Criminal Justice Curriculum

This is an exciting course curriculum that analyzes the legal, social, economic, and political contexts that shape our approach to criminal justice. The program blends principle courses in the functions and organization of the criminal justice system with courses focused on specific components of the system in law enforcement, the courts, and corrections to build or refine the mobile and transferable skills our students need to meet the challenges of a criminal justice career anywhere in the country.

A baccalaureate degree may be earned in Criminal Justice in the traditional on-campus program designed for entering freshmen or in the online option designed for working adults.

The Criminal Justice major offers students a broad focus range designed to provide them an excellent academic foundation for entry into the Criminal Justice profession or preparation for law school for those students who are considering a legal career.

Criminal Justice students are taught to think critically, act ethically, and apply theory to practical situations that they currently encounter or will encounter in Criminal Justice careers. Degree requirements for the traditional program and the online option are listed below.


A. General Education and Degree Requirements 52 SH
PSY 1013
MAT 2023
INT 3063 (online only)
B. Major Requirements 39 SH
CRJ 2013, 2203, 3023, 3053, 3113, 3133, 3233, 4013, 4073, and 4123
PSY 3013 (traditional only), 3043 (traditional only), and PSY 3093 (online only)
PLS 1013 and 2043
C. Electives 35 SH
D. Criminal Justice Minor
CRJ 2013, 3053, 4123 9 SH
CRJ Electives courses (including BUS 3113 and 3123) 9 SH


ENG 1013–1023 6 SH
CST 1103 3 SH
1History 3 SH
2Fine Arts 3 SH
COR 2001 1 SH
COR 1012 or INT 3063 (online students) 2 SH
CRJ 2013 3 SH
PSY 1013 3 SH
COR 2002 2 SH
3Science 4 SH
1Choose one World History course or one U.S. History course.
2Choose from Art, Theatre, and Music.
3Choose from Biology, Chemistry, Physical Science, and Physics.

CRJ 2013 Introduction to Criminal Justice
A study is made of the historical background to common law and criminal law including an overview concerning the structure of criminal justice and the enforcement of law. (Every Semester)

PLS 1013 or 2043 3 SH
1Literature 3 SH
BUS 2513 3 SH
Speech 3 SH
2Math 3 SH
CRJ 2203 3 SH
CRJ 3023 3 SH
3History 3 SH
Electives 6 SH
1Choose from American Literature 1 or 2, British Literature 1 or 2, World Literature 1 or 2, or Literature Appreciation.
2CRJ majors should take College Algebra for this credit.
3Choose one World History course or one U.S. History course.

CRJ 2203 Criminology (same as SOC 2203)
A survey of the nature of crime, criminal statistics, and theories of criminal causation and control. An examination of crime as a social problem. (Every Semester)

CRJ 3023 Theories in Social Deviance (same as SOC 3023)
A survey of contemporary theories and concepts used to analyze, understand, and explain social deviance and its consequences for individuals and society. A presentation of several contemporary forms of deviant behavior that currently attract the attention of major societal institutions. Prerequisite: CRJ 2203.

Foreign Language (B.A.) or Science (B.S.) 3–4 SH
MAT 2023 3 SH
PSY 3043 3 SH
CRJ 3053 6 SH
CRJ 3233 3 SH
CRJ 3113 3 SH
COR 2012 (traditional only) or ETHICS 2403 (online only) 2–3 SH
Electives 13–14 SH

CRJ 3053 Criminal Procedure
An introduction to legal issues involved in the theory and practice of the criminal justice procedure regarding the accused from arrest to release. Prerequisite: CRJ 2013 or 2203. (Every Spring)

CRJ 3233 Law Enforcement
Basic course dealing with agencies involved in administration of justice; history and organization of local, state and federal agencies; courts, trial, jail, and prisons; probation and parole. Prerequisite: CRJ 2013 or 2203. (Every Fall)

CRJ 3113 Corrections
A survey of the historical development of the systems of punishment and rehabilitation. Analysis of the reasons for incarceration of offenders. Prerequisite: CRJ 2013 or 2203. (Every Spring)

CRJ 3133 3 SH
CRJ 4073 3 SH
PSY 3013 (traditional only) or PSY 3093 (online only) 3 SH
CRJ 4123 3 SH
CRJ 4013 3 SH
COR 3012 (traditional only) 2 SH
Electives 16 SH

CRJ 3133 Minority Issues in Criminal Justice
This course examines how law and the criminal justice process impact minority groups in the United States. This will include theoretical perspectives on race, class, and gender. Students will also examine landmark court cases and policy initiatives and their impact on minorities. Students will also focus on crosscultural contact with persons from diverse backgrounds. Prerequisite: CRJ 2013 or 2203.

CRJ 4073 Critical Perspectives in Criminal Justice
It will emphasize and measure the acquisition of knowledge of the American criminal justice system, as well as a variety of applied skills including oral communication, effective writing, and decision-making skills. Prerequisite: SR Standing, Instructor’s Permission. Prerequisite: CRJ 2013 or 2203. (Every Spring)

CRJ 4123 Substantive Criminal Law
This course examines the philosophy of legal sanctions and the historical development from common law to modern American criminal law. Students will explore the classifications and general definitions of crimes as well as common defenses to crimes. Prerequisite: CRJ 2013 or 2203.

CRJ 4013 Comparative Criminal Justice
This course examines how various countries around the globe organize their criminal justice systems and satisfy police, court, and correction functions. It will provide students with an international perspective for understanding and appreciating the similarities and differences between legal traditions, criminal law and procedures, crime rates, and means of punishment. Prerequisite: CRJ 2013 or 2203. (Rotating)

CRJ 3013 Community Based Corrections
This course introduces the student to the new philosophies within corrections to establish successful rehabilitation programs in the community and outside of traditional prison settings. Students will analyze different programs that are being implemented nationally to include electronic monitoring, boot camps, and restorative justice programs. Prerequisite: CRJ 2013 or 2203.

CRJ 3073 Constitutional Law (same as PLS 3073)
A survey of the United States Constitution including the origins, amendments, and interpretations of the Constitution; and the constitutional basis of legislative, executive, and judicial powers, as well as issues of civil liberties and the guaranteed rights of equality. Prerequisite: PLS 1013 or Instructor’s Permission. (Every Spring)

CRJ 3083 Forensic Science
This course introduces students to the application of science to criminal investigations. It surveys concepts that include forensic chemistry, fingerprint analysis, drug identification, hair and fiber evidence, DNA analysis, and arson investigation. Prerequisites: CHM 1024, CRJ 2013, and JR/SR Standing. (Every Spring)

CRJ 3093 Social Research Methods for the Online Program (same as HSE/PSY/SOC 3093)
It is the intent of this course to introduce you to the tools and techniques of inquiry in the social sciences. During the term you will be exposed to the vocabulary, the generally accepted yet varied methods, and the potential sources of error associated with the investigation of social phenomena. We will discuss the constructs of sampling, measurement, research design, and data analysis as well as the very important process of forming a meaningful and rigorous research question. Such constructs as reliability, validity, error, etc. will be defined and made useful in the minds and actions of thoughtful scientists and citizens. Prerequisites: PSY 1013.

CRJ 3103 Law Enforcement Internship
A practicum within the Department of Campus Safety and/or in conjunction with a local law enforcement agency. The student is required to work a minimum of 10 hours per week for 14 weeks of the semester. Juniors and seniors only, Instructor’s permission required. (Fall, Spring)

CRJ 3143 Psychology of Criminal Behavior (same as HSE/PSY 3143)
This course will provide the student with psychological and psychosocial explanations of crime. Students will explore specific psychological aspects that contribute to criminal and deviant behavior such as personality disorders, impulse control disorders, developmental disorders, and substance abuse disorders. Prerequisite or Co-requisite: CRJ 2013 or 2203.

CRJ 3183 Forensic Science Internship
A practicum in forensics with a local law enforcement agency. Junior or Senior Forensic Science majors only. Consent of supervising instructor and Academic Vice President required.

CRJ 3203 Legal Internship
This course constitutes a practicum supervised by a local attorney’s office, law firm, or court. It requires ten hours minimum per week for fourteen weeks. Juniors and Seniors only. Instructor’s permission required. (Fall, Spring)

CRJ 3303 Criminal Investigation
Investigation methodology, relations of the detective with other police divisions, modus operandi, sources of information, surveillance, interrogation, follow-up procedure. Prerequisites: CRJ 2013 or 2203 and 3233. (Every Fall)

CRJ 3501, 3502, 3503 Directed Study in Criminal Justice
A specialized, individualized course of study for qualified students. The course is offered on demand, and the credit hours are determined by the nature of the study. Prerequisite: JR/SR Standing, Instructor’s and Academic Vice President’s Permission. (Fall and Spring)

CRJ 3603 Juvenile Justice
A survey of the process - the police, the courts, and corrections - through which the juvenile offender must pass. Prerequisite: CRJ 2013 or CRJ 2203. (Rotating)

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CRJ 3703 Law of Evidence
Leading rules and principles of exclusion and selection, burden of proof, nature and effect of presumptions, proof of authenticity and contents of writings, examinations, competency and privilege of witnesses. Prerequisites: CRJ 2013 or 2203 and 4123, 3053. (Rotating)

CRJ 4003 Terrorism (same as HSE 4003)
Semester Course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A survey of the modern problem of terrorism with an emphasis on the political and religious nature of terrorist acts. Examines the history of terrorism, domestically within the U.S. and internationally, the role of religion, the structures and operations of terrorist organizations, as well as counterterrorism policies and policymaking.

CRJ 4023 Management of Public Safety Organizations (same as HSE 4023)
This course will focus on management theory; organizational dynamics; leadership and administration research related to public and private justice organizations as well as other public safety organizations. Students will learn the basics of operational policies and implementation and evaluation procedures through emphasis of case studies of common administrative problems.

CRJ 4027 Professional Practicum in Law Enforcement
This semester-long course is taught on-site at the Southwest Law Enforcement Academy, Bristol, Virginia, offering students an opportunity to gain practical training and acquire professional certification in law enforcement. Requires a GPA of 2.0 or above, junior status, and permission of the Department Chair; must be arranged at least one semester in advance. Upon satisfactory completion, awards 27 semester hours of elective credit in criminal justice.

CRJ 4043 Criminal Justice & Public Policy
This course is designed to serve as a capstone course for criminal justice majors to be taken during the senior year. It will emphasize and measure the acquisition of knowledge of the American Criminal Justice system as well as a variety of applied skills including oral communication, effective writing, and decision-making skills. Critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and effective communication in the written and spoken word will be emphasized. Students will analyze the various points of intersection of the criminal justice system and how the open nature of the system affects policy. Emphasis will be on the problems and issues facing policy makers. Prerequisite: CRJ 2013 or 2203.

CRJ 4083 Juvenile Delinquency, Intervention, and Prevention
This course investigates the etiology, treatment and prevention of juvenile delinquency in contemporary society. This course allows students to review various theories and apply current theory and research in order to understand the dynamics of juvenile delinquency and current methods of intervention and prevention. Students in the course review juvenile violence and crime in U.S. culture and focus on the potential causes for juvenile violence and crime (e.g., poverty, literacy, family, and community cohesion, and self) and the effectiveness of the juvenile court system (recidivism, juvenile violent crime offenders, and incarceration).

CRJ 4093 Legal and Constitutional Issues in Homeland Security and Emergency Management (same as HSE 4093)
An analysis of the legal and civil liberties changes and challenges brought on by terrorist attacks. Topics addressed may include surveillance issues, federal legislation passed in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, the rights of foreign nationals, the rights of U.S. citizens, the governmental infrastructure for decisions concerning legal rights, and the difficulties of prosecuting terrorist suspects, such as jurisdictional issues, rules of evidence, and prosecution strategies. Liability involving emergency management will be examined.

CRJ 4133 Public Safety Agencies & Public Policy (same as HSE 4133)
This course is a writing focused seminar whereby students actively examine the link between law, politics, and public policy to better grasp the workings of the criminal justice system and other public safety organizations. Scientific techniques for analyzing criminal justice problems and developing solutions as well as methods for evaluating existing policies and interventions are examined.

CRJ 4201, 4202, 4203 Academic Internship
Students selected for this internship will assist course instructors through tutoring, showing videos, conducting study sessions, researching course materials, proctoring tests, grading objective sections of survey exams, and teaching at least one class in a survey course during the semester. The selected students participating in this internship will acquire some practical experience in higher education.

CRJ 4333 Management of Justice Organizations (same as SOC 4333)
This course will focus on management theory; organizational dynamics; leadership and administration research related to public and private justice organizations. The course will emphasize case studies of common administrative problems. Students will learn the basics of operational policies and implementation and evaluation procedures. Prerequisite: CRJ 2013 or 2203.

CRJ 4501, 4502, 4503 Special Topics in Criminal Justice
Special topics of interest in the field of criminal justice. Examples of recent offerings include courses in international terrorism drug investigations and stress management. Prerequisite: JR/SR Standing.

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