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CASSH Welcomes Criminology, Criminal Justice and Legal Studies

August 16, 2023 | Brandy Gottlieb |

A person is speaking to a class.
The Escambia County Sheriff's Office addresses a group of students.

The UWF College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities is proud to welcome the Department of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Legal Studies. 

The new department will house three undergraduate programs, four undergraduate minors, two undergraduate certificates and a graduate program. These will include Criminal Justice, B.A.; Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, B.A. in Child & Society; Legal Studies, B.A.; Minor in Criminal Justice; Minor in Juvenile Justice; Minor in Forensic Studies; Minor in Pre-Law; the Certificate in Fraud Examinations; the Certificate in Intelligence Analysis; and an M.S. in Criminal Justice.

Amy Mitchell-Cook, interim dean of CASSH, stated, “we are excited for the addition of these programs to CASSH’s offerings. We look forward to supporting the success of our new faculty and students as well as the potential exciting interdisciplinary collaborations.” 

In 2019, Dr. Hasan Buker joined UWF as an associate professor and the former chair of the UWF Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Buker will step into the chair role of the newly established Department of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Legal Studies under CASSH. 

Of his new role, Buker says, “The move to CASSH will allow our students and faculty to have new meaningful conversations while furthering scholarship, instruction and inquiry into their respective fields. I look forward to stepping into this new role with the the Department of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Legal Studies.”

Mitchell-Cook acknowledges the long-standing success of the incoming programs. 

Criminology and Criminal Justice prepares students with the knowledge and tools to think critically about crime, criminals, criminal justice and the law. The programs prepare and enhance the development of effective criminal justice professionals with a commitment to understand and embrace the importance of diversity in society.

The UWF Legal Studies major is a pre-law program that offers the same courses and concepts students will see during their first year in law school or in law firms. The program has been ranked as a Top 10 Legal Studies program nationwide both by and by Affordable Schools. The rankings and existing partnerships with Florida State University Law and Stetson Law schools make the program an excellent choice for preparation into the law field. 

The UWF Mock Trial Courtroom, an on-campus courtroom setting, will continue offering students opportunities to hone critical thinking skills and legal strategies. The UWF Mock Trial Team will continue their regular competitions as well as hosting the annual UWF Argo Invitational Mock Trial Tournament. 

Mitchell-Cook says the additional programs to CASSH will intersect well and effectively complement CASSH’s pre-existing programs. One such collaboration is set to culminate with a performance on Sept. 16, 4 p.m. at the Center for Fine and Performing Arts. Theatre students will collaborate with the Legal Studies program to perform a re-enactment of the 1962 James Meredith Trial. 

For more information about the Department of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, or related programs, visit