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Department of Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice programs that you will find at Tarleton State University are exceptional because the faculty has the expertise and experience to merge theory with practice providing for a well-rounded, relevant, quality education. We are committed to providing educational opportunities to Criminal Justice professionals and students. The building of strong new programs is evidence that we respond to the changing academic and professional needs of our student population

Our mission is to support the University in providing a quality educational experience for our students. Our charge remains the provision of quality teaching, furnishing students with understanding and insight, as well as the ability to critically assess the dynamics of their society, culture and environment; thereby, preparing them to participate in a complex, diverse and global world. The department seeks to provide quality career professionals to meet Criminal Justice agency needs. Additionally, we seek to afford educational opportunities for our students to participate in chosen career fields and/or graduate study by offering quality instruction, ongoing research and dedicated service to the university, our discipline and the community.

Programs & Opportunities

Criminal Justice Association members behind table at campus event.

Criminal Justice Association

The Tarleton State University Criminal Justice Association or ‘CJA’ is open to all Criminal Justice majors and minors in Stephenville or Waco. Take advantage of the opportunity to network with professionals, engage with like-minded individuals and increase your knowledge of the industry.  

"Alpha Phi Sigma - National Criminal Justice Honor Society 75 years" and seal

Alpha Phi Sigma

Alpha Phi Sigma is the nationally recognized honor society for students in the criminal justice sciences. The society recognizes academic excellence by undergraduates as well as graduate students of criminal justice. Set yourself apart, and diversify your educational resume with participation in this industry respected organization. 

The Lincoln Memorial

The Pre-Law Program

The pre-law program at Tarleton is a group that deals directly with interest in the law. Any interested student may join, even if they do not plan to go to law school. This program is a collaboration across many degree programs and with the student-led Pre-Law Association to assist students who are considering law school or legal professions. 

Tarleton Police Department Tahoe


Department of Criminal Justice offers students internships through:

  • Tarleton State University Police,
  • Erath County Sheriff's Office,
  • Granbury Police Department,
  • Stephenville Police Department and
  • Juvenile Probation.