Why Justice?

What is Justice and why should I study it?


To study the justice system is to study the interplay between police, courts and corrections and how the three work together. Justice also covers criminology, or why people do the things that they do, as well as the juvenile justice system and the differences in how it operates from the adult justice system. 





The Department of Justice at UAF is dedicated to ensuring that students are prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation, armed with the knowledge and skills needed to help them succeed.

You study topics such as:

Police work

duties, responsibilities, opportunities, rules & procedures, ethical obligations, & controversial issues associated with law enforcement.

Court systems

duties, responsibilities, opportunities, and ethical obligations of lawyers, judges, and other court personnel; the life cycle of a court case; and courtroom rules & procedures and legal terminology.


duties, responsibilities, opportunities, ethical obligations, and controversial issues associated with correctional work; corrections oversight pretrial and post-sentence; and understanding the challenges created by institutionalization.



What can you do with a Justice degree?

Andrew Heckman shakes hands with UAF Alumni Association representative Rhonda Widener after earning a degree in Justice during UAF's 2015 commencement ceremony. | UAF Photo by Todd Paris

Career preparation is at the heart of what we do. Graduates leave us with an in-depth understanding of the justice system that translates to a number of professions. 

Our graduates go on to work in a wide array of occupations.  Examples include: district attorneys; criminal defense attorneys; judges; courtroom staff; law enforcement officers at the tribal, state, and federal levels; military justice; and correctional officers (ranging from district attorneys and public defenders to probation officers in jails and prisons. Many of these graduates go on to become supervisors in their respective departments or agencies.

Some careers justice majors go on to pursue are...


... and more!



While a degree in justice makes for a natural pair with social work or psychology, it can also be combined with more unexpected fields to tailor a career specifically to your interests.


A few years ago, we had an undergraduate student who was getting her B.A. in justice. This student loved baking and cooking so, along with her justice degree, she got a 30-credit certificate in culinary arts through the CTC where she learned things like commercial kitchen management and food ordering. She was able to combine her degree in justice with her avocation in culinary arts to pursue a career as the coordinator for an institutional food service program.


To learn not only from the textbooks but also from the instructor's real-life experiences from their criminal justice careers is invaluable and exciting. I have been able to apply knowledge from my courses to my career and am continuing on with Master of Arts in Administration of Justice.

-Shasta Pomeroy, Data Management Clerk at Fairbanks Police Department




Justice at the University of Alaska Fairbanks




Earn college credit for your service




  1. *Twelve credits for MP (Military Police) or SF (Security Forces), including credit toward specific classes in the justice major: JUST F110X Intro to Justice, JUST F345 Police Problems, JUST F352 Criminal Law, and JUST F475 Internship.

  2. *All service members who have completed basic and specific job training will be evaluated for MILS (Military Studies) credit from the JST (Joint Service Transcript) or the CCAF (Community College of the Air Force). Most service members receive 10 credits for training applying directly to their Justice Major!

*This does not dual count with options 1 and 2, so it is one or the other, but not both.

Additionally, see the UAF Military and Veteran Services regarding VA GI BillĀ® or TA questions.

GI BillĀ® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Law Enforcement Academy


12 credits applied to the Justice Major

Credit can be awarded through an academic transcript or Law Enforcement Academy Certificate for a 1) law enforcement academy, 2) peace officer academy, or 3) completion of military police training for the following classes (substitution for transcripts):

  • JUST F110X Introduction to Justice
  • JUST F340 Rural Justice in Alaska
  • JUST F345W Police Problems
  • JUST F352 Criminal Law
  • JUST F354 Procedural Law
  • JUST F358 Juvenile Delinquency
  • JUST F475 Internship

Corrections Academy


9 Credits applied to the Justice Major

Credit can be awarded through an academic transcript or Correctional Academy Certificate for a 1) corrections academy, 2) probation academy, or 3) parole academy for the following classes (substitution for transcripts):

  • JUST F110X Introduction to Justice
  • JUST F310 Principles of Corrections
  • JUST F315 Correctional Counseling and Rehabilitation
  • JUST F358 Juvenile Delinquency
  • JUST F475 Internship



crime scene

The opportunity to study justice in Alaska is one-of-a-kind. The State itself is young with many growing and developing agencies, offering many opportunities for justice reform and policy development. Required courses include JUST F340 - Rural Justice in Alaska, which promotes the understanding of the history of Alaska and its colonization, present-day issues faced in rural Alaska and the intersecting roles of tribal, state and Federal governments.





The Department of Justice offers three ways for B.A. students to complete their capstone project: 


Online Options

Undergraduate and master's degrees can be completed partially or completely online. This flexibility can be particularly helpful to military families, working professionals or those with family responsibilities who cannot necessarily solely focus on higher education. In addition, students may take classes at the other UA colleges to help fulfill their degree requirements. 

Please reach out to the department for more information.

How can I get involved around campus?

The UAF Department of Justice offers many opportunities to get involved beyond the classroom. Learn about some student organizations that might be of interest to our Justice students:


Learn how to be a public servant




The Department of Justice encourages career exploration through internships so students get a sense of what different jobs entail. Some agencies our students have interned with are the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and University Police Department on campus, the Alaska State Troopers and Fairbanks Police Department, the Alaska Court System, District Attorney Office, Public Defender Agency, private law offices, the Division of Juvenile Justice, and others. Once they leave the Justice program, they are well prepared with the knowledge and experience to find their way into whichever area they would like to pursue.


If you're going to be a public servant, you need to learn how to be a public servant. Volunteer work in any of the many nonprofit agencies around Fairbanks helps you develop a public service attitude, build a network with other service-oriented individuals, and develop hands-on experience to translate your learning to practice.

Department-hosted events

Every semester the Department of Justice hosts an informal student gathering to discuss different aspects of the program. Sometimes the discussions are career-oriented, some are on internships, while other times it is simply general information about the program. Guest speakers have come, ranging from a sitting justice on the Alaska Supreme Court to FBI agents to those in criminal justice.


Our students gain an appreciation of cultural competency, understanding that we don't all look at the world through the same lens, and when we try to use a unified justice system and apply it to people with varying backgrounds, it's going to have varying results. That understanding creates an environment where we can begin to build a workable situation given people's different backgrounds, culture experiences, and traditions.

Our smaller class sizes mean students work more closely with faculty, whose proven mentorship has been consistently demonstrated through a strong record of graduating students and job placement year after year.