Why CJC?

Why Criminal Justice & Criminology?

Criminal Justice & Criminology (CJC) attracts inquisitive students who endeavor to understand and analyze complex questions in society. For example,

  • Why do some people commit crimes, whereas others do not?
  • Why do some neighborhoods and communities experience crime and disorder at a higher rate than others?
  • How do actors in the criminal justice system (e.g. police officers, prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys, probation officers, corrections staff) impact crime?
  • What strategies to reduce crime work? Which do not? Why?
  • How can society impact crime and victimization in effective, efficient, and equitable ways?

CJC is an interdisciplinary study of crime and deviance, borrowing heavily from sociology, psychology, economics, political science and law.

CJC students find employment in many fields within the criminal justice system (police, courts, corrections) as well as advocacy, counseling, victim services, and community organizing. Many occupations are in the government sector – local, county, state and federal – as well as the private and non-profit. A degree in CJC prepares students to continue their education in graduate school and law school.


Students who study CJC at UMKC receive high-quality education opportunities both on campus and online. The Department of CJC has developed a robust internship program where students can work in the community in a variety of different governmental and non-profit agencies. At UMKC the CJC faculty members are accomplished teachers and nationally recognized researchers with a long history of working collaboratively with regional criminal justice agencies, where they are able to bring the latest developments in evidence-based practice from the field and into the classroom.

Our major courses are small in size, giving students personal attention and mentoring. Students obtain hands-on experience working side-by-side with faculty members to study criminal justice and criminology in the Kansas City area.

At Home in Kansas City

UMKC’s location in Kansas City makes it an ideal place for CJC students. Ongoing relationships between faculty and local agencies provide students with access to employment opportunities upon graduation. UMKC is ideally located in a large, affordable Midwestern city with access to entertainment, the arts, culture and recreational opportunities. Students can easily walk from campus to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Country Club Plaza, and Loose Park.

The Department of CJC is located in Cherry Hall at the heart of UMKC’s campus, adjacent to Swinney Recreation Center, the Student Union, on-campus housing, and retail.