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, students 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


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)

The Degree

Progress Sheet

The Classes

Course Descriptions


Marie Bonenfant Moves Back to Financial Aid

October 08, 2020

Photo taken prior to Covid-19 pandemic.

Marie Bonenfant (‘13) recently moved back to the Financial Aid office of Finlandia University as a Financial Aid Counselor.

She worked in the Financial Aid Office previously, then moved over to North Wind Books for a short time, but is now working as a Financial Aid Counselor once again.

Bonenfant grew up in the area and graduated from Finlandia in 2013 with a Bachelors in Psychology with a Criminal Justice […] Read More

Finlandia Top Liberal Arts School Great Value
Finlandia Named a Top 30 Liberal Arts College in the Midwest

February 06, 2020

Finlandia University has been named a Top 30 Liberal Arts College in the Midwest according to Great Value Colleges.

“Finlandia is honored to be included in the list of the Top 30 Liberal Arts Colleges in the Midwest, as presented by Great Value College,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Fredi deYampert. “Finlandia is indeed a great value. We are the only liberal arts university in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Our tuition is competitive and the quality of […] Read More

Criminal Justice alumna, Louise Owens (’80), dedicated to helping others at work and home

May 31, 2019

Louise Owens ’80 with her two grandchildren.

Louise Owens (‘80) always wanted to be two things: a police officer and a mother. Although she had been interested in criminal justice since kindergarten, she never imagined herself going to college. She assumed she would enter the workforce as a secretary. Until the day she saw a sign for Suomi College.

“I never expected to go to college, except maybe a local community college,” said Owens, who is originally from Farmington, […] 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.


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Faculty and Staff

Richard Gee

Associate Professor, Criminal Justice

Jason Oyadomari

Associate Professor of Biology & Dean of Suomi College of Arts and Sciences
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