The department of Criminology offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts (MA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Criminology.

Criminology is devoted to the scientific analysis of crime, justice and social control. It focuses on four broad questions: the social construction of norms and the notion of crime; the criminalization of specific behaviours, individuals and groups in our society; the analysis of the goals and functioning of the criminal justice system; and the examination of contemporary forms of intervention.

Doctoral Program

The doctoral program aims to prepare criminologists who have a solid understanding of contemporary issues in criminology and criminal justice policies, have in-depth knowledge of the theories and debates that characterize the discipline and are equipped to design and conduct a methodologically sound original research program.

The field is divided into two areas. The first addresses the process by means of which criminal justice policies (including laws and institutions such as the police, prison, etc.) are created and developed. The second concerns the theoretical and empirical analysis of the implementation of such policies. It examines how institutions function and attempts to assess the social consequences of these policies so as to suggest new reforms or alternative measures of a more moderate nature and more respectful of human dignity.

The programs are offered in English and French and are governed by the general regulations in effect for graduate studies.

Learn more on application deadlines, language requirements and more by visiting the specific requirements webpage.

To be eligible for admission to the PhD program:

  • Students must hold a master's degree (thesis or research paper) in criminology or a related discipline, with a minimum average of 75 % (B+).
  • A prospective supervisor from the department's should be contacted by the candidate. The candidate should submit to the potential supervisor a description of his / her research project.
  • Admission to the program depends on the acceptance of a supervisor ready to guide the candidate's research and to that end complete the following support form to be submitted to the secretary of the department.  

Language Requirements

All applicants must be able to understand speak and write either English or French proficiently. Applicants whose first language is neither English nor French must provide proof of proficiency in one or the other. The list of acceptable tests is indicated in the “Admission” section of the general regulations in effect for graduate studies.

In accordance with University of Ottawa policy, students have a right to produce their written work and to answer examination questions in French or in English.

Second Language Requirement

Students who are not bilingual at the time of admission may take a placement test upon admission and, depending on their score, they will have to take and pass second language course(s) (e.g. FLS 2513) to ensure they attain the required standard by the end of their second year of studies.

Transfer from Master’s to PhD Program

Students in a master’s program who have achieved an 80% (A-) average in their last two years of undergraduate studies may be allowed to transfer to the PhD program without being required to write a master’s thesis provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Completion of 5 graduate courses (15 units) with a grade of A- or better in each.
  • Satisfactory progress in the research program.
  • Written recommendation from the supervisor and the thesis advisory committee.
  • Approval by the graduate studies committee.

The request to transfer must be made during the fourth term of enrollment or earlier. The student must enroll in the PhD in the fifth or, at the latest, in the sixth term. Following transfer, all the requirements of the doctoral program must be met.

The minimal course requirements are stated below. Students may be required to take additional courses to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills needed to pursue their program.

Compulsory Courses:
CRM 8100Doctoral Seminar3 Units
CRM 8110Research Methodology in Criminology II3 Units
CRM 8102Current Issues in Criminology3 Units
Comprehensive Examination:
CRM 9998Comprehensive Examination 10 Unit
Thesis Proposal:
CRM 9997Thesis Project 20 Unit
CRM 9999Ph.D. Thesis0 Unit

The comprehensive examination has a written and an oral component. Written work must be accepted and submitted no later than October 1st of the student's fourth semester. The student whose written work is not submitted in time or is not accepted for the defense will not be able to support his work orally and will be considered as having failed the exam.The written component must be successfully completed before taking the oral exam. For the oral component, the student will be tested on their personalized reading list (minimum 3,600 pages) and on the content of their written submission. Students who fail the written or the oral component of the exam have just one opportunity to redo their exam. The oral exam must take place in the first week of November of the student's fourth term. Students who are unsuccessful are entitled to repeat the examination once prior to March 31st of their fifth term.


The thesis proposal has a written and an oral component. The written component must be accepted before the oral component. The student must register for the thesis proposal defence no later than the first full week in November of the students 3rd year of studies (7th semester) The proposal defence must take place no later than November 30th of the student’s third year of studies. In truly exceptional cases there is the possibility for a new deadline to be established by the student, supervisor, and the thesis committee in collaboration with the Ph.D. committee of the Department of criminology. Students whose thesis proposal paper is not accepted for defence by their doctoral committee or who do not submit their paper for the first full week in November of the students 3rd year of studies (7th semester) will not be able to defend their proposal and will be considered to have failed their defense for the first time. Students have one additional opportunity to defend their proposal provided they deposit their approved paper prior to January 30th following their first trial and defend their thesis proposal before February 25th of their 8th semester of studies.

Transfer from Master's to PhD

The request to transfer must be made during the fourth term of enrollment or earlier. The student must enroll in the PhD in the fifth or, at the latest, in the sixth term. Following transfer, all the requirements of the doctoral program must be met.

Duration of Program

Students are expected to fulfill all requirements within four years. The maximum time permitted is six years from the date of initial enrollment in the program, or seven years in the case of the students transferring from the master’s to the doctorate.


All students must complete a minimum of six terms of full-time enrollment. In the case of transfer to the PhD, the residency period for the PhD is nine full-time terms from the initial enrollment in the program.

Minimum Standards

The passing grade in all courses is B. Students who fail two courses (equivalent to 6 units), the thesis proposal, or the comprehensive exam (twice), who fail to meet the deadlines (for the reading list, the comprehensive exam, the second language requirement), or whose research progress is deemed unsatisfactory are required to withdraw.

Thesis Advisory Committee

During the first term of the program, a thesis advisory committee (TAC) is formed for the candidate. The Committee’s membership will be determined by the specific interests of the candidate.

A meeting between the student and the Thesis Advisory Committee will take place at least once per term. The thesis examining board may include members who are not part of the TAC.

The TAC is composed of the supervisor and two additional professors. At least one member of the thesis committee, in addition to the supervisor, must be from the Department of Criminology. The TAC is responsible for guiding the student through the comprehensive exam and thesis process.

The TAC must be established by the end of the student's first term.

Research Fields & Facilities

Located in the heart of Canada’s capital, a few steps away from Parliament Hill, the University of Ottawa is among Canada’s top 10 research universities.

uOttawa focuses research strengths and efforts in four Strategic Areas of Development in Research (SADRs):

  • Canada and the World
  • Health
  • e-Society
  • Molecular and Environmental Sciences

With cutting-edge research, our graduate students, researchers and educators strongly influence national and international priorities.

Research at the Faculty of Social Sciences

The Faculty of Social Sciences represents a place of excellence in knowledge creation, research and training. Driven by both disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, research at the Faculty is rich, innovative and varied, contributing to the depth of understanding and breadth of discussions on a variety of issues nationally and internationally.  This research, whether it be fundamental, theoretical, applied or action-oriented, is generated by our renowned expertise, ultimately culminating in applications designed to influence individual communities and the betterment of society.

We have identified five research themes which collectively represent a large proportion of the research undertaken at the Faculty of Social Sciences:

  • International Studies
  • Francophonie
  • Public Policy
  • Health, Well-Being
  • Justice, Society

Facilities, Research Centres and Institutes at the Faculty of Social Sciences

Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Citizenship and Minorities (CIRCEM), Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS), Centre for Public Management and Policy, Centre for Research on Educational and Community Service (CRECS), Centre on Governance (COG), Human Rights Research and Education Centre (affiliation), Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies and Institute for Science, Society and Policy.

For more information, refer to the list of faculty members and their research fields on Uniweb

IMPORTANT: Candidates and students looking for professors to supervise their thesis or research project can also consult the website of the faculty or department of their program of choice. Uniweb does not list all professors authorized to supervise research projects at the University of Ottawa.

Required courses are offered in English and French every year. Optional courses are offered periodically.

CRM 5301 Field Work in Criminology (3 units)

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 5701 Stage en criminologie (3 crédits)

Réservé aux candidats au M.C.A. qui n'ont pas réussi un stage pratique ou son équivalent avant l'admission. Stage supervisé de 120 heures dans un organisme approuvé par le Département de criminologie. Rapport écrit intégrant la théorie et les recherches à l'expérience pratique, à évaluer par le superviseur et le coordonnateur des stages. Noté S (satisfaisant) ou NS (non satisfaisant).

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6320 Research Methodology in Criminology I (3 units)

Study of the main epistemological questions regarding research activities in criminology; in-depth analysis of data collection methods with a focus on data treatment and analysis.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6325 Research Seminar in Criminology (3 units)

Annual seminar (every two weeks) with the following objectives: (a) detailed analysis of the procedures involved in the implementation of a research activity; formulation of a research project (research problem and theoretical framework) at the end of the fall session; presentation of the final research project (research problem, theoretical framework and methodology) at the end of the winter session.

Course Component: Seminar

CRM 6330 Quantitative Methods in Criminology (3 units)

Study of various epistemological, methodological and ethical questions regarding the use of quantitative methods of data collection and analysis.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6331 Qualitative Methods in Criminology (3 units)

Study of various epistemological, methodological and ethical questions regarding the use of qualitative methods of data collection and analysis.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6340 Theories of Intervention in Criminology and Alternative Practices (3 units)

Examination of the theories and bases of the treatment of the criminalized in our society. Analysis of alternative forms of practice.

Course Component: Seminar

CRM 6341 Counselling in Criminology (3 units)

Nature, analysis and limitations of counselling in criminology.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6342 Community Intervention in Criminology (3 units)

Community methods of intervention; responsibility and limits. Use of community resources. Participation in correction and social action.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6343 Social Policy and Criminology (3 units)

Issues underlying social policies with respect to crime and social control. The process of policy formation; critical and comparative aspects.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6345 Field Placement Seminar (3 units)

Restricted to students registered in the field placement (CRM 6400). Critical reflection on the field placement experience. Discussion of issues related to the field placement settings of the students. Oral presentation and written report.

Course Component: Seminar

CRM 6350 Contemporary Criminological Theories (3 units)

Analysis of current problems in criminological theory.

Course Component: Seminar

CRM 6353 Representations and Ideologies of Crime (3 units)

Study of the representations and ideologies of crime and social control.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6354 Social History of the Criminal Justice System (3 units)

Problems of research on the history of penal institutions; analysis of selected cases or situations.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6355 Comparative Criminology (3 units)

Discussion of the bases of comparative analysis in criminology; analysis of specific situations.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6359 Evaluation of Criminal Justice Programs, Policies and Legislation (3 units)

Evaluation principles, approaches, models and methods; analysis of programs, policies and their theoretical underpinnings; selection of evaluation questions, preparation of a proposal and development of evaluation research tools.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6360 Philosophy of Criminal Law (3 units)

Critical examination of the main theories and ideologies of the role of criminal law; the reform of criminal law.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6361 Crime Prevention (3 units)

The impact and function of prevention research in criminology; prevention programs; evaluation.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6362 Criminal Justice and the Victims of Crime (3 units)

The impact of the Victims Movement on the aims and operation of the criminal justice system.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6363 Police and Society (3 units)

The role and functioning of the police in contemporary society; relation to the state and to civil society.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6364 Sentencing (3 units)

Analysis of the aims and operation of sentencing.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6365 The Socio-Politics of Incarceration (3 units)

Analysis of the socio-political aims, functions and consequences of incarceration. The politicization of reform; abolition; prisoners rights movements.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6367 Women and Criminal Justice (3 units)

Women as criminals and victims; the impact of the operation of the criminal justice system on women.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6370 Corporate Crime (3 units)

Analysis of the differential responses to various forms of corporate crime.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6371 Political Crime (3 units)

Analysis of the forms of political crime and of the differential responses to the phenomenon.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6380 Selected Topics I (3 units)

Various topics will be discussed from year to year.

Course Component: Seminar

CRM 6381 Selected Topics II (3 units)

Various topics will be discussed from year to year.

Course Component: Lecture

CRM 6400 Field Work in Criminology II (6 units)

Restricted to students registered in the MA (Thesis and Field Placement option). Graded S (Satisfactory) / NS (Not satisfactory).

Course Component: Work Term

CRM 6720 Méthodologie de recherche en criminologie I (3 crédits)

Étude des principaux problèmes épistémologiques concernant les activités de recherche en criminologie; approfondissement de certaines techniques de cueillette, et surtout, de traitement et d'analyse de données.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6725 Séminaire de recherche en criminologie (3 crédits)

Séminaire annuel (rencontres aux deux semaines) poursuivant les trois objectifs suivants : (a) analyse détaillée des différentes étapes de la mise en oeuvre d'une activité de recherche; (b) formulation de l'ébauche d'un projet de recherche (objet et cadre théorique) à la fin de la session d'automne; (c) présentation d'un projet définitif de recherche (objet, cadre théorique et méthodologie) à la fin de la session d'hiver.

Volet : Séminaire

CRM 6730 Méthodologie quantitative en criminologie (3 crédits)

Étude des différentes questions d'ordre épistémologique, méthodologique et éthique concernant l'utilisation des techniques quantitatives d'enquête et d'analyse.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6731 Méthodologie qualitative en criminologie (3 crédits)

Étude des différentes questions d'ordre épistémologique, méthodologique et éthique concernant l'utilisation des techniques qualitatives d'enquête et d'analyse.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6740 Théories de l'intervention en criminologie et pratiques alternatives (3 crédits)

Examen des théories et des points d'ancrage du traitement du justiciable dans notre société. Analyse des pratiques alternatives.

Volet : Séminaire

CRM 6741 L'entretien clinique en criminologie (3 crédits)

Nature, analyse et portée de l'entretien clinique.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6742 Intervention communautaire (3 crédits)

La méthode d'intervention communautaire; implications et limites; l'emploi des ressources communautaires; la participation dans le domaine correctionnel et au niveau de l'action sociale.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6743 Politique sociale et criminologie (3 crédits)

Questions sous-jacentes aux politiques sociales en rapport aux crimes et au contrôle social; la création de politiques sociales; les aspects critiques et comparatifs.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6745 Séminaire de stage (3 crédits)

Réservé aux étudiants inscrits au stage (CRM 6800). Évaluation critique des apprentissages liés à l'expérience de stage. Discussion de thèmes en rapport avec les milieux de stage des étudiants. Présentations orales et rapport écrit.

Volet : Séminaire

CRM 6750 Théories criminologiques contemporaines (3 crédits)

Analyse de certains problèmes d'actualité dans le domaine de la pensée criminologique.

Volet : Séminaire

CRM 6753 Représentations et idéologies de la criminalité (3 crédits)

Étude des représentations et idéologies sur la criminalité liées au contrôle social.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6754 L'approche historique en criminologie (3 crédits)

Les problèmes de recherche reliés à l'histoire des institutions pénales; analyse de cas ou situations choisies.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6755 Criminologie comparée (3 crédits)

Discussion des bases de l'analyse comparative en criminologie; analyse de situations spécifiques.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6759 Évaluation des programmes, des politiques et des lois en matière de justice criminelle (3 crédits)

Principes, approches, modèles et méthodes d'évaluation; analyse des interventions et de leurs fondements théoriques, choix des questions évaluatives, préparation d'un projet et élaboration des outils de recherche évaluative.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6760 Philosophie du droit pénal (3 crédits)

Examen critique des principales conceptions et idéologies concernant les finalités du droit pénal.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6761 La prévention et la criminologie (3 crédits)

L'impact et les fonctions des études de prévention en criminologie; programmes de prévention; évaluation de ces programmes.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6762 La question des victimes et la justice pénale (3 crédits)

La place de la victime et la signification du mouvement pro-victime relativement au fonctionnement et au but de la justice pénale.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6763 Police et société (3 crédits)

La fonction et le fonctionnement des organismes policiers dans la société contemporaine; leurs rapports avec l'état et la société civile.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6764 La détermination de la peine (3 crédits)

Analyse des objectifs et des enjeux propres à la détermination de la peine.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6765 Analyse sociopolitique de l'emprisonnement (3 crédits)

Analyse des buts, des fonctions et des conséquences socio-politiques de l'incarcération. La politisation de la réforme; abolition; mouvements en faveur des droits des prisonniers et des prisonnières.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6767 La femme et la justice pénale (3 crédits)

La femme comme justiciable et victime; l'impact du fonctionnement de la justice pénale sur les femmes.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6768 Le jeune et la justice pénale (3 crédits)

Analyse des différents aspects de la justice pour mineurs; leurs implications et les problèmes posés.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6770 Délinquance d'affaires (3 crédits)

Analyse du traitement différentiel de diverses délinquances d'affaires.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6771 Crime politique (3 crédits)

Analyse des formes de criminalité politique et des différentes réactions à ce phénomène.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6780 Sujets choisis I (3 crédits)

Divers sujets seront discutés d'une année à l'autre.

Volet : Séminaire

CRM 6781 Sujets choisis II (3 crédits)

Divers sujets seront discutés d'une année à l'autre.

Volet : Cours magistral

CRM 6800 Stage en criminologie II (6 crédits)

Réservé aux étudiants inscrits au programme de M.A. (option thèse et stage). Noté S (satisfaisant) ou NS (non satisfaisant).

Volet : Stage

CRM 6999 Mémoire de recherche / Major Research Paper (6 crédits / 6 units)

Obligatoire pour les étudiants inscrits au programme de M.A. (option mémoire). / Compulsory for students registered in the MA (Major Research Paper option).

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

CRM 7999 Thèse / Thesis (M.A.) (12 crédits / 12 units)

Obligatoire pour les étudiants du M.A. / Compulsory for MA students.

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

CRM 8100 Doctoral Seminar (3 units)

This seminar provides students with the epistemological and theoretical tools necessary for developing an advanced level of reflection around their research topic. Attendance, active participation, an oral presentation, and a paper are compulsory.

Course Component: Seminar

CRM 8102 Current Issues in Criminology (3 units)

Presentation of current topics in criminology with discussions aimed at developing professional skills (facilitating/moderating a discussion, preparing for a debate, writing a grant proposal, etc.). Bi-weekly seminars with participation by different professors in the department, visiting professors, or other experts depending on the issue or topic. Graded S (Satisfactory) / NS (Not satisfactory).

Course Component: Seminar

CRM 8110 Research Methodology in Criminology II (3 units)

Reflection on issues related to research methodology. In-depth training in a few methods. Methods of enquiry, practical considerations, data analysis, interpretation of results, etc. Acquisition of the knowledge needed to develop, direct, and administer a major research program in criminology.

Course Component: Seminar

CRM 8500 Séminaire de doctorat I (3 crédits)

Ce séminaire offrira des outils épistémologiques et théoriques aux étudiants afin qu'ils entament une réflexion poussée sur leur sujet de recherche. La présence, la participation active, une présentation orale et un travail écrit sont obligatoires.

Volet : Séminaire

CRM 8502 Questions actuelles en criminologie (3 crédits)

Présentation de questions actuelles en criminologie suivie de discussions visant au développement d'habiletés professionnelles (telles la capacité à animer et à guider les discussions, à préparer des débats, à rédiger des demandes de subventions de recherche, etc.). Séminaires à toutes les deux semaines, autour d'un sujet particulier, faisant intervenir différents professeurs du département, des professeurs invités, et d'autres experts choisis en fonction de la question ou du sujet à l'étude. Noté S (satisfaisant) ou NS (non satisfaisant).

Volet : Séminaire

CRM 8510 Méthodologie de recherche en criminologie II (3 crédits)

Réflexion sur la méthode scientifique et sur les problèmes liés à la méthodologie. Apprentissage en profondeur de quelques méthodes. Modes d'investigation, organisation matérielle de la recherche, interprétation des données, appréciation des résultats, etc. Développement des connaissances nécessaires pour concevoir, diriger et administrer un programme de recherche d'envergure en criminologie.

Volet : Séminaire

CRM 9997 Projet de thèse / Thesis Project

Rédaction et soutenance orale d'un projet de thèse, à terminer normalement avant la fin de la cinquième session d'inscription au programme. Noté S (satisfaisant) ou NS (non satisfaisant). / Writing and oral defence of the thesis proposal to be completed normally before the end of the fifth session of registration in the program. Graded S (Satisfactory) / NS (Not satisfactory).

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

CRM 9998 Examen de synthèse / Comprehensive Examination

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

CRM 9999 Thèse de doctorat / Ph.D. Thesis

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

Pre-requisite CRM 9997 / Pre-requisite CRM 9997