Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science
The Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science offers a major and minor in criminology and criminal justice (CCJ), and a certificate and minor in forensic science. Students pursuing a CCJ major and/or a certificate in forensic science complete an internship that enables them to connect theory to practice and gain valuable professional work experience. The location of Hamline in the Twin Cities offers students diverse opportunities for exceptional internships in crime labs and medical examiner offices, and local, state and federal criminal justice, law enforcement, legal, and social service agencies.
The CCJ major provides a student with a social science approach to the study of crime. The required courses create the foundation for a broad understanding about crime and justice. Graduates pursue careers related to local, state, or federal law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole, social services, criminal justice research and policy. The CCJ minor provides an overview of the criminal justice system for students pursuing other academic majors. Courses are taught by professors with experience and expertise in juvenile corrections and juvenile justice policy, forensic psychology, privacy and data security, victimology, criminal law and procedure, police practices, forensic anthropology, forensic toxicology, chemistry, and microscopy.
The forensic science certificate is paired with a natural science major to prepare students interested in working in a crime lab as forensic scientists, and with an anthropology major to prepare students for graduate study leading to a career in forensic anthropology. The certificate is interdisciplinary and exposes students to the application of scientific principles and analytical methods forensic evidence. Students intending to pursue a career in crime labs or medical examiner offices should complete the certificate. Nationally recognized practitioners teach a variety of courses including crime scene investigation, DNA analysis, bloodstain pattern, firearms and toolmarks, fingerprints, forensic psychology, and questioned documents.
The forensic science minor complements majors in CCJ, legal studies, psychology, and other related disciplines by providing students with a concentration of forensic science coursework.
As part of the departmental curriculum, students attend presentations from guest lecturers from criminal justice and forensic science professionals, and tour criminal justice and forensic science agencies such as the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and correctional facilities. Students are required to observe a variety of legal and criminal justice proceedings throughout the completion of their coursework to emphasize the connection between theory and practice.
All students pursuing a major in criminology and criminal justice or a forensic science certificate are required to complete an internship in their chosen field as part of their major requirements. Students complete a minimum 120 hour internship concurrently when they enroll in their senior capstone course in criminal justice (CJFS 5660) or forensic science internship course (CJFS 3650). The internship provides a unique opportunity for students to gain hands on experience in their individual field(s) of interest. Past internship sites have included (but are not limited to): Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Crime Lab, United States Office of the Postal Inspector (USPIS), Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Dakota County Sheriff’s Office, Hennepin County Community Corrections, Ramsey County Community Corrections, Minnetonka Police Department, Minneapolis Police Department Crime Lab, Saint Paul Police Department Crime Lab, The Link, Minnesota Coalition of Battered Women, U.S. Marshals, United States Department of Agriculture (investigations unit), Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, and non-profit agencies.
In addition to the various professional opportunities described above, students may also continue their education in graduate programs in criminology, criminal justice, social work, sociology, psychology, public administration, or law. Forensic science certificate students may pursue additional training in chemistry, biology, anthropology, or forensic science graduate programs.
Honors and Student Activities
Students wishing to be considered for honors should request detailed information from department faculty no later than the beginning of spring of their junior year. Honors students must have a GPA of 3.5 or better in the criminology and criminal justice major, and honors projects must be approved by department faculty. Honors projects should exhibit distinctive scholarship, originality of thought, and a high degree of relevance to a major issue in the discipline. In addition, summer collaborative research projects with faculty are possible. Criminology and criminal justice majors and forensic science certificate students may apply for summer collaborative research funds with a department faculty member.
Hamline’s Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science has an active and award winning forensic sciences society. Students pursuing a forensic science certificate or a minor in forensic science can become an active member in this student organization to explore educational and career opportunities in the field of forensic science.
Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Concentration
Hamline University’s Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science is certified by the Minnesota POST Board as a provider of academic training for students seeking licensure as a Minnesota peace officer. Students interested in such licensure are encouraged to declare the POST Concentration as soon as possible after enrollment at the university.
Forensic Science Certificate for Post-baccalaureate Students
The Forensic Science Certificate prepares students to work in crime labs and related offices. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in a natural science from a regionally accredited college or university with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Petitions to earn the certificate through other majors will be evaluated by the chair of the department.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition and fee information is available from the Student Accounts office. Financial aid is available based on individual eligibility. Students must be enrolled in at least six semester credits to qualify for financial aid. For required forms or more information, contact Student Administrative Services at 651-523-3000.
Fall - August 1
Spring - December 1
- Complete the application and provide a personal statement outlining your career and educational goals. You may include any information you feel may be of importance to the Admission Committee. All international applicants must pay a $100 application fee. The application fee is accepted in the form of a bank draft (payable to Hamline University).
- Arrange to have official transcript(s) of previous coursework and one letter of recommendation sent directly to:
Hamline University Office of Graduate Admission
1536 Hewitt Avenue, MS-A1710
Saint Paul, MN 55104-1281
- You will be contacted once your application file is complete and the Admission Committee has made a decision on your application status. Hamline University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status in its education or employment programs or activities.
Gina A. Erickson, assistant professor, criminology and criminal justice. BA, Luther College; MA 2004, University of Iowa; PhD 2012, University of Minnesota. Professor Erickson’s areas of expertise include: criminology, statistics, specialty courts, and demography.
Sarah J. Greenman, assistant professor, criminology and criminal justice. BA, Carleton College; MA 2010, University of Maryland; PhD 2014, University of Maryland. Professor Greenman’s areas of expertise include: victimology, sanctioning, and deterrence.
Susan M.T. Myster, professor, anthropology. BA, Hamline University; MA 1989, PhD 2001, University of Tennessee. Professor Myster’s areas of expertise include: forensic anthropology, human osteology, bioarchaeology, and prehistoric population relationships and migration patterns.
Jillian K. Peterson, assistant professor, criminology and criminal justice. BA, Grinnell College; MA 2009, PhD 2012, University of California, Irvine. Professor Peterson’s areas of expertise include: mental illness, forensic psychology, violent crime, program and policy evaluation.
Shelly S. Schaefer, chair, associate professor, criminology and criminal justice. BA, University of Minnesota; MA 2007, University of Minnesota; PhD 2011, University of Minnesota. Professor Schaefer’s areas of expertise include: criminology, sociology of punishment, juvenile delinquency and juvenile justice policy, and crime policy evaluation.