Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Contributing to more just, equitable, and safer communities. Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology

Welcome

The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology has a long rich history. In 1935, the President of then, Washington State College, Dr. Ernest O. Holland, contacted the nation’s first ever FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, for guidance in creating a program for the sole purpose of training law enforcement officers (September 18, 1935 Letter, October 3, 1935 Letter- Part 1, and October 3, 1935 Letter- Part 2). In 1943, under Dr. V.A. Leonard, the Department of Police Science was formed. Since then it has expanded beyond training police officers to touch on every aspect of the criminal justice system.

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.


Undergraduate

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


Graduate

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

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



 

A statement in condemnation of police violence, from the faculty of the department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University.
June 1, 2020

 

In light of the most recent in a heartbreakingly long series of events involving police violence on communities of color, especially black women and men, the Washington State University Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology reaffirms our faculty’s commitment to principles of social justice, including that of anti-racism. As we train the next generations of criminal justice professionals, we are keenly aware of the importance of helping them develop the knowledge and skills that will enable them to be the agents of positive change the field so desperately needs. We dedicate ourselves to addressing issues of systemic racial bias through not only our teaching but also our research, with which we aim to guide reform. We, as a faculty, vow to continue the pursuit and promotion of a more just society through education, research, service.


CAS in the Media News

  • WSU faculty receive $1.4 million grant for assessment addressing truancy in schools

    Several Washington State University faculty are the recipients of a $1.4 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to refine and expand an assessment that helps address truancy in K-12 schools.

    Paul Strand, WSU Tri-Cities professor of psychology, Brian French, Berry Family Distinguished professor and director of WSU’s Learning and Performance Research Center and Psychometric Laboratory, Nick Lovrich, WSU Regents professor emeritus, and Bruce Austin, research associate in educational psychology and the LPRC, have worked since 2014 to evaluate and refine WARNS. With the grant, the group is also adding the following members to their team to help refine the tool: Chad Gotch and … » More …

    Read Story
  • WSU WORD! Fellows inspire faculty to teach writing in their disciplines

    Eleven Washington State University faculty members are at work on special plans for the coming year: assigning and evaluating their students’ writing assignments in new ways.

    As invited participants in the inaugural WORD! Faculty Fellowship Program—called “Word! Fellows”—the professors spent 12 weeks as learners themselves. In weekly workshop sessions, the experienced educators from several disciplines—most of whom teach large classes—were challenged to think about how to help students write as members in their disciplines.

    Now that the workshops have ended, WORD! members like Paul Buckley, associate professor of chemistry, are crafting new student writing assignments for fall.

    “Before WORD!, I thought writing lab reports was … » More …

    Read Story
  • WSU, Pullman PD research program earns national recognition

    A Washington State University research program developed in partnership with the Pullman Police Department has been recognized for its trailblazing approach.

    The Research Fellowship Program, a collaboration between David Makin, a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology and Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins, was among the efforts highlighted by this year’s Smart 50 Awards.

    Pullman PD has already seen dividends from this program, including having a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis done for a new municipal building as well as research briefs prepared on evidence-based practices associated with domestic violence. The first six months of the program also allowed for the assessment of a … » More …

    Read Story
  • Focus on criminal justice reform

    It was happening again. Another unarmed person of color killed by police. Another grieving city at the breaking point.

    As images of George Floyd suffocating beneath the knee of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin were broadcast globally last spring, Washington State University’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology was mobilizing.

    “We are training the next generation of criminal justice professionals and have a responsibility here,” said department Chair Melanie-Angela Neuilly. “Systemic racial bias, fairness and equity are issues we’ve been mindful of and have been including in our curriculum, but we decided to put them at the forefront of everything we do.”

    “It’s really a … » More …

    Read Story