The Criminal Justice Department is committed to providing students with a quality liberal arts education. Furthermore, students will gain an appreciation of their role as criminal justice professionals and as contributing members of society. As a part of a public university, the Department also is committed to public service.

The University baccalaureate core curriculum will provide the foundation for talents necessary to succeed in the criminal justice profession and in society. These talents include:

  • an ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • an ability to use numbers and symbols in the representation of reality and to engage in logical thinking.
  • an appreciation of the scientific method and the contribution of the sciences.
  • an appreciation of culture through the visual and performing arts.
  • an appreciation of human diversity and the imperative of human values in the preservation of a free society.
  • an understanding of the political nature of society and its role in the Union of the United States.
  • an understanding of the role of the individual as part of the family, groups, organization, and society.
  • an appreciation of moral and ethical judgment.
  • an appreciation of self through physical, social, and psychological development.
Criminal Justice
Criminal Justice is a discipline that encompasses the preservation and protection of social order in a free society. It includes such principles as democracy, rule of law, constitutionalism, civil liberties, and the safeguarding of citizens against intimidation and oppression. The Criminal Justice curriculum, which is based on the University’s liberal arts core, is designed to prepare students for higher education or entering careers in criminal justice. Graduates are expected to continue their personal and professional development in a variety of practical settings. To achieve this mission, four dimensions of development serve as a basis for the curriculum.

Knowledge, Reason, Judgement
The Criminal Justice curriculum provides students with the opportunity and assistance to acquire knowledge of the roles of policing, courts, laws, corrections, and international affairs as they contribute to social order. Students will gain knowledge of the history, concepts, and critical issues in these areas through criminal justice required courses. The curriculum further provides a theoretical foundation of the discipline, combined with a thorough understanding of the scientific method as it applies to criminal justice. This combination is expected to sharpen the students’ talents of reasoning and judgment — qualities imperative to rational functioning in the discipline.

Ability, Skills, Integration
The Criminal Justice curriculum provides students with the ability to achieve the professional goals of criminal justice. Students will learn how to prudently integrate knowledge and practice in criminal justice. Furthermore, the curriculum provides students with an opportunity to develop the individual and group skills necessary to meet various role expectations.

Conduct, Professionalism, Ethics
The Criminal Justice curriculum will provide graduates with an appreciation for the complexity and dilemmas associated with the criminal justice profession. Criminal Justice students will be exposed to the moral and ethical dimensions of the various careers within the discipline and will be charged with the essential aptitudes necessary for their professional conduct.

Vision, Change, Adaptation
The Criminal Justice curriculum will provide students with an understanding of the discipline as it currently exists and as it is envisioned to be in the future. The Criminal Justice student will be able to apply vision in the face of change and to respond to the evolving nature of criminal justice and society. Furthermore, students will be equipped with the tools of adaptation for making these changes.

Graduate Studies
Several different track programs are offered depending on the career path of the student's choice. Learn more about the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice graduate studies on our website, or you may also visit our graduate school website for further information.