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Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Zoe RajskiPictured | Zoe Rajski | Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice / Minors in Biological Sciences, Chemistry; Pre-Medicine | South Bend, Indiana (hometown)
Club Affiliations | Criminal Justice Student Organization (co-president)

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

Criminal Justice majors are required to meet with their advisors each semester until they have reached 60 credit hours. First– and second–year majors are advised by the College of Liberal Arts Advising Center. Juniors and seniors are advised by Criminal Justice faculty. Advisors are listed in the Student Online Advising Record.

Degree Requirements (120 cr.) 
Degree Map >>

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

  • 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 cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.0 is required.
  • All courses are 3 credit hours, unless otherwise noted.

Major Requirements (42 cr.)
  • CJUS-K 300 Techniques of Data Analysis; OR
    SOC-S 351 Social Statistics
  • CJUS-P 100 Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CJUS-P 120 Criminal Justice Careers and Ethics; OR
    CJUS-P 330 Criminal Justice Ethics
  • 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 370 Criminal Law
  • CJUS-P 410 Analysis of Crime and Public Policy
  • CJUS-P 419 Race, Class, and Crime
  • CJUS-P 471 Comparative Study of Criminal Justice Systems
  • Three additional CJUS-P courses at or above the 300–level

Additional Requirements (18-24 cr.)
  • CJUS-K 300 Techniques of Data Analysis
  • ENG-W 231 Professional Writing Skills
  • Three courses from Political Science, Psychology and/or Sociology; at least one of which must be at the 300–level or above
  • World Language (3-9 cr.) Successful completion of three language classes (9 credits) at any level, 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.

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. Students interested in an internship should make an appointment with Dr. Jack Cory, the Internship Coordinator for Criminal Justice.

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

2023-2024 Campus Bulletin
2022-2023 Campus Bulletin
2021-2022 Campus Bulletin
2020-2021 Campus Bulletin
2019-2020 Campus Bulletin
2018-2019 Campus Bulletin
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.