Department of Criminal Justice

Explore the many career paths in criminal justice from law enforcement to correctional agencies and examine how the administration of justice operates in society.

Criminal justice students examine the actions of policing and law enforcement agencies, the judicial system and correctional agencies. The Department of Criminal Justice welcomes a diverse student body and encourages its students to explore the full range of opportunities in criminal justice and justice-related professions and graduate programs. Our students perform critical evaluation of how the administration of justice actually operates in American society.

The department is part of the School of Social Research and Justice Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. The classroom content of criminal justice perfect for the pre-law major or students interested in pursuing law school after graduation. The criminal justice curriculum is interdisciplinary, drawing on theories developed in a variety of fields. Theories are derived from sociology and psychology regarding the causes of crime and delinquency. Law, political science and history provide information about the development of law and the applications of sanctions within the legal process. Also, there is a rapidly growing body of knowledge derived from research efforts of practitioners in policing, the courts and corrections. Through our three-fold mission of education, research and service, we train model citizens and build a knowledgeable community on the field of criminal justice.

Students outside the Pennington Achievement Center during summer day

Bachelor's degree

Earn a bachelor's degree in criminal justice that focuses on the legal, ethical, administrative, theoretical and behavioral aspects of the justice system.

Students studying at table with stack of books

Master's degree

Earn an advanced degree in criminal justice while focusing on the nature of crime, law and social control, as well as the process of planning change.

Department News

Matt Leone

University of Nevada, Reno criminal justice faculty selected for Regents’ Teaching Award

College of Liberal Arts Associate Professor Matthew Leone earns NSHE system-wide honor

Handcuffs on an iPad

Criminal justice professor teams up with Washoe County Sheriff’s Office to develop virtual programming study

Virtual programming developed to help reduce reoffenders among 18-24-year-olds

Jesus Rosales Sandoval

University of Nevada, Reno student among winners of the 2020 ¡Andale! Scholarship

Criminal justice and philosophy major wins scholarship offered by Las Vegas Latino Bar Association to help cover LSAT expenses