Undergraduate Program - Criminal Justice Major

The Department of Criminal Justice & Forensic Investigation merges the liberal arts and professional studies into a well-balanced curriculum. A Bachelor of Science with a major in Criminal Justice is a solid foundation for law school or graduate study in addition to being a superb preparation for employment in the rapidly-growing field of criminal justice. The core courses provide a basic understanding of the nature of crime and society's reaction to crime, as well as an in-depth explanation of the various components within the Criminal Justice System. The areas of concentration provide knowledge and skills for future employment, and serve as a basis for advanced studies.

Academic Concentrations

Concentration in Law Enforcement: Focuses on the study of the role and functions of police organizations as agents of crime prevention in a democratic society, including an understanding of police history, organizational structure, policies, planning, and coordination between various police organizations. The importance of establishing and maintaining positive and supportive relations with the public is an area of special interest.

Concentration in Offender Rehabilitation: Prepares students for working with individuals that have been placed under the custody of the correctional system. The purpose of offender rehabilitation is two-fold: (1) to punish individuals that have committed crimes, and (2) to rehabilitate those same individuals for successful re-entry into society. Studies in juvenile justice examine the treatment of juvenile offenders.

 Plan of Study

The Bachelor of Science with a major in Criminal Justice requires compliance with the general academic regulations, including the following: a minimum of 120 hours consisting of 50 hours of General Studies courses, 18 hours of Criminal Justice core courses, 24 hours in a Criminal Justice concentration, and 28 hours of minor and elective courses.

NOTE: Criminal Justice majors must obtain a minor or second major outside the Department.

 Core Curriculum
18 hours required for all CJ majors

CJ 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3 hours
CJ 201 Criminal Law 3 hours
CJ 225 Criminal Courts 3 hours
CJ 300 Theories of Crime Causation 3 hours
CJ 302 Research Methods 3 hours
Any one of the following:
CJ 472 Senior Internship in Criminal Justice 3 hours
CJ 497 Senior Seminar I 3 hours
CJ 498 Senior Seminar II 3 hours
CJ 499 Senior Seminar III 3 hours


 
  Offender Rehabilitation Concentration - 24 hours

CJ 200 Introduction to Corrections 3 hours
CJ 310 Criminal Behavior and Rehabilitation Strategies 3 hours
CJ 311 Correctional Techniques 3 hours
CJ 315 Community-Based Corrections 3 hours
CJ 322 Juvenile Agencies 3 hours
+ CJ Electives 9 hours


 

Law Enforcement Concentration - 24 hours

CJ 202 Introduction to Law Enforcement 3 hours
CJ 320 Criminal Investigations 3 hours
CJ 363 Foundations of Law Enforcement 3 hours
CJ 370 Police Administration 3 hours
CJ 402 Police and Community Relations 3 hours
+ CJ Electives 9 hours

*Courses credited within the core or a concentration will not be credited within another concentration or minor.



Minors

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice majors that have completed the Criminal Justice core curriculum and a concentration have met the requirements for a major in Criminal Justice. Criminal Justice majors must obtain a minor from outside the department. For both Criminal Justice concentrations, Spanish is the preferred minor or co-minor.

Students who are not majoring in Criminal Justice or Forensic Investigation may minor in Criminal Justice,  Law Enforcement or Offender Rehabilitation. Each minor requires a minimum of 21 credit hours.

• A minor in Criminal Justice consists of CJ 101, CJ 200, CJ 201, CJ 202, CJ 225, CJ 300, and 3 hours of CJ electives.
• A minor in Law Enforcement consists of CJ 101, CJ 202, CJ 320, CJ 363, CJ 370, CJ 402 and 3 hours of CJ electives.
• A minor in Offender Rehabilitation consists of CJ 101, CJ 200, CJ 310, CJ 311, CJ 315, CJ 322 and 3 hours of CJ electives.

Criminal Justice Courses (CJ)

Required Core Courses:

101. Intro to Criminal Justice (3). Survey of the agencies and processes involved in the Criminal Justice System: the police, the prosecutor, the public defender, the courts, and corrections.

201. Criminal Law (3). Prerequisite: CJ 101. Analysis of the origin and sources of criminal law as well as definition of parties to crimes and affirmative defenses. Discussion of specific crimes of common law, and in state and national statutes.

225. Criminal Courts (3). Prerequisite: CJ 101. An analysis of the roles of the major participants in the Criminal Justice System; the Courts' structure and functions, and selected critical issues such as sentencing and plea bargaining.

300. Theories of Crime Causation (3). An examination of biological, psychological, sociological, political, and economic theories of crime causation.

302. Research Methods (3). Prerequisite: CJ 101. An introduction to the theory, design, collection, and analysis of data in criminal justice research.

 

Courses That May Count As Requirements or Electives Toward Any One Concentration or Minor:

200. Introduction to Corrections (3). Prerequisite: CJ 101. Philosophical foundations of punishments, historical developments in American penology. Corrections in contemporary America.

202. Introduction to Law Enforcement (3). Prerequisite: CJ 101. The development of contemporary American Police. Law enforcement role, philosophy, values, culture, discretion, organizational control, accountability, corruption, misconduct, police-community relations, and future trends.

205. Legal Research and Records (3). Prerequisite: CJ 101. To develop essential legal research skills and knowledge about acquiring legal information from the statutes, case-law books, legal records, online data retrieval services and other legal resources, and to know the essential content of key reports and documents currently used in the courts.

310. Criminal Behavior and Rehabilitation Strategies (3). Prerequisite: CJ 200. A study of criminal behavior from a psychological perspective with correctional rehabilitation programs and strategies serving as the focus. The effectiveness of various correctional institutions and their programs and strategies will also be examined.

311. Correctional Techniques (3). Prerequisite: CJ 200. An introduction to correctional strategies and the theories on which they are based. Among the topics discussed are counseling, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, humanistic psychology, learning theory and behavior modification. This course will also provide an in-depth examination of both assessment and counseling strategy effectiveness with offender populations.

315. Community Based Corrections (3). Prerequisite: CJ 200. A survey of non-institutional correctional programs focusing on alternatives to incarceration in community settings. Programs reviewed include pre-release, parole, halfway houses, restitution centers, probations, and community correctional centers.

320. Criminal Investigations (3). Prerequisites: FI 204, CJ 202 or CJ 304. Practical application of investigative techniques for specific crimes such as sex offenses, murder, robbery, arson, assaults, and fraud cases. 

322. Juvenile Agencies (3). Prerequisites: CJ 200 or CJ 205. Examination of the historical aspects of the juvenile justice system with emphasis on juvenile rights in the present juvenile court system and pre-trial techniques.

352. Evidence (3). Prerequisite: CJ 225 or CJ 325. Analysis of the rules of evidence, their origins and types. Constitutional limitations upon their use, methods of safeguarding their value. The trial and techniques for testifying.

353. Correctional Law (3). Prerequisite: CJ 200 or CJ 205. Legal problems of the convicted from conviction to release; pre-sentence investigation, sentencing, civil rights loss and restoration, and other legal problems confronting the convicted.

361. Constitutional Law (3). Prerequisite: CJ 101. Analysis of the Constitution of the United States as it affects the law enforcement and corrections field, to wit: the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendments to the Constitution.

362. Constitutional Law II (3). Prerequisite: CJ 361. A study of constitutional issues in the administration of justice, fair trial guarantees, humane punishment, and the civil and criminal liability of criminal justice professionals.

363. Foundations of Law Enforcement (3). Prerequisite: CJ 202. An examination of the foundations of American law enforcement from its cultural heritage in England to the present. 

370. Police Administration (3). Prerequisite: CJ 202. Organizational structure and coordination of all branches of law enforcement agencies - police, staff, and auxiliary function, their interrelationships and interdependence.

377. Independent Study in Criminal Justice (3). Prerequisite(s): Junior standing with 18 hours in CJ or FI.  An opportunity for the advanced student to explore an area of special interest.  Students must have a supervising criminal justice faculty member agree to a written proposal or outline for an appropriate topic for study and then must secure the approval of the department head. 

378, 379. Advanced Seminar in Criminal Justice (3)(3). Prerequisites(s): Junior standing with 18 hours in Criminal Justice or Forensic Investigation or department head approval.  An in-depth study of current issues in criminal justice.  The content will vary each semester.  May be duplicated for a total of six (6) semester hours.    

395. Crime Prevention (3). Prerequisite: CJ 101. Analysis of the roles of the Criminal Justice System and the private sector in preventing crime. Community involvement as a source of preventing crime. Crime prevention strategies and techniques for evaluating prevention programs.

399. Study Tour (3) (3). Topics, excursions, and requirements determined by the department. May be duplicated for credit up to 6 hours. Infrequently scheduled and subject to minimum and maximum numbers. Advanced deposit required.

400. Protective Systems (3). Prerequisite: CJ 101. The criminal threat, protective system concept, systems configuration and cost benefit analysis of currently available protective systems.

402. Police and Community Relations (3). Prerequisite: CJ 202. Study of the numerous and complex factors involved in the area of human relations as it affects policing and police management.

410. Correctional Administration (3). Prerequisite: CJ 200. Advanced study of the workings of the state and federal prison systems and local jails. The application of the theories of organization, management and public administration to the operations of correctional units, policy matters, and other issues facing corrections.

411. Victimless Crimes (3). Prerequisite: Junior standing with 18 hours in CJ. Study of controversial area of law that deals with consensual crimes. Topics to be included for discussion may include: drugs, obscenity and pornography, prostitution, and gambling. The history of legislative enactments and judicial decisions will be dealt with, as well as the social and political implications of enforcement to both police agencies and their clients.

417. Criminal & Deviant Behavior (3). Prerequisite: CJ 300, CJ 304, FI 304 or SY 320. An analysis of criminal and deviant behavior systems with an emphasis on classical and contemporary theories of crime causation.

420. Probation and Parole (3). Prerequisites: CJ 200 or CJ 202. Development, organization, operation of probation and parole with emphasis on alternatives to incarceration.

471. Internship in Criminal Justice (3). Prerequisites: Junior standing, consent of Internship Director, and only for students majoring in Criminal Justice. Students must also possess an overall 2.5 GPA to participate with a municipal or county agency and a 3.0 overall GPA to participate with a state or federal agency. Supervised work experience in an approved Criminal Justice agency. The student is required to attend a pre-announced orientation meeting prior to beginning internship. (Not open to in-service personnel or those with prior CJ work experience unless approved by Department Head.)

488. Seminar Series (1 hour each). Prerequisite: Junior standing with 18 hours in CJ. Seminars and tutorials dealing with current topics and issues in the field. No more than 6 hours credit may be earned.

497. Senior Seminar I (3). Prerequisites: Senior Standing in the Criminal Justice major or Forensic Investigation major and completion of all other criminal justice or forensic investigation core requirements. Capstone course which utilizes the student's knowledge and academic skills, including pursuing archival research, journal keeping, note taking and report writing to address a topic or issue of contemporary interest in criminal justice or one of its sub-fields. While the topic or issue may change with each offering, the skills exercised will be those needed to prepare the senior for careers in criminal justice professions.

498. Senior Seminar II (3). Prerequisites: Senior Standing in the Criminal Justice or Forensic Investigation major and completion of all other criminal justice or forensic investigation core requirements. Capstone course which utilizes the student's knowledge and academic skills, including pursuing archival research, journal keeping, note taking and report writing to address a topic or issue of contemporary interest in criminal justice or one of its sub-fields. While the topic or issue may change with each offering, the skills exercised will be those needed to prepare the senior for careers in criminal justice professions.

499. Senior Seminar III (3). Prerequisites: Senior Standing in the Criminal Justice or Forensic Investigation major and completion of all other criminal justice or forensic investigation core requirements. Capstone course which utilizes the student's knowledge and academic skills, including pursuing archival research, journal keeping, note taking, and report writing to address a topic or issue of contemporary interest in criminal justice or one of its sub-fields. While the topic or issue may change with each offering, the skills exercised will be those needed to prepare the senior for careers in criminal justice professions.