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Criminology and Criminal Justice Degrees

The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice prepares graduates for some of today's most fascinating and rewarding careers in professions that serve the community and the society-at-large in law enforcement, the courts and corrections, and victim advocacy. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the nature of crime and of the criminal justice system through an interdisciplinary course of study and hands-on learning opportunities, such as participating in internships, observing actual criminal trials in state and federal courthouses and traveling abroad to see first-hand how other criminal justice systems operate.

Undergraduate Program

Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice – The bachelor's degree in criminology and criminal justice prepares students for graduate school and law school or an entry-level position in the criminal justice field. The major is interdisciplinary with a faculty who have been trained in the various facets of the criminal justice field offering students a diversity of courses.

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science – The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice partners with the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics to provide a solid foundation in basic science and the criminal justice system. Students learn to use the principles of chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics with social science theory and law to help solve crimes. Graduates typically are employed in local, state and federal crime laboratories or law enforcement agencies. Forensic science is an option for pre-professional majors and for those interested in pursuing master's or doctoral degrees. Students successfully completing the program will also be awarded a minor in criminal investigation. Contact the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics for more information.

Criminal Investigation Minor – The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers a criminal investigation minor to non-majors that is designed to provide students with substantive courses of study related to the investigation of criminal activity. The program incorporates the study of criminological theory with scientific methods and behavioral concepts necessary for the successful apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders. Students develop critical thinking skills and analytical abilities that will be invaluable for those pursuing law or graduate school, as well as those seeking careers as forensic scientists or criminal investigators.

Criminology and Criminal Justice Minor – The criminology and criminal justice minor is offered to non-majors and provides students with the unique opportunity to complete a substantive study of criminology and criminal justice at the undergraduate level. Students are provided with exposure to the content of criminology and criminal justice while being encouraged to develop critical thinking skills.

Experiential Learning

The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice has had a long tradition in encouraging experiential learning. Each faculty member attempts to include an experiential learning component in every class taught. Examples include field trips to jails and prisons including Florida's death row, crime laboratories, mental health facilities and police departments.

Students also have opportunities for comparative criminal justice studies by traveling abroad. Faculty have escorted students to countries such as England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Scotland. Travel abroad courses allow students to compare the enforcement of laws and the functioning of criminal justice systems that is not just found in textbooks, but in the countries themselves. 

Internships

Criminology and criminal justice internships provide an exceptional opportunity for students to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply this knowledge to a segment of the criminal justice field. Internships reinforce academic concepts covered in class through practical experiences and also assist students in making career choices. Additionally, criminology and criminal justice students can sample a criminal justice career before graduation through internships in all areas - law enforcement, the courts, corrections, juvenile facilities, investigations, safety and security, drug treatment, family violence, governmental or private law offices, and various other criminal justice-related agencies on all levels of government. Numerous other opportunities are available and can be tailored to each student's individual interests. Upon completion of their internships, a number of UT students have been offered jobs in the criminal justice agency in which they interned. 

Students interested in internships in law enforcement should contact Sorle Diih at sdiih@ut.edu. Students interested in internships in courts, corrections, juvenile justice or victim services should contact Carly Hilinski-Rosick at chilinskirosick@ut.edu

Student Organizations

The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers opportunities to both majors and non-majors to participate in student organizations outside of the classroom. The Criminology Club, which meets twice monthly during the academic year, welcomes both majors and non-majors. Guest speakers who are working criminal justice practitioners in the Tampa Bay area provide presentations on their experiences in the field. Field trips to local criminal justice agencies allow students to see first-hand the operation of the agencies of criminal justice. Students interested in joining the Criminology Club should contact the club's adviser, Andrea Walker at awalker02@ut.edu

The Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society is open to criminology and criminal justice majors or minors who have excelled in the classroom. Alpha Phi Sigma recognizes excellence of undergraduate and graduate criminal justice students and is the only criminal justice honor society which is a certified member of the Association of College Honor Societies and affiliated with the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Students accepted into the society must have completed at least three full-time semesters with a minimum of four criminology and criminal justice courses, attained a minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale in their cumulative and criminal justice classes, and rank in the top 35 percent of their class. Students interested in applying for the Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society should contact the adviser, David Krahl at dkrahl@ut.edu.

Post-Graduate Opportunities

Criminology and criminal justice graduates have been accepted to the best graduate and law schools in the country. Other students who choose to enter the work force have found employment in a variety of criminal justice agencies, such as United States Customs Service, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Tampa Police Department, Bay Area Youth Services and numerous criminal justice agencies throughout the nation.

Graduate Program

Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice  The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers a Master of Science degree in which students gain the theoretical groundwork along with the research and statistical skills needed to design and evaluate effective public safety policy and practice. Courses also provide in-depth study of the structure of the criminal justice system. Current qualified undergraduates majoring in criminology and criminal justice may apply for enrollment in an integrated B.S./M.S. degree program option. Please visit the Graduate Program page on the UT website for more information or contact the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice graduate program coordinator, Chris Capsambelis at ccapsambelis@ut.edu.