Undergraduate Major & Minor Social Sciences
Bachelor of Arts
Criminal Justice at PLU Transcription
[Music][video: April’s voice comes in over clips. A shot of a gold statue of Lady Justice. April sits in class taking notes on a computer.
April Reyes ‘20, Criminal Justice Minor: when you go up no one tells you what these certain laws mean how it can affect your life with this criminal justice minor I want to know more about the system so that I can kind of take all these different perspectives and try to like put them together says as much
[video: April talks to the camera in PLU’s library.]
April: as it’s important to learn about like the laws and regulations and all these things it’s important to know like how they affect people’s lives[video: Dr. Gregson sits in front of a wood paneled wall, speaking to the camera.]
Dr. Joanna Gregson, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs: PLU is known for being a service focused institution[video: Dr. Gregson’s voice continues over clips. Students talk in class. A professor points to a whiteboard at the front of class. Students take notes.]
Dr. Gregson: the new criminal justice program will provide us with another excellent route to prepare students at PLU who are interested in careers in policing law Corrections and victim services to meet their goals and serve the public good[video: Dr. Luther’s voice comes in. A professor teaches in a classroom with a map in the background. A student takes notes.]
Dr. Kate Luther, Department Chair of Sociology & Criminal Justice: we are not teaching students about how to investigate a crime scene instead we are teaching students to look at the criminal justice system through a[video: Dr. Luther speaks to the camera in her office.]
Dr. Luther: sociological lens which means looking at inequalities in the system thinking about how different communities are impacted differently by our criminal justice system[video: Clips resume, Jarel’s voice comes in. Dr. Luther writes on a whiteboard in front of a class. A student takes notes.]
Jarel Sanders ‘14, Social Service Specialist, WA Department of Children, Youth, and Families: I think sociology brings a really unique perspective to the criminal justice[video: Jarel sits in an office speaking to the camera.]
Jarel: process because when you understand how all of these different systems impact people’s lives you’re able to compartmentalize how you fit into all[video: Dr. Luther’s voice comes in over more clips. A couple speaks to an advisor. A historical building in downtown Tacoma. A shot of a Courthouse in Tacoma.]
Dr. Luther: part of this new criminal justice program will be a required internship so that not only are we educating our students but instead our students are getting educated by community agencies[video: Return to Dr. Luther in her office.]
Dr. Luther: and that they’re able to bring all of those perspectives into their education here at PLU[video: Return to Jarel.]
Jarel: being able to work off-campus and make those connections in the community like a hundred percent led me to every ounce of stability that I had I was an adult by the time I had
actually picked up a caseload I had four years of being in the office which is unheard of
Dr. Luther: the thing about criminal justice is it’s a major where you can see direct connections to careers and that’s that’s really important we want our students to understand how their major is next to their career and this is a major that gives those extremely clear connections
PLU’s degree in criminal justice will prepare students to enter fields eager to welcome a new generation of practitioners, including law, policing, corrections, and victim services and advocacy. As a student of criminal justice at Pacific Lutheran University, you will investigate theories of criminal offending, the functioning of the criminal justice system, and the experiences of crime victims. Our sociologically-informed criminal justice program emphasizes an understanding of the social and structural contexts in which crime and criminal justice systems take place.
Graduates from the last 5 years: Their jobs
- Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families
- Tacoma Police Department
- King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office
- YWCA of Pierce County
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- SafePlace Sexual and Domestic Violence Victim Service Agency
- Seattle Children's Hospital
- Boys and Girls Club
Graduates from the last last 5 years: Their graduate programs
- Master’s in Psychology, Portland State University
- Law School, Seattle University
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Boston University
- Law School, University of Washington
- Law School, Gonzaga University
- Master of Arts in Criminal Justice & Crime Analysis Certificate Program, Seattle University
- Law School, University of Minnesota
I chose to study Criminal Justice at PLU because I want to make a difference in my community. I personally want to become a police officer in my hometown. As a Criminal Justice major, I’ve had the opportunity to see and do many things through different events and field trips. I’ve had the opportunity to talk to police officers one on one, visit courthouses, sit in judicial hearings and experience what it would be like to work in those areas.
— Nathaniel S. ‘22
Did you know?
100% of criminal justice students will complete a required internship with places like juvenile courts, law enforcement agencies, probation offices, and victim advocacy organizations, among other agencies.
Did you know?
Want to study away? Criminal Justice students can earn credit toward their degree while spending a semester studying in Namibia, Trinidad & Tobago, Scotland, New Zealand and more!