Skip to Content

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

  • Students looking at criminology books


The Criminology and Criminal Justice program examines crime in a cultural, structural and historical context, focusing on the causes of crime and the effectiveness of society’s responses to deviant behavior. 

Why Study Criminal Justice?

People who study criminal justice want to make a difference. They desire to promote justice, protect the greater good and serve the people within and outside of the criminal justice system. In this field, you can work with victims of crime, intervene with people who have broken the law, prevent crime in your community, use your skills to conduct research or reform policies and practices, among others.

Our Degrees

The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice provides a distinctive education for undergraduate and graduate students. Our intersectional program uses applied research on crime and its causes, as well as policy analysis and evaluation of criminal justice practices in the areas of courts, police, corrections and juvenile justice. The department offers an undergraduate degree program (Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice) as well as three graduate degree options (Masters, Ph.D., or the Dual Masters and J.D.).  


Our faculty and students conduct research and publish papers on subjects varying from plea procedures in court to homeland security. Our instructors bring their real-world knowledge to the classroom, and students develop skills that can propel them into continued study or professional positions. 

In the Community

Students in our program can participate in various campus organizations or apply their knowledge in internships for course credit. The department also maintains strong ties to organizations in and around Columbia, so you're the first to know of any new job openings in the region as they become available. 

How to Apply

Applications to the University of South Carolina are handled online and there are options for you to apply as an undergraduate or to graduate school. Learn how to apply. »


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.