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Pictured | Luis Guardado | Criminal Justice | South Bend, Indiana (hometown)


Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

What is a Criminal Justice major all about? One definition of the discipline of Criminal Justice (CJ) is that it is the study of both domestic and international structures, functions, behaviors, and public policies related to the apprehension, prosecution, sentencing, and incarceration of offenders. Though somewhat formal, this definition makes an important point…Criminal Justice is the "study of." Some people think that CJ is all about learning how to be a field practitioner (i.e., probation officer, police officer, FBI agent, etc.). While your Criminal Justice degree will prepare you for employment in the CJ arena, it is not a degree that involves specific job training; rather, it is the scholarly study of how justice is dispensed in our system of government and around the world.

In the United States, individuals are given many rights and liberties that are safeguarded in the Bill of Rights. This places our justice system in a difficult but fascinating dilemma. How does the system balance individual liberty with the need for order? Order is certainly essential, but not at the expense of our rights and liberties. The criminal justice system is, therefore, held accountable to treat individuals equally and with "due process." Our social system benefits when this accountability is appreciated and acted upon by criminal justice practitioners.

Our graduates are prepared for a wide range of careers (almost too numerous to mention here!) in the criminal justice arena at the local, county, state, and federal levels, as well as numerous opportunities in the private sector. Many graduates go on to law school or graduate school. Graduates can also be found working in the social welfare field, business, and in regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, among other areas.

Students are encouraged to meet with a faculty member to discuss their career goals and options, and learn more about this truly exciting and highly relevant area of study.


Academic Advising

College policy on advising requires that students meet with their academic advisors at least once each year, and in some departments, prior to each semester’s enrollment. Advising holds are reset following advising appointments. Students with a declared major are advised in their academic units. To determine who your advisor is and how to contact them, see One.IU.


Admission to the Criminal Justice Major

Students in the Criminal Justice program must first complete the preliminary requirements.


Degree Requirements (120 cr.) 
Degree Map >>

Students receiving the Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice must complete 120 total credit hours including:

  • IU South Bend Campuswide General Education Curriculum (33-39 cr.)
  • World Language Successful completion of a second-year, second-semester language class, designated as 204, or formal training, as evidenced by secondary or university diplomas, in a language other than English. The Department of World Language Studies (W.L.S.) offers a placement examination to determine into which semester a student should enroll and/or to qualify students for credit by examination. (3-12 cr.)
  • Major Requirements (36 cr.)
  • Additional Requirements (18 cr.)
  • Free Electives (balance of credits needed to equal 120 credit requirement)

  • Minimum of 30 credit hours at the 300- or 400-level.
  • Courses required for the major must be completed with a grade of C– or higher.
  • A minimum CGPA of 2.0 is required. All courses are 3 credit hours, unless otherwise designated.
  • All courses are 3 credit hours, unless otherwise noted.

Major Requirements (36 cr.)
  • CJUS-P 100 Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CJUS-P 200 Theories of Crime and Deviance
  • CJUS-P 290 The Nature of Inquiry
  • CJUS-P 301 Police in Contemporary Society
  • CJUS-P 302 Courts and Criminal Justice
  • CJUS-P 303 Corrections and Criminal Justice
  • CJUS-P 330 Criminal Justice Ethics
  • CJUS-P 370 Criminal Law
  • CJUS-P 410 Analysis of Crime and Public Policy
  • Three additional criminal justice courses at or above the 300-level

Additional Requirements (18 cr.)
  • CJUS-K 300 Techniques of Data Analysis
  • ECON-E 104 Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • ENG-W 231 Professional Writing Skills
  • Three courses from sociology or psychology, with at least one 300-level class or above

Experiential Recommendation

It is recommended that students engage in a practical experience related to public affairs, e.g., internship, work experience, or some other activity approved by an academic advisor.

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

2017-2018 Campus Bulletin
2016-2017 Campus Bulletin
2015-2016 Campus Bulletin
2014-2015 Campus Bulletin

Please be aware that the PDF is formatted from the webpages; some pages may be out of order.