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 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. To see a complete listing of classes, 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.

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

  • International Organized Crime
  • Studied 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

Visit the course catalog for a complete listing

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

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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

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?