At a Glance

Year: '24
Major: Criminal Justice
Activities: Honors College, study abroad, Criminal Justice Honors Society, History Honors Society, Transfer Students Honors Society, Ice Hawks figure skating
Why UML: “I wanted to live on the East Coast somewhere, and UMass Lowell has an excellent criminal justice program. They also offered me a lot of financial aid.”

Criminal Justice BA

As a criminal justice major, you will deepen your understanding of crime-related issues and criminal justice systems and policies, and will learn to apply this knowledge to address social problems.

A self-described “nomad,” honors criminal justice major Cameron McKenzie always took for granted her freedom to travel.

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, which closed borders and shut down travel around the world for almost two years.

“Nobody knew what travel was going to look like when we came out of it,” McKenzie says. “It taught me to do the things you want to do when you can, because you don’t know when there will be limitations.”

For McKenzie, a transfer student from Portland, Oregon, that has meant taking full advantage of study abroad opportunities at UMass Lowell. In just two years, she has participated in three study abroad programs: Chile during winter break in 2022, Madrid over spring break in 2023 and France, Germany and Switzerland during the summer of 2023.

She will do her fourth trip, a three-week program in San Sebastian, Spain, immediately after Commencement.

 “I love to travel, and I love the opportunity that these short-term study abroad trips give me,” says McKenzie, who couldn’t fit a semester-long study abroad program into her packed course schedule.

After earning associate degrees in justice administration and history from Irvine Valley College in California, McKenzie set her sights on transferring to a school on the East Coast. She chose UML for its “excellent criminal justice program” and its generous financial aid package.

“I liked the school when I toured it, but I didn't understand how good of a fit it was for me until I got here and got to know the programs and supports that are in place,” says McKenzie, who belongs to criminal justice, history and transfer student honors societies.

A figure skater in her youth, she also joined the Ice Hawks club team.

During a meeting for transfer honors students, McKenzie learned that students can receive $500 study abroad scholarships from their colleges — which the Honors College will match.

“I've actually paid very little toward my study abroad, thanks to the funding that the school has available,” says McKenzie, who earned a $1,000 Gilman Scholarship to help pay for her trip to Chile.

After taking a brief break from school (“It’s been a long road”), McKenzie plans to enroll in a nursing program and become a traveling nurse.

“I've had my own health struggles in the past, and I want to put my experience in the health field to good use,” she says. “I really don’t want a desk job, and this is a way to incorporate my love of travel into my career.”

After her fourth and final study abroad trip to San Sebastian, McKenzie’s family will meet her in Europe for a post-graduation vacation. There, she will cross the top two destinations off her travel bucket list: Greece and Italy.

Why study abroad

Cameron McKenzie.

“You meet new people from school and spend two or three weeks really getting to know them. Then you see them around campus and catch up. You make those bonds.”