Arts & Sciences

Criminal Justice

Learn to serve and protect

A Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice helps you develop skills to make a difference in your community




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Criminal justice majors learn the skills necessary to be successful in a variety of different occupations. Instead of focusing on what you would learn at a police academy, FinnU’s criminal justice program focuses on the larger scope of skills that are applicable to the field. Skills such as writing, ethics, public speaking and how to utilize data-driven statistics and research methods.


Criminal justice encompasses a number of different disciplines and interests. In order to explore these interests, FinnU’s criminal justice program allows you to select a final capstone research project that will help with your career goals or academic interests. In addition, if there is a topic you are interested in exploring and FinnU does not offer a class on it, our faculty will work with you to develop a customized class based on your interest and need.


Criminal justice majors have the opportunity to travel abroad to learn more about other justice systems from around the world. From Finland to the former Soviet Union, you are introduced to how social justice is viewed in a different context.


A degree in criminal justice sets you up for success in whatever criminal justice field you are interested in pursuing. FinnU’s criminal justice program boasts a high job placement rate after college in organizations ranging in the local, state, federal and private sectors. Where you are looking to continue your education in graduate or law school, or jump right into the field, places FinnU criminal justice alumni have gone on to include:

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Customs and Border Patrol
  • State Police
  • Department of Child and Family Services
  • Corrections (State and Federal)
  • Law School
  • Graduate School


In the Spring of 2021, Finlandia signed an articulation agreement with Northern Michigan University to create a clear pathway to a Master’s in Social Work degree from NMU. While the agreement doesn’t guarantee you a place in NMU’s MSW program, it will give you a leg up in the application process by:

  • Ensuring you have completed all pre-reqs for the program
  • No application fee
  • Early decision by December of the year prior to graduation (most students have to wait until Feb. 28)
  • Proving you with opportunities to meet with Northern’s MSW faculty early in your academic career

Interested in learning more? Ask your admissions officer or academic advisor for all the details.


Listen to Cold Case Homicide Detective Clem Papineau’s story of how his time at Finlandia (formerly Suomi College) prepared him for an illustrious career in the military and the Little Rock police force.

"Dr. Gee has been a mentor since day one. He's kind of been a father figure to me actually. He just provides so much guidance and has helped me out a lot. When I didn't understand something he took me aside and said 'Hey, come talk with me, we'll work this out' on an assignment or just life. It's really cool because you don't get that at a bigger college, where you're kind of on your own. Here it's totally different. The faculty genuinely cares about their students."

Christopher Dennis ('17)

“The system of due process can be lengthy and complicated. It’s my job to understand how to navigate people through that process. I get to hold their hand through some difficult times and say, ‘I understand.’ I help people in a way that most people won’t ever get to. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to practice law, a wonderful profession and I’m still opening that box.”

Erica Payne ('07)

"I especially love how helpful the professors are here, and the small class sizes, which were similar to my high school. I was originally torn between Criminal Justice and Psychology, but I figured I may have more opportunities with Criminal Justice, but I am minoring in Psychology still. I lived in a small town with a lot of drug problems, so I wanted to go into this field because every town can use the help, and I want to make a difference. "

Shane Voldarski ('22)

The Degree

Progress Sheet

The Classes

Course Descriptions


Dr. Richard Gee receiving 2022 Distinguished Faculty Award
Dr. Richard Gee earns 2022 Distinguished Faculty Award

July 13, 2022

Dr. Richard Gee joined Finlandia’s Suomi College of Arts & Sciences in 2012 when he was brought on to develop the University’s Criminal Justice curriculum. After revising, creating and teaching more than 30 different courses and establishing multiple articulation agreements for continued learning, Gee was honored at this year’s spring commencement with the 2022 Board of Trustees Distinguished Faculty Award.

“I was honored to be nominated by Dr. Virtanen for the award,” Gee said. “I […] Read More

2022 Commencement
Finlandia honors graduating Class of 2022

May 04, 2022

On Sunday, May 1, Finlandia University held its annual Spring Commencement Ceremony honoring 84 graduates in the Class of 2022. There was standing room only in the Hirvonen Hall Auditorium with more than 700 in attendance.

In his greeting, President Johnson opened with Finlandia’s Land Acknowledgment:

“Finlandia University was founded as Suomi College by Finnish Lutheran immigrants in 1896 on land ceded by the Anishnaabe people in the Treaty of 1842. We seek to honor and respect the sacred and enduring kinship […] Read More

Meet your Fall 2021 Orientation Leaders

August 19, 2021

Finlandia is excited to introduce its Fall 2021 Orientation Leaders. On-Campus Orientation is a series of in-person events and activities that will introduce students to the Finlandia campus and community. Each new student will be assigned to an orientation group or “flock”, named after a bird species that is present in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Each flock will have a different orientation schedule, which will be provided to students after they arrive on campus. We encourage students to ask questions and […] Read More


  1. Communication: Communicate with clarity and originality using interviewing and interrogation skills to effectively deal with victims and suspects, and when testifying in a court of law.
  2. Analytic and Critical Thinking: Observe, infer, determine relationships, and draw conclusions regarding how laws are written and their impact on the rights of individuals and society.
  3. Creative Insight: Apply investigative techniques, logic, and critical thinking skills to bring a case to its logical conclusion.
  4. Personal Perspective: Function in a multicultural society as a mature, adaptable citizen, while meeting the needs and challenges of clients and communities.
  5. Global Perspective: Create, integrate, and evaluate ideas across a range of disciplines, including sociology, politics, and science, among others.


Fill out the form below and our staff will be in touch with you shortly to help you schedule a visit, start your application process or answer questions!

Apply Today!

Begin Your Application

Faculty and Staff

Richard Gee

Associate Professor, Criminal Justice


Cassandra Hill, Ph.D.

Dean (Suomi College of Arts & Sciences/International School of Art & Design)


Mariana Nakashima

Administrative Assistant ISB - SCAS

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