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USM criminology degree ranked #4 in nation by GradReports

The University of Southern Maine’s bachelor’s degree in criminology has been honored as one of the nation’s best, earning a #4 ranking in GradReports.

The data-driven, online publication singled out the USM program’s tuition, median debt and the median salaries earned just one year after graduation. At USM, new criminology degree holders earned a median salary of $37,500 after one year.

“Our students receive a wonderful criminological education that prepares them for good paying jobs and with minimal tuition costs and economic debt,” said James Messerschmidt, the department’s chair. “Criminology at USM is an excellent buy.”

Graduates of the USM program fill the ranks of the state’s law enforcement professionals, including numerous chiefs of police and Maine Public Safety commissioner Michael J. Sauschuck.

The school rankings incorporate the U.S. Department of Education's recently released financial data, allowing students to make a cost to benefit analysis before choosing a school and major, according to a statement by GradReports.

USM was the only Maine university to place on GradReport’s criminology list. Others include North Carolina State University at #6, the University of Florida at #14 and Indiana State University at #17.

Adam Tuchinsky, the dean of USM’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, praised the work of Messerschmidt and his colleagues.

“The Criminology Department at the University of Southern Maine has long been distinguished for the quality of its faculty and the diversity of its students, Tuchinsky said. “Our faculty members are internationally recognized, publishing close to forty books. Our students are veterans and social activists who serve their communities, often in law enforcement but not exclusively so, bringing the program's range of perspectives to the state and region.”

The department was delighted to hear of this recognition, said Messerschmidt, who is also honored as a Distinguished University Professor. 

It wasn’t a surprise, though.

“The criminology department at USM provides students with a solid liberal arts education focused on the complex relations among, crime, law, victimization, and society,” he said. “Faculty members are known for their published research on theory, gender, multicultural and global analyses.”