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College of Arts and Sciences
Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice

  Click here to download the Undergraduate Brochure

 Criminal Justice is an interdisciplinary social science involving the study of crime and societal responses to it. The Criminal Justice Department offers degree and specialization options designed to prepare students for a broad range of career opportunities in the criminal justice field and for graduate study in criminology/criminal justice, forensic psychology, forensic science, and law. The criminal justice curriculum provides foundation for understanding contemporary criminological theory and criminal justice practice with scholarly emphasis and critical appraisal of law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. The criminal justice major is designed to provide knowledge of the components of criminal justice system and stages of criminal justice process while allowing students to concentrate study in a particular area of interest within the criminal justice field.

Our goal is to provide students with conceptual and empirical knowledge that will foster sophisticated thinking, reflection, and action - to develop in students the knowledge, insight, critical thinking skills, values, and ethical consciousness essential to becoming responsible practitioners, managers, researchers, and leaders in the criminal justice field. The driving spirit of the Criminal Justice Department reflects the basic foundation of Jesuit education-reflection and action. We seek to develop a spirit of inquiry and innovation in students-encouraging them to ask "why not?" of things not tried and to reflect and think critically about crime and justice issues and the systems that deal with them in our complex society.

The department offers a bachelor of arts in criminal justice with specialization in administration of justice, criminology and criminal justice theory, forensic psychology, and forensic science and the bachelor of science in criminal justice, with specialization in forensic psychology and forensic science. Internship and research opportunities supplement course work by providing students with experience working and conducting research within criminal justice agencies. Graduates are prepared for positions in law enforcement, courts, corrections, and human service in private, county, state, and federal agencies and/or to pursue graduate study in criminal justice, criminology, forensic science, forensic psychology, or law.

We are one of only ten programs in the United States to be certified by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the only one west of the Rockies.

Undergraduate Degrees and Specializations

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice:In order to earn the bachelor of criminal justice degree, students must complete a minimum of 180 credits with a cumulative and major/program grade point average of 2.00.

Bachelor of Science with a Major in Criminal Justice: In order to earn the bachelor of science degree with a major in criminal justice, students must complete a minimum of 180 quarter credits for the forensic psychology specialization and 192 credits for the forensic science specialization with a cumulative and a major/program grade point average of 2.00.

Minor in Criminal Justice: In order to earn a minor in criminal justice, students must complete 30 credits in criminal justice. Click here for degree requirements.

News and Events

The 2017 Seattle Public Safety Survey is underway through November 30th 2017 and offered in 11 different lanuages. The purpose of the survey is to solicit feedback on public safety and security concerns from those who live and/or work in Seattle. A report on the survey results will be provided to the Seattle Police Department to assist in making your neighborhood safer and more secure. Click here to take the survey.

A group of Seattle University Criminal Justice faculty, students, alumni, and advisory committee members presented at the 2017 International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH) Congress in Prague during the summer of 2017. Read more.

Through the Center for the Study of Crime and Justice, the department conducts primary research, including data collection and analysis, program evaluation, and collaborative research with local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies. A recent project including the Seattle Police Department’s Micro-Community Policing Plans evaluation and 2015 and 2016 Seattle Public Safety Survey. Read more.

Criminal Justice Professor Stephen Rice and Criminal Justice Advisory Board Member Sue Rahr published "From Warriors to Guardians: Recommitting American Police Culture to Democratic Ideals" with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) as part of Harvard Kennedy School's Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety.

An in-depth study by Seattle University professors found costs related to pursuing the death penalty are about 1.4 to 1.5 times more than when a prosecutor does not seek death.

Details and more news and events here