Skip to main content Skip to navigation
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 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.


  • 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
  • Inside the Spokane Police Department’s body camera program

    The Spokane Police Department spends about $310,000 a year for their body cameras, but officers say they want to keep the program despite high costs.

    David MakinDavid Makin, a criminal justice professor at Washington State University, said the yearly cost for Spokane to store their police body camera footage is common.

    “It is [common]. I mean you look at Norfolk, Virginia. The Norfolk Police Department, based on my last conversation, they were spending about $300,000 a year,” said Makin, who runs the Complex Social Interaction lab dedicated to analyzing body camera footage.

    Makin said that the … » More …

    Read Story
  • 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