Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

    American University
    Jun 23, 2024  
American University Catalog 2023-2024 
American University Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Justice, Law and Criminology


Chair  Bill Davies
Graduate Academic Advising  Emily Kim, Sadia Green (First-Gen Coordinator)
Undergraduate Academic Advising  Nathan Williamson (Director), Tyler Poling (Senior Counselor and First-Gen Coordinator), Amelia Graber-Lipperman, Lilian Velasco
Doctoral Program Director  David Malet
Justice, Law and Criminology MS Program Director  Sasha O’Connell
Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy Program MS Director  Sasha O’Connell
Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security MS Online Director  Bryan Arva
Undergraduate Program Director  Claire Griggs

Full-Time Faculty

Professor  L. Addington, D. Dreisbach, R. Johnson, C. Miller-Idriss, J. Young
Associate Professor  T. Bacon, B. Davies, D. Fagelson, J. Iwama, L. Johnson-Hart, K. Jordan, D. Malet, J. Palmer, T. Zeitzoff
Assistant Professor  C. Barron, T. Carter, A. Vilan, J. Waters
Senior Professorial Lecturer  B. Bartholomew, J. Fabrikant, C. Griggs
Professorial Lecturer  B. Arva, K. Boyle, S. Ozeren, S. Pesek
Senior Scholar in Residence  M. Engert
Senior Executive in Residence  S. O’Connell
Executive in Residence  K. Gaffney
Research Professor  J. Baldwin, J. Eassey
Research Assistant Professor  P. Dashtgard, B. Hughes, R. Jereza

Emeriti Faculty

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

Department Overview

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. The Legal Studies (BA)  program is a multi-disciplinary approach to analyzing law, legal concepts and the relationship between law and society. The program addresses questions regarding how law develops, what rights we have, and what we owe others. Students emerge from the major with a sophisticated understanding of law through the study of history, philosophy, sociology, politics, and other disciplines. The curriculum offers particular strengths on historical and international perspectives on legal issues. For those considering a career in law or further research, Legal Studies provides a robust scholarly foundation and a challenging intellectual environment. 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 homeland and 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 as well as policy analysis frameworks 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)