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Criminal Justice

A Message From the CJ Department Head

Dr. Vivian Djokotoe

We are pleased you have taken the time to explore our program, and I would personally like to welcome you and to let you know you are welcome here.

Our friendly and knowledgeable faculty is always ready to speak to you about anything you would like to learn about us. The criminal justice program at WOU is uniquely poised with faculty who possess broad and diverse backgrounds to meet a variety of student goals within this field. Navigating our website should provide you with an idea of what we offer our students. Please see Frequently Asked Questions section below.
New! Minor in Youth Crime Studies Fall 2017

We are now offering a minor in the field of Youth Crime Studies. Make sure to check it out.

Youth Crime Studies Course Description    

IF YOU ARE JUNIOR OR SENIOR STATUS AND HAVE NOT COMPLETED THE CJ Program PROFILE Request Form Don't delay, print off and complete today! This form has replaced the CJ Program Application form.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I get from a criminal justice degree?

The criminal justice program at WOU is grounded in a strong liberal arts tradition. Our students are equipped with a sound scientific background and excellent preparation in content areas in Courts, Corrections, Law Enforcement, Community Crime Prevention, Youth Crime, Forensic Anthropology, Homeland Security, and options for interdisciplinary education.

What can I do with a criminal justice degree?

Our program is not a training school. Your degree in criminal justice provides you with a strong academic preparation for success in a wide range of areas within the workforce. Your knowledge is so broad after the completion of your program that your career possibilities are endless. Our past students have ended up in various fields, such as Social Services, Correctional Services (Juvenile and Adult), Law School, Law Enforcement (Local, State, and Federal), Graduate School, Teaching (Grade School, High School, College), just to name a few. Your degree is not limiting to any particular job.

Unfortunately, there are some misconceptions about a degree in criminal justice that you may sometimes come across, and I would like to dispel some of them here.

Fact or Fiction?
  • If you major in criminal justice, your only option is to become a law enforcement officer.

This is false! While law enforcement is a noble profession, our program is not designed to train law enforcement officers. It is true that if you want a career in law enforcement you need a degree to advance in your career, and our degree will make you a more desirable candidate for law enforcement agencies, and you are going to be qualified for all aspects of law enforcement. You would however have to be hired by a law enforcement agency before you get law enforcement training. For people who are interested in other fields beside law enforcement, our program is equally right for you. Our degree is as broad as any other social science, and prepares you to be a social scientist at the core. Your degree is great for many other careers, and as you would find on our faculty WebPages, our faculty have expertise in a variety of areas, both within and outside law enforcement, and even outside criminal justice.

  • A criminal justice degree offers only a narrow focus of study.

This is also false! A criminal justice degree is as broad as any other social science, and prepares you to work both within criminal justice agencies, and in environments outside the criminal justice system. Once you earn your degree, you are equipped as a social scientist and ready to choose whatever career you would like within the human services professions.

Please stop by the criminal justice office in Maaske 209 to find out more about us. You are always welcome with us.

Career Opportunities

A degree in Criminal Justice will prepare students with a broad foundation of social science and it’s application to understanding crime. In addition to several other careers, here are a few examples of what our degree will prepare you for:

  • Law School
  • Graduate School
  • Residential Treatment Specialist
  • Investigators
  • Victim Advocates
  • Court Counselors
  • Youth Program Workers
  • Community Service Coordinators & Officers
  • Law Enforcement, Parole & Probation, Correctional Officers
  • Victim/Offender Mediators
Additional Questions? criminaljustice@wou.edu (503)838-8733 Dr. Vivian Djokotoe: CJ Department Head djokotoev@wou.edu Dr. Terry Gingerich: CJ Graduate Program gingert@wou.edu 503-838-8854 Graduate Programs graduateoffice@wou.edu (503) 838-8597
Position Openings

Check out the Service Learning and Career Development website for more information on current job openings in the field of Criminal Justice.

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