New Criminal Justice Major Coming Soon to Purdue University Northwest

July 8, 2020

Our students will soon have the option to major in criminal justice. In July 2019, Lee “Mike” Johnson, Ph.D was brought on to serve as Department Chair to the Behavioral Sciences department. Bringing his background in criminology, he worked alongside criminologist Nicky Ali Jackson, Ph.D. Together they brought the program to light.

The program is designed to prepare students for entry into a wide variety of careers. Projections based on recent U.S. Department of Labor and Indiana DWD data lead us to expect that many criminal justice and related positions will grow nationally, statewide and in northwest Indiana.

Dr. Jackson has been working hard to bring this major to PNW and stated the following, “I am thrilled that our students will now have the opportunity to major in Criminal Justice. Their quest for justice may land them in criminal justice careers within law enforcement, courts or corrections.”



Career Fields

• Law Enforcement (local, state and federal)
• Probation and Parole
• Other Community Corrections (such as Day Reporting Centers)
• Prison and Jail Administration and Programs
• Juvenile and Family Courts
• Juvenile Corrections and Residential Treatment
• Academics and Law (via graduate or law school)
• Community-Based Youth and Family Services
• Adult Offender Treatment
• Prisoner Re-Entry
• Victim Advocacy and Assistance
• Private Security and Investigations
• Loss Prevention
• Restorative Justice (policy analyst, researcher, etc.)

*List is not exhaustive.


Woman in police office attire

Criminal Justice Concentration alumna Nicole Rodriguez, poses for a picture in uniform.

An important feature our criminal justice major is the Field Experience course. It offers students an opportunity to observe and interact with criminal justice professionals. This course gives students the ability to gain practical experience and explore career options. The course also allows students to interact and make contacts with professionals who can later serve as references, points of contact and employers.

Dr. Johnson had this to say: “Our criminal justice program will educate students to become criminal justice leaders in northwest Indiana and beyond, and our faculty will work toward developing strong relationships with area organizations and improving our communities.”

Students interested in the Criminal Justice Major should contact the CHESS advising center to schedule an appointment with one of our advisors at 219-989-8300 or