Jul 22, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Criminal Justice, B.A.

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The College of Arts and Sciences  offers a B.A. in Criminal Justice that is developed from the social and behavioral sciences. The study of criminal justice combines the traditional aspects of the criminal justice system, such as law enforcement, courts and the judiciary, corrections, and juvenile justice with an understanding of social deviance as a whole. It also recognizes the interdependence of historical social traditions, values, politics, economic, and legal structures that impact policy questions in a democratic society.

The requirements of the B.A. degree in Criminal Justice include completing courses covering 1) Traditional criminological and restorative theoretical perspectives important to understanding crime, deviance, and the shaping of public policy; 2) Social justice approaches to crime prevention and community-based problems; 3) Ethics, diversity, professionalism; and 4) Research design and inquiry to strengthen analytical skills.

Program Outcomes

The Criminal Justice program has four program outcomes that focus on skills necessary for a successful career in the 21st Century.  Courses are structured and sequenced within the major to satisfy one or more of the following program outcomes by way of introducing, reinforcing, or mastering the following:

  1. Employ clear written, visual, and oral communication with diverse audiences, as experienced through individual and collaborative skill-building exercises;  
  2. Demonstrate critical thinking, analytic thinking, research skills, and/or problem-solving skills to current policies and issues in criminal justice;
  3. Select the relevant and appropriate criminal, social, and restorative justice theories and research methods to the understanding of criminal justice practices, policies, and institutions;           
  4. Design academic and professional work that embodies ethical values, personal integrity, and social equity.

Emphasis on Strengthening and Applying Important Career Skills

The Criminal Justice Faculty designed the program with relevant professional, analytical, and communication skills in mind to put our majors in a strong position for careers where a degree in criminal justice are particularly useful, such as:

  • Advocacy: Nonprofit, activism, and community outreach.
  • Government and Social Services: Victims advocacy, conflict mediation, security and patrol agents, and social worker by way of MSW in Social Work.
  • Higher Education: Admissions, advising, development, and professor and/or researcher by way of Ph.D. degree in graduate school.
  • Investigations and Forensics: Criminal, Homeland Security, DEA, and FBI investigations and forensics by way of a specialized M.A. or M.S. degree in criminal justice and/or forensics.
  • Law and Legal Services: Lawyer by way of J.D. degree in law school, and paralegal by way of a degree or certificate.
  • Policing: Policing, community- and institutional- corrections, juvenile facilities, and
  • Technology: Project management, customer relationship management, and other non-technical consultation projects.
  • Other Careers: Positions where critical thinking, collaboration, research, and writing skills are needed in tandem with the traditional, restorative, and community-based perspectives of criminal justice. 

Students considering graduate school in Criminal Justice, Law, or other relevant graduate degree program are highly encouraged to work with full-time faculty in Criminal Justice in their Junior year so that s/he can write the student strong letters of recommendation for their graduate school applications that are often due in Fall of their Senior year.  Students are also highly encouraged to take an internship in their senior year once core courses are near-completed.

Degree Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a bachelor’s degree. In addition, students must earn a minimum grade of “C” in all Criminal Justice Core and Selective courses at Governors State University.

General Education Requirement (37 Hours)

See Bachelor’s Degree Requirements  for general education requirements. The following general education courses must be taken and passed with a “C” or better to meet major and general education requirements:

Selectives (18 Hours)

Students must also take 18 credits of selective courses from the list below. Students are able to tailor their degree by choosing courses specific to career goals or research interests. Some selectives have lower-division prerequisites denoted with a carat (^) below that must be met prior to registration, so communicate your interests in Selectives with your advisor and plan accordingly for taking any prerequisites as electives prior to the semester you intend to register for that course.  Only one of the 2000-level lower-division courses can count toward the CJUS major.

Restorative Justice Concentration

To fulfill the concentration requirements, students must complete 18 hours of the courses listed below; 

Elective Credits (38 Hours)

In addition to the core and selective credits required, students must take an additional 38 hours of elective credits. Students in this major are encouraged to complete a minor in Addictions Studies, Anthropology, Business Administration, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, or another field that complements their degree and career objectives.

Total - 120 Hours

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