Criminology and Criminal Justice

550 Urban Center


  • B.A., B.S.
  • Minor
  • Postbaccalaureate certificate
  • M.S.

The Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice emphasizes the generation and practical application of empirical evidence to crime and justice issues. We seek to promote effectiveness, efficiency, and equity in crime prevention and control efforts by (1) providing students with quality educational experiences that prepare them for lifelong professional success, (2) conducting and disseminating research on theoretical and policy-relevant topics, and (3) collaborating with justice-related organizations to assess, evaluate, and improve policy and practice. Our Department values empirical inquiry, access to higher education, diversity, social justice, and community engagement.

Undergraduate program

Criminology & Criminal Justice’s undergraduate program seeks to educate students about the causes, consequences, prevention, and control of criminal and law-violating activity at multiple levels of analysis. Our undergraduate curriculum focuses on (1) criminology and criminal justice theories and empirical research addressing the role of individuals, families, communities, and society in the production and prevention of crime, (2) the justice system’s function in controlling crime, and (3) a critical analysis of the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of related policies and practices. Educational experiences facilitated inside and outside of class help promote students’ long term professional success by developing their capacity for critical reasoning, problem-solving, and effective communication.

Criminology and Criminal Justice is an interdisciplinary major, a fact demonstrated by the diverse backgrounds of our full-time and adjunct faculty. Students graduating from our program have a wide range of choices when they look for employment or post-graduate education. Recent graduates have found jobs in law enforcement (e.g., police officer, immigration, crime analyst), courts (e.g., victim advocate, administration), corrections (e.g., parole officer, facility management), human services (e.g., offender counseling, child welfare), and crime prevention (e.g., neighborhood crime prevention specialist, private security). Other graduates from our program have gone on to pursue advanced degrees in such areas as law, criminal justice, psychology, social work, public administration, and urban planning.

Graduate Program

The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers a program of study designed to provide students a broad-based understanding of the criminal justice system and society’s response to crime. A major goal of the program is to develop understanding of the applied and theoretical aspects of crime and criminal justice.

The program provides students with a high degree of flexibility and allows students to tailor the program to match their own career interests. Core coursework consists of classes in the theoretical foundations of criminology and criminal justice, methodology, and criminal justice policy analysis.

Students are required to develop a specialization in a substantive area outside of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. In consultation with an adviser, students identify and complete a minimum of four classes, thereby creating a specialty that is unique for each student. Potential specialization fields include public management, political science, urban studies, and geographic information systems.

Criminology & Criminal Justice (CCJ) Courses