The criminal justice major is designed to educate students to be critical thinkers, ethical problem solvers, and effective communicators. The program offers a comprehensive study of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, criminal law and the judiciary, and corrections. Moreover, students will understand how these complex and interrelated systems relate to society, overall.
Students graduating from the program pursue diverse paths. For example, students have advanced to graduate and law schools. Other graduates have pursued careers in law enforcement, judicial administration, corrections, juvenile justice, and private security. Regardless of a student’s orientation to the study of criminal justice, the program provides a unique blend of required and elective courses taught by experienced faculty. Students will be provided with a balanced and broad program of study, rooted in the liberal arts and social sciences. In addition, the curriculum offers opportunities for learning about practical applications in criminal justice, particularly through field trips and internships.
Criminal justice majors are also encouraged to supplement their education with studies in others areas. The major is structured to facilitate the ability to pursue a double-major or minor, which allows students to extend their knowledge as well as provide flexibility with future career options. Students have pursued additional studies in a variety of areas such as business, psychology, political science, and social work, for instance. Students interested in forensic work may want to consider a double-major or minor in biology or chemistry (which now includes a forensic science track). Courses in computer science or accounting may be particularly relevant for students interested in careers investigating white-collar crime. The pre-law minor is also available for students interested in pursuing a law degree after graduation.
The criminal justice major consists of 10 required and 3 elective courses, which provide students with a comprehensive understanding of criminal justice. All majors, including transfers, must complete CJ 299Criminal Justice Information, Communication and Ethics (with a grade of C- or higher) as a prerequisite for 300 and 400 criminal justice courses.
Upon graduating, criminal justice majors should be able, for example, to: Demonstrate knowledge of the scientific approach; communicate effectively in both the oral and written form; and critically analyze ethical dilemmas and make principled choices in the field of criminal justice.