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.
Undergraduates benefit from a policy-focused curriculum that prepares them both for careers and future study, learning from leaders in the field.
Graduate students work closely with faculty, pursuing a more comprehensive understanding of the field of criminal justice and developing as scholars and researchers.
Department faculty have a wide range of research and teaching interests, and the department is nationally and internationally recognized for its scholarship.
Outstanding criminal justice student chosen to carry CAS gonfalon
Outstanding senior in criminal justice and criminology Jordan Sykes will carry the gonfalon for the College of Arts and Sciences during Washington State University graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 4, in Beasley Coliseum.
“When I arrived at WSU, I made it my mission to make a meaningful impact,” Sykes said. “While I have attempted to accomplish this mission, I feel that, in turn, the University and the Pullman community have had such a profound impact on me that I will be forever indebted to this amazing community.”
The honor of being selected gonfalon bearer recognizes Sykes’s outstanding achievement during his undergraduate career. Gonfalons are the … » More …Read Story
Student plans app to reduce DUI rates
A WSU student created a concept for an app in response to an increase in rates of drunk driving in Washington.
Savanna Obernberger, junior criminal justice major, said she worked with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and four classmates in a crime prevention strategies course.
She said they evaluated policies regarding DUIs and developed recommendations for police departments, insurance companies and bartenders. The course ended in fall 2018, but she said she wanted to continue finding solutions to reduce DUI rates.
The app would allow people to keep track of when they are drinking at bars, how much their blood alcohol content is, and how … » More …Read Story
Martial arts reviewer decries criminalization of doping in sports
In an “Under the Radar” segment, MMA Beat host Luke Thomas reads a letter from Dale Willits, assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology at WSU:
“…doping, based on our data, appears to be driven by many of the same forces that drive criminal and antisocial behavior more broadly. However our literature — which is ranging from criminology, criminal justice, and sociology — have all acknowledged that zero-tolerance approaches are not effective in combatting crime and especially not so in combatting drug use. Instead, we argue the point that the criminological literature provides guidance on more promising strategies that could be used instead of the … » More …Read Story
As Spokane beefs up efforts to catch car thieves, some — including prolific one who targets Subarus — won’t stop
In the time it takes to tidy your bed, floss your teeth or microwave a bowl of rice, 19-year-old Christian Normand can steal your car. If it’s an early-’90s-to-2000s Subaru, even better.
Since at least the year 2000, Spokane has consistently ranked as one of the worst cities in Washington for people hoping to permanently keep their cars in their driveway. For several years it even ranked in the top 15 cities in the United States in terms of vehicle theft rate.
“I think by and large, most of the arguments around Spokane are joyriding, addiction, and you have those chronic offenders,” said David Makin, … » More …Read Story