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Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology


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.


  • New risk assessment tool will let computer judge inmates

    Many people arrested in Spokane County wind up in jail simply because they can’t afford to pay bond, leaving little or no room for serious criminal offenders.

    So officials are testing a new tool created by Zachary Hamilton, Washington State University assistant professor of criminal justice, to help determine who needs to be detained to keep the community safe versus those who can be safely released into the community and supervised by pretrial services.

    The tool, called SAFER, applies an algorithm to calculate several factors and generate a score for judges to tell whether an individual is at low, moderate, or high risk to commit … » More …

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  • What We Know (and Don’t Know) About Immigrants and Violent Crime
    Trump demanded reports on immigrants and crime. Existing research shows that they are not nearly the threat the president has made them out to be.

    Even if the scientific data refutes Trump’s claims about immigrants, weekly lists and quarterly reports on crimes committed by immigrants will keep the dubious association alive in the public’s mind. Clayton Mosher, professor of criminology at Washington State University and author of The Mismeasure of Crime, has warned that highlighting such data may fuel the arguments of nativists, who have already proven their willingness to cherry-pick information.

    “If you’re measuring it in a problematic way, anything you derive from … » More …

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  • Spokane judges have a new tool to decide whether the right people are in jail

    Judges in Spokane County will soon have an easier time deciding whether to send people to jail before trial. The city and county court systems are rolling out a new risk assessment tool designed to free up space in the aging jail by making sure people aren’t held there simply because they’re too poor to pay a low-cost bond.

    The tool called Spokane Assessment for Evaluation of Risk, or SAFER, was developed by Washington State University criminal justice professor Zach Hamilton, who looked at 13,000 Spokane County cases to determine which factors were correlated with greater risk.

    “One of the hardest jobs we do as … » More …

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  • WSU’s online bachelor’s degree program earns high ranking

    Washington State University has again ranked highly in a list of the best online bachelor’s degree programs in the country. In U.S. News & World Report’s ranking, WSU came in 15th among all bachelor’s programs in the U.S. Last year, it ranked 34th.

    Four of the six most popular majors for WSU online students are in the College of Arts and Sciences: social sciences, psychology, criminal justice, and political science. Last fall, more than 2,000 undergraduate students, and nearly 1,000 graduate students, were enrolled.

    The university plans to add three online degrees this summer, including a bachelor of science … » More …

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