Criminal Justice

To study criminal justice is to gain insight into the main aspects of our justice system, including the courts, law enforcement and corrections. From the psychology of criminal behavior to the details that go into policymaking, a degree in criminal justice offers broad knowledge and opens up a variety of career paths. Common career paths: police officer, US marshal, attorney, judge, forensic psychologist, criminal psychologist, agent for the CIA, FBI or Homeland Security, social worker.

Thinking Beyond Law and Order

As a criminal justice student at Canisius, you’ll learn about the history, application and impact of the US criminal justice system. You’ll explore topics in multiple disciplines, including criminology, psychology, sociology and anthropology, and have a solid foundation for advanced study if you decide to pursue law school. You’ll gain specific knowledge within the broader contexts of ethics, global awareness, diversity and justice. By the time you earn your degree, you’ll have the tools to be both a scholar and a servant-leader within your chosen career.

An Interdisciplinary Approach

A well-rounded perspective is consistent with the liberal arts core at Canisius. Along with specific knowledge about the field of criminal justice, our Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program will arm you with the skills needed to thrive in the professional world—including written and oral communication, teamwork, synthesizing information, problem-solving and critical thinking. Guided by Jesuit values, you’ll develop a holistic understanding of the multifaceted issues around criminal justice.

Creating Better Thinkers and Courageous Leaders

In addition to teaching, our faculty work in the field in various roles. As professionals, they understand criminal justice on both a practical and a conceptual level. They’ll encourage you to think beyond traditional law enforcement and explore timely issues around criminal justice reform, immigration and the environment.

Unique Academic Paths

Unlike programs at other institutions, at Canisius you can declare a criminal justice major right away. Our program offers 4 unique interdisciplinary concentrations: 

  • Law Enforcement
  • Law and Justice, including topics in political science
  • Corrections, including social service agencies and human services
  • Environmental Justice and Regulation

Students frequently dual major, pairing criminal justice with psychology, political science or sociology. We also encourage interdisciplinary combinations through the addition of a minor such as Spanish, psychology, forensic psychology, computer forensics, political science (pre-law track), environmental studies and general biology (biology for nonmajors)

Where Our Students Intern

Students are encouraged to seek out meaningful internships in their own communities during their junior and senior year. Here’s a sampling of recent internships:

  • Erie County Department of Probation
  • Family Justice Center of Erie County
  • Child Protective Services, Erie County Department of Social Services
  • Office of Senator Charles Schumer 
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Clean Air Coalition of Western New York
  • Journey’s End Refugee Resettlement

View Full Internship List 


Faculty in the Criminal Justice program are both scholars and practitioners of criminal justice, with combined professional experience as judges, lawyers and police officers. Graduates of our program have seen success nationwide, at all levels of the criminal justice system.


Laurel Wreath
Post-graduation job placement