Message from the Department Chair

Dr Gennaro F. Vito, Ph.D.

As Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at U of L, I take this opportunity to welcome you to the department and introduce our programs designed to help you achieve your career goals. Our department is part of the College of Arts and Sciences. Although we have changed our name from Justice Administration to Criminal Justice, we are one of the oldest criminal justice programs in the United States. At the undergraduate level, we offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a Minor in Criminal Justice. Our graduate programs include the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Criminal Justice. The B.S. and M.S. degrees are also offered in an on-line format (Distance Education) that allows us to serve students all over the world.

Our extensive curriculum includes many significant criminal justice issues, including terrorism, cybercrime, homicide, and sex crimes. It emphasizes developing research and critical thinking skills through courses on quantitative and qualitative analysis, research methods and crime mapping. Students are also introduced to management courses in administration, planning and program evaluation.

The degree programs has an extensive track record for preparing students for positions in local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies (law enforcement, courts, corrections, and juvenile justice) and graduate studies. Our graduates are employed in numerous police and sheriff agencies, state police and federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service. The first cohort of Ph.D. graduates have accepted faculty positions at Seattle University, University of West Florida, Campbellsville University, University of Central Missouri, West Georgia University, and East Tennessee State University.

In addition, the Department also includes the Southern Police Institute. One of the first programs in criminal justice education in the United States, the SPI has provided education and training programs for law enforcement professionals since 1951. The SPI’s Administrative Officer’s Course (AOC) is a management educational program that offers coursework at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. The SPI’s Continuing Education programs offers technical training on several policing operations such as Homicide and Sex Crime Scene Investigation.

Our award winning faculty teach and conduct research on a wide range of criminal justice problems and issues. They are also active in several criminal justice education associations, including the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the Southern Criminal Justice Association. The Department houses two professional, academic journals: The Journal of Criminal Justice Education and Criminal Justice Studies. The faculty are committed to your education and to the profession. They have a wide variety of educational and practical experience. From them, you will learn theoretical, practical and empirical aspects and a critical understanding of the institutions, policies, and practices of criminal justice agencies. Please consult the faculty section of our web site to view their accomplishments.

On this website, you will find information on how to apply for our degree programs, our faculty, staff and graduate assistants. If you have questions, please contact us via the information on our web site.

We look forward to serving your educational needs.

Thank you.

Gennaro F. Vito, Ph.D.

Professor & Chair