The Criminal Justice curriculum is designed to skillfully integrate theory and academic constructs in direct relationship with the operational realities that influence and shape the ever-changing nature and composite of the United States criminal justice system.

The curriculum closely examines: the nature and incidence of crime; theories of criminality and punishment; the interdependent operation of the various components of the criminal justice system, which comprise police and law enforcement, the courts and adjudication process, and corrections; the organizational and personnel management theories relevant to criminal justice management and administration; the use and application of the state-of-the art computers and information technologies; forensic psychology; the forensic sciences; the impact of major social problems on crime and the criminal justice system, and the growing implications of cyber-crime, terrorism, and transnational crime.

Program Outcomes

  • Knowledge and Understanding: Consistent with the criteria established by the Academy of Criminal Justices Sciences (ACJS), students will acquire a thorough knowledge and understanding of administration of justice; corrections; criminological theory; law adjudication, law enforcement; and research and analytic methods.
  • Critical Thinking: Students will learn and demonstrate critical thinking, skeptical inquiry, and the scientific approach to problem solving by selecting and organizing information, identifying assumptions and causal relationships, distinguishing between verifiable facts and value claims, determining the credibility of sources, distinguishing between warranted or unwarranted reasons or conclusions, detecting biases, and evaluating appropriate problem solving strategies, their feasibility and efficacy.
  • Effective Communication: Students will be able to communicate effectively, in writing and verbally, in a clear, concise, articulate, literate, and professional manner consistent with the conventions of the English language, of college writing, and with those specific to the discipline of law and criminal justice
  • Information and Technological Literacy: Students will be able to demonstrate information literacy and technological competency utilizing the most current computer-based library computer systems and academic databases, governmental resources, and other bona-fide informational resources to facilitate the study of criminal justice and criminology.
  • Ethical and Professional Behavior: Students will learn to identify, evaluate, assess, and employ appropriate legal, ethical, and professional behaviors and practices within all aspects of their life, including, but not limited to an academic and criminal justice environment.

Degree Plan

NOTE: All students are required to complete the General Education Requirements of their campus in fulfillment of their Bachelor degree requirements.

Required courses (33 credits)

Major electives (12 credits)

Criminal Justice majors are advised to refer to Self-Service or the current Undergraduate Studies Bulletin for criminal justice courses that may fulfill their major elective courses.  Students considering the BA/MA Combined Degree Program are advised to confer with their advisor before registering for major elective courses.

Course Descriptions

  • CRIM1101 The objective of this course is to provide a comprehensive overview and understanding of the United States Criminal Justice System. In context to the philosophical underpinnings of the U.S. Constitution and the historical, social, and political development of the United States, this course will examine the three major components of the criminal justice system: (1) police and law enforcement, (2) courts and adjudications, and (3) corrections. The framework of the course will evolve about the concepts of social order and control, theories of criminality, the legislation, enforcement, and adjudication of criminal laws, the remediation of criminal behavior, and the influence of public policy in the administration of justice.

  • CRIM1102 This course examines the theoretical perspectives on the nature and causes of crime, criminal behavior and criminality. Topics include the nature of law, types of crimes, deviancy and examina- tion of biological, psychobiological, psychological and socio- logical theories of crime causation.

  • CRIM2100 This course is designed to prepare students for the characteristic style and format of writing letters and reports within the various professions of the criminal justice system. Emphasis will be on developing cogent, analytical, and legally sustainable documents with particular attention to format, structure, grammar and literary style. This course meets the requirements of the law school preparation curriculum.

  • CRIM2201 The objective of this course is to provide the student with a comprehensive understanding of the role, responsibility and interdependent relationship of the police and law enforcement within American society. Inherent to the responsibility for maintaining order and public safety, enforcing society's laws, preventing crime and providing social related services, there exist dichotomy, controversy and challenges. Beginning with an historical perspective, contemporary policing will be examined from a variety of operational, managerial and administrative perspectives taking into consideration the many social, cultural, legal, political, economic and technological changes that in- fluence a free, democratic and capitalistic society. Replacement for SOCI 3331.

  • CRIM2202 This course encompasses an analysis of formal institutions involved in the correction, punishment, and rehabilitation of criminal offenders. Topics include the prison as sociocultural system, the efficacy of penal institutions, and the emergence of alternative systems of punishment and control. In addition, the course will examine the functions of probation, parole, and community corrections within the context of the rehabilitative, crime prevention, and reintegration models.

  • CRIM2204 The objective of this course will be to offer the student a comprehensive overview of juvenile delinquency and its impact on society. It will examine the demands that delinquency places on schools, police, the courts, corrections and the community. Attention will focus on the history, trends, patterns, and extent of delinquency, along with the role gangs, family, peers, gender, and schools play in its development. The impact of the police, the courts, and juvenile corrections on reducing juvenile delinquency will also be examined.

  • CRIM2205 An introduction to research design and methodology within the frame of criminal justice studies. Hypothesis development, experimental design, surveys, testing, and the gathering and presentation of information are covered. Participants will develop facility in using the library's on-line database. They will critically analyze theoretical materials and review bibliographic information. Using written assignments, participants will be expected to hone their logical, analytical and grammatical skills.

  • CRIM2208 This course will focus on the criminal event from both the perspective of the victim and the motive of the offender. It will examine victimization patterns, typologies, lifestyles, causal factors, consequences and analyze the criminal justice system?s procedures, treatment and resources for crime victims. Also, it will utilize numerous case scenarios and analyze the dynamics of various violent crime for warning signs, criminal purpose/selection and strategies for individuals to reduce their risk of becoming crime victims.

  • CRIM3304 An examination of the moral issues and dilemnas facing criminal justice practitioners. An understanding and appreciation for the principles of justice will serve as a foundation for considering case studies involving ethical decision making in various criminal justice agencies. Issues considered are: discretionary decision making, corruption, use of force, race and gender discrimination and capital punishment.

  • CRIM3319 This course will provide the student with an understanding of the purpose, organization, and operation of the judicial branch of government. The judiciary is more than courtrooms, judges, lawyers, and trials. There is a vast behind the scenes structure composed of numerous employees and programs which are not fully understood by the public, police, attorneys or other users of the court system. The divisions of court and these programs will be examined in detail as well as the corresponding job opportunities they provide to criminal justice majors.

  • CRIM4405 The Criminal Justice Capstone Seminar is specifically designed for criminal justice majors nearing completion of their undergraduate studies. Designed to be highly engaging and interactive, this course provides a cogent, yet comprehensive synthesis, recapitulation, and critical analysis of the criminal justice system. The first half of the semester shall consist of a series of independent and collaborative research projects that shall serve to facilitate a critical analysis and critique of the United States criminal justice system from a theoretical and operational perspective. The second half of the semester is designed to provide for an introspective reflection and assessment of a student?s undergraduate studies and how that translates to planning and preparing for one?s personal and professional life after college.