Degree Program Overview

SHSU’s bachelor’s degree in victim studies, offered by the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, is the only program of its kind in Texas and one of few in the nation. Graduates of this program are prepared to work in a wide array of career areas with victims of crime, including victim service agencies, police departments, correctional facilities, child protective services, programs serving at-risk youth, and legal advocacy for victims. Victim advocates’ responsibilities include working with the victim to explain legal procedures and available resources, along with encouraging and supporting the victim throughout the court process. They also try to minimize the physical, psychological, and emotional consequences on the crime victim.

“There is a growing awareness of the need to integrate victims into the criminal justice system,” said Dr. Leana Bouffard, a professor in the College of Criminal Justice and Director of the Crime Victims’ Institute. “In the past, victims didn’t have much of a voice. Now there are victim advocacy groups and community service agencies for victims.”


Five core criminal justice courses are required as well as six credits in victim studies-specific classes — including Child Abuse and Neglect, Family Violence, and Crimes Against Women or the Elderly — as well as victim services classes — such as Trauma, Victims Right, and Interviewing. In addition to the core curriculum, the electives include two courses in social justice and three additional offerings in criminal justice, sociology, and psychology. This program does not require a minor; however, a minor in human services is commonly chosen and suggested for victim studies majors.

This is not an online degree program.

Careers in Victim Studies

  • Domestic violence shelters,
  • Anti-drunk driving campaigns, and
  • Agencies that protect
  • Children,
  • The elderly,
  • Immigrants, and
  • Physically and mentally abused

Or continue your education with a graduate degree.

Program Breakdown

Brief breakdown of the type, or types, of degree(s) available, their length, available enrollment, and estimated cost.
Category Degree Summary
Catalog Entry Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Length 120 Credit Hours
Enrollment Fall, Summer, Spring
Tuition/Costs Rates Per Semester

View the Victim Studies brochure (.pdf).

Undergraduate Application Deadlines

  • Fall: August 1
  • Spring: December 1
  • Summer: May 15