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Criminal Justice Studies Program

Criminal Justice Studies Program

Photo of Dr. Leana A. Bouffard

Iowa State University has one of the fastest-growing criminal justice majors in the country. It’s easy to see why—criminal justice students at Iowa State University are prepared for any career in law enforcement, judiciary, government, or even business. The possibilities are limitless. Professors in the department have both practical and academic backgrounds that ensure students get a well-rounded education. We hope you join us!”

Dr. Leana A. Bouffard
Department Chair


The criminal justice studies program at Iowa State University, ranked #9 for best value by Value Colleges, prepares future graduates to make a huge impact through the criminal justice system through an applied and academic curriculum. Students will become acquainted with issues affecting the juvenile and criminal justice systems and how to apply theories about crime, victimization and criminal justice to real-world scenarios.


Students at Iowa State University have the opportunity to tailor their experience to make sure they gain valuable skills for the future.

The Criminal Justice Club provides opportunities for students from all majors to learn more about what a career could look like with a criminal justice degree. The club invites professionals in the field so students can learn from and interact with them. Department events provide the opportunity to network with students and faculty so you can stay connected.

Students, faculty and staff mingled at the 2018 LAS Week Sociology Pancake Breakfast.
Students, faculty and staff mingled at the 2018 LAS Week Sociology Pancake Breakfast.

A wide variety of student organizations and clubs are available for students to join—including academic, honor societies, political & activism, intramural sports and Greek life.

Gain leadership and service experience through the Student Activities Center, go to one of the many fun campus events like the Cyclone Carnival, or learn more about clubs and activities at the annual ClubFest to see the many ways you can get involved during your time at Iowa State.

Students from every background can apply for departmental scholarships once a year to help fund their education and better focus on what’s important—the experience.

Your future

Where the future will take you is up to you. Graduates of the criminal justice program go directly into successful careers in law enforcement, activism or business—just to name a few—or continue their education at both the master’s and Ph.D. levels. Curious as to what jobs criminal justice majors take? Here are some examples:

  • Financial Crimes Specialist, Robert Half International, Inc.
  • Police Officer, University of Georgia
  • Police Officer, Lenexa Police Department,
  • Police Communications Dispatch, San Antonio Police Department
  • Senior Specialist, Corporate Security and Safety, First National Bank Technology Center
  • Program Specialist, Teens Against Human Trafficking

Why Criminal Justice?

Matthew Fully Quote

"My education in the Department of Sociology helped improve my research and writing skills, my ability to work on a team and as a leader, as well as my public speaking skills. Additionally, I learned how to use important statistical information/data to present facts both in and out of the classroom, and I gained a good insight in the introductory aspects of the law and government."

Matthew Fully
'17 criminal justice and sociology