Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science
Undergraduate Programs of Study
- Criminal Justice (major, minor)
- Fraud Investigation (minor)
- Political Science (major, minor)
- Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A.)
- Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S.)
- Undergraduate Certificate
Our department serves approximately 300 undergraduate students and 20 graduate students. The department offers bachelor's degrees and minors in criminal justice and political science. Political science students also have the option to pursue an emphasis in pre-law or public service. Additionally, we offer an M.S. in criminal justice administration and a Ph.D. in criminal justice. Undergraduate criminal justice students in their junior year may apply to our accelerated master's program. This program allows exceptional undergraduate students to complete the master's degree in 3 semesters after completion of the bachelor's degree by taking select coursework which counts for credit in both the bachelor's and master's degrees.
About the Faculty
Faculty members in the department represent a wide array of expertise. On the criminal justice side, we have faculty focused on policing, corrections, theories of crime, juvenile justice, and federal law enforcement to name a few. In political science, the faculty have expertise in international relations, political violence, American elections, public policy, the politics of gender, comparative politics, and more. Across the board, the department faculty are prolific scholars. Our 11 full-time faculty members collectively have authored 18 books, 24 invited book chapters, and over 120 peer-reviewed journal articles.
Career Paths for our Students
Students graduating with a degree in criminal justice have found rewarding careers in policing, federal law enforcement, conservation law enforcement, parole and probation, corrections, crime analysis, and victim advocacy just to name a few.
Political science graduates have entered careers in politics as staffers for political parties and elected officials. Others have gone on to work in municipal, state, and federal government service as policy analysts, program specialists, and administrators. Many students from both majors have successfully pursued graduate study in their respective disciplines or entered law school.
In sum, the content knowledge, the analytical and communication skills, and the capacity for critical thinking (all of which are delivered and nurtured through our programs) prepare students for a multitude of career paths.
Pre-Criminal Justice Preparation
Students intent on pursuing an undergraduate degree in criminal justice are enrolled as pre-professional majors and must first meet GPA and coursework requirements in order to be admitted to the Criminal Justice program. Once students satisfy all requirements, they may complete and submit the Criminal Justice program application form, available from the Department’s web site. After verification that requirements have been met, students are accepted into the professional program and can pursue a degree in criminal justice. Students desiring to pursue a minor in criminal justice must similarly be admitted to the minor and must meet the same requirements as listed for admission to the major.
Clubs and Internships
The department is home to the Criminal Justice Club and the Pre-Law Club. Students may expand their knowledge of criminal justice, the law, and career opportunities through the meetings with professionals and field trips sponsored by these clubs. The department also offers internships and cooperative education opportunities. For specifics, contact the Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science or the Career Center.