College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Department of Criminal Justice

We prepare criminal justice professionals who understand crime, criminals, victims, and the systems that create and define them—and use this understanding to inform change.

With some of the fastest growing programs at the University, the Department of Criminal Justice offers bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs. Our students learn foundational and advanced knowledge of criminal justice, criminology, and investigative sciences.

We have a long tradition of quality teaching, advocacy, and research and are proud of our faculty’s expertise in Criminal Justice research on terrorism, policing, law, corrections, juvenile delinquency, forensic investigation, social justice, and crime prevention. In addition to teaching a variety of undergraduate courses, faculty members continue to advise, research, and publish books and articles widely referenced by students, criminal justice professionals, and policymakers.

Our programs focus on the lifecycle of criminology. You’ll learn about the origins of criminal behavior, structure, function, and responsibilities of crime control agencies, as well as law enforcement, laws and regulations, prosecution, courts and corrections, juvenile justice, forensic investigation, as well as social justice issues.

Whether pursuing professional opportunities or an advanced degree, you’ll graduate with the skills needed to succeed at both.

Purple and gold logo for Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society

Criminal Justice Honor Society

Are you an undergraduate or graduate student with a well-earned GPA? You may be eligible to join Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society.

Our Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

We offer a variety of undergraduate and graduate applied social science programs that bridge theory to practice through social science perspectives and methodologies.

Undergraduate Programs

Criminal Justice


Forensic Investigation


Graduate Programs

Criminal Justice


Policing Strategies


Investigative Sciences


See where a criminal justice career can take you

We prepare Criminal Justice students for entry level, supervisory, investigative and research careers as well as promotion for persons currently working in the Criminal Justice field. Some students go on to pursue employment in fields such as parole and probation, adult and juvenile corrections, crime scene investigation, and police administration/strategies while others prepare for law school or pursue graduate and professional studies.

Law Enforcement Officer
Industrial Security Personnel
Correctional Management Administrator

Internships and Cooperative Education

Students in our bachelor’s and minor programs benefit from hands-on learning experiences through the required internship. Working in a criminal justice-related organization, students work side-by-side with industry practitioners, while also learning through observation and exposure.

Student Advising

The Department matches all Criminal Justice students with an advisor according to the first initial of a student’s last name. Each student must meet with their assigned advisor at least once every semester. We also recommend students connect with their advisor before registering for any Criminal Justice classes. Your advising sessions are an opportunity to review your advisement form, a roadmap that guides you through program and course requirements.

For reference, the Department also posts a list of all advisors on the door to the department office. If your advisor is unavailable, we recommend students go to the department chair or other faculty member for help.

Interested in attending law school?

Coppin and University of Baltimore School of Law have partnered to offer a unique law school preparation program called the Fannie Angelos Program for Academic Excellence. The Angelos Scholars Program and LSAT Award Program both include an LSAT prep course taught on Coppin’s campus each spring semester. Program application deadlines are in the fall.

University Non-Discrimination Statement

Coppin State University is committed to equality of educational opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants, students, or employees based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or handicap. Moreover, Coppin State University is open to people of all races and actively seeks to promote racial integration by recruiting and enrolling all races.

Faculty and Staff

Our department boasts highly qualified and student-focused faculty and staff. Faculty members hold advanced degrees from leading U.S. universities and have considerable practical, teaching, research, and service expertise. Our students’ interests and needs are the faculty’s most important concerns. Faculty are actively involved with students through collegiate and community activities.

Johnny Rice
Chairperson and Associate Professor


Can Help With
Course Information
Internship and Research Opportunities
Associate Professor


Associate Professor/Coordinator of Graduate Programs


Can Help With
Community Policing, Criminal Justice Leadership & Management
Criminal Procedure & Constitutional Law
Terrorism & Homeland Security
Darlene Brothers-Gray


Can Help With
Crime Scene Reconstruction
Sexual Assault Kits


Administrative Assistant/Adjunct Instructor


Min Zhang
Assistant Professor


Can Help With
Academic Advisement
Course Information

The Department of Criminal Justice is within the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.