PNW student Victoria Archuleta reads a book in the library

Criminal Justice

Bachelor of Arts/Science in Criminal Justice

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In the criminal justice program, you will study the nature, extent, causes and consequences of crime, as well as the criminal justice system: law enforcement, the courts and corrections. You will also gain an understanding of other responses to crime, such as reform and victim advocacy.

Department of Behavioral Sciences

  • Our faculty have first-hand experience with criminal justice and wrongful conviction. We are home to the Center for Justice and Post-Exoneration Assistance, a center focused on identifying and eradicating miscarriages of justice and providing support to those who have suffered from a wrongful conviction.
  • You will become equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for careers in criminal justice and related fields.
  • Our program includes courses on a wide variety of subjects including those from psychology, political science and forensic science.
  • Degree options include a B.A. (requiring 12 hours of modern language) or B.S. (requiring 12 hours of science, math and reasoning).

Curriculum Overview

Embark on a study of crime and victimization, the criminal justice system and other responses to crime. You’ll take foundational courses on the criminal justice system and then upper division courses such as criminology, victimology and a variety of elective courses. You’ll also complete a field experience in your final year of study.

You can currently complete this degree at PNW’s Hammond campus.

Begin with a first-year experience course specifically for behavioral science majors and receive an overview of the criminal justice system.

See Full Course of Study (B.A.)

See Full Course of Study (B.S.)

Sample Courses

  • BHS 10300 – First-Year Experience in Behavioral Sciences
  • CRJU 15000 – Introduction to the Criminal Justice System

Explore the fields of law enforcement, courts and corrections, as well as the discipline of criminology.

See Full Course of Study (B.A.)

See Full Course of Study (B.S.)

Sample Courses

  • CRJU 23000 – Introduction to Law Enforcement
  • CRJU 24000 – Introduction to Corrections
  • SOC 32400 – Criminology

Complete your 3000-level sociology requirements and expand your knowledge through victimology, an upper-level justice system course plus elective courses.

See Full Course of Study (B.A.)

See Full Course of Study (B.S.)

Sample Courses

  • CRJU 30700 – Victimology
  • SOC 31000 – Racial and Ethnic Diversity
  • CRJU 32000 – Murder in America

Complete the field experience and ethics courses, as well as any remaining electives or requirements to complete your degree.

See Full Course of Study (B.A.)

See Full Course of Study (B.S.)

Sample Courses

  • CRJU 44300 – Field Experience in Criminal Justice
  • SOC 42100 – Juvenile Delinquency
  • SOC 45300 – Intimate Violence


Our criminal justice field-experience course lets you complete an internship at an agency site, building valuable hands-on skills! Throughout your course of study, you will interact with professionals who can later serve as references as you explore career options and learn position requirements.

Explore The Course


The criminal justice program at PNW will prepare you to be a transformative leader in your community. Graduates will be equipped with knowledge and skills to impact the world positively through personal, professional and civic engagement.


In addition to the scholarships available to all PNW applicants, students seeking a banking concentration may also apply for program-specific scholarship awards, such as:

See All CHESS Scholarships

Career Paths

You’ll be prepared to pursue opportunities in:

  • Criminal Justice System
  • Social Services
  • Graduate or Law School


Our graduates are employed in a number of fields, including:

  • Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Social Service Agencies
  • Correctional Agencies

Beyond The Classroom

You’ll find plenty of opportunities to connect with faculty and peers in extracurricular activities, such as:

  • Criminal Justice Club
  • Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society
  • Midwestern Criminal Justice Association

It’s crazy how much knowledge I can apply from the classroom to my job at the police department. Dr. Jackson has been an incredible teacher.

Amber Voss, ’22
Thornton, IL
Criminal Justice

Meet the Faculty

Nicky Jackson

Nicky Ali Jackson, Ph.D.

Professor of Criminal Justice

Nicky Jackson serves as coordinator of the criminal justice program and is a professor of criminal justice. She serves as Executive Director for the Center for Justice and Post-Exoneration Assistance (CJPA) at Purdue Northwest.

Lee Michael Johnson, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Behavioral Sciences

Mike Johnson is chair of the department of Behavioral Sciences. His scholarly expertise is in criminology and criminal justice. He joined PNW in 2019.

IlichiOmeed headshot

Omeed S. Ilchi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

Omeed Ilchi is an assistant professor of criminal justice in the Department of Behavioral Sciences. His primary research and teaching interests are policing, corrections and criminological theory.

A PNW student in the classroom

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See how a PNW degree opens doors, from corporate boardrooms to non-profit leadership.

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