Baity Hall

Social Science Division

Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice is the application or study of laws regarding criminal behavior. Those who study criminal justice include the police, those working in a judiciary capacity, and lawyers who either defend or prosecute those accused of a crime. Others work to advocate for changes in the current system of criminal justice, such as those who render decisions regarding current laws, like members of Supreme Courts. It is important that the criminal justice system includes the word justice, since laws applied to those accused of a crime should be fair.

Justice also refers not only to the fair trial accorded to the citizens of most countries, but also to the just retribution for victims of a crime, as for example, seeing an offender punished. Criminal justice is always a goal. All involved in the arrest, prosecution, defense or judgment of a suspect aim to be fair. However, this goal is not always met, accounting for the flexibility in the application of laws, the changes to laws that are unfair, and the judiciary power of interpretation.


Some possible careers in criminal justice include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Local/municipal police officer
  • County/sheriff officer
  • State police officer
  • Federal law enforcement agencies
  • Legal services
  • Corrections
  • Parole/probation
  • Investigations
  • Private security

Following are the requirements for a degree in Criminal Justice and a suggested schedule for completion of the degree in four years:

Criminal Justice Major Requirements

Required courses for a major in Criminal Justice.

  • CJ-100, CJ-115, CJ-220, CJ-300, CJ/SC-305 OR CJ/SC-307, CJ/SC-330, CJ-410, CJ-440, CJ-485, SC-316, SC-320, plus 15 credit hours of electives in Criminal Justice, Sociology, Psychology, or Political Science.

Required CJ classes (27 hours)

  • CJ-100 Intro to Criminal Justice
  • CJ-115 Criminal Law & Const.
  • CJ-220 Penology
  • CJ-300 Criminal Investigation
  • CJ/SC-305 Minorities and CJ
  • CJ/SC-307 Women and CJ
  • CJ/SC-330 Criminology
  • CJ-410 Admin of CJ Agencies
  • CJ-440 Ethics in CJ
  • CJ-485 Research Design/Senior Seminar

Required SC classes (6 hours)

  • SC-316 Research Methods/Statistics
  • MA-200 is prerequisite for SC-316
  • SC-320 Urban Sociology
  • SC-100 is prerequisite for SC-320

Suggestions/Possibilities for required electives

  • CJ-205 Juvenile Justice
  • CJ-201 Probation and Parole
  • CJ-230 Private Security
  • CJ-240 Forensic Science
  • CJ-280 Criminal Evidence
  • CJ-285 Patrol Procedure/Accident Investigation
  • CJ-149, 249, 349, 449 Speical Topics
  • CJ-320 Drugs and the Law
  • CJ-340 Community Oriented Policing
  • CJ-350 Homicide Investigation
  • CJ-360 Cybercrime
  • CJ-370 Current Issues in Criminal Justice
  • CJ-376, 476 Independent Study
  • CJ-380 Sexual Offenses/Offenders
  • CJ-385 Victimology
  • CJ-401 Internship
  • CJ-420 Readings in Criminal Justice

  • PS-215 (SC-215) International/Current Problems
  • PY-331 (SC-331) Social Psychology
  • PY-355 Forensic Psychology

  • SC-100 Introduction to Sociology
  • SC-232 Marriage & Family
  • SC-275 Social Problems
  • SC-321 Black Experience
  • SC-326 Minority Relations
  • SC-329 Sociology Theories
  • SC-340 Gender Studies
  • SC-375 Social Deviance

  • AD-100 Psychology of Substance Abuse or AD-150 Drugs & Behavior