Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice

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A Message from the Department Chair

 

The mission of the graduate program of the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice is to prepare scholars for future doctoral studies in criminology, criminal justice, public administration, law, and other related fields; and to prepare criminal justice system practitioners for leadership roles in law enforcement, probation and parole, corrections, and private security administration. The Department seeks to provide students with a solid foundation in theoretical criminology, while teaching practical application of that knowledge base.

The Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice offers the Master of Arts degree and the Master of Science degree. The Master of Arts degree program represents the more traditional approach to the study of criminology and requires the completion and defense of a formal thesis. The Master of Science degree program is designed for those students who desire a more applied emphasis, and it is recommended for students seeking a terminal master's degree.

Each entering graduate student has the opportunity to acquire real "hands-on" experience in a criminal justice setting. Terre Haute and the surrounding area provide a natural laboratory for the study of criminology with many opportunities for meaningful field placements. Within minutes of the campus, there are a U.S. Penitentiary, both male and female adult state correctional institutions, a private training school for boys, a county juvenile center, and a host of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and courts.

Our graduate students share fully in the intellectual life of our Department and University. We offer frequent opportunities for participation in professional activities in the field and scholarly activities at regional and national professional meetings. Our graduates go on to careers in academics, police and correctional administration, private security management, law, and other professions. Virtually everywhere in the United States (and in a number of other countries), one can find graduates from our Master of Arts and Master of Science degree programs in positions of responsibility throughout the criminal justice field.

The academic preparation of the faculty is interdisciplinary with individual faculty members holding terminal degrees in criminology, criminal justice, sociology, counseling, law, and adult education. In addition, all faculty members have extensive practical experience in the criminal justice system. The faculty borrows freely from all appropriate disciplines to seek to understand crime and delinquency in their social context, both to satisfy scholarly interests and to improve the application of knowledge about crime to the solution of social problems. The multidisciplinary nature of this program makes it attractive to students from a wide range of undergraduate majors.

Most graduate classes are small, typically having from ten to fifteen students in them. And, classes are scheduled in such a manner as to satisfy the needs of both full-time and part-time graduate students. In addition to its regularly scheduled courses, the Department regularly sponsors conferences and seminars which serve practitioners, researchers, academics, and students. These activities seek to address issues of contemporary concern. Recent topics include: international terrorism, AIDS in the criminal justice system, and liability issues in law enforcement.