CRIM 425 Organized Crime

This 3-credit course will provide students with a historical and theoretical overview of organized crime. Students will gain an understanding of the structure of organized crime as well as an understanding of the businesses associated with traditional and nontraditional organized crime groups.

The Curaçao portion of this course will immerse students into Curaçaoan culture and provide ample opportunity to explore this Caribbean island located off the northern coast of Venezuela. The island offers visitors perfect weather, ample beaches, crystal blue waters, and plenty of cultural and social activities. Students will have free time to explore the island.

Program Dates: March 2–9, 2024

Students must be enrolled in CRIM 425 (online course) for the spring 2024 semester to participate in this required embedded course. Students must have permission from the faculty leader to enroll in CRIM 425 for the spring 2024 semester.

Howard Smith (

  • Program Fee: $2,000 maximum
  • Airfare: $750+ depending on departure airport and airline
  • In-Country Costs: $750 estimate

NOTE: The embedded program fee will be billed to participants’ Penn State Office of the Bursar accounts in early January, and the payment is due on Monday, January 22, 2024.

  • The embedded program fee includes: accommodations; welcome and farewell meals; transportation to/from the airport in Curaçao; transportation related to academic activities; fees related to academic activities/speakers; administrative support
  • The embedded program fee does NOT include: course tuition; airfare; domestic transportation to/from the airport; meals; spending money (souvenirs, gifts, etc.); or gratuities.

NOTE: Students are expected to arrange their own flights to/from Curaçao (with guidance from the faculty leader about arrival/departure time windows); the group will not be traveling together.

NOTE: This program has already been filled for the spring 2024 semester. Students with questions may email the course professor, Howard Smith.

There are several official avenues for embedded program funding within the University. The primary ways are through the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network and Penn State Global, but students can also explore funding opportunities through their academic department, the Student Engagement Network, or Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring.

Learn more about funding for embedded programs

Get career ready!

Embedded programs help students to gain key skills that employers are most looking for in college graduates, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). Below are 1–2 major competencies students can start to develop by participating in this program.

Critical Thinking

Apply what you have learned from CRIM 425 into a practical environment that challenges you to think about organized crime, its historical antecedents, structure, related theories, and policy issues.


Represent the University and communicate in a professional manner with important organizations like the United States Air Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the University of Curaçao.

Want to hear more? Meet with a Liberal Arts career coach in the Career Enrichment Network to discuss your experience and identify even more ways that this program can enhance your personal and professional development!

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