About Criminal and Community Justice

Viterbo offers a B.A. and a B.S. in criminal and community justice and minors in both criminal and community justice and in sociology. Additionally, students have the ability to attain certifiable status as a police officer in the state of Wisconsin and are able to attain AODA certification.

Consistent with the Franciscan values of Viterbo University, we strive to create in our students a sense of the importance of justice in all areas of social life, respect for the human dignity of each individual, and a life-long commitment to service in our communities.

We believe the strength of our program is in its multi-disciplinary focus. It allows both faculty and students to broaden their learning environment by appreciating the connections across disciplines (criminal and community justice, philosophy, sociology, social work, and psychology). There is also a strong focus on ethical approaches and leadership. Additionally, students have the benefit of excellent part-time faculty who are professionals in the community.  

We provide a strong academic foundation offering an array of theoretical, practical, and applied courses. Our interdisciplinary focus contains strengths for  developing the research skills of our students. Classes are small and therefore encourage interaction and discussion and more individualized attention.

Our faculty and staff are dedicated to assisting students in their long-term development. Faculty members utilize a hands-on, personal approach with our students. You will meet individually with your advisors to develop your academic and career plans for your future. Because of our belief in developing students’ professionalism, we also have the Criminal Justice and Sociology Club.

We invite you to join our program with its commitment to understanding society in the 21st century and taking that knowledge and applying it to our professional and personal lives.

What makes Viterbo's criminal and community justice program special?

  • Our program highlights the importance of the connections between the criminal and the various programs and resources in the community which contribute to maintaining the safety of the community.
  • All of our faculty have teaching and research expertise in the field of criminal justice. In addition, many courses are taught by current criminal justice professionals or individuals with extensive prior experience working in the system.
  • Our graduates secure jobs in all areas of the criminal justice system. Job placements of some recent graduates include the La Crosse City Police Department, Juneau County Sheriff's Department, Wisconsin Department of Probation and Parole, Columbia County Jail, ATTIC Correctional Services, and YWCA Mediation and Restorative Justice Services.
  • All criminal and community justice majors must complete an internship designed to prepare them for careers in their desired professions. Students may choose to satisfy this requirement by completing the Law Enforcement Academy, which results in certification to be a police officer in the state of Wisconsin.
  • The program is designed to allow students the option of choosing a double major in social work or psychology.
  • Our department houses a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice honor society.  Students who meet the eligibility requirements are welcome to join and enjoy the benefits of membership in this prestigious organization.