Criminal Justice

BA - Program Requirements

Greg A. Phelps, PhD, Chair, Division of Social Science & Interdisciplinary Studies

J. L. Turner Leadership Center, Room 207


Allen Copenhaver, PhD, Program Coordinator

Durham Center, Room 103


Full-time program faculty: Allen Copenhaver, PhD; Angie Schwendau, PhD; 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 among several different electives.

Program Requirements:  48-51 hours

Along with the general education program, students must complete the major’s prerequisites and core requirements and select program electives as indicated.

A.         Recommended and Prerequisite 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:  30 hours

  • Writing in Criminal Justice (CRJS 1013) – 3 hours
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice (CRJS 1003) is the prerequisite for all CRJS courses except CRJS 1013 – 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.         Program Electives (select from the following):  15 hours  

  • Juvenile Offender (CRJS 2213) – 3 hours
  • American Legal Systems (CRJS 3003) – 3 hours
  • Police & Society (CRJS 3123) – 3 hours
  • Corrections (CRJS 3203) – 3 hours
  • Probation & Parole (CRJS 3403) – 3 hours
  • Rural Crime (CRJS 3573) – 3 hours
  • Criminal Law (CRJS 3703) – 3 hours
  • Criminal Procedure (CRJS 3903) – 3 hours
  • Homeland Security (CRJS 4173) – 3 hours
  • Evidence (CRJS 4273) – 3 hours
  • Topics in Criminal Justice (CRJS 4TX3) – 3 hours

Exit Assessment

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