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Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Program Description

The Criminal Justice program will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to advance in your current career, seek a new career path or pursue a particular interest in areas such as law enforcement, criminal rehabilitation and community policing.

The program introduces you to the theory and practice of the United States criminal justice system. Course emphasis includes: adult and juvenile crime; causation theory; criminal and civil procedure; the police; the courts; and institutional and community-based corrections.

You will receive instruction from a wide variety of highly-qualified and experienced criminal justice system practitioners; including judges, attorneys and justice agency administrators.

Program Objectives

  • Describe the constitutional concepts of due process, equal protection, and fundamental fairness in policing, courts, and corrections
  • Know the role of ethics and moral reasoning throughout the criminal justice system
  • Be aware of issues of diversity, including but not limited to gender, race, ethnic, cultural, and class issues, in the administration of criminal justice
  • Demonstrate writing, research, communication, and computer literacy skills sufficient to enter into criminal justice field
  • Employ critical reasoning skills to solve problems
  • Compare and contrast traditional and contemporary theories of crime causation, and their implications for public policy

Program Mission

The Criminal Justice Program seeks to empower you to advocate for meaningful change within the criminal justice system. A change that that will embrace a collaborative effort between the community and those employed within the criminal justice field.



Required Courses (33 credits)
Total Major Credits - 42 credits

CJS 105 Introduction to Criminal Justice
CJS 106 Applied Concepts in Justice Studies
CJS 150 Policing in America
CJS 201 Substantive Criminal Law
CJS 204 Constitutional Law
CJS 254 Survey of Methods for Criminal Justice
CJS 308 Criminology
CJS 320 Criminal and Civil Procedure in the US Courts
CJS 330 Corrections in the United States
CJS 403 Juvenile Justice
CJS 420 Justice Studies Capstone

Major Electives (9 credits)
Any three additional Criminal Justice courses.

Requirements in Other Departments - 24 credits

COMM 210 Introduction to Public Speaking

Two of the following:

POLSC 100 American Government and Politics
PSYCH 100 Introduction to Psychology
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology

Two courses from one of the following areas: Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology

Three additional courses from the College of Arts and Sciences (Required skills courses, or their prerequisites, and other required support courses for the major, cannot be used to satisfy this requirement).

Core Curriculum - 21 credits

Includes two writing courses (including, Expository Writing and Critical Writing); Basic Statistics; and at least one approved course from each of the following categories:
Natural Science, Humanities, Fine Arts, and Social Science; and additional liberal arts electives for a total of 30 credits.

Electives - 33 credits
Total Credits required to Graduate - 120 credits

Course Descriptions

CJS 105 – Introduction to Criminal Justice
An overview of the American criminal justice system. Discusses in detail the individual components of the criminal justice system, including the police, the courts, and corrections. Designed not only to provide basic understanding of our legal system, but also to provoke thinking on key legal and criminal justice issues such as the death penalty and mandatory sentencing laws. (3 credits) Fall, Spring

CJS 106 – Applied Concepts in Justice Studies
This course seeks to provide students with a better understanding of the relationship between criminal justice and legal studies, the place of justice studies within the university curriculum, and the role of these fields in American society. Within this context, the course has the general goal of improving students’ ability to think, write, and speak about justice studies. Specific topics for the focus of these activities include the literature of criminal justice and the law, becoming facile with the language and terminology in the field, ethics and academic integrity, and the meaning of justice in America and the world. (3 credits) Spring

CJS 150 – Policing in America
Review of the history of policing and police functioning, with regard to contemporary social issues. Special focus on related research into police functioning. (3 credits) Spring

CJS 201 – Substantive Criminal Law
Prerequisite: CJS 105 An introductory analysis of substantive criminal law, emphasizing common law and modern statutory applications of criminal law. Course topics include the nature of substantive law, the distinction between the criminal and civil justice systems, the elements of crimes, and the essential components of crimes including wrongful criminal acts (actus reus), criminal intent (mens rea), causation and harm. This course also considers the insanity defense, entrapment and several other defenses to crimes that are used in the U.S. legal system. (3 credits) Fall

CJS 204 – Constitutional Law
Prerequisite: CJS 105 or LS 101 An analysis of civil liberties and civil rights in the United States. Course topics include religious liberty, free speech, equal protection of law, the right to privacy, and due process of law. (3 credits) Spring

CJS 254 – Survey of Methods in Criminal Justice
Prerequisite: CJS 105 This course is an introduction to the methodology, design, and research techniques used in the fields of criminal justice and criminology. Course topics include sampling, research designs, ethical considerations in research, survey construction, interviewing and proposal writing. Spring

CJS 308 – Criminology
Prerequisites: CJS 105 Examines classical and contemporary criminological theories, their historical development and empirical basis, as well as their significance to the criminal justice process and the rehabilitation, deterrence, processing, and punishment of offenders. (3 credits) Fall

CJS 320 – Civil and Criminal Procedure in the US Courts
This course examines the history, traditions, philosophy and ethical dilemmas underlying the courts in the United States justice system. Students will be introduced to: the origins and developments of the United States courts; the issues of subject matter and geographic jurisdiction of the state and federal courts, the dynamics of the courthouse workgroups consisting of attorneys, judges, and litigants; and the processes related to the prosecution of criminal and civil cases in federal and state courts. (3 credits) Spring

CJS 330 – Corrections in the United States
Prerequisite: CJS 105; or consent of instructor Current correctional thought and practices in the United States, the evolution of modern correctional practices in the United States, and an overview of correctional treatment in different types of institutions and in the community. (3 credits) Fall 

CJS 403 – Juvenile Justice
Prerequisites: CJS 105, CJS 308; CJS 320 recommended Addresses problems and issues pertaining to youth offenders and how they are processed by the police, courts, and corrections. Features the interrelatedness of theory, policies and practices, as well as assessment of their long-range impact on procedures. Focuses on the intake and court process; nominal and conditional sanctions to include community-based intervention; diversion; probation; and custodial sanctions through juvenile correctional systems. (3 credits) Fall

CJS 420 – Justice Studies Capstone
Prerequisite: Senior standing or permission of the instructor. This course is cross-listed with LS 420. This is a Capstone course for the justice studies major. Students integrate knowledge of theoretical concepts and practical application of research methods, writing for the legal and criminal justice professions, and selected specialty areas in the law and criminal justice through assigned readings, seminar discussion, and the completion of assigned projects. (3 credits) Spring

COMM 210 – Introduction to Public Speaking
Note: Does not satisfy a requirement in the Global Communication core concentration Emphasizes effective speaking techniques for public as well as everyday situations. Focuses on identifying, organizing, and presenting facts, opinions, and values to a variety of audiences. (3 credits) Fall, Winter Intersession, Spring, Summer

POLSC 100 – American Government and Politics
Fulfills a course requirement in the Political Science Core Concentration Provides a practical examination of how things get done politically in the United States, including analysis and discussion of American attitudes and institutions. Topics include: the actual making of the U.S. Constitution; the relationship between the national government and the states; civil liberties and civil rights; the role of the President, the Congress and the Supreme Court; elections, interest groups, the media and public opinion; and various contemporary public policy issues. Prerequisite for all advanced courses in the American Politics. (3 credits) Fall, Spring

PSYCH 100 – Introduction to Psychology
Fulfills a course requirement in the Psychology Core Concentration Introduction to the basic conceptual approaches through which psychology derives its intellectual form. Emphasis is placed upon the nature of scientific inquiry and its role in obtaining an understanding of human behavior. Exposure to various psychological theories, including Freudianism, behaviorism, social learning, and humanism. (3 credits) Fall, Spring

SOC 100 – Introduction to Sociology
Fulfills a course requirement in the Anthropology + Sociology Core Concentration The study of individuals in society, and an introduction to the basic concepts through which sociology derives its intellectual form, such as socialization, social groups, institutions, stratification, and social change. (3 credits) Fall, Spring


  • Provide a professional education combined with an integrated liberal arts curriculum that teaches critical thought, analytical reasoning, and scholarly writing;
  • Prepares you to  pursue careers which include federal, state, and municipal law enforcement, professional human services, including counseling, probation and parole, corrections, and the legal profession;
  • Provides you the opportunity to develop intellectual skills that will enable them to pursue lifelong learning.