About the School of Criminal Justice

Dean's Message

Welcome to the UAlbany School of Criminal Justice. We are interdisciplinary, international, innovative, and publicly engaged.

One cannot tell the story of the academic fields of criminology and criminal justice without telling the story of the UAlbany School of Criminal Justice.

We were established in 1968, we were the first to offer a PhD in Criminal Justice, and we have been ranked at or near the top since our inception. Our past and present faculty and our PhDs have been the vanguard of crime and justice scholarship for five decades. They include Presidents and Fellows of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) and countless winners of major honors from ASC, ACJS, and other professional organizations. We have awarded nearly 300 PhDs who have gone on to populate academic departments of criminology and criminal justice throughout the nation and the world.

Our School is home to world class faculty. We boast five Distinguished Professors, three ASC Fellows, and a recent ASC Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award winner. Our faculty regularly publish in the leading journals of criminology, criminal justice, and related disciplines. They give invited presentations about their research at leading institutions all over the world. And they consult regularly with criminal justice agencies, government officials, and non-governmental organizations.

Our School is home to outstanding academic programs. Our instructional faculty include three Distinguished Teaching Professors and recent winners of prestigious teaching honors like the UAlbany University Award for Excellence in Teaching and the SUNY-wide Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. We have a selective and rigorous undergraduate program, a highly regarded Master’s Degree program, special MA programs with both the New York State Police and the New York City Police Department, and a world renowned PhD program. Our undergraduate students regularly win university scholarships and awards, and our graduate students are consistently recognized with professional honors. Our incredibly accomplished BA, MA, and PhD alumni include prominent leaders in local, state, national, and international crime and justice agencies, including a former Chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration, both the current Superintendent and the Deputy Superintendent of the New York State Police, and a former Director of the National Institute of Justice. They also include the CEO of a publicly traded cutting edge technology company, the President of an Architecture company, the President and CEO of a prominent community justice organization, university Presidents and Provosts, Deans and department Chairpersons, and of course internationally known scholars who have helped shape the fields of criminology and criminal justice for fifty years.

Our School is a model of interdisciplinary scholarship. We are home to faculty with PhDs in Criminology, Criminal Justice, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, and Public Policy. Our faculty hold courtesy appointments in the UAlbany Departments of Sociology and Psychology and the School of Public Health, and among others are affiliates of the Global Institute for Health and Human Rights and the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis. The School is also home to the internationally recognized Hindelang Criminal Justice Research Center, which coordinates pre- and post-award grant administration, has managed tens of millions of dollars in research grants, and is home to world class research projects. Soon after the founding of our School, its structure came to be known as “The Albany Model” and began to be replicated by other academic criminal justice and criminology programs forming throughout the nation.

Recent successes complement our rich history and reveal a bright future. We are now the editorial home to two of the field’s leading journals, Criminology (shared with University of Maryland, Rutgers, and University of Missouri – St. Louis), and Justice Quarterly. Longtime faculty member and former Dean, Alan Lizotte, was recently named Distinguished Professor. We are creating two new research centers, the Youth Justice Institute and the Laboratory for Decision Making in Crime and Justice. We have a major fundraising initiative underway that has already achieved notable milestones. We have very recently hired outstanding young criminologists – including David Hureau, Evelien Hoeben, and Theodore Wilson – to join our faculty, and we will grow the size of our faculty substantially over the next few years. And UAlbany is experiencing its largest academic expansion in 50 years, including the new College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the new College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity. You can read the latest Dean’s News to keep up to date on the recent successes of School of Criminal Justice faculty, students, and alumni. 2018 will mark the School’s 50th Anniversary. We are planning events throughout that calendar year to celebrate our groundbreaking past, our present successes, and our exciting future.

Finally, I am consistently amazed by the dedication, skill, and professionalism of School of Criminal Justice staff. Very few professors and students are privy to the daily behind-the-scenes efforts of academic staff. As Dean I get a much closer glimpse of their work, and I am convinced the accomplishments of our faculty and students would be considerably diminished without the support of Michele Fox, Stacey Zyskowski, Andie Lawrence, Michele Ellis, and especially Diana Mancini.

I welcome you to explore our website, to learn more about the UAlbany School of Criminal Justice, and perhaps even to join our team.

William Alex Pridemore
Dean and Professor
UAlbany School of Criminal Justice PhD Alumnus, 2000