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    American University
    Feb 05, 2023  
American University Catalog 2021-2022 
American University Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Justice, Law and Criminology


Chair  Bill Davies
Graduate Academic Advising  Alex Clayton
Undergraduate Academic Advising  Nathan Williamson (Director), Brooke Carey, Jamie Jeune, Tyler Poling
Graduate Program Director  Robert Johnson
Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy MS Director  Sasha O’Connell
Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security MS Online Director  Jennifer Gumbrewicz

Full-Time Faculty

Professor  L. Addington, R.R. Bennett, D. Dreisbach, R. Johnson, C. Miller-Idriss, J. Young
Associate Professor  T. Bacon, B. Davies, D. Fagelson, L. Johnson, K. Jordan, D. Klusmeyer, D. Malet, J. Palmer, T. Zeitzoff
Assistant Professor  C. Barron, T. Carter, J. Iwama, J. Waters
Senior Professorial Lecturer  B. Bartholomew, J. Fabrikant, C. Griggs
Professorial Lecturer  K. Boyle, S. Cubukcu, J. Gumbrewicz
Senior Scholar in Residence  M. Engert
Executive in Residence  S. O’Connell
Postdoctoral Fellow  M. Noel

Emeriti Faculty

Professor Emeritus/a  B. Forst, D.J. Saari, A.S. Trebach, R.I. Weiner
Associate Professor Emeritus/a  D. Golash

Department Overview

Effective January 1, 2014, the Department of Justice, Law and Society (JLS) became the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology (JLC).

The department has one of the oldest programs in the field of justice in the United States. The full-time faculty in the department have educational backgrounds in law, criminology, criminal justice, political science, sociology, psychology, and history. The department offers Data Sciences for Justice, Law and Criminology (BS) , Justice and Law (BA)  and Legal Studies (BA) ; Justice, Law and Criminology (MS) , Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy (MS) , and Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security (MS)  online; a dual Juris Doctor and Master of Science program with the Washington College of Law ; and Justice, Law and Criminology (PhD) .

Justice and Law (BA) , with concentrations in criminal justice, criminology, and terrorism and security studies, analyzes the foundations, functions, policies, and procedures of justice. Crime and deviance are serious public policy concerns in American society, and systems of justice are the main public policy responses for dealing with these problems. Cross-cultural and international perspectives are brought to bear when they shed light on the nature of crime and deviance in America or on the workings of American systems of justice. Legal Studies (BA) , with concentrations in the humanities or social sciences, is an interdisciplinary program that examines the role of law in relation to social, political, and economic institutions. The complex relation of law and justice, broadly conceived, is the central consideration in this program of study. Drawing on the social sciences and humanities, this curriculum offers an historical and international perspective on legal issues. Both undergraduate majors can be considered Prelaw  majors.

Justice, Law and Criminology (MS)  further elaborates on the central concerns of the undergraduate degrees offered in the department. The degree offers theoretical and applied grounding in criminology and criminal justice issues as well as an interdisciplinary approach to the role of law in society as it relates to the social sciences and issues of social justice. 

Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy (MS)  focuses on issues of national security from the perspectives of criminology and criminal justice. The program allows students to examine a variety of security issues and to develop strategic, policy-based solutions that federal, state and local governments can use to combat terrorism and prepare for future security threats.

Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security (MS)  online provides students with tools to analyze and assess homeland security problems and formulate, evaluate, and communicate policies and programs related to countering terrorism and other threats to national security. Students acquire knowledge grounded in criminology, social science, law, policy, terrorism studies, and intelligence analysis and gain analytic frameworks and methodological skills, including Master’s level research methods, criminology, intelligence principles, and law.

The department’s programs prepare students for law school and further graduate study, as well as for entry-level positions and professional careers in the justice and security fields. Washington, DC provides a source of internship placements, which often lead to challenging employment.


    Major Program (UG)Minor (UG)Certificate (UG)Master’s Program (GR)Certificate (GR)Doctoral Program (GR)