Skip to Content

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Students in a classroom bending over their desks in concentration

Undergraduate Program

We offer options for an undergraduate major and an undergraduate minor, and both are designed to teach students to think critically, enhance public safety through evidence-based practices, and improve communities. 

Criminology and Criminal Justice Major

Our undergraduate degree provides students instruction on the fundamental foundations in criminal justice and criminology. Our graduates can find employment opportunities within local, state, or federal agencies as a practitioner. Students will also be prepared to continue their studies in graduate programs in criminal justice, criminology, law, or related fields.

Courses focus on problem-solving and critical thinking, which provide students with the skills necessary to understand and interpret the scientific literature, and access emerging technologies in the field. The program of study for the B.A. degree has a strong research emphasis and encourages volunteer work and involvement in the criminal justice field as part of students’ training. Internships may be undertaken for course credit. 


Learning Outcomes

Criminal Justice Learning Outcomes
  • Students will be able to identify the core components of the American criminal justice system: police, corrections, and courts.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between the components of the criminal justice system.
Criminological Theories Learning Outcomes
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of how criminological theories are developed.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of how criminological theories are used to explain individual and collective deviant behavior.
Research Learning Outcomes
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of social research design and measurement.
Critical Thinking and Analysis Learning Outcomes
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate ideas and issues involving criminology and criminal justice in writing.
  • Students will be able to identify the constitutional provisions that govern the treatment of persons suspected of committing a crime.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the limits of governmental authority over the criminally accused.


Criminal Justice Minor

A minor in criminal justice will provide the student with an overview of the criminal justice system, including courses specifically dealing with each of the three major sub-systems (police, courts, and corrections), as well as a course in criminal law and a course in criminology. Students majoring in sociology, psychology, and political science (particularly those interested in public administration) will find this to be an attractive and suitable minor. Also, any student interested in graduate study in the field of criminal justice would benefit greatly from this minor, as would any student with a general interest in the area of social services or human welfare. For courses and requirements, visit the Undergraduate Bulletin.


Beyond the Classroom

A student in our department will have the opportunity to join multiple different student organizations, as well as participate in a challenging, fulfilling internship. Don't let your learning cease once you step outside the classroom. 


The department offers multiple awards to continuing students, as well as a scholarship for a prospective student who has already served his or her community as a police officer and wishes to return to school.