Criminal Justice

Examine U.S. and global criminal justice systems in a hands-on bachelor’s degree program that takes you beyond how systems work to understand where there are failures and how you can be an agent of change.

Areas of Study

Criminal Justice

A Look Inside the Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree Program at Wells

Our major in Criminal Justice centers on an understanding of social theory – examining the structures that lead to rule-breaking and addressing it at that level. We offer courses that explore timely subjects such as terrorism, genocide, racial profiling, and other national and global issues that help to shape criminal justice systems.

Guest speakers including law enforcement professionals, attorneys, and other experts provide firsthand accounts of the way that criminal justice is practiced, and you’ll have exciting and rewarding opportunities to take your education into the field through internships, research, and other hands-on opportunities. For example, our professors have organized class trips to local correctional facilities that offer rare and eye-opening insights into the criminal justice system.

Wells is a small, private liberal arts college, so you’ll also benefit from small class sizes and supportive, personalized feedback from your professors and your peers. In addition to being accomplished researchers and experts in diverse areas of criminal justice, our faculty are accessible and dedicated teachers who are responsive to the needs and interests of students in the program.

What You’ll Learn as a Criminal Justice Major

  • How criminal justice systems work at home and abroad and how you can be an agent of change
  • How to write and speak about a range of criminal justice issues from petty theft to war crimes
  • Research methods and critical thinking skills you can apply to a variety of careers


Ready to find out more?

Ready to learn more about Wells College and our Criminal Justice program?

Ready to Apply?

Take the first step toward earning your bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Wells College.

Beyond the Classroom: Experiential Learning in the Criminal Justice

As a criminal justice major at Wells, your classroom studies are complemented by firsthand experience through internships, options to study overseas, and other experiential learning opportunities in the New York region and around the globe.

Internship and Study Abroad Opportunities

Our internship programs give you the chance to work in a professional setting and discover what you like or don’t like about potential careers in different criminal justice fields. Wells students have recently held internships with:

  • Suffolk County Police Department, New York
  • District Attorney’s Office, Auburn, New York
  • Election Campaign for Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey
  • Legal Aid Society, Rochester, New York
  • Genesee County Sherriff, Batavia, New York
  • Lakeside Behavioral Health, Auburn, New York
  • Wells College Campus Safety, Aurora, New York

Want to learn more about internships at Wells? Our Experiential Learning and Career Services Office is dedicated to helping you find the right opportunity and get the most out of it.

You can also study criminal justice overseas in countries such as Italy, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, and Ireland.

Career Options for Criminal Justice Graduates

A bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Wells will prepare you for a variety of careers in law enforcement, legal practice, corrections, social services, and governmental or non-profit advocacy work. You might also choose to continue your education in law school or other graduate school programs.

Current Research in Criminal Justice

Shilpashri Karbhari, Visiting Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, published her Book Review: Yen Le Espiritu, Body Counts: The Vietnam War and Militarized Refuge(es) in the International Sociology Reviews (ISR).

Dan Renfrow, Associate Professor of Sociology and coordinator of the Criminal Justice program, published the paper ‘But That’s Not Sexting’: Accounts from Emerging Adults, in the Routledge Handbook of Deviance Studies. Several Wells students contributed to the research and writing.

Explore Other Programs at Wells


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Amanda Casselman

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