About Us


What can you tell me about criminology and criminal justice?

Criminologists Edwin Sutherland and Donald Cressey famously defined Criminology as “a body of knowledge regarding crime as a social phenomenon. It includes within its scope the processes of making laws, of breaking of laws, and of reaction toward the breaking of laws.”

In the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at UTA, we approach the issue of crime in a balanced way that incorporates both classic and contemporary perspectives. Students will take a scientific approach to understanding the correlates of crime, characteristics of victims and offenders, and the behavior of the criminal justice system (cops, courts, and corrections). They will also develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Our department has a tradition of producing graduates poised for important leadership roles in the criminal justice system at the private, state, and federal levels. On behalf of the faculty, students, and staff, I would like to invite you to consider becoming part of our CRCJ team.

Welcome from the Chair

I am pleased to welcome current and prospective students, criminal justice partners, and community members to our newly redesigned website for the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice (CRCJ) at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). We understand that students have many choices for undergraduate and graduate programs in the Metroplex, and are honored that you have chosen UTA (or at least are considering UTA).

We are confident that you will find our academic programs challenging, rewarding, and the best value for your resources. At a time when many campus and online colleges/universities are using an “assembly line” approach to process students as quickly, impersonally, and cheaply as possible, at UTA we take the time to teach, mentor, and train our students in the highest standards of research, practice, and ethics.

This is an exciting time for UTA and CRCJ. In 2016 the university was named to the elite group of R-1 Doctoral Universities designated as Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. In 2014 the university met U.S. Department of Education requirements to be considered a Hispanic-Serving Institution, which means that at least 25 percent of our full-time undergraduate students are from Latina/o backgrounds.

In CRCJ we mirror the university’s commitment to excellence in research and in preparing students from all backgrounds for exciting and meaningful careers in policing, courts, corrections, law, research, forensic science, cybersecurity, and other related fields. We have one of the most diverse departments on campus in terms of student and faculty demographics, and are engaged fully in the R1 university experience. During your time at UTA you will interact with faculty members who have the highest degrees in their respective areas and who have shown a commitment to the creation of knowledge through extensive publications, funding, and working with many criminal justice and social service agencies.

I am confident that you will enjoy your experience here at UTA. If there is ever a time that you would like to speak with me about our programs, research, and resources, I will be available. I look forward to meeting you, and wish you a successful and rewarding academic experience.

Kent R. Kerley, Ph.D.

Dr. Kent Ryan Kerley

Professor and Department Chair

Kent Kerley

Research Areas: Corrections, Religiosity, Drug Careers, White-Collar Crime


Contact Us

Undergraduate Information
Amber Owens- Undergraduate Advisor for students with last names A-K

Undergraduate Information
Barrie Page Hill- Undergraduate Advisor for students with last names L-Z

Graduate Information
Dr. Jaya Davis- Graduate Programs Director