By Department of Criminal Justice

U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best Graduate Schools rankings once again reflect UCF's excellence in criminal justice, emergency and crisis management, engineering and public administration.

UCF’s criminal justice graduate program placed 22. This is up four spots in the national rankings.

“This rise reflects the increased profile of our department within our disciplinary associations, scholarly research productivity, public criminology efforts to disseminate research findings to broad academic and practitioner audiences, and the collaborative research networks of our faculty that include work with scholars and practitioner partners in the United States and across the globe,” says Catherine Kaukinen, professor and chair of UCF’s Department of Criminal Justice.

Among its 83 peer institutions and programs, UCF’s Department of Criminal Justice is now ranked fourth in article market share for the top 20 journals and ninth for all journal outlets. “We are proud of the impact we’ve made in our article market share as measured by Academic Analytics. This is a marked increase from the program’s productivity on scholarly publishing from the 2007 to 2010 Academic Analytics’ data collection,” says Kaukinen.

The department has also seen success in its increase in externally funded grants and projects as well as awards from state and local agencies and governments. Faculty members received federal awards from the National Science Foundation, National Institute for Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Institute of Justice, U.S. Probation, and the Office on Violence Against Women.

The criminal justice doctoral program is heading into its sixth year, and three of its graduates have been placed in tenure-earning faculty positions. The program has a core focused on criminal justice theory and institutions, research methods in the scientific method and social-science statistics, and a selection of criminal justice specializations such as policing, corrections and juvenile justice.

The department has continued to focus on its core faculty research strengths in corrections, juvenile justice, policing, and violence and victimization. Since 2015, ten additional tenured or tenure-earning faculty joined the department. The faculty are award-winning scholars with numerous national recognitions from professional organizations, including many of the divisions within the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

With more than 1,800 students in undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, criminal justice is a top degree-conferring department at UCF.  “We collaborate on college and university-wide initiatives to facilitate teaching and research collaborations. Our faculty and staff are committed to engaging in inclusive teaching, experiential learning, student internships and research-intensive experiences that support the educational environment and strategic mission of UCF,” says Kaukinen.