Criminal JusticeIcon: scales of justice.

Statue of Justice with scales and Criminal Justice professional working on a laptop.

Application Deadline

  • Spring: December 8
  • Summer: April 12 (early sessions)
  • Fall: July 19

Class Begins

  • Spring: January 8, 2024
  • Summer: May 6, 2024 (early sessions)
  • Fall: August 19, 2024

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Arts
in Criminal Justice and Criminology

WSU College

College of Arts and Sciences

Make the World a Better Place

Do you want to make a positive difference in the world? Do you want to understand criminal behavior and learn how criminal justice professionals work to prevent it? If so, then you might be interested in working in the dynamic and rewarding field of criminal justice. 

Why Major in Criminal Justice?

Criminal justice examines the causes and patterns of criminal behavior, the institutions and individuals that work within the criminal justice system, and the role law plays in prevention and responses to crime. The study of criminal justice is a highly interdisciplinary pursuit, often incorporating elements of sociology, psychology, history and political science.

Find out more from a Criminal Justice Outstanding Senior!

What You’ll Learn

WSU’s criminal justice program—available completely online—combines problem-driven research and real-world expertise to prepare you to be a leader in local, state, federal and private law enforcement. Graduates can use the practical knowledge and advanced critical-thinking skills gained from their criminal justice education in a wide variety of diverse career opportunities, including crime analysis, community corrections, victim advocacy, child protective services, border security, cyber-crime prevention, security/loss prevention and court administration.

Graphic: Binary handprint.

WSU Criminal Justice Program Strengths

  • WSU’s criminal justice program was founded in 1943 and is the second oldest continuous criminal justice program in the nation. In 2014, WSU’s online criminal justice degree was rated number one in the nation by the group “Criminal Justice Degree Online.”
  • A degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology is a social science degree that has been used to obtain all kinds of federal, state, and local jobs in the public and private sectors. As such, our criminal justice program is a policy-based curriculum drawing from the social sciences, specifically from the areas of sociology, psychology, and political science.
  • Our online criminal justice degree faculty members from WSU’s College of Arts and Sciences routinely lend their expertise to a broad range of agencies. Many of our graduates hold top positions in law enforcement organizations and have become top administrators in Corrections and Courts in Washington and across the United States. Others use the degree to prepare for law school or work in the corporate security field.

Program of Study

All courses are available online

All WSU undergraduates must complete a minimum of 120 semester credits of which 40 credits must be at the 300 – 400 level. Students must also complete the University Common Requirements (UCORE). These can generally be satisfied with a direct transfer degree. For a list of direct-transfer agreements, visit WSU’s Transferring an Associate Degree page.

Students must also fulfill the College of Arts and Sciences graduation requirements and the program requirements of the degree.

To certify as a Criminal Justice major students must complete CRM_J 101 and earn a minimum WSU cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better.

18 semester credits

  • CRM_J 101 [SSCI] – Introduction to the Administration of Criminal Justice
  • CRM_J 201 – Introduction to Criminological Theory
  • CRM_J 311 – Research Methods for Criminal Justice
  • CRM_J 320 – Criminal Law 
  • CRM_J 321 – Quantitative Methods for Criminal Justice
  • CRM_J 480 [CAPS] [M] – Criminal Justice Capstone

Choose four courses (12 semester credits)

  • CRM_J 205 [EQJS] – Advancing Justice: Addressing Power and Inequity in the Justice System.
  • CRM_J 330 – Crime Control Policies
  • CRM_J 365 – Juvenile Justice and Corrections
  • CRM_J 370 – Policing and Society
  • CRM_J 380 – Criminal Courts in America
  • CRM_J 385 – Institutional Corrections
  • CRM_J 403 [CAPS] – Violence Toward Women
  • CRM_J 405 [M] – Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
  • CRM_J 420 [M] – Criminal Procedure
  • CRM_J 450 [M] – Senior Seminar: Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice
  • CRM_J 490 – Criminal Justice Internship

Students must complete the University Writing Portfolio, and two Writing in the Major courses. For online students, the Writing in the Major requirement will be filled with CRM_J 480 and then a second course selected from CRM_J 405, 420, or 450. 

All students, including community college transfer students with an approved transferable AA degree from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Arizona or Hawaii, or students pursuing a second major in the College of Arts and Sciences, will be held to the following additional requirements:

  • Foreign Language: Complete 2 years of high school or 1 year of college in a single foreign language
  • Completion of an Equity and Justice [EQJS] designated course.
  • Additional 1 lab credit of [BSCI], [PSCI] for a total of 8 semester credits and 2 labs.

Please review the online WSU Catalog for additional information about specific degree requirements.