The goal of the program is to prepare students for careers in international corporations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and departments and agencies of the federal government which manage foreign affairs.

The combined BA in Government and Politics and MA in Criminal Justice is open to political science majors admitted to the university.  After successful completion of 64 credits at the undergraduate level but no later than completion of 90 credits, students who have a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 and 3.25 in their major, must declare their candidacy to continue in the combined degree program.  This affords students the opportunity to collaborate with their adviser in the selection of undergraduate and graduate courses.  Students in the combined degree program must maintain a minimum 3.00 GPA in the graduate program for which they have been approved.

Degree Plan

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

Required major courses (24 credits)

  • GOVT1000    American Government & Politics
  • GOVT2130    International Relations
  • GOVT2216    Problems in Politics
  • GOVT2400    Politics & Ethics
  • GOVT2500    Rsrch Methods in the Social Sciences
  • CRIM6000   Prof. Seminar Criminal Justice
  • CRIM6005   Advanced Criminological Theory
  • CRIM6025   Social Science Research Methods & Statistics

Major electives (21 credits)

Select from 2000, 3000 and 4000 level courses in GOVT.  At least (6) credits from 3000 level or higher.

Master’s degree courses (27 credits)

  • CRIM6010  U.S. Constitution, Public Policy, & Crim Just
  • CRIM8000  Critical Analysis of Criminal Justice (or)
  • CRIM8050  Master’s Research Project
  • Graduate Electives (21 credits)

Graduate courses CRIM6000, CRIM6005, and CRIM6020 will be taken in a student’s senior year with the following conditions:

  • 21 credits of Graduate Electives may be selected from the following: CRIM6015, CRIM6020, CRIM7020, CRIM7025, CRIM7030, CRIM7060, CRIM7065, CRIM7070, CRIM7080, CRIM7081, CRIM7084, CRIM7085, CRIM7090, CRIM7800
  • Professional Seminar in Criminal Justice (CRIM6000) must be taken within a student’s first 6-9 credits of graduate courses.
  • Statistics and Data Analysis (CRIM 6020) serves as a prerequisite to Research Methods (CRIM6015).

Course Descriptions

  • CRIM6000 This course provides a comprehensive review, critique, and analysis of the United States Criminal Justice System in context to examining the concepts of social order and control, the philosophical underpinnings of the U.S. Constitution and the influence of public policy. Emphasis will be placed on examining the independent and causal relationships of police and law enforcement, courts and adjudications, and the correctional system.

  • CRIM6005 This course will take a vertically integrative perspective on criminological theory, to include examining crime and crime theory, and various forms of criminal behavior. Taking an implicitly system theoretical look at crime and delinquency, it will provide tools for determining which theories provide the most explanatory power in specific criminal contexts. The course will also examine criminological thought in areas such as cyber-crime, terrorism, human trafficking, environmental crime, hate crimes, and other current and thematic emerging issues.

  • CRIM6010 This course examines emerging issues as they influence the U.S. Constitution, public policy, and the criminal justice system. Topics such as criminal procedure, individual rights, gun control, decriminalization of drugs, social justice, crime prevention, juvenile justice, sentencing policies, incarceration, and capital punishment will be addressed.

  • CRIM6015 This advanced course in social research exposes students to the methods and techniques associated with identifying and defining problems and developing hypotheses, experimental design, surveys, testing instruments, gathering and analyzing data, and preparation of reports.

  • CRIM6020 This course addresses the basic concepts and methods of statistics applied within criminal justice and social science research. Topics covered include basic statistical methodology, exploratory data techniques, experimental design, sample distributions, interval estimation, inference, comparative analysis by parametric, nonparametric, and robust procedures, analysis of variance (one-way), linear and nonlinear regression, analysis of covariance, correlation and regression, and an introduction to statistical analysis using SPSS.

  • CRIM6025 This course will emphasize the conceptual foundations and methodological approaches used in social science research. This course introduces tools of quantative reasoning and statistics that can be used to address problems in basic research and policy within social sciences, particularly in the criminal justice field. The primary objectives of the course are to build familiarity with the fundamentals of probability and statistical analysis, central concepts of research design and norms of ethical behavior in research.

  • CRIM7020 This course examines classical and contemporary theories and philosophies relevant to ethical thought and behavior in relationship to the administration of justice. Ethical issues confronting criminal justice practitioners, to include the role and influence of politics, are explored through the use of case studies and critical incidents, and examining appropriate and applicable strategies.

  • CRIM7025 This course will conduct a comparative analysis between the criminal justice system of the United States with those of other major countries throughout the world. The similarities and differences between the policing, adjudication and penal systems will be discussed. Issues such as alternatives to incarceration, technologies utilized and legal mandates will be examined.

  • CRIM7030 The objective of this course will be to examine the principles, practices, and complexities of effective leadership. The course will examine the skills and competencies needed to be an effective leader. The benefits of effective leadership and the consequences of ineffective leadership in an organization will be studied.

  • CRIM7060 Practitioners in the criminal justice system are often placed in the position of ensuring that their clients have access to services and proper treatments as they move through the system. Working and aspiring probation and parole officers, social workers, victim advocates and others will receive practical guidance in creating access to justice and services for their clients in criminal, social, and service oriented contexts.

  • CRIM7065 This course will focus on crime victims in terms of factors leading up to and consequences of criminal events. It will examine victimization patterns, typologies, resources, consequences, the criminal justice response, restorative justice and legal rights. Also, it will analyze the dynamics of various violent crimes for warning signs, criminal purpose/selection and strategies to reduce the risk of victimization.

  • CRIM7070 This course provides a critical examination and analysis of contemporary issues related to crime, criminal justice, and public policy. Examples of topics include juvenile justice, police operations, sentencing, community-corrections, capital punishment, decriminalization of drugs, transnational crime, terrorism, cyber-crime, and the implication of emerging technologies in the administration of justice.

  • CRIM7080 Topics will include the Constitution of the United States and how the safeguards in the Bill of Rights have evolved over time. The course will also focus on how laws and Criminal Justice policies are formulated, as well as why certain acts are considered serious crimes and other are not. Issues of how money and power affect policies in criminal justice will be examined. Topics of victims'rights police brutality, court process, sentencing, prisoner treatment and other policy matters in the criminal justice system will be reviewed.

  • CRIM7081 This course aims to help students develop a firm understanding of the approaches used by the U.S. Supreme Court to define the boundaries of our civil rights and liberties through its interpretation of the United States Constitution. The course will examine the nature, application and extent of a special group of protections under the United States Constitution, including the freedom of expression, privacy, freedom of religion, equal protection under the laws, due process and the rights of the accused.

  • CRIM7084 This course will examine the systemic problem of crime that transcends international borders that capitalizes on the use of violence and corruption in a technologically advancing global society. Transnational crime includes but is not limited to gambling, money laundering, human smuggling, prostitution, cyber-crime, terrorism and the trafficking of humans, drugs, weapons, endangered species, body parts and nuclear materials. The course will examine the legal,economic, tactical, technological and geopolitical dynamics to combat transnational crime with a specific focus on coordinating domestic and international public policy.

  • CRIM7085 The course provides individually designed internships within federal, state and local police/law enforcement agencies, courts and adjudication, corrections & probation, private security, juvenile justice, crime victims? advocacy and child protection. Students develop hands-on experience in all facets of the respective agency that they select. The internship provides the students with insight, experience and an available network of professional colleagues.

  • CRIM7090 This course addresses key thematic areas critical to recognizing and developing one's professional effectiveness. Topics covered include effective communication, emotional and social intelligence, negotiations and conflict management, problem-solving, decision making, and strategic planning.

  • CRIM7800 Students are afforded the opportunity to conduct independent study in collaboration with and under the direction of a faculty member after consultation with the School Director.

  • CRIM8000 This course represents a synthesis and critical analysis of key concepts and principles address within the criminal justice graduate program. Topics covered include, but are not limited to: social order and control, social contract theory, social justice and crime, statistics and social research, U.S. Constitution and government, politics and public policy, crime prevention and analysis, criminological theory, victimization, criminal law, police and law enforcement, the courts and adjudication system, and the correctional system. The course culminates with successful completion of: (1) a Master's Research Project, or () Comprehensive Examination. Details and requirements for both are addressed at the commencement of the course.

  • CRIM8050 This course is designed to provide research of a contemporary issue within the study of criminal justice. Students are expected to design and complete an original research project under the supervision of a faculty member of the School of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies.

  • GOVT1000 Structure and function of American national government: roles of interest groups and political parties, voting behavior, powers of president, Congress, bureaucracy and federal judiciary, Fall, Spring.

  • GOVT2130 Theories and problems of international politics and foreign policy.

  • GOVT2216 This course is designed to link current events in the American and international political systems with political theory and contemporary research in political science and related disciplines. Students will make use of a variety of news media, including written, video and podcasts on a weekly basis to inform themselves about current events in the political system, then combine this with readings from scholarly research to understand what's really driving politics in the US and around the world. Students will discuss these events, and linkages to the scholarly reading, in seminar style class meetings.

  • GOVT2400 This course surveys and critically examines the dominant approaches to political ethics, including deontology and rights, consequentialism and utilitarianism, and contemporary critiques of liberalism. Students will explore the substance and implications of these approaches in applications to contemporary ethical and political problems and questions.

  • GOVT2500 Theory and method of the study of politics, research designs, theory building techniques of data collection and analysis.