Students and faculty discuss Social Impact Scholar Program

 Criminology & Criminal Justice Major

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Be at the forefront of a changing system. Help build a better, more just world.

The need for new practices and policies in the criminal justice system has never been greater. And there's no better place to explore your big, bold ideas than in our small but mighty state of Vermont. With a focus on social justice, Champlain's Criminology & Criminal Justice program addresses the changing nature of law enforcement today and prepares you to become an ethical, service-minded community leader.

Why Study Criminology & Criminal Justice at Champlain College?

You'll be on the cutting-edge of new ideas. Our innovative curriculum not only prepares you to succeed in today's criminal justice professions, but the ones of tomorrow as well. Covering everything from social and restorative justice, harm reduction, and anti-racism to recent advancements in cybercrime, criminology, and forensic science, Champlain's Criminology & Criminal Justice program empowers students to affect real and lasting change, wherever possible.

You'll learn by doing, starting in your first semester. We believe that the best way to learn is by getting out there and getting your hands dirty. Thanks to our Upside-Down Curriculum, you'll take a variety of criminal justice courses in your first year that will set you up for greater accomplishments in later internships or field work. As you continue your study, you will be able to gain first-hand professional experience within the local Burlington community-a national leader in forward-thinking criminal justice reform. You can even work with current prison inmates through our Prison Law Initiative, helping them do legal research and writing.

You'll gain a breadth of knowledge that will lead you anywhere you want to go. Bringing together the theoretical and the practical, this is a social sciences program with an interdisciplinary approach. Graduates will come away with a greater understanding of the role the criminal justice system plays throughout all facets of society.

  • Learn the fundamental principles needed in criminal justice professions, from the criminal process to the essential elements of substantive criminal law.
  • Study complex topics such as the sociological understanding of criminology and the ever-expanding arena of cybercrime and digital forensics.
  • Examine the manifestations of systemic oppression, engage in anti-racist professional practice, and interrogate the role the criminal justice field plays in advancing social good.
  • Explore related disciplines through a minor. With over 40 minors to choose from, some of the most popular with Criminology & Criminal Justice include Social Justice, Law, Psychology, Conflict Management, Global Studies, Cybersecurity, and Computers & Digital Forensics.

This program was formerly known as Criminal Justice.

Police officer speaks with students at bi-annual Career Fair.

Enter your field with options and confidence.

A bachelor's degree in Criminology & Criminal Justice from Champlain College is backed by deep experience and insight, opening doors to a wide variety of professional paths at the local, state, federal, private and non-profit levels. Potential careers include:

Public defense law
Cybercrime investigation
Law enforcement
Social work
Restorative justice 
Public policy
Investigative journalism

The best aim of the criminal justice system is to provide protection and justice for those most vulnerable and least able to pay for it. It is time to accept the challenge of creating a relevant, beneficial, anti-racist criminal justice program, and criminal justice system.

Read more in Bloomberg News
Tony Perriello, Assistant Dean and Criminology & Criminal Justice Program Director


Pictured above from left to right: Liza Ryan '20 // Criminal Justice and Social Work, with Scott Pavek, an opioid harm reduction advocate and person in recovery, and Sarah George, Chittenden County States Attorney, at a panel discussion on opioid harm reduction measures that was organized by Ryan.

Faculty Experts

You won't find better guides to help you become the community leaders of tomorrow. We have instructors who have been elected and appointed to important Vermont state government positions, have practiced law as prosecutors, and even served on an international war crimes tribunal. They teach you what they've learned on the job, giving you valuable insight to take with you into your professional life.

Pictured above from left to right: Liza Ryan '20 // Criminal Justice and Social Work; with Scott Pavek, an opioid harm reduction advocate and person in recovery; and Sarah George, Chittenden County State's Attorney; at a panel discussion on opioid harm reduction measures that was organized by Ryan.


Because you'll follow an in-depth curriculum in the Criminology & Criminal Justice major starting in your first semester, you'll soon be qualified for the kinds of law enforcement, cybercrime, criminal and social justice internships that many students take on in their final years of college. Students often come away from internships with a new career plan (and sometimes even full-time job offers).

Champlain students cross the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in Northern Ireland

Study Abroad

Establish your place as a global citizen. As a Criminology & Criminal Justice major, a semester abroad is a chance to further enhance your course of study by opening your mind to other cultures and systems of justice. Whether through a third-party program almost anywhere in the world or a Champlain Abroad campus in Dublin or Montreal (where your financial aid will come with you!), we encourage all students to embark on a semester of global exploration

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