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Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology

Welcome

Combining a passion for scholarship with a keen understanding of practical applications, the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology offers students the opportunity to learn, explore and develop in a substantive and expanding field. The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology is located on three campuses of Washington State University, at Pullman, Spokane and Vancouver.

The department offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees; students may earn a minor, a bachelor of arts, a master’s degree, or a Ph.D. in criminal justice and criminology. We have degree options to suit today’s students, with our B.A. offered both on campus and online. With groundbreaking research, renowned professors, and students who are making a difference, WSU is an exciting place to pursue your education.

criminal justice undergrad studentsUndergraduate

Undergraduates benefit from a policy-focused curriculum that prepares them both for careers and future study, learning from leaders in the field.


criminal justice faculty and grad studentGraduate

Graduate students work closely with faculty, pursuing a more comprehensive understanding of the field of criminal justice and developing as scholars and researchers.

Meet our faculty

criminal justice faculty

Department faculty have a wide range of research and teaching interests, and the department is nationally and internationally recognized for its scholarship.

News

  • Circadian rhythms dictate lunchtime surgeries have better outcomes for cardiac patients

    The time of day of surgery may have long-term impacts on the health of patients. Sleep deprivation is worryingly common among healthcare providers. Working tired leaves more room for mistakes – and mistakes in medicine are often dangerous.

    Bryan Vila“The basic take-home is that fatigue decreases safety,” said Bryan Vila, a sleep expert and emeritus professor of criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University Spokane.

    Learning healthy sleeping practices is “just as important as occupational training,” Vila said.

    Looking at how the circadian rhythm affects the outcomes of surgery, researchers in France are claiming that patients … » More …

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  • How body camera footage can enhance officer training

    In spite of the potential benefits of using body-worn camera footage to improve community interaction, increase officer safety, and evaluate training, police departments are only minimally using the information available at their fingertips. The crux of the problem comes down to time: It is impossible for agencies to dedicate the manpower required to review hundreds of thousands of hours of footage generated by body-worn cameras.

    Criminal justice experts at Washington State University (WSU) are hoping to solve this problem by using advanced scientific tools and techniques—such as data analytics, biometrics and machine learning—to examine the complex factors that shape interactions between police and community members.

    » More …

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  • Until Proven Guilty

    The people and the algorithm behind Spokane County’s efforts to reform the pretrial criminal justice system

    Spokane County is combating jail overcrowding with a statistical-risk assessment tool that factors in several variables about people accused of crimes, including age, criminal history, housing situation, and substance abuse issues.

    The tool, known as SAFER, or “Spokane Assessment for Evaluation of Risk,” was developed by Washington State University criminal justice and criminology professor Zachary Hamilton specifically for Spokane’s population using data from about 14,000 criminal cases.

    The SAFER tool has been “validated to predict equally for all races,” Hamilton says. It’ll take a year’s worth of data to … » More …

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  • WSU students return as mentors at migrant academy

    When Gizelle Sandoval arrived on the Washington State University Pullman campus a few years ago for the Dare to Dream Math and Science Academy, the high school junior wasn’t sure wasn’t sure she wanted to be here.

    The only world she knew was helping her parents pick fruit in the Yakima Valley, and she didn’t care much for school.

    The Dare to Dream Academy, an annual summer program organized by the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction’s Migrant Education Program in partnership with WSU’s College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), changed her life. Now a WSU junior majoring in criminal justice, Sandoval returned to the … » More …

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