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Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice


Students in a classroom bending over their desks in concentration

Undergraduate Program

We offer options for an undergraduate major and an undergraduate minor, and both are designed to teach students to think critically, enhance public safety through evidence-based practices, and improve communities. 

Criminology and Criminal Justice Major

Our undergraduate degree provides students instruction on the fundamental foundations in criminal justice and criminology. Our graduates can find employment opportunities within local, state, or federal agencies as a practitioner. Students will also be prepared to continue their studies in graduate programs in criminal justice, criminology, law, or related fields.

Courses focus on problem-solving and critical thinking, which provide students with the skills necessary to understand and interpret the scientific literature, and access emerging technologies in the field. The program of study for the B.A. degree has a strong research emphasis and encourages volunteer work and involvement in the criminal justice field as part of students’ training. Internships may be undertaken for course credit. 

 

Learning Outcomes

Criminal Justice Learning Outcomes
  • Students will be able to identify the core components of the American criminal justice system: police, corrections, and courts.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between the components of the criminal justice system.
Criminological Theories Learning Outcomes
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of how criminological theories are developed.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of how criminological theories are used to explain individual and collective deviant behavior.
Research Learning Outcomes
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of social research design and measurement.
Critical Thinking and Analysis Learning Outcomes
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate ideas and issues involving criminology and criminal justice in writing.
  • Students will be able to identify the constitutional provisions that govern the treatment of persons suspected of committing a crime.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the limits of governmental authority over the criminally accused.

 

Criminal Justice Minor

A minor in criminal justice will provide the student with an overview of the criminal justice system, including courses specifically dealing with each of the three major sub-systems (police, courts, and corrections), as well as a course in criminal law and a course in criminology. Students majoring in sociology, psychology, and political science (particularly those interested in public administration) will find this to be an attractive and suitable minor. Also, any student interested in graduate study in the field of criminal justice would benefit greatly from this minor, as would any student with a general interest in the area of social services or human welfare. For courses and requirements, visit the Undergraduate Bulletin and the Criminology and Criminal Justice Major Map.

 

Accelerated Degree Opportunities

The Accelerated Bachelor's and Master's Degree program and Senior Privilege offer students the opportunity to begin working towards a Master's degree while completing their undergraduate program. Qualified undergraduate students can seek approval for either of these two programs but not both.

Accelerated Bachelor's and Master's Degree

This program allows undergraduate students to take up to 12 graduate hours of course work and receive both undergraduate and graduate credit for those hours. The credits can be applied to your baccalaureate program and, with graduate program admission and approval, to a graduate degree. While the credits can count toward a graduate degree, the grades earned only factor into the undergraduate GPA.

To apply to the program, students must have completed at least 90 hours of undergraduate course work with a minimum GPA of 3.4 overall, as well as in their undergraduate major. Students also need approval from their undergraduate advisor, the Graduate Director of the relevant program, the Dean of the Graduate School, and the instructor for each course to be taken. The Director of Advising can help secure these signatures.

The Plan Authorization form (G-BGPA) and Course Work Authorization form (G-BGCA) must be completed and approved prior to registering for classes. Please follow all instructions on the forms.

You do not need to apply or be admitted to the graduate program to complete this program. This program also does not guarantee admission to the graduate program. Students seeking admission into the graduate program must apply through the regular graduate admission process.

Senior Privilege

This program allows undergraduate students to take up to 6 hours of graduate course work. With graduate program admission and approval, these credits can be applied to a graduate degree. However, these courses cannot be used toward undergraduate degree requirements. The grades earned do not factor into either the graduate or undergraduate GPA.

To apply to the program, students must be seniors in their final semester (who need less than a normal course load to complete their baccalaureate requirements) and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall. Students also need approval from their undergraduate advisor, the Graduate Director of the relevant program, the Dean of the Graduate School, and the instructor for each course to be taken. The Director of Advising can help secure these signatures.

The Senior Privilege Coursework Authorization form (G-SPCA) must be completed and approved prior to registering for classes. Please follow all instructions on the form.

You do not need to apply or be admitted to the graduate program to complete this program. This program also does not guarantee admission to the graduate program. Students seeking admission into the graduate program must apply through the regular graduate admission process.

 

Beyond the Classroom

A student in our department will have the opportunity to join multiple different student organizations, as well as participate in a challenging, fulfilling internship. Don't let your learning cease once you step outside the classroom. 


Scholarships

The department offers multiple awards to continuing students, as well as a scholarship for a prospective student who has already served his or her community as a police officer and wishes to return to school.