Criminology and Criminal Justice emphasizes the study of crime and social responses to criminal behavior.

We live in anxious and uncertain times. We are polarized by politics, gender, race, and inequality. Historically, high numbers of people have been incarcerated in the US, and many more have regular encounters with law enforcement and the court system. Racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in opportunity are often connected to the neighborhood where one lives. While it often appears as if nothing will ever change in the Criminal Justice System, the causes, patterns, and dynamic nature of crime and criminal behavior itself are in many ways predictable and, therefore, can be changed. 

We are committed to Changing the Way People Think About and Do the Work of Justice, and we hope you will consider joining us.

Statement of Educational Priorities for CCJ


Your Education, Your Opportunity

Can you envision a safer and more just world? If so, what will you do to make a difference? Will you join us in creating and fighting for programs and policies that improve the quality of life and promote social justice?

We offer a transformational experience that will equip you with critical thinking skills and the knowledge you need to combat some of the most pressing justice-related problems facing our communities. Emphasizing the study of crime, criminal behavior, and social responses to criminal behavior, we will connect you with real-world opportunities both within and outside of the criminal justice system to lead and advocate for change.

In these challenging times, we are more committed than ever to training the next generation of leaders devoted to justice, equity, and community safety. Click the image below for a full statement of our educational priorities. 

More information about the CCJ Degree

Photographed in Ryan Williams section of Introduction to Criminology class (CCJ 221-A) Monday, October 3, 2016.We offer a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice, providing students the opportunity to discover, arrange, and make sense of facts about crime systematically.   Students will gain an empirical understanding of the factors that influence individuals’ decision-making practices within various criminal justice institutions, including programs designed to prevent crime, meet the needs of victims, and rehabilitate criminals. These institutions and programs include the police, courts, probation and parole systems, correctional institutions, community-based programs, and social/human service agencies.

Also, the degree has a strong emphasis on the behavioral and societal aspects of criminal behavior.  Attention is also given to how we count, measure, and explain crime rates, why and how crime rates differ across populations and learn the various tools criminologists use to predict and explain seemingly random and unexplainable behaviors.  The issues examined in our courses are plucked straight from the headlines of the news of our day–issues that desperately need the attention of students who are willing to devote their life’s work to something greater than themselves.

More information on our department and the coursework can be found in the About section of this website.

Program Highlights

  • Our students enjoy a world-class education taught by criminologists and sociologists with degrees from some of the most recognized criminology and criminal justice programs globally, including The University of Illinois- Chicago, The Pennsylvania State University, The University of Oklahoma, and The University of Missouri St. Louis.
  • Our distinct location in the Illinois capital city provides our students with an unparalleled opportunity to complete internships with state and federal agencies, local nonprofits, and private industries.
  • Our students benefit from the personal attention of a dedicated advisor and many other resources and career development services, including training in job search strategies, online career portfolio development, and interviewing skills.
  • Our alumni have gone on to productive careers inside and outside law enforcement, including jobs in policing, probation, crime analysis, border patrol, community organizing, juvenile justice, human and social services, judicial administration, and many other government agencies. In contrast, others have gone on to law school and/or graduate school in a wide range of fields, including sociology, psychology, counseling, history, and public administration.

Take the Next Step Toward a Vital, Meaningful Career

Photographed in Ryan Williams section of Introduction to Criminology class (CCJ 221-A) Monday, October 3, 2016.

  • You can begin the application process today!
  • We welcome your interest in our Criminology and Criminal Justice degree and are ready to assist you with your education needs.
  • Prospective Transfers: Visit Transferology™ and to learn more about how your credits will transfer to UIS