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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

  • The Science Behind Where Police Should Place Their Body Cameras

    As law enforcement increasingly uses body-worn cameras, researchers are studying the roles of camera design and perspective.

    Approaching police body cameras from a design and ergonomics perspective is just one example of the ways researchers are starting to delve into the bigger questions associated with body cameras, from artificial intelligence analysis to perspective bias.

    David Makin, a criminologist at Washington State University in Pullman, co-founded the Complex Social Interactions (CSI) Lab. Makin is designing algorithms and software to analyze body-worn camera footage. One of the main issues, he says, is that body cam footage is just that — footage. “So you have thousands … » More …

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  • Opinion: What we need to talk about when we talk about mass shooters

    A day after the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Donald Trump blamed the incident that left 17 dead on shooter Nikolas Cruz’s mental health.

    Dr. Melanie-Angela Neuilly, an associate professor at the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University, told the Daily Dot, “While mental health should always be taken into consideration, the emphasis on mental health as a source of violence is misleading as individuals suffering with mental health issues are actually less likely to be violent (overall) than individuals without mental health issues.”

    What we really ought to question, Neuilly said, are the cultural values that could contribute … » More …

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  • Yakima Valley families cope with pain as loved ones’ murders remain unsolved

    Amelie PedneaultParents of a man murdered in March 2017 expressed frustration with what they called a lack of communication with detectives on how the case is progressing.

    That’s a common complaint with families of those killed in unsolved crimes, said Amelie Pedneault, an assistant professor of criminology at Washington State University. The lack of communication makes people think the case is not progressing or lacks importance to law enforcement, Pedneault said.

    That leads to some families trying to investigate the crime on their own, she said.

    She said researchers found a good solution is to have regular … » More …

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  • 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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