“The answer lies within you. Know what you want, be bold, and pursue it..."
- Criminal Justice,
The Criminal Justice major is an inter-disciplinary program anchored by a sociological perspective, a focus on ethical issues of concern, and a history of Dominican inquiry into issues of truth, community and justice. This major seeks to educate you to become a criminal justice professional who is able to handle the technical, psychological, and ethical challenges a career in criminal justice requires. Because the program is housed within the Social Science Department, you will receive a thorough training in Social Science Research Methods, Statistics and the opportunity to work closely with professors to produce your own original research.
The Criminal Justice major is unique at Edgewood College because it was started in the 1970s by Sister Esther Heffernan, O.P., Ph.D., a Sociologist who authored a ground-breaking book about women in prison. The program was formed with the purpose of creating ethical leaders in criminal justice careers with dedication to social justice and crime prevention, and a focus on human rights. A focus on ethics and a sociological critical perspective grounds the Criminal Justice major at Edgewood College, making it very different from more ‘traditional’ Criminal Justice programs. Our program is also unique in that it offers a Human Services Concentration, which allows you to become a licensed Social Worker, opening up many more employment options.
This is an exciting time for criminal justice agencies across the country with Baby Boomers retiring and a new generation of liberal arts educated criminal justice professionals taking over. Edgewood College continuously keeps students engaged in the community attitudes and debates about controversial criminal justice system practices such as racial profiling, excessive use of force by police, and disproportionate incarceration of African American and other minority groups across the country. We seek to educate you about matters of controversy from the death penalty, to racial bias in the system, giving students of all political persuasions the space to express their opinions and learn from the opposing opinions of their student partners in learning.
With a degree in Criminal Justice, you can go into a variety of careers in policing, probation, law, corrections, crime prevention, and working with at-risk youth. You can also go on to Law School to become a Criminal Prosecuting or Defense Attorney or go on to further education to become a Paralegal. You may also consider attending graduate school in Criminal Justice, Criminology, Sociology or Social Work.
Internships: Because we are located in Madison, WI, there are many opportunities for Criminal Justice majors to learn from community experts through guest lectures, tours of criminal justice agencies, and internship opportunities. Our graduates have held internships in recent years in many Madison organizations including the Dane County Sheriff’s Department, the Madison Police Department, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Justice’s Criminal Investigation Unit, Madison-Area Urban Ministries, and the DEA.