Our Department

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Welcome to the Department of Justice Studies at San José State University, one of four schools and seven departments in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

The department has a long and rich history at San José State and over the past 80 years, we have grown and adapted to the ever-changing social, political, and economic environment – increasing our ability to offer a rigorous, well-rounded and applicable curriculum to our students.  A constant throughout these changing times is our commitment to academic excellence, social activism, and policy relevant research.

Faculty in our department are widely recognized and well respected scholars and researchers, as well as innovative, effective teachers.   In addition to mentoring and teaching students, they conduct research on human rights, immigration, migration, border violence, violence against women, political economy of punishment, criminalization of migrants around Europe and the United States, Japanese-Brazilian transmigrants in Japan, life course of sex offender behavior, immigrant perceptions of the legitimacy of authority, policing, effects of policing on Latino and African American neighborhoods, victimology, family violence, violence again women, youth violence, deviance and criminology, life course criminology, self and identity, gender and crime, and developing DNA profiles from degraded samples.

Our faculty are also deeply involved in the community with a Reading Program for detained juveniles, Sunday Friends, a YOGA project for detained juvenile women, are members of advisory boards for police departments, and operate a Criminal Record Clearance Project.  Clearly, the active community engagement and research of our faculty bring a deeper understanding to current social issues to our students and move us toward a more just and fair society.

Students in our department are highly active in numerous student groups (Alpha Phi Sigma, hi Pi Sigma, and Forensic Science Student’s Club), and participate widely in the community and university.  Our Department offers the following degrees:  B.S. and M.S in Justice Studies; B.S. in Forensic Science, Emphasis in Biology; B.S. in Forensic Science, Emphasis in Chemistry; Minor in Justice Studies; Minor in Human Rights; and a Minor in Legal Studies.  Graduates of our department are well prepared for graduate schools, law schools, as well working in non-profit justice-related agencies, probation and parole, corrections, law enforcement, and in crime labs.