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About the Department

A Strong Academic Program

Criminal justice involves the study of crime from a systems perspective.  Far from being a narrowly defined law enforcement or correctional program, criminal justice at Radford University is an interdisciplinary and professionally-oriented academic discipline concentrating on many aspects of crime and the concepts that impact on our system of justice. To prepare students for the various positions within criminal justice as well as for graduate education, the program seeks to develop a broad foundation of knowledge pertaining to crime and its ancillary issues. 

The curriculum for criminal justice students is interdisciplinary in nature and includes courses that will provide students with the research and analytical skills necessary for understanding the nature of justice and the issues that affect its implementation.  The department offers an undergraduate major in criminal justice, undergraduate minors in criminal justice and forensic studies, an accelerated master’s degree program, a graduate program in criminal justice, and a graduate certificate in crime analysis.

The department currently serves more than 500 undergraduate and 40 graduate students, with courses offered in Radford and Roanoke. Learn more about our undergraduate and graduate programs.

An Accomplished Faculty

The department is staffed by 10 full-time faculty members who are accomplished in both their academic and professional communities.  Criminal Justice Department faculty have been recognized for excellence in teaching, research, and university service.  In addition, Radford University criminal justice faculty publish books and articles, make presentations at national conferences, provide expert testimony, and work with the local criminal justice community. The department also regularly employs local criminal justice professionals as adjunct instructors. Learn more about our faculty.

Many Opportunities

The Department of Criminal Justice makes numerous opportunities available to students. Students may participate in a variety of student organizations, complete an internship program, and participate in other activities sponsored by the department. In addition, outstanding on-campus undergraduate students may apply to participate in the accelerated master's degree program, in which both the bachelor's and master's degrees may be earned in five years.

A Rich History

Criminal justice education at Radford University began in 1974, when a program was developed to allow community college transfer students to complete the last two years of a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.  Student demand for the program was high, and in 1976 the program was expanded into a four-year degree that could be completed in its entirety at Radford University.

Radford University’s graduate program in criminal justice was developed in 1983, making it the second oldest in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Radford University remains the only Virginia public university west of Richmond to offer a criminal justice graduate program.  In 2009, the Master of Arts and Master of Science in criminal justice were certified by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, making Radford University one of only five schools, nationwide, whose graduate programs have earned this prestigious recognition.

Thousands of students have studied criminal justice at Radford University.  Today, Radford University criminal justice alumni hold positions in local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies, both within and beyond the Commonwealth of Virginia.   

Radford University, a Great Place to Learn

Radford University is located in Radford, Virginia, in the beautiful New River Valley. Learn more about the history and location of Radford University and makes it a special place to live and learn.