Dr. Jeri Kirby
Chair, Department of Social Science
College of Liberal Arts
115 Hardway Hall
Criminal Justice examines the structure, functions, and decision-making processes of agencies that deal with crime and criminal offenders. As an independent academic discipline, criminal justice is comparatively new. Interest in criminal justice education was spurred by the "war on crime" during the 1960's and the resulting massive federal funding to upgrade criminal justice agencies, technology, programming and education of criminal justice personnel.
Faculty in this program provide expertise in law enforcement, investigations, corrections, criminal law, research and theory. The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice allows the student flexibility to choose courses which best reflect their individual interests and career aspirations.
The program provides students with a solid foundation in theory and research. Furthermore, majors receive hands-on experience with our state-of-the-art firearms simulation lab, and in our crime scene investigation, fingerprinting, and mock trial courses. Advanced students have the opportunity to present their research at state and national conferences and to participate in scholarship, research paper and crime scene competitions. A variety of internships are also available for those who qualify.
Students can also choose to minor in criminal justice at Fairmont State or chose the program as part of their Pre-Law studies.
Students with a B.S. degree in criminal justice qualify for employment in city, county, state, and federal criminal justice agencies, and in the rapidly-growing private industrial security field. A number of graduates continue their education in graduate programs in criminal justice, criminology or law. The program also offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree.
The following are jobs our Criminal Justice majors seek upon graduation:
The Criminal Justice Program acknowledges its relationship to the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Social Science and the interdisciplinary nature of its discipline and seeks through its curriculum to provide students with a broad foundation of knowledge grounded in the social and behavioral sciences. The program further seeks to provide majors with an understanding of the functions, roles and critical issues associated with law enforcement, corrections and the courts.
For Stephanie Viekman, a nontraditional freshman, she knew Fairmont State University was the perfect fit for her. After attending orientation, it felt like home.
“I’d been around and I really liked the campus. After orientation, I just knew it was the right place,” she said. “We got to hear the president speak and every single professor I met just wanted to help me, they told me they wanted to get me where I needed to be.”
Fairmont State students spend summer doing all sorts of things from jobs to vacations. Kira N. Guier, an honors student from Kearneysville, West Virginia, studied this summer at The Washington Center and interned at DC127.
Kira, a junior, is double majoring in criminal justice and history.