Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice


The Criminal Justice (Institutional Theory and Practice) Bachelor of Science (B.S.)  degree  focuses on the structure and function of criminal justice institutions—police, the courts, corrections and the rule of law that binds them together.

In this major, you will:
  • Look closely at how the criminal justice institutions interact with each other
  • Understand the significance of race, class, and gender in the functioning of these institutions
  • Have some exposure to research methods and approaches to evaluating criminal justice programs
  • Understand institutional theory and practice in the context of society
  • Consider conflicts in the system, such as the one between individual legal rights and crime control
  • Gain familiarity with the whole criminal justice system and issues related to it 

The Criminal Justice (Crime Control and Prevention) Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
degree focuses on ethical reasoning, critical analysis, and problem-solving, and is much more research-oriented than the CJ BS major.

In this major you will:
  • Learn the kinds of questions criminal justice researchers ask and how they go about answering those questions
  • Develop your own research agenda in the field of criminal law and operation of the courts
  • Choose either an internship or an original research project during your senior year.
  • Gain familiarity with the whole criminal justice system and issues related to it
  • Consider ethical dilemmas and complex legal issues by studying significant court cases
  • Critically assess the current criminal justice system with the goal of trying to improve it
  • Develop a strong foundation for graduate school in the Criminal Justice field

How does the International Criminal Justice Bachelor of Arts degree differ from the Criminal Justice degrees?
If you are interested in exploring the nature and causes of crime at the international level, then you should explore an International Criminal Justice major.
It considers the U.S. criminal justice system, but more in terms of how crime beyond U.S. borders impacts that system.  

In this major you will:
  • Learn what kinds of crime exist globally (drug trafficking, terrorism,weapons-dealing, and illegal economic activity are some examples)
  • Examine the causes of those crimes
  • Learn what kind of cooperation is happening and should happen amongauthorities across borders to prevent, control, and punish offenders
  • Compare international law and patterns of law enforcement in different nations
  • Consider ethical and human rights concerns
  • Practice research methods involved in studying international crime
  • Look closely at the work and effectiveness of international agencies
  • See how politics, economics, human social behavior, and cultural considerations all come into play as nations attempt to work together to combat international crime

What is the Criminology major, and why might I choose it over the Criminal Justice or International Criminal Justice degree options?
Criminology studies crime and criminal behavior, explaining the causes of crime and its impact on society while seeking ways to prevent it.

Criminology asks questions such as
  • How do we establish order and control in society? 
  • What kinds of factors can influence the  growth or prevention of crime?
  • How do factors such as  poverty, racism, sexism, corruption, the problems of urban life, mental illness, addiction, etc. play a role in criminal behavior?
  • How effective are certain anti-crime policies?
  • What are effective and humane ways of dealing with prisoners?

Criminologists strongly influence how criminal justice institutions carry out and improve their work, since these institutions turn to criminology research for guidance and recommendations. 
Criminal Justice Management majors develop an understanding of the criminal justice system and its institutions as you learn the skills necessary to manage criminal justice agencies.

In this major you will:
  • Study how ideas become policy, and then how to implement that policy effectively
  • Learn how to use information systems in the administration of public programs
  • Learn how to plan and administer a budget in the public sector to keep an organization viable
  • Understand how to identify needs, make decisions, and implement changes in the criminal justice system at the administrative level
  • Develop the foundation for taking a leadership role in developing policy and making it happen in the functioning of criminal justice institutions. 

           Criminal Justice B.S.
           Criminal Justice B.A.
           International Criminal Justice
           Criminal Justice Management