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Welcome to the J. Frank Barefield, Jr. Department of Criminal Justice!

We offer undergraduate programs in Criminal Justice and Digital Forensics, and graduate programs in Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Cyber Security. We also offer a graduate-level joint degree program in Criminal Justice/Master of Public Administration in partnership with the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. Finally, we are home to the university’s Pre-Law Program, jointly sponsored with the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and the Department of Philosophy.

The department is affiliated with UAB's Institute for Human Rights and the UAB Computer Forensics Lab. 

Our Undergraduates Excel

Our comprehensive undergraduate curriculum prepares our students for careers in law enforcement, the courts, corrections, juvenile justice, cybercrime/computer forensics, graduate school, and law school. However, we also offer more than courses to help student excel:

  • The department’s Honors Program provides outstanding students with opportunities for advanced study and faculty mentorship. Students present their honors projects at the Department’s annual Honors and Awards Luncheon held each spring, and in other venues such as the annual UAB EXPO and at regional and national professional meetings. 
  • The criminal justice program is the only one in the State of Alabama that requires students to complete an internship, and the department now has opportunities available with over 50 agencies at the federal, state, and local levels of government, as well as in business and industry. Some of our more popular internships include placements with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Jefferson County Family Court.
  • Students can also become involved in the life of the Department and the College of Arts and Sciences. The Criminal Justice Student Organization and the Pre-Law Society sponsor career events, engage in community service, and host lectures.

Our Graduate Students are in Demand

Our Master of Science in Forensic Science program is one of only 16 FEPAC-accredited programs in the United States and one of the oldest, laboratory-based graduate training programs in North America. Our Master of Science in Criminal Justice program is now available 100% online and is geared to working professionals seeking an advanced degree. Our Master of Science in Cyber Security program is one of the few programs of its type in the world and is geared toward training the next generation of cybercrime investigators and cybersecurity specialists—specialties that continue to be in high demand.

Faculty in the J. Frank Barefield, Jr. Department of Criminal Justice are active research scholars who are also committed to excellence in classroom teaching. We look forward to helping you achieve your educational goals and to you becoming a member of a diverse and vibrant department!