Criminal Justice Institute

The Criminal Justice major includes an overview of the criminal justice system including its three basic components: the police, courts, and corrections. Criminological theory and research examine criminal behavior and crime causation. The combination of criminal justice coursework and hands-on learning through internships prepares students for careers in law enforcement, the law or corrections or to pursue graduate and professional education.

Criminal justice is extremely attractive from an employment standpoint. “There are a lot of jobs out there right now,” Richard BuffingtonDirector of the Criminal Justice Institute said, adding that “homeland security and terrorism are highly relevant issues in our society, and the need for trained professionals is paramount.”

Students completing a major in criminal justice will:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the criminal justice system including the core components of the police, the courts and corrections;
  • explicate crime and criminal behavior by examining criminological theories of crime causation;
  • demonstrate critical thinking skills by analyzing and discussing criminal justice issues;
  • demonstrate knowledge of research skills by writing scholarly papers on criminal justice topics;
  • connect substantive areas of academic coursework to real-life application in a criminal justice field through internships.

Required Courses for the Major in Criminal Justice

  • CJ 231 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3 hrs.
  • CJ 260 Criminal Law and Individual Rights 3 hrs.
  • CJ 307 Criminology 3 hrs.
  • CJ 316 Introduction to Corrections 3 hrs.
  • CJ 350 Constitutional Law 3 hrs.
  • CJ 355 Law Enforcement 3 hrs.
  • CJ 416 Crime and Punishment 3 hrs.
  • SSCI 347 Research Methods 3 hrs.
  • Field Experience 6 hrs.
  • Electives in Criminal Justice* 6 hrs.

Total 36 hrs. *A maximum of 15 hrs. may be transferred from other institutions.

Required Support Courses for the CJ Major*

  • MATH 171 Elementary Statistics 4 hrs.
  • PSYC 131 General Psychology 3 hrs.
  • SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology 3 hrs.
  • GOV 305 Current Issues in Government 3 hrs.

*All required support courses for the CJ Major require a C- or higher.

Required Courses for the Minor in Criminal Justice

  • CJ 231 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3 hrs.
  • CJ 260 Criminal Law and Individual Rights 3 hrs.
  • CJ 307 Criminology 3 hrs.
  • Electives in Criminal Justice 9 hrs.

Total 18 hrs.*

*A maximum of 9 hrs. may be transferred from other institutions.