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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.


  • WSU students return as mentors at migrant academy

    When Gizelle Sandoval arrived on the Washington State University Pullman campus a few years ago for the Dare to Dream Math and Science Academy, the high school junior wasn’t sure wasn’t sure she wanted to be here.

    The only world she knew was helping her parents pick fruit in the Yakima Valley, and she didn’t care much for school.

    The Dare to Dream Academy, an annual summer program organized by the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction’s Migrant Education Program in partnership with WSU’s College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), changed her life. Now a WSU junior majoring in criminal justice, Sandoval returned to the … » More …

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  • Police Officer’s Bodycams – Researching Use of Force

    Criminal justice experts at Washington State University (WSU) are developing innovative technology to improve police–community relations, officer training and public safety.

    David MakinResearchers in the new Complex Social Interaction (CSI) laboratory at WSU are using body-worn cameras and advanced scientific tools and techniques—such as data analytics, biometrics and machine learning—to examine the complex factors that shape interactions between police and community members. The interdisciplinary, intercollegiate research team is led by David Makin, assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology.

    It is the first to explore police officer decision-making and interpersonal interaction by examining data from body-worn cameras, … » More …

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  • Shawn Vestal: Spokane Prosecutor Larry Haskell’s ‘get tough’ policies hinder successful Drug Court

    Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell says he is fulfilling his promise to voters to be tough on property crimes and chronic offenders and that he views drug court as more appropriate for defendants without long criminal records. This is the opposite of what drug court supporters say it does best, which is to stop addicted, nonviolent, chronic offenders from committing more crimes.

    In drug court, a defendant agrees to undergo a yearlong course of intensive treatment in a “non-adversarial” court process, involving regular appearances before a judge. It’s not jail, but neither is it “incarceration lite,” said Zachary Hamilton, an assistant professor of criminology at … » More …

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  • Axon Announces Intent to Partner with Washington State University to Further Groundbreaking Research on Police-Community Interactions

    Washington State University Researchers Offer First Analyses of Use of Force in Body-Worn Camera Video

    At the annual Axon Accelerate User Conference, Axon (Nasdaq: AAXN), the global leader in connected law enforcement technologies, and Washington State University (WSU) announced their intent to form a strategic partnership for further research that may improve law enforcement training and police-community relations.

    In a set of landmark studies published in 2017, researchers at WSU’s new Complex Social Interaction (CSI) laboratory, led by Dr. David Makin, assistant professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology, have analyzed body-worn camera footage to gain … » More …

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