About the Department
What is Criminology and Criminal Justice?
Criminology is the study of the making of law, the breaking of law and society’s response to the breaking of law. Criminal justice, on the other hand, is the study of the operation and activities of social control agencies that aim at regulating the behavior of citizens at large.
The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at UTA balances theory and application in academic course work. Students explore crime causation, trends, and issues associated with the broad structure of the criminal justice system. Emphasis is placed on historic and current literature in the criminal justice field and attempts are made to improve the critical thinking and writing skills of students. In the context of a well rounded liberal arts education, faculty prepare students for professional careers or entry into law and graduate education.
Criminology and Criminal Justice at UTA
The Criminology and Criminal Justice Department provides students with an academically sound education in criminal justice and prepares them for management positions with municipal, state and federal agencies. Students who are new to the discipline have opportunities for internships, and teaching practicum’s can be arranged for those who aspire to teach at the community college level.
The Department strives to achieve academic excellence through its outstanding faculty. Experts in areas such as corrections, criminological theory, victimology, management, strive to challenge students while caring for their academic formation. The criminal justice faculty helps students understand the etiology of crime who are then able to develop paradigms that are useful and beneficial in the understanding of crime.
This tradition of excellence serves to produce competitive criminal justice managers who are prepared for the challenges of employment with private, state, or federal agencies. The academic excellence of the UTA Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice is well known in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.
The Department houses the Center for Criminal Justice Research and Training. The mission and purpose of the Center is to develop and maintain a strong and effective working relationship with the local criminal justice community and provide an opportunity for advanced scholarship for the faculty and students.
Specifically, the relationship with the criminal justice community includes partnerships for research; conducting executive level training based on specific needs of Criminal Justice agencies; assist the agencies in the development , administration and evaluation of grant programs, and provide a forum to discuss contemporary issues facing the law enforcement community and developing successful strategies to respond to these issues. The Board of directors consist of Chief of Police in Tarrant and Dallas County, private security executives and the Tarrant County CJ Coordinator.
Students have an opportunity to affiliate with one of two organizations: Alpha Phi Sigma the criminal justice honor society and Lambda Alpha Epsilon. Both organizations foster activities to advance the educational interests of criminology and criminal justice students and are active in the community. The membership can be comprised of undergraduate and graduate students.
Over the years, a sizable number of undergraduate majors have gone on to attend law school, while others have enrolled in doctoral programs, in pursuit of the Ph.D.
A degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice offers versatility and can lead to many different career opportunities. Below are a few of the many careers, resulting directly from a criminology and criminal justice degree.
Community Supervision Correction Department (CSCD): This was formerly Adult Probation, responsibilities include the supervision of offender populations.
Law Enforcement Agencies: This is one of the broadest paths that one can pursue with this degree. These agencies operate at both the municipal and federal levels. The responsibilities include enforcement of state and federal laws. Law enforcement agencies include US Customs, INS, ATF, FBI and Postal Inspection, just to name a few.
Parole Division: The parole division oversees the supervision of offenders released from correctional institutions.
Security Prevention Expert: This includes loss prevention specialists / management team with Fortune 500 companies. Also included are hotel and hospital security management and supervision.
US Department of Justice – Bureau of Prisons: Correctional Officers occupy this career path. Opportunities for advancement are excellent.