The major in Criminal Justice provides students with an academically sound understanding of crime, justice, and the criminal justice system. Students majoring in Criminal Justice receive a foundation in theory and research as well as opportunities for practical application through an internship within the field. This major is for students who may pursue careers over a wide range of criminal justice opportunities within city, state and federal jurisdictions - such as law enforcement, corrections, security, victim advocacy, law, juvenile justice, social services, and much more. Students are also encouraged to think about a possible minor in another area of study.
The major offers an optional concentration:
Forensic Psychology Concentration is designed for students with a particular interest in the interaction of psychology and the law. Forensic Psychology is a broad field – practitioners work in areas such as crime trends, criminal profiling, mental health treatment for offenders and substance abusers, jury selection, impact of divorce, custody, and more. Students electing to take the Forensic Psychology concentration would choose Forensic Psychology, Psychopathology, and Psychology and the Law as their electives. All Criminal Justice seniors (with qualifying GPAs) currently participate in internships, so these students would look for a relevant Forensic Psychology internship.
Students must obtain a C- or better in each course required for the major, minor and the concentration.
Completing this degree program students will be able to:
- Explain the workings of the criminal justice system, including police, courts, and corrections; including identifying the key procedural and constitutional issues involved in the criminal justice system.
- Describe the causes of crime, including socio-political, historical, economic, environmental, psychological, and biological influences.
- Critically evaluate issues surrounding ethics, professionalism, bias, and politics in the criminal justice system; including an evaluation of global issues/affairs related to crime and justice.
- Evaluate and make decisions based on relevant scientific research, including considerations of whether the research was ethical and valid.
- Demonstrate the ability to discuss the above items both verbally and in written form.
- Demonstrate critical thinking skills, ethical and professional behavior both in the classroom and during community-based learning experiences.