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 Outcomes

Goal 1: Criminal justice majors will demonstrate comprehension of the discipline, including the causes of crime and society's responses to it.

Objective 1.1 Students can understand why people commit or do not commit crime and assess the organization and functioning of the criminal justice system.

Goal 2: Criminal justice majors will develop knowledge of social scientific 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.

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 understand the operation of the criminal justice system within the larger social structure.

Objective 4.1 Students can describe the significance of race, class, gender, and age in how crime is constructed and responded to, and thus critically assess the justice system.

The traditional undergraduate programs includes a minimum of 120 credits 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 areas1:

  1. Diversity, Globalization or Non-western Area Studies,
  2. Ethics Intensive
  3. Writing Intensive, and
  4. Diversity

Overlay requirements are part of the 120 credit requirements

General Education Signature Courses

See this page about Signature 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 any CAS course outside of sociology with a "social science" attribute3
Arts and Sciences Select any other course within the College of Arts and Sciences3

GEP Electives

Seven elective courses.

Major Requirements

ACC 101Concepts of Financial Acct3
or GIS 101 Introduction to GIS
or GIS 201 Intermediate GIS
SOC 102Social Problems3
SOC 206Theories of Crime3
SOC 207Juvenile Justice3
SOC 225Intro to American CJ3
SOC 312
SOC 313
Research Methods
and Data Analysis
SOC 470Special Topics3
SOC 495Seminar I3
Select any experiential learning, including study abroad, internships, study tour courses, and service learning3
Select five other approved Criminal Justice courses numbered above SOC 102. 115
Total Hours45

Approved courses are indicated in the Sociology course descriptions.

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”.   

Plan of Study Grid
SOC 101 Intro to Sociology 3
First-Year Seminar 3
ENG 101 Craft of Language 3
HIS 154 Forging the Modern World 3
Non-native Language 3
SOC 102 Social Problems 3
SOC 225 Intro to American CJ 3
ENG 102 Texts & Contexts 3
Math Beauty 3
Non-native Language 3
SOC 206 Theories of Crime 3
ACC 101
Concepts of Financial Acct
or Introduction to GIS
or Intermediate GIS
THE 154
Catholic Theological Tradition
or Encountering the New Testament
or Catholic Theological Tradition
Free-Elective 3
Arts & Sciences (ILC)
Upper Level CJ elective 3
MAT 118 Introduction to Statistics 3
PHL 154 Moral Foundations 3
Social Science (ILC) 3
Free-Elective 3
SOC 312 Research Methods 3
SOC 207 Juvenile Justice 3
Upper Division CJ elective 3
Religious Difference 3
Free-Elective (Ethics-Intensive Overlay, if needed) 3
SOC 313 Data Analysis 3
Philosophical Anthropology 3
SOC 490 Internship (or Upper Division CJ elective) 3
Free-Elective 6
SOC 495 Seminar I 3
Upper Division CJ elective 3
Natural Science (with lab) 4
Faith and Reason 3
Free-Elective 3
SOC 470 Special Topics 3
Upper Division CJ elective 3
Fine Arts/Literature 3
Free-Elective 6
 Total Hours118

Saint Joseph University's combined B.S./M.S. program in Criminal Justice (GENERAL track) offers students an exciting and challenging curriculum of studyThe program allows students to engage the most cogent criminal justice theories while providing opportunities for research with nationally renowned Sociology faculty. This unique program is designed for successful completion over five academic years.

Undergraduate criminal justice/sociology majors at Saint Joseph's who apply for the 4+1 combined B.S./M.S. program will be evaluated for acceptance into the program following the completion of the first semester of the junior year. These undergraduate applicants will be asked to submit a complete undergraduate transcript, two letters of recommendation/reference, and an essay describing their interests and goals of graduate education in criminal justice. Minimum GPA requirement is 3.00.

Plan of Study Grid
CRJ 565 Ethics and Criminal Justice 3
CRJ 570 Prof Writ for Criminal Justice 3
CRJ 550
Research Methods and Analysis
or Adv Resrch Methds & Analysis
CRJ elective (3 credits) 3
Fifth Year
CRJ 793 Thesis Supervision I If thesis option is not chosen, student will take 2 CRJ electives. 3
CRJ 560 Criminological Theory 3
CRJ elective (3 credits) 3
CRJ 793 Thesis Supervision I If thesis option is not chosen, student will take 3 CRJ electives. 3
2 CRJ electives (6 credits) 6
 Total Hours30