Criminal Justice


Success Stories

Carolyn Dallinger ’80

Often referred to as a “service guru,” Dallinger has consistently integrated service learning into her courses since she started teaching at Simpson seven years ago. More…

View All »

Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice major is concerned with the application of knowledge derived primarily from the social sciences. Students gain exposure to the components of the criminal justice system, the value of research and analysis, and the theoretical explanations for criminal behavior. The program also has an overall focus on both the importance of issues of diversity and ethical decision-making in the criminal justice system. 

Simpson criminal justice undergraduates scored in the 99th percentile on the Educational Testing Service’s Major Field Test in Criminal Justice in 2013, relative to 102 comparison institutions from across the United States. The results reaffirm the strength of Simpson’s program in content delivery and student mastery of discipline-specific subject matter.

In terms of learning outcomes, students completing the Criminal Justice major will be able to:

  • Apply criminological theories to concrete situations;
  • Analyze and interpret social science data;
  • Formulate ethical responses to professional situations; and
  • Critique how issues of power and inequalities in the U.S. impact criminal justice outcomes.

The major consists of 7 courses (28 credits) of required “core” courses and the selection of 4 elective courses (16 credits) for a total of 44 credits.

Advanced Standing Program (ASP)  The Advanced Standing Program is designed to help exceptional undergraduate students who have a 3.5 or higher GPA complete the baccalaureate and master of art degrees in criminal justice in 5 1/2 years of full-time study. The primary requirements for admission to the program are follows:

  1. Undergraduates eligible for ASP must have earned a 3.5 Simpson College GPA by the end of their junior year (must have completed 95 credits).
  2. To be eligible for the ASP a student must complete the last two years of their baccalaureate work at Simpson.
  3. Transfer students are eligible for ASP and will need to have accumulated a Simpson GPA of 3.5 in their junior year to be eligible to apply. Transfer credits are not counted in the Simpson GPA.
  4. Students applying for the ASP should have had a criminal justice or related internship or plan to take it as an elective in their senior year.
  5. Students applying for advanced standing must submit an application to the MACJ degree program by August 1, prior to the beginning of their senior year. All MACJ application requirements must be met (completed application, 3 letters of reference, admissions essay).
  6. The application materials will be reviewed by the MACJ Admissions Committee and applicants will be informed prior to the beginning of fall classes of their admissions status.


Students accepted into the ASP program may enroll in elective options in the MACJ in their senior year. Students with a year or more of criminal justice work experience may take 3 electives. Students with no criminal justice work experience may enroll in two elective options. Advanced Standing Students are billed as undergraduates until they have completed their baccalaureate degrees.  

Criminal Justice Major and Minor Credit Requirements