California State University, San Bernardino has raised the stature of its criminal justice program, elevating it from a department to the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

“The new school designation will raise our status and may offer greater appeal to federal agencies, foundations, and philanthropic organizations seeking to support university and community partnerships focused on improving relationships and developing innovative strategies to address public safety concerns,” said Andrea Schoepfer, the school’s director.

Enhanced will be the school’s ability to reach, attract, educate and impact students, practitioners and the local community. 

“With nationally and internationally recognized faculty committed to student achievement and success, the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice is in a position to make an impact through scholarship and research that empowers our students to not only shape their own futures, but also the futures of the communities in which they work and live,” said Rafik Mohamed, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, where the school is housed.

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice promotes criminal justice education, research and policy analysis for educators, students and practitioners. Its curriculum focuses on the history and functions of the criminal justice system, research design, policy implementation, theoretical and environmental causes of crime and practical skills for those interested in a career in criminal justice and related fields.

The curriculum also acknowledges and focuses on the systemic failures to address disparities within the criminal justice system locally and across the country. “We are committed to educating our students and our community on the realities and misconceptions of the criminal justice system, societal reactions to crime and criminals, and meaningful evidence-based practices,” Schoepfer said.

Before it was designated a school, the criminal justice department was annually listed in national rankings, such as:

  • U.S. News and World Report, No. 38 in its “Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs” ranking;
  •, No. 18 in its “Top 50 Criminal Justice Degree Programs for 2020” list; and
  • Best Value Schools, No. 4 in the nation in its “15 Best Online MA Programs in Criminal Justice, 2021” list.

In addition, Best Value Schools in 2021 ranked as No. 1 in California the fully online Criminal Justice BA Degree Completion Program, offered through CSUSB’s College of Extended and Global Education. The program also offers a certificate in Homeland Security, providing students the option to enroll in the six-course certificate that counts toward their elective course requirement, designating CSUSB as the only university in the state of California offering a Homeland Security Certificate.

The faculty, recognized nationally and internationally among the top of their field, share their real-world experiences to challenge students, giving them the skills and tools for their future careers.

The Center for Criminal Justice Research provides faculty, undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities to dive deep into topics such as gangs, drug trafficking, crime prevention, cybersecurity, white collar crime and terrorism to prepare them for their life’s work finding solutions that benefit the community.

The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism is on the cutting edge of analyzing and tracking hate crimes and extremism, and is often called upon by news media and policy makers for its expertise.

And the school is collaborating with the university’s Department of World Languages and Literatures on a Criminal Justice Spanish Certificate, launched this fall semester, for students majoring in criminal justice disciplines, funded by a U.S. Department of Education’s Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language program grant of nearly $340,000.