Undergraduate Catalog 2008-2009
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Criminal Justice Studies (BS) | Office | Website


Courses in criminal justice lead to a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, which prepares one to work in a wide variety of careers, public and private, at various levels of responsibility. These careers include federal, state, and local policing; other regulatory agencies of various branches of government; various levels of private investigation and private security; and a variety of careers in corrections, including parole and probation as well as institutional corrections. Students planning on pursuing a law degree have often found criminal justice a relevant major.

Criminal Justice is an interdisciplinary area that draws much of its content from law, psychology, political science, and sociology. The goal of the criminal justice curriculum is to make students aware of the key issues, concepts, and theories involved in understanding the operation of the criminal justice system. With this knowledge, students are taught to analyze the practical issues and controversies of the field from a social justice perspective. Problem solving, the ability to make discriminating judgments, and the application of theory to practice are key skills that the program fosters.

Degree Requirements

Students are required to complete course requirements in three general areas: (a) University core curriculum (approximately 45 cr.), (b) supportive courses and (c) major concentration.

University Core Curriculum
See University Core Curriculum for more information on the University Core Curriculum. Specifically, the student should follow the core for the College of Liberal Arts & Education.

Supportive Courses (15 cr.)
To insure that they have a good background in the key areas on which criminal justice is based, students will take at least five courses in the social sciences: Sociology, Psychology, and Political Science. Up to two courses in Human Services, Social Work and Addiction Studies may also be counted toward this requirement. (Note: All courses below are three credit courses.)

The only specific supportive course that is required is:
PYC 342 Abnormal Psychology 3
The Introductory courses, namely Sociology 100, Psychology 100, and Political Science 100 are recommended, though higher level social science courses may be substituted with the advisor's approval. Note that supportive courses may also meet University Core Curriculum requirements.

Criminal Justice Major: Required Courses

Required (36 credits)
CJS 130 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3
CJS 131 Introduction to Corrections 3
CJS 395 Criminal Investigation 3
CJS 410 Criminal Law 3
CJS 415 Juvenile Justice 3
CJS 420 Evidence and Criminal Procedure 3
CJS 451 Criminology and Penology 3
CJS 454 Sociology of Deviant Behavior 3
CJS 492 Senior Seminar: Theory and Research in Criminal Justice 3
In addition to the above nine courses, the student must take three elective Criminal Justice courses (this may include courses with an SEC or HUS prefix, with advisor's approval).

Principal Criminal Justice Electives
SEC 401 Security Systems and Crime Prevention 3
CJS 250 Introduction to Police Administration 3
CJS 398 Technology and Criminal Justice 3
CJS 399 Narcotics and the Police 3
CJS 402 Court Structures and Functions 3
CJS 416 Gangs and Deviant Social Groups 3
CJS 450 Institutional Corrections 3
CJS 452 Organized Crime 3
CJS 456 Aggressive Behavior 3
CJS 458 Profiling and Threat Assessment 3
CJS 460 Community Corrections 3
CJS 480 Theory of Law Enforcement 3
CJS 481 Women, Crime and Justice 3
CJS 482 Terrorism 3
CJS 483 Family Violence: Spouse and Child Abuse 3
CJS 484 Psychology, Psychiatry, and the Law 3
CJS 485 Critical Issues in Criminal Justice 3
CJS 487 Victimology 3
CJS 488 Sex Crimes 3
CJS 489 White Collar Crime 3
CJS 490 Internship in Criminal Justice Studies 3
CJS 495 Criminalistics 3
CJS 499 Violence in the Workplace 3

Field Experience
The Criminal Justice Studies major may obtain field experience in two programs:

  • 1. Cooperative Education—planned paid experience in federal, state, and local law enforcement and correctional agencies as well as private security and campus police.
  • 2. Internship—students have a 180 hour supervised experience under the direction of a faculty member. (See CJS 490.)

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