Mission Statement

The Criminology and Justice Studies department houses the B.A. in Criminology and Justice Studies. This program promotes the social scientific, theoretical, analytical and practical understanding of justice in a broad sense including, but not limited to, crime, victimization and the criminal justice system. The program promotes a critical perspective on justice at all levels and provides a foundation for the study of criminology and justice based in critical thinking and application, theory and research methodology, understanding diversity and global perspectives, writing, and fundamentals of law and ethical practice. The department emphasizes the intersection between the academic and the professional, which provides students a meaningful learning environment for application to criminal justice and other justice-related careers. Partnerships between the department and both the University community and the community at large provide the fertile ground for these intersections. The Criminology and Justice Studies program endeavors to motivate and empower students to become agents of change in the pursuit of justice.

About the Department

The B.A. in Criminology and Justice Studies is an interdisciplinary, social scientific program designed to help students develop a foundation of informed and ethical ways of engaging in work in fields relating to justice in a broad sense including, but not limited to, criminal justice, crime and victims. The B.A. in Criminology and Justice Studies is built upon a crime and justice core, including courses such as criminal justice systems, juvenile justice, ethics, criminal law, criminological theory and methods. The program includes coursework in critical areas, including cross-national/cross-cultural approaches to crime, victimization, criminology and criminal justice. The program provides the foundation needed to face the challenges in today’s world of justice. Central to the program is the goal of intersecting the academic with the professional: taking traditional learning and applying it to real situations faced in the area of justice. This intersection is done throughout the curriculum, but it is most fully realized in the applied research and field experience course, which provides students the opportunity to get hands-on experience in the field and/or with actual crime and justice data.

Academic Advisement

Academic advisement is a crucial part of college success, and the Department of Criminology and Justice Studies strongly encourages students to obtain regular advisement and guidance in their academic program and future careers. Students should request general academic advisement from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Student Services Center/EOP advisors as well as specific program advice from program faculty. The B.A. in Criminology and Justice Studies core curriculum includes a course in criminal justice careers to help students explore career possibilities within the field. In addition, students are encouraged to seek career guidance from the Career Center, explore campus career workshops and job fairs, and ask for advice from departmental faculty.


Students who major in Criminology and Justice Studies are equipped to enter the criminal justice and related workforce with a solid understanding of the criminal justice system and the ability to critically engage in an examination of that system and the work within it. Examples of careers include law enforcement, investigation, probation and parole, correctional case management, victim assistance and nonprofit work. Graduates of the program are also well equipped to enter into graduate study in criminal justice and other academic and applied fields. Coursework in criminology and justice studies complements many other fields, including sociology, political science, psychology, social work, counseling, child development, health, law and any other field that addresses or is impacted by deviant or criminal behavior and justice.

Clubs and Societies

The Department of Criminology and Justice Studies is the home to the Criminology and Justice Studies Club for all students.


The Department of Criminology and Justice Studies is the home to several awards for students in a variety of areas connected to academics, professional goals and/or community engagement. Awards are given each spring semester.


Department of Criminology and Justice Studies
Chair: Vickie Jensen
Sierra Hall (SH) 165
(818) 677-2117