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Criminal Justice

BA Degree

Greg A. Phelps, PhD, Chair, Division of Social Science & Interdisciplinary Studies
J. L. Turner Leadership Center, Room 207
(270) 384-8234

Rodney Allen Copenhaver, PhD, Program Coordinator
Durham Center, Room 103
(270) 384-8231 

Full-time program faculty: Rodney Allen Copenhaver, PhD; Mike Giordano, JD; Angie Schwendau, MS; Dennis Souther, MPA

Mission Statement

The mission of the Criminal Justice program is to prepare students for careers and further study in the three main substantive areas of criminal justice, policing, courts and corrections. 

The Criminal Justice program provides a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice as well as an Associate of Arts degree and a minor in criminal justice.  The program is also appropriate for students who plan to attend graduate schools in criminal justice or law.

Graduation Requirements

Some courses taken for the major may simultaneously fulfill general education requirements.  Please see the Graduation Requirements (bachelor's degrees) section of this catalog for information on the general education program. 

Students should note that the major provides fewer than the required 39 hours of 3000-4000 level coursework, therefore students will need to complete additional 3000-4000 level coursework to meet this requirement.

Entrance Criteria

The following conditions apply for acceptance into the program:

  • Completion of 30 hours or more of coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.00;
  • Completion of Introduction to Criminal Justice (CRJS 1003) with a minimum grade of C;
  • Filing the required application for admission form to the program with the program coordinator;
  • Securing the approval by the program coordinator;
  • Assignment of an academic advisor from the program; and
  • Filing the approved application to the program form with the Registrar's office.

The bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice offers students a common core of coursework and a choice of two emphasis areas:  Law Enforcement and Legal.


Program Requirements:  48-51 hours

Along with the general education program, students must complete the major's prerequisites, core requirements and program electives, must select one of its emphasis areas (Law Enforcement, Legal), and must complete the requirements for that area.

A.  Prerequisite and Recommended Courses:  3-6 hours

  • Writing Studies I (ENGL 1013) is recommended for CRJS 1003 unless waiver requirements are met -- 3 hours
  • Writing Studies II (ENGL 1023) is a prerequisite for CRJS 2103 -- 3 hours

B.  Core Requirements:  27 hours

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice (CRJS 1003) is the prerequisite for all other CRJS courses -- 3 hours 
  • Criminology (CRJS 2103) -- 3 hours
  • Criminal Courts (CRJS 2303) -- 3 hours 
  • Police Investigation (CRJS 3023) -- 3 hours 
  • U. S. Constitutional Law (CRJS 3213) -- 3 hours
  • Statistics in Criminal Justice (CRJS 3613) -- 3 hours
  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice (CRJS 3623) -- 3 hours
  • Criminal Justice Capstone: Ethics & Professionalism (CRJS 4303) -- 3 hours 
  • Professional Internship in Criminal Justice (CRJS PN03) -- 3 hours

C.  Emphasis Area (select one of the following areas):  12 hours

1 -- Law Enforcement Emphasis Requirements

  • Police & Society (CRJS 3123) - -3 hours
  • Corrections (CRJS 3203) -- 3 hours
  • Rural Crime (CRJS 3573) -- 3 hours 
  • Homeland Security (CRJS 4173) -- 3 hours

2 -- Legal Emphasis Requirements

  • American Legal Systems (CRJS 3003) -- 3 hours
  • Criminal Law (CRJS 3703) -- 3 hours
  • Criminal Procedure (CRJS 3903) -- 3 hours 
  • Evidence (4273) -- 3 hours

D.  Program Electives:  6 hours

  • Select any two CRJS courses not already required for the program or for the student's specific emphasis.


Exit Assessment

All Criminal Justice seniors are required to take the ETS Major Field Exam in Criminal Justice.


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