The Bachelor of Science Criminal Justice program provides students with a solid foundation in the causes, consequences and responses to crime. Students explore the people who are impacted by our criminal justice system as victims, offenders, professionals, public policy makers and citizens as they prepare for the rich variety of career opportunities in the criminal justice field.
In addition to close examination of the traditional core areas of law enforcement, courts and corrections, students are engaged in a rich array of related course work in juvenile justice, forensic science, criminology, victim services, conflict resolution, mediation and elective courses that capture their interest.
The Criminal Justice program offers a practical education through active learning, skill development and career exploration. To prepare our criminal justice majors for employment or graduate school, all students participate in a required junior year internship, a senior-year critical issues in criminal justice course and a capstone research project. A senior-year internship is encouraged to promote career exploration and to expand job opportunities after graduation.
Career and Graduate Study Options
Students with a degree in Criminal Justice are presented with many career paths for serving society and helping people. In fact, part of the appeal of criminal justice is the variety of career opportunities to consider. Careers in the field of criminal justice are as varied as the people who choose to pursue them and include:
- Youth services and juvenile justice
- Law enforcement
- Victim advocacy and assistance
- Private security
- Case management
- Substance abuse prevention and rehabilitation
- Child welfare
- Crime and crime prevention research
Students with a degree in Criminal Justice may also pursue graduate study in Criminology, Criminal Justice, Social Work, Forensics, Sociology, Business, Public Administration or Law.
Students develop and use the All College Curriculum skills and perspectives such as problem solving, communication, team work, community service, critical thinking, writing, research and analysis skills. These skills prepare students for what’s next-employment, further education and service to their community. Graduates of the Criminal Justice program are able to:
1. Explain the structure, functions and interrelationship of the three component parts of the American criminal justice system–law enforcement, courts, and institutional and community corrections–and the federal, state and local government context of the criminal justice system (the criminal justice system).
2. Describe and apply the legal rules and procedures of the juvenile and adult criminal judicial processes (the steps in which crimes are investigated, prosecuted, adjudicated and punished by the government), including the constitutional principles of due process and equal protection of the law (the criminal justice process).
3. Explain the theories and principles of both substantive and procedural criminal law, including prosecution, defense and court procedures and judicial decision making; apply those theories and principles to case studies (adjudication).
4. Discuss the impact of crime on victims, witnesses, offenders, their families and communities; society’s response to crime; and the development of crime control policies to prevent, reduce and effectively respond to crime (crime consequences and responses; crime control policies).
5. Describe the historical development, current trends, critical issues and significant challenges to the American juvenile and adult criminal justice systems and critically evaluate existing and proposed crime control policies and practices to prevent, control and effectively respond to delinquency and crime (administration of justice).
6. Explain major criminological theories of delinquency, criminality and victimization (criminological theories).
7. Explain and demonstrate basic research methods in criminology and criminal justice, including research design, data analysis and interpretation; explain the link between research, theory and practice (research methods)
Policies, Conditions, and/or Fees
A minimum grade of C- is required for all program-specific required courses (courses with the designation of CJ) in this major.