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The mission of the Criminology and Criminal Justice program is to provide a student-centered curriculum that enables students to think critically about the causes and consequences of crime and criminal behavior. Using an interdisciplinary approach, students learn and apply classical and contemporary theories of crime and the law, evaluate the major components of the criminal justice system, and develop the research skills relevant to practice in the field.

By combining components of both Criminology and Criminal Justice, students learn about both the causes and consequences of criminal behavior, as well as the systems designed to control crime. The specific program objectives are to:

  1. Provide students with an understanding of the major theoretical explanations of crime and criminal behavior.
  2. Analyze the major institutions and processes of the criminal justice system.
  3. Teach students the analytical skills necessary to understand and interpret statistical data, research questions related to crime and the criminal justice system, and test criminological theories.
  4. Prepare students for the range of careers related to criminology and criminal justice and graduate-level study in criminology, law, or related social science disciplines.

As noted above, the degree program in Criminology and Criminal Justice is interdisciplinary and combines coursework from a number of academic areas including, but not limited to, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Sociology, Political Science, and Philosophy. This interdisciplinary approach provides a more holistic understanding of the factors contributing to criminality and the development and responses of the criminal justice.

Graduate Degree Opportunities After Graduation

Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law, Sociology, and other Social Science disciplines

Course Catalog Listing

Typical Starting Positions

Law Enforcement (local, state, federal), Probation/Parole Officer, Caseworker, Corrections Officer, Victim Advocacy, Crime Prevention Specialist, Private/Corporate Security

Student Professional Organizations

Criminal Justice Club

Professional Development Opportunities

Students are encouraged to consider an internship as part of their coursework at EIU.

Faculty Listing

Criminology, Blair Hall 3170
Contact Name: Dr. Darren Hendrickson
Contact Email: