Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Adam Matz


Throughout history women have worked hard to enter the workplace without prejudice. More often than not, women were faced with negative public perceptions concluding they do not belong in male-dominated professions. However, over time, women have proven they can be just as good as, if not better than their male counterparts. This has been found to be true in war factories during World War II and on the streets with female police officers. Women, however, are still underrepresented when it comes to their roles in policing. This study is an exploratory examination of college students’ perceptions of women in policing. This study is looking at potential trends in students’ attitudes and how they may or may not have changed since Golden (1981) and Austin and Hummer (1994; 2000). Undergraduate criminal justice students who are potentially future law enforcement officers were surveyed in 2006 and 2015 at the University of North Dakota. Results show college students’ perceptions overall have improved. Despite one’s personal views towards women in policing, there is a pervasive skepticism towards citizen and male officer perceptions.