Criminal Justice

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The fast-paced expansion of all areas of the criminal justice system is creating a demand for skilled professionals as never before in local, state, and federal systems and in community-based organizations. The criminal justice system is constituted to maintain social order, prevent crime, enforce laws, administer justice and advocate for peoples’ rights. The well prepared practitioner in this field is expected to be knowledgeable and skilled in every component of the system to address the public’s demand for protection and services.

Criminal Justice provides students with a thorough knowledge of crime, criminal behavior, the police and courts, law and society, and theories of crime through offerings within the disciplines of Political Science, Sociology and other disciplines related to this field of study. Academic majors in Criminal Justice are educated to be critical thinkers, exploring and analyzing issues with a solid theoretical foundation and scientific research methods. The major contains a strong applied component; in internship placements students work with crime agencies and police departments.

The curriculum: In addition to the general requirements for the college you will choose courses in:

  • criminology
  • criminal justice systems
  • forensic psychology
  • criminal investigations
  • terrorism and counter-terrorism
  • juvenile delinquency
  • police administration
  • forensic chemistry

The senior internship is an integral and essential component of the curriculum. Students may choose to complete a senior thesis or senior seminar. A thesis requires the collection and analysis of data while senior seminar students will produce a portfolio of professional work.


Complete your criminal justice degree online.

Coursework for our criminal justice degree can be completed fully online through the university’s innovative Baldwin Online and Adult Programs. Just like in-person classes, the Blackboard-interface program emphasizes the development of strong conceptual skills in tandem with practical applications. MBU helps you fast-track your path to a criminal justice degree with the opportunity to transfer up to 27 credits (9 courses) through direct course equivalents from the Virginia Community Colleges System as well as the ability to earn up to 6 credits for work experience.

Faculty with more than 60 years of experience in law enforcement as well as in those who are leaders in academic research prepare students for careers, graduate school, and beyond.

Designed to equip students with hands-on career preparation, the criminal justice major requires an internship in addition to online coursework.

Criminal justice is also available as a minor.

Why study criminal justice at Mary Baldwin University?

What you learn as a student of Criminal Justice:

  • About crime: the social creation of crime and the social responses to crime in diverse societies and cultures.
  • Analysis and methodology of crime, it’s causes and effects.
  • About the criminal justice system and judicial processes: the functions of police, courts, lawyers, jails, bail, and prisons; constitutional law.
  • About the challenges communities face: terrorism, drugs, and social inequality.
  • About “how to”: police procedure, crime scene investigation, forensics, corrections, mediation, and judicial procedures.
  • About yourself: personal awareness, confidence, empathy; your ability to make a difference in the lives of others.

Our partners in the community: Experience matters. In Mary Baldwin’s Criminal Justice Program our community partners provide the hands-on experience you need. Options include

  • Staunton Police Department
  • Waynesboro Police Department
  • Augusta County Sheriff’s Department
  • Office on Youth
  • Middle River Regional Jail
  • SAW Coalition
  • Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Detention Center
  • Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice

These are just a few of the organizations that are available to help you learn through direct on-the-job experience.

Careers and Connections. Recent graduates from Mary Baldwin University are currently working as lawyers, police officers, and social workers. They are employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security and all branches of the military. We will gladly put you in contact with alumnae in the criminal justice field.

Alpha Phi Sigma

Eight Mary Baldwin University students have become members of the college’s newest honor society Alpha Phi Sigma, which recognizes excellence in criminal justice.

Criminal justice advisor Douglas Davis, who is also a member of the honor society, welcomed the new students – KaWanda Temple, Anna Hurt, Krystal Jones, Leo Hanlon, Charity Martin, Evenlyn Foster, Raven Jackson, and Katherine Epifanio – into the Nu Sigma chapter in a ceremony April 10 in Miller Chapel.“I am very proud,” Davis said. “The honor society was chartered one year before the degree was even voted on and it is a compliment to students, especially the new chapter president, KaWanda Temple.”

To gain membership in Alpha Phi Sigma, criminal justice majors or minors must have completed three full semesters or its equivalent, have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.2, a 3.2 GPA in criminal justice courses, and be ranked in the top 35 percent of their class. A minimum of four courses are required in the criminal justice field.

“It has definitely been a long road,” said Temple. “Now I am starting to see my hard work paying off. I learned to never give up on anything. Without Chief Davis none of this would be possible.”

During the induction ceremony, Davis lit­ four candles, which represents the honor society’s four ideals: academic excellence, unity, leadership, and service.

Each inducted member received a key emblazoned with the scales of justice, the shield of honor, and the columns of learning. The honor society has two significant colors: blue, for criminal justice, and gold, which represents scholarship.

“It is definitely an honor to be one of the first inductees of Alpha Phi Sigma at Mary Baldwin,” said Jones, a junior. “I have made a lifelong pledge to serve my community, protect those around me, and make a positive change in the lives that I encounter along the way. I am excited to devote my life to the business of change.”

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Contact Information

College of Business and Professional Studies
Dean Joe Sprangel
Associate Professor of Business Administration


James Williams

Adjunct Faculty Member; BS, MS, Virginia Commonwealth University
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Carey L. Usher

Associate Professor of Sociology, Associate Dean of the College and Faculty Director of the...
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Douglas L. Davis

Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Criminal Justice Program; AAS, Thomas Nelson Community...
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Robert Robinson

Assistant Professor of Sociology; AS, Piedmont Virginia Community College; BS, Longwood College;...
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Daniel M. Stuhlsatz

Professor of Sociology; BA, Wichita State University; MA, University of Wyoming; PhD, University...
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Beth Easterling

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology; Co-Director of Criminal Justice Program;...
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