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Our program is ranked 12th in the nation by U.S. News and World Reports and our world-class faculty is engaged in cutting edge research which prepares students for the challenges of criminal justice practice in the 21st century.
Our undergraduate program prepares students for leadership and policy positions at the local, state and federal level. At the graduate level, we provide rigorous training in a rich research environment, immersing our students in diverse research topics that develop skills to help them advance as practitioners or researchers for continued study in doctoral programs in criminology and criminal justice.
The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers five degree programs.
Students may pursue certificate programs along with a major, minor, other certificate program, or independently as a non-degree seeking student. For a full list of available minors and certificates offered by the Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions, please visit the Watts College of Public Service minors & certificates page.
The minor in Criminology and Criminal Justice allows students in other undergraduate programs at ASU to explore issues of crime, law and the criminal justice system. The minor provides students with the tools to analyze complex issues and policies within the criminal justice system, enhancing students' ability to understand the nature of crime and the system response to law breaking. In addition to the three required courses, which provide a solid understanding of the field, each student will be able to select electives to meet his or her specific interests. Criminal justice majors cannot earn a minor in criminal justice.
The undergraduate certificate program in Criminal Investigations educates students about a variety of aspects of criminal investigations and criminalistics. This in-person certificate program is designed to provide students of the social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, and public services with an understanding of the nature of criminal evidence; the language of forensic science; the scope, probative value, and limitations of a variety of investigative specializations and their techniques; and an appreciation of how forensic investigative methods are used in the quest for justice. The certificate program allows students to satisfy two of their General Studies requirements (SQ & SB) in a thematic manner, but it is not designed to prepare students to work in a crime laboratory.
The undergraduate Homeland Security Certificate will provide students with the skills and credentials necessary to prepare them to enter fields specializing in Homeland Security. Students will receive extended education in topics pertaining to Homeland Security such as Domestic and International Terrorism, Cyber Terrorism, and advanced crime courses.
The Security Studies Certificate provides students with the skills and credentials needed for employment in corporate and public security. Students will receive extended education in cross- disciplinary topics such as accounting, computer studies, and advanced crime and law courses. Upon completion of this certificate, students will be well-equipped to work alongside a variety of security professionals with different skill sets--an essential component of working in corporate or public security.
An estimated 200,000 new security officers will be added by 2020 according to a study by ASIS International, an association of 38,000 security practitioners, and the Institute of Financial and Management. Positions will be available in a wide range of industries, including banking and finance, insurance, technology, healthcare, retail, professional services, and government. ASIS International found the median annual salary for security professionals in 2012 was $121,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects one type of security position--information security analyst—will grow by 37 percent over the next six years. BLS reports median pay for security analysts is $86,170 a year.
The Graduate Certificate in Corrections Management will prepare and enhance the corrections administration professional through comprehensive coverage of topics in criminal justice organizations, corrections and community supervision, institutional management, and in cross-disciplines such as public administration. Students will cover the challenges of management, learn how to lead in a public agency, and gain an understanding of the process of policy development. The certificate is designed to give students a solid foundational understanding of correctional administration, leadership, and policy analysis.
Social workers and other criminal justice professionals perform a number of roles in the disposition and sentencing of various offenders and in the provision of services to victims. The certificate provides social workers with the kinds of knowledge and skills required to practice as mitigation specialists. This is a burgeoning area of practice in the field of social work. It also provides criminal justice majors with exposure to classes on topics dealing with treatment alternatives and mental health concerns that are not currently available to students in many traditional criminal justice programs.
The Graduate Certificate in Law Enforcement Administration will prepare and enhance the law enforcement professional through comprehensive coverage of topics in criminal justice organizations, policing and program analysis, and cross-disciplines such as public administration. Students will cover the challenges of management, learn how to lead in a public agency, and gain an understanding of the process of policy development. The certificate is designed to give students a solid foundational understanding of law enforcement agency administration, leadership, and policy analysis.
The MA in Emergency Management and Homeland Security degree blends concepts of public policy and management, criminal justice, science and technology to enhance and foster critical thinking. This degree transcends boundaries of traditional programs and emphasizes a systems approach. More specifically, an all hazards/all-threats orientation provides the student with a generalist perspective which is critically important for today’s and tomorrow’s disaster managers.
The MS in Program Evaluation is a college-wide program in which all of the Schools in the Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions participate. The degree provides students with a solid grounding in the applied and conceptual tools of conducting program evaluations. It is designed to provide graduate level instruction and experience in conducting evaluation research with training in a broad spectrum of evaluation research methods. Upon graduation, students will be specialists in this area of research and their training will have broad applicability for public, private and nonprofit sector programs and policies.
The Master of Public Safety Leadership and Administration is offered by the Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions at the Downtown Phoenix campus. The degree prepares students with skills and knowledge to manage and assume positions of leadership in public safety organizations. This program is appropriate for those who hold an undergraduate degree in a variety of majors such as criminology, public safety and public administration and wish to supplement or update their skills and knowledge base. Several courses are available online.