College of Arts and Sciences

BA in Criminal Justice

Our criminal justice program focuses on the interdisciplinary view of crime and its control, including policing, crime prevention through personal change and community development. You develop broad skills and take classes in criminology, law, policing, sociology, and forensic studies.

About the Major


Criminal justice courses are taught by faculty who have in-depth experience as criminal justice attorneys, gang unit and state police officers, medical examiners, and probation administrators. The program offers you opportunities to study within agencies dealing with crime and justice and take courses that study the full range of issues related to the social nature of crime, criminal law, and social control.

Degree Requirements

You must complete 40 credits in criminal justice. These include seven required courses that are a total of 22 credits.

For more information, and to see a complete list of degree requirements, visit the Course Catalog.

Core Classes

Explore a few of the exciting criminal justice course offerings.

Introduction to Criminal Justice

The course introduces the ideologies of crime and crime control; the determination of rates of crime; the structure, operation, and effectiveness of the major criminal justice agencies; and contemporary issues in crime control.


An in-depth analysis of the sociological factors associated with crime and criminality and the examination of definitions of criminal activity, measures of crime and the organization of criminal behaviors.

Law and the Justice System

An examination of law as a political and social force.

For more information, and to see a complete list of course offerings, visit the Course Catalog.


You must select three courses (9 credits) from the Perspectives on Human Behavior Category which include:

  • International Organized Crime
  • Studies in Criminal Behavior
  • Street Gangs
  • Political Violence

You also must select three additional courses (9 credits) from the Law and Response to Social Conflict category which include:

  • The Law and Forensic Evidence
  • Studies in Crime Control
  • Constitutional Law
  • Civil Rights and Liberties

For more information, and to see a complete list of electives, visit the Course Catalog.

Minor requirements

The criminal justice minor requires you take the following courses, plus completion of an internship or one of the Electives listed above.

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Methods of Social Research
  • Deviance
  • Criminology
  • Crime, Law, and Administration of Justice

For more information, and to see a complete list of minor requirements, visit the Course  Catalog.

Learning Outcomes

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice students will demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of theory on the crime pattern of their choice.
  • Knowledge of the current research on the crime pattern of their choice.
  • Evidence of critical thinking, drawing logical conclusions in the analysis of that pattern of behavior.
  • Evidence of the ability to communicate effectively their knowledge of theory and current research and their critical thinking about the crime pattern of their choice.
  • Knowledge of theory on crime and on a component of the criminal justice system.
  • Knowledge of the current research on crime and that system component.
  • Evidence of critical thinking, drawing logical conclusions in the analysis of that policy.
  • Evidence of the ability to communicate effectively their knowledge and critical thinking.

Career Outlook


Some of our criminal justice graduates are working as:

  • Special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Investigators for insurance claims management firms
  • U.S. probation officers
  • U.S. Secret Service agents

Morgan Hoadley

Criminal Justice, '22

Morgan is headed to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health in Washington, Connecticut, as a direct support professional. She says her UHart experiences helped her gain confidence that her career choice was the right one.

One of those experiences was an internship with UHart’s Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice’s Center for Social Research on The Litchfield County Opiate Task Force’s Sober Homes Project. Her role was to conduct research on the ways in which operational improvements can be made to addiction and recovery homes in Connecticut. Read more

My professors pushed me to become the best version of myself and now I will push others to become the best version of themselves,

Dartray Belk

Criminal Justice '07,

Dartray Belk is an officer with the New York City Police Department, serving as the African American liaison to the Police Commissioner Unit. As a 12 year veteran with the NYPD, he has focused on nurturing and fostering relationships between the police department and the community in order to create a thriving group of active citizens. He is one of the recipients of the University of Hartford Alumni Association's Anchor Awards, which recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves by achieving the highest level of professional and community accomplishments. 

Since graduating from the University, Belk has maintained an active involvement in civic organizations as a detective with the New York City Police Department.

As a criminal justice major at UHart, Belk served as a mentor with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and worked as an intern with the Hartford Police Department in its Weed and Seed Crime Prevention Program. Also, while a student, he was member of the basketball team, the men’s rugby club program and Black Student Union.

You may learn from a book, but in the field you develop a network and mentors who are going to help you along the way in your career.

January Welks ‘06, U.S. Probation Officer Criminal Justice and Sociology minor

Ready to learn beyond the classroom with the College of Arts and Sciences?