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Chair's Welcome

Welcome to the Department of Criminology at California State University, Fresno! The Department of Criminology offers a unique and vibrant program of study. We are the largest major on campus with over 1800 undergraduate and graduate students. The Department provides students with an excellent education and valuable foundation for working in the criminal justice system, victim services, and allied professions, as well as for pursuing continued education in graduate and law school programs.

We offer two undergraduate majors, Criminology and Forensic Behavioral Sciences. Those majoring in Criminology are required to select one of these three academic specializations:  Corrections, Law Enforcement, or Victimology. The majors and options provide students with specialized preparation for their chosen careers while also providing an excellent theoretical foundation for further study at the graduate level. The Department also hosts an Honors program for undergraduate students. Those wishing to be in the Honors program undergo a rigorous selection process and must maintain a 3.5 grade point average each semester until graduation.

     At the graduate level, students develop specializations through elective courses and by working one-on-one with faculty on research projects, publications, presentations at academic conferences, and on funded grants. These opportunities provide an excellent foundation for advancing professionally, as well as being competitive candidates for law degrees and doctoral programs.

    Students are very fortunate to be taught by outstanding faculty who are recognized and have earned awards nationally and internationally for their pioneering research, publications, and consultation to the field. Faculty also has strong working relationships and collaborative partnerships with an array of criminal justice agencies in Fresno, throughout the San Joaquin Valley, and at the state and national levels. Students are also taught by practitioners who are currently working or have retired from prestigious careers as high level administrators in law enforcement and corrections; prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, and judges; probation and parole officers; criminal investigators, psychologists and mental health professionals; as well as those working in victim services. Our faculty is dedicated to providing our students with the very best education and preparation for a professional career in the criminal justice system.

     To this end, students who have selected options in Corrections, Law Enforcement, and Victimology are required to complete an internship prior to graduation. Students are placed in one of over 150 criminal justice agencies at the local, state, and federal agencies in law enforcement, corrections, victim services, as well as community corrections facilities, group homes, law firms, and within private security and community benefit organizations. Students donate 120 hours of service to their internship placements and together provided 40,000 hours of service during the last academic year alone. Students in the Forensic Behavioral Sciences option and graduate students are able to complete an internship as an elective.

    The Department of Criminology is proud of its longstanding collaborative partnership with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office to provide CRIM 108: Directed Policing to students. There is no comparable program that trains students to be sworn Deputy Reserve Officers while completing their undergraduate degrees. Students make a multi-semester commitment to complete Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) Modules III and II. Students in the CRIM 108 program serve as sworn reserve deputy sheriffs in a uniformed patrol capacity making arrests, writing reports, conducting drug interdiction, keeping custody of prisoners, and interviewing suspects, victims and witnesses. Students can also participate in several specialty programs including boating units, helicopter patrol, a K-9 unit, and other duties as assigned. Alumni from this program have gone on to serve at all levels of the Sheriff's Office, to work as Chiefs of Police, and are actively employed at all levels and in a variety of agencies of law enforcement in Fresno, California, and throughout the United States.

    We are proud of the many accomplishments of our students individually and collectively through their competitions as part of our three student organizations - Alpha Phi Sigma (the national Criminology Honors Society), Phi Omega Alpha (the national criminal justice fraternity), and our nationally ranked Mock Trial Organization.

      The Department of Criminology provides excellent academic programs and opportunities for our students. We are a program of distinction and, students and faculty alike, are actively engaged in all aspects of the criminal justice field. I invite you to learn more about the Department of Criminology by perusing our website. If you have any questions, please contact me directly at

Peter English, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Criminology