14 Queen's Park Crescent West
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3K9
Canada

Criminology and Sociolegal Studies: Graduate Faculty

Full Members

Chen, Li - BA, MA, AM, JD, PhD
Chiao, Vincent - BA, PhD, JD
Dubber, Markus - AB, JD
Gartner, Rosemary - BA, AA, MS, PhD
Hannah-Moffat, Kelly - BA, MA, PhD
Kruttschnitt, Candace - BA, MA, MPH, PhD
Levi, Ron - BCL, LLB, LLM, SJD
Light, Matthew - BA, MA, JD, PhD
Macklin, Audrey - BSc, LLB, LLM, Chair in International Human Rights Law (Director)
Maurutto, Paula - DPhil
Peterson-Badali, Michele - BA, MA, PhD
Phillips, James - LLB, MA, PhD
Roach, Kent - BA, LLB, LLM
Tanner, Julian - DipEd, BSc, MA, PhD
Valverde, Mariana - BA, MA, PhD, FRSC
Wortley, N. Scot - BA, MA, PhD

Members Emeriti

Beattie, John - BS, MA, PhD, FRSC, FRHistS
Doob, Anthony - AB, PhD, FRSC
Friedland, Martin - BCom, LLB, PhD
Solomon, Peter - BA, MA, PhD

Associate Members

Condon, Mary - BA, LLM, MA, SJD
Contreras, Randol - BA, MA, PhD
Fischer, Benedikt - DPhil
Jauregui, Beatrice - BA, MA, PhD
Kolla, Nathan - BA, MA, MD, PhD
Kosals, Leonid - PhD
Matheson, Flora - BA, MA, PhD

Criminology and Sociolegal Studies: Criminology and Sociolegal Studies MA

Master of Arts​

Program Description

The MA program encompasses two related disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields.

The first is criminology, which can be briefly defined as the study of all aspects of crime, including its definitions, causes, and intellectual genealogy, as well as the policy and institutional responses to it. Although criminology features some aspects of a separate discipline, including its own theoretical schools, journals, and university departments, it also draws heavily on related social science disciplines.

The field of sociolegal studies, also known as the law and society movement, is a related interdisciplinary research tradition that investigates a broad range of legal phenomena using the techniques and approaches of social science. Examples of such phenomena that the faculty have studied include citizenship and immigration policy, urban planning, and the regulation of alcohol and sex work.

The program is distinctive in that these bodies of knowledge are treated as closely related, and both of them are incorporated into the program of study. Broad intellectual exploration of these fields is incorporated by limiting the number of required courses and encouraging students to select courses (both in this and other graduate programs) that reflect their own intellectual and professional priorities.  Likewise, students are given the option of meeting their degree requirements by completing eight taught half-courses or by completing six taught half-courses and writing a “master’s research paper” that allows them to develop an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member. While specialized professional or technical training meant to be directly transferable into criminal justice occupations is not provided, we welcome applications by criminal justice professionals who wish to pursue part-time studies.
 
The MA program enjoys an excellent national and international reputation, and graduates are sought by employers in both the public and private sectors who appreciate the theoretically and academically rigorous interdisciplinary social science training that is provided.

 

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the additional admission requirements of the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies stated below.

  • Applicants must have an appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university. An appropriate bachelor's degree normally consists of 20 full-course equivalents (FCEs). Applicants with arts and science degrees will normally be required to have at least a B+ standing. Applicants from law schools who have already completed a JD degree or its equivalent will normally be required to have at least a B standing.

  • Although many applicants to the MA program have some training in criminology or sociolegal studies, students from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary backgrounds are welcomed. It would be advantageous for MA students in the program to have some familiarity with the approaches and methodologies associated with the social sciences. However, outstanding students from the humanities and behavioral and natural sciences will also be considered.

  • The program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. All students will be required to complete the program within the time limits set for the MA degree under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Students with professional experience who meet the academic admission requirements are encouraged to apply to the program.

  • It is essential that all incoming graduate students have a command of English. Proficiency in the English language must be demonstrated by all applicants educated outside Canada whose primary language is not English, and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English. This requirement must be satisfied using a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a verbal and a written component. To be considered for admission, applicants must achieve the following minimum scores:

    • ​​​​paper-based TOEFL exam: 580 and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)

    • Internet-based TOEFL exam: 93/120 and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

    Official copies of these scores must be submitted to the University of Toronto before a formal offer of admission can be made.

Program Requirements

  • MA students can complete the program in one of two ways:

    • ​​​by completing 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) within 9 months or

    • by completing 3.0 FCEs and a research paper (CRI 3360Y) within 12 months.

  • ​​​The degree program includes compulsory and elective courses.

    • ​​​​The compulsory​ course (0.5 FCE) is CRI 2010H Methodological Issues in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies.

    • ​​​The elective courses allow students to engage in specialized study of different approaches to, and topics within, criminology and sociolegal studies. The elective courses offered may vary from year to year. In certain cases a student may, with the approval of the Graduate Coordinator, substitute a maximum of 1.5 FCEs from other graduate units in lieu of elective courses in criminology or sociolegal studies.

​​Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S)
6 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

Criminology and Sociolegal Studies: Criminology and Sociolegal Studies PhD

Doctor of Philosop​hy​

Program Description

Similar to the MA program, the PhD program reflects the same emphasis on interdisciplinarity and flexibility, as well as an integrated, inclusive approach to criminology and sociolegal studies.

The primary mission of the doctoral program is to prepare future professional academics for a career in teaching and research; graduates hold faculty positions throughout Canada, in the United States, and around the world.

Over the years, PhD students have pursued dissertation projects on extremely varied research questions involving aspects of crime, criminal justice institutions, and a range of sociolegal topics. Regardless of their specific focus, they have found the Centre a supportive and interactive environment. The Centre promotes such collegiality by offering students shared office space in the Centre and encouraging them to work on site and participate in the lively intellectual life and shared scholarly activities. Likewise, although PhD students work closely with a primary supervisor, they also benefit from opportunities to learn from other core and cross-appointed faculty members. In short, the goal is to train broadly educated, thoughtful scholars with a research agenda in criminology or sociolegal studies.

Students are normally paired with a prospective supervisor at the time of admission. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to identify one or more possible supervisors, as well as possible dissertation committee members, and should indicate on their application whether they have made contact with particular core or cross-appointed members of the graduate faculty for these purposes.

 

​Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants normally hold an MA degree in criminology or a cognate field, with a minimum A- standing or its equivalent from a recognized university. Students with MAs in disciplines unrelated to criminology or sociolegal studies may be required to take additional courses as part of their doctoral program.

  • It is essential that all incoming graduate students have a command of English. Proficiency in the English language must be demonstrated by all applicants educated outside Canada whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English. This requirement must be satisfied using a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a verbal and a written component. To be considered for admission, applicants must achieve the following minimum scores:

    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​paper-based TOEFL exam: 580 and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)

    • ​​​​Internet-based TOEFL exam: 93/120 and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

    Official copies of these scores must be submitted to the University of Toronto before a formal offer of admission can be made.

Program Requirements

  • Course requirements. Students must complete a minimum of 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) beyond those taken at the MA level. With approval of the Graduate Coordinator, a maximum of 1.5 FCEs of these may be from another graduate unit. Students must complete, at either the MA or the PhD level, the required research methods course (CRI 2010H Methodological Issues in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies). Students will normally complete all course requirements for the PhD in Year 1.

  • One comprehensive exam. This exam must take the form of a major review paper. Students are required to read widely on a particular topic and identify and evaluate major theoretical debates and methodological issues. Students should provide an original, critical analysis of the literature and discuss possibilities for future work in their topic area. The comprehensive exam should normally be completed by the end of the second session of Year 2.

  • Language requirements. Students must have an adequate knowledge of a language other than English if an additional language is deemed essential for satisfactory completion of research for the thesis.

  • Thesis. PhD students must prepare an original thesis that is a significant contribution to knowledge in criminology or sociolegal studies. The thesis is a sustained piece of research written in an integrated series of chapters. The thesis is normally supervised by a member of the graduate faculty, with two other members of the graduate faculty serving on the thesis committee.

  • Residency. PhD students are required to be on campus full-time for the period of their program, except for approved field research and academic exchanges. Students are expected to participate in the Centre's activities associated with the program.

Program Length

4 years full-time

Time Limit

6 years full-time

Criminology and Sociolegal Studies: Criminology and Sociolegal Studies MA, PhD Courses

​All courses are half courses (0.5 FCE), with the exception of CRI 3360Y0 Research Paper (1.0 FCE). Not all courses are offered every year. Consult the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies regarding course availability.

Due to space limitations, criminology graduate students will be given priority in graduate course enrolment. All other students must receive written permission from the instructor and the Graduate Coordinator before enrolling in any of the centre's graduate courses.

​Required Course

CRI 2010H
​Methodological Issues in Criminology​ and Sociolegal Studies

Elective Courses

​CRI 1020H
​Law​ and Society: Theoretical Perspectives
​CRI 1050H
Theories of Crime and Social Order​
​​CRI 2040H
Drugs and Crime​
​CRI 2060H
​Prisons and Punishment
​CRI 3010H
​Crime, Criminalization, and Victimization
​CRI 3020H
Criminology and the Policy-Making Process​
​CRI 3110H
​Qualitative Research Methods
​CRI 3120H
​Politics and Crime
​CRI 3130H
Policing​
​CRI 3140H
​Special Topics in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies
​CRI 3160H
​Historical Approaches to Crime and Justice in Canada
​CRI 3220H
Organized Crime and Corruption​
​CRI 3240H
​Penology
​CRI 3256H
Law, Space, and Regulation​
​CRI 3270H
​The Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: Theory and Practice
​CRI 3310H
​Special Topics in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies
​CRI 3320H
The Criminal Process​
​CRI 3330H
Contemporary Issues in Safety and Security​
​CRI 3340H
Special Topics in Criminology​ and Sociolegal Studies
​CRI 3350H
Directed Research in Criminology​ and Sociolegal Studies
CRI 3351H
Directed Research in Criminology​ and Sociolegal Studies
​CRI 3355H
Sentencing​
​CRI 3356H
​Youth Crime and Youth Justice
​​CRI 3360Y0
​MA Research Paper​​

0 Course that may continue over a program. The course is graded when completed.