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Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Curriculum

Curriculum Details


The B.S. in Criminal Justice degree courses can prepare you to lead a successful career.

You’ll complete a total of 120 credit hours, comprising 34-55 core credits, major course requirements (55 credits), major related course requirements (6 credits), and electives (0-19 credits).

Complete or transfer in core coursework requirements in Math, English, Foreign Language, Quantitative Reasoning, Written & Oral Communication, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. In addition, at least 60 credit hours of the 120 required must be in the liberal arts and sciences.

The curriculum course abstracts on this page are meant to provide a high-level course overview and subject to change based on term, faculty, and/or institutional requirements. View the official course descriptions as written in the Utica University Academic Catalog and in adherence to regional compliance. Select the appropriate Undergraduate Catalog from the dropdown.

Electives: The student must complete sufficient elective courses to earn at least the minimum credit hours required for this degree, and at least 60 credit hours of the 120 required must be in the liberal arts and sciences.

Major course requirement

Explore criminological research methods and APA, and learn basic research and writing principles as they apply to Justice Studies as a field of study.

Explore the history, theory, and structure of the criminal justice system. This course emphasizes substantive and procedural criminal law with additional examination of police, prosecution, defense, courts, and institutional and community corrections, as well as the juvenile justice subsystem.

Explore the role of ethics in the operation of the criminal justice system, and take a close look at how to use critical thinking to identify and resolve ethical dilemmas associated with crime control.

Review the ethics, professionalism, and critical thinking involved in the criminal justice communication process. Gain an understanding of how research, writing, and oral and visual communication skills are related to criminal justice.

Prerequisite: CRJ 103

This course unites theory, evidence, and policy to help students understand why the United States approaches crime control the way it does-and why these approaches keep failing. Students will critically examine the ideological and theoretical foundations as well as empirical evidence of effectiveness for contemporary crime policy and practice. Topics include the evidence-based crime policy movement, what “success” means for crime policy, ideological distinctions in and bases for crime policy preferences, theoretical underpinnings of crime policies, and evaluation research on crime policies. Students will be challenged to propose a multi-pronged approach to a specific crime problem and will need to pitch it in a way that is responsive to ideological resistance.

Data-driven, evidence-based crime policy and practice. Whether responding to incidents as they unfold, trying to determine places and times experiencing a disproportionate amount of crime, or guiding the efficient allocation of limited policing resources, crime analysis now plays a central role in American policing at the local, state, federal, and international levels. This class focuses on pattern identification and problem analysis, focusing on identifying short-term crime problems and understanding long-term problems. Students will learn how to collect, organize, analyze, and interpret quantitative and qualitative data using primary and secondary data sources and research techniques, as well as how to present analytical results effectively.

Issues in the organization and management of criminal justice agencies, including police departments, prosecutors offices, courts, jails, prisons, and community corrections.

The United States has historically linked race and ethnicity to crime and justice. While public perceptions and media images reinforce the notion that most criminals are racial/ethnic minorities, research consistently documents that the average criminal is white. Much theory and research, moreover, paints a picture of the U.S. criminal justice system that is plagued by racism and discrimination. In this course, students will be exposed to credible evidence on connections between race/ethnicity/immigration and crime/justice. Students will also examine contemporary policy issues such as mass incarceration and over-policing of ethnic and racial minorities and then challenge popular and historical misperceptions, such as how crime is a “black problem,” that being a racial/ethnic minority predisposes people toward criminality, how people convicted of crime have only themselves to blame, or that we have done enough already to our criminal justice system to ensure fair and just treatment for all.

This capstone experience will integrate what you’ve learned in previous classes with a critical analysis of current research literature. You’ll develop action projects with fellow seminar members focused on selected topics of current interest.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

Select four:

Examine the role of police in American society. You’ll explore the nature of police subculture, professionalism, personnel selection, unionism, and operational trends.
Examine the history of the juvenile justice system, police handling of juveniles, the juvenile court, detention, and the treatment of offenders. You’ll explore the related philosophies and methods of criminal justice programs for the prevention and control of youth crime.
Learn about probation, jails, prisons, and parole. You’ll also examine methods of dealing with offenders, organizational theory, incarceration rationales, inmate social systems and correction program effectiveness.

Typology of economic crime. Study of theory, causation, and victimization relating to economic crimes.

Discover the legal origins of the American criminal courts, court procedures and the trial process, as well as sentencing and appeals. You’ll also study the roles of prosecution, defense, judges, juries, the media, and the public.

Major theoretical and operational concepts related to probation, parole, and alternatives to incarceration at state and federal levels.

During this overview of terrorism and counterterrorism in global and domestic contexts, you’ll be introduced to evolving definitions and models of terrorism, its causes, key events, and countermeasures. You’ll examine the origins, structure, and activities of terrorism, as well as the sociocultural environments that lead to terrorism.
Examine America’s critical infrastructures and how to safeguard and manage them when under threat. You’ll explore key asset identification, threat and vulnerability analysis, risk assessment and management, and crisis and consequence management. Study defense, government-wide and non-government information systems, and the importance of strategic contingency planning, systems integration, and information sharing.
In this overview of the emergency management response cycle, you’ll explore planning, response, recovery, and mitigation. You’ll be introduced to FEMA operations, the Incident Command System and the National Incident Management System.

Learn about the development of organized crime in the United States and its impact on social, economic, and political institutions. You’ll examine the role of corruption as a facilitator of crime.

Prerequisite: CRJ 103 or equivalent.

A comprehensive look at the history of white-collar crime, including definitions and categories, trends, theories, and policies. You’ll also study offenders, victims, and societal reactions to corporate crime and other forms of white-collar crime.

Prerequisite: CRJ 103.

Different types of violence and how they occur in the work setting. Designed to accommodate many different areas of interest, not just law enforcement.

Policing, court, and correctional systems can vary drastically from one country to the next, with potentially serious consequences to a visitor unfamiliar with how a nation’s justice system works and interacts internationally. By conducting both macro- and micro-level research, you’ll expose differences and commonalities existing between countries around the world. You’ll also examine topical issues, like terrorism, and world events, such as the Olympics, to learn how criminal justice systems are impacted.

Prerequisite: CRJ 103

Select three:

Study the theory and practice of modern investigation methods for public and private sector agencies. Learn about the techniques and procedures for evidence collection, preservation, and presentation. Become acquainted with investigation resources, including crime laboratories and databases.

Prerequisite: CRJ 103 or equivalent.

This examination of white-collar crime in the United States emphasizes investigatory techniques related to these types of crime.

Prerequisite: CRJ 103 or equivalent.

Explore topics ranging from computer crimes and e-commerce to internet fraud and threats to the national infrastructure. You’ll analyze policies, legal issues, and investigative techniques and strategies, as well as implications for investigation and enforcement on a global scale.

Types of proactive technology programs and tools used to prevent and detect the occurrence of fraud in face-to-face transactions, e-commerce and e-business. Includes development and implementation of business models for production of prevention and detection products and techniques.

Select one:

Learn how evidence is used and understood differently in the practice of criminal justice versus the study of it. You’ll examine the purpose, role, uses, sources, and credibility of evidence in practice and theory. Consider what evidence is and is not, the types of questions for which evidence is needed, and the complementary roles of evidence and logic in answering criminal justice questions. Learn how to be a critical consumer of criminal justice claims and how evidence is used in criminological research.

Discover the foundational aspects of intelligence studies. You’ll learn about the collection and analysis of intelligence information from the perspective of national security, law enforcement, and business.

Prerequisite: CRJ 103

This course introduces the concept of data analysis as students make the connection between computational outputs, social media, and multi-platform communication. Concepts, tools, and techniques are introduced throughout this collaborative and interdisciplinary course before students embark on a series of information gathering tasks. Students will use data and written and visual analysis to explore larger regional questions. Students will take part in weekly data sprint exercises before choosing one criminal justice-related topic to investigate for the semester. Students will also be responsible for creating one multimedia project for their final grade.

Select one:

Gain an understanding of criminal law and the framework for substantive criminal law in the United States. You’ll explore how the Constitution affects the criminal studies system and the people in it.

Learn about criminal law as a process for dispute settlement and maintenance of order by the state. You’ll focus on legal reasoning, legal process, and necessity to maintain historical continuity and doctrinal consistency.

Select one:

Senior level research project on policy issue determined after consultation with faculty supervisor.

Participation on staff of criminal justice agency under co-supervision of faculty and agency personnel. Field experience, weekly readings, online discussions, and writing assignments designed to combine theory and professional practice. Prerequisite(s); if any: Permission of Instructor.

Select one:

Explore statistical competencies as a non-mathematics major. You’ll explore probability theory topics, binomial distribution, normal distribution, descriptive statistics, frequency distribution, measures of central tendency, and hypothesis testing. Additionally, you’ll learn about confidence intervals, correlation, and prediction.

Prerequisites: MAT 100, or satisfactory performance in Mathematics Placement Test administered by the mathematics department, or permission of instructor. Students may not also take PSY 211, ECN 241, or SOC 211 for credit toward Core Goal 4: Quantitative Reasoning

Application of statistical methods in psychological research. Descriptive statistics, tests of significance, correlation, simple analysis of variance, chi-square, and some nonparametric methods. Students may not also take ECN 241, MAT 112 for credit towards Core Goal 4: Quantitative Reasoning. Same as SOC 211. Prerequisite(s); if any: MAT 107, MAT 124, MAT 143, MAT 151, MAT 201, or a math placement score of 2 to 4, or a 3C test score of 070 to 100.

Gain an understanding of how to apply statistical methods to management and economics. Learn about descriptive statistics, probability, normal curve, sampling, confidence, and regression.

Prerequisites: Completion of mathematics and computer requirements in component one of core.

Students may not also take Psychology/Sociology 211 or Mathematics 112 for credit toward Core Goal 4: Quantitative Reasoning.

Select one:

Explore concepts related to the influence of cyber technologies on the modern criminal justice organization. Examine topics ranging from information technology, social networking, and cloud computing to cybersecurity and cryptography. You’ll also review data hiding, anonymity, and surveillance.

Computer hardware and peripherals and other digital media used in commission of cyber-crimes. Hands-on examination of devices, including building, configuring, upgrading, troubleshooting, diagnosis, and repair.

Computer aided problem solving in the business environment. Efficient use of spreadsheet software. Macro programming. Creating solutions from built-in functions and features.

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