Criminal Justice Major

Program Description

The criminal justice major is designed to provide theoretical and practical knowledge for students interested in professional careers in traditional law enforcement fields such as federal law enforcement, corrections, courts, police, and probation; in administrative and management positions in criminal justice and private security; and in law and para-legal occupations. Moreover, the major’s curriculum is intended to facilitate entry into graduate programs in criminal justice, sociology, and law, while also retaining a humanistic understanding of the study of crime. The criminal justice major at Saint Joseph’s is distinguished by its emphasis on creative participation,  student-faculty interaction, and independent research projects.

Learning Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Criminal Justice majors will demonstrate comprehension of the discipline of sociology and its role in contributing to our understanding of social reality.

Objective 1.1: Students can apply the sociological imagination, sociological principles, and concepts to her/his own life.

Objective 1.2: Students can compare and contrast basic theoretical orientations.

Goal 2: Criminal Justice majors will develop knowledge of sociological research methods.

Objective 2.1: Students can design a research study in an area of choice and explain why various methodological decisions were made.

Objective 2.2: Students can run basic statistical analyses to answer research questions.

Objective 2.3: Students can identify and understand how to apply different methodologies (i.e., quantitative vs. qualitative) to the same subject and determine the benefits of each.

Goal 3: Criminal Justice majors will understand how to communicate within their discipline.

Objective 3.1: Students can engage in social scientific technical writing that accurately conveys data findings.

Objective 3.2: Students can orally present research or course material clearly and concisely.

Goal 4: Criminal Justice majors will incorporate the values from the discipline.

Objective 4.1: Students can assess the impact of the negative effects of social inequality.

Objective 4.2: Students can appraise the utility of the sociological perspective as one of several perspectives on social reality.

Goal 5: Criminal Justice majors will understand the operation of culture and social structure.

Objective 5.1: Students can describe the significance of variations by race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and age, and thus critically assess generalizations or stereotypes for inaccuracy.

Objective 5.2: Students will identify examples of specific policy implications using reasoning about the effects of social structuration.

Goal 6: Criminal Justice majors will be socialized for professional careers and/or further studies.

Objective 6.1: Students can identify a social problem, design ways to address it, and outline feasible steps to accomplish their task.

Requirements for the Criminal Justice Major

The traditional undergraduate programs include 40 courses distributed across three components: A General Education component divided into Signature Courses, Variable Courses, and an Integrative Learning requirement; a Major and Divisional component; and Free Electives. In addition to course requirements as specified in each area, students must complete one certified course in each of the following overlay areas:

  1. Diversity, Globalization or Non-western Area Studies,
  2. Ethics Intensive, and
  3. Writing Intensive. Overlay requirements are part of the forty-course requirement.

General Education Signature Courses

See this page about Signature courses. Six courses

General Education Variable Courses

See this page about Variable courses. Six to Nine courses

Social/Behavioral Science
SOC 101Intro to Sociology3

General Education Overlays

See this page about Overlays.

General Education Integrative Learning Component

See this page about Integrative Learning Component. Three courses:

MAT 118Introduction to Statistics3
Social Science
Select one of the following:
Introductory Economics Micro
Introductory Economics Macro
Intro to American Politics
Intro to Comparative Politics
Intro to Global Politics
Intro to Political Thought
Arts and Sciences
Select any other course within the college of Arts and Sciences

GEP Electives

Seven elective courses that students may select as appropriate for their own intellectual, aesthetic, moral or career development in Criminal Justice.

Major Requirements

Major Concentration

ACC 101Concepts of Financial Acct.3
SOC 102Social Problems3
SOC 206Theories of Crime3
SOC 207Juvenile Justice3
SOC 219Social Deviance3
SOC 225Intro to American CJ3
SOC 312
SOC 313
Social Research Methods I
and Data Analysis
SOC 470Special Topics3
SOC 495Seminar I3
Select any experiential learning, including study abroad, internships, study tour courses, and service learning
Select four other approved Criminal Justice courses numbered above SOC 102. 1

Requirements for College Honors in Sociology

To receive College Honors credit, Sociology majors will participate in the Senior Capstone experience required of all majors by taking SOC 495 as an honors course during the fall of the senior year. Additionally, College Honors candidates in Sociology will complete a second honors course during the spring of the senior year (SOC 497) that includes research, extending the senior capstone experience beyond what non-Honors students complete. For students in the University Honors program, these two upgraded courses may be counted toward the eight course Honors requirement. To be eligible to participate in College Honors, a student must have a 3.5 GPA. If you are interested in completing the College Honors project during your senior year, please be in touch with the department chair early in the spring of your junior year. More details concerning College Honors may be found under “Honors Program”.