Skip to main content Skip to navigation
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 doctoral degree 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

  • Does legal weed make police more effective?

    Marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington state has “produced some demonstrable and persistent benefit” to police departments’ ability to solve other types of crime, according to researchers in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University.

    “Our models show no negative effects of legalization and, instead, indicate that crime clearance rates for at least some types of crime are increasing faster in states that legalized than in those that did not,” the authors write in a study published in the journal Police Quarterly.

    A crime is typically considered “cleared” if authorities have identified and arrested a suspect and referred … » More …

    Read Story
  • Forced court appearances make cops more tired, generate more citizen complaints

    Results from a new study conducted by researchers at Washington State University and Central Queensland University suggest that complaints against U.S. police officers increase when they work consecutive night shifts. The odds of citizen complaints increase even more when night shift officers are required to make daytime court appearances in-between night shifts when they would otherwise be resting up for their next shift.

    Results from the study indicate that citizen complaints were most prevalent on night shifts. The researchers also found that going to court during the day between night shifts further increased the odds of citizen complaints. This supports the idea that sleep restriction … » More …

    Read Story
  • 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 …

    Read Story
  • 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 …

    Read Story