The mission of the Department of Criminology, Law and Society is to provide a rich educational experience for our students and to generate research and scholarship that informs public policy and criminal justice system practice.

At the undergraduate level, our mission is to provide students with a strong foundation in a liberal arts education through focused study on the justice system. We aim to develop in our students a critical understanding of the criminal justice system and how that system relates to broader ideas and ideals of justice, equality and human rights.  Our goal is to encourage students to go beyond narrow technical topics to grasp the larger role of the criminal justice system in society. Our graduates should have a broad perspective on the justice system, as well as the competence needed to compete effectively and advance in their chosen field, be it criminal justice, human services, homeland security, or graduate study in the social sciences in law.

At the graduate level, our mission is to instill in students the ability to apply academic expertise to crime and justice problems and enable our students to become the future generation of leaders in the fields of criminology, and law and society. Thus, we seek to translate scholarly research to policy and practice, both within the criminal justice system and in the broader society. Students will become researchers, teachers, and policy experts in academia, government, and private organizations. There are growing needs for broadly trained justice experts, and our graduate program is designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue a successful, advanced career in the justice field in both academic and applied settings.