Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 criminal justice programs in the United States, the School of Criminal Justice offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in criminal justice. Criminal justice is an applied social science that integrates theory from several social science disciplines (psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, and geography) to study and understand crime causation, crime control, and the administration and management of criminal justice and corporate security agencies.
The School of Criminal Justice at MSU is the nation’s oldest continuous degree-granting criminal justice program. Established in 1935, it has continued to keep pace with the growing technology and research in the field. In 1973, it was named one of the seven centers of excellence for studies in criminal justice by the U.S. Department of Justice. We typically average about 700 majors per year in criminal justice.
Study at Michigan State University allows students to combine their criminal justice coursework with other areas relevant to the study of crime. Criminal justice is a natural fit with psychology, and many of our students major in both disciplines. In addition, students can combine coursework in criminal justice with computer science (cyber-security), biology/chemistry (forensic science), fisheries & wildlife (environmental crime), food science (food safety), or a number of different academic areas to serve the needs of a changing global society.
Specializations and Certificate Programs
The school currently offers a specialization in security management for those students interested in pursuing careers in business organizations, information networks, and government operations. Certificate programs are available in Intelligence, Homeland Security, and Judicial Administration.
Focus on Careers
Credit can be earned toward the degree for internship experiences at the local, state, and federal levels of government as well as the private sector. The School boasts a vast alumni network, with former students located in every branch of government. These alumni provide important contacts for internships and career opportunities and many are active in the School’s Alumni Association. Our annual Career Fair allows students to visit with a large number of potential employers, and hone their skills through mock interviews.
Michigan State University is proud to send more students overseas than any other university in the world. Students can earn credit in criminal justice on overseas programs to the United Kingdom, Australia, or the Ukraine. Credit can also be earned toward the degree in virtually every subject through MSU’s overseas study program.
Those interested in learning more about undergraduate programs in the School of Criminal Justice can contact the main office at (517) 355-2197. Students interested in graduate study can contact the graduate office at (517) 353-7133.