Goals: The Criminal Justice program is designed to prepare students to serve in the criminal justice field by combining liberal arts study with professional education. The Criminal Justice program provides students with comprehensive knowledge of the philosophies, processes, and objectives of the American criminal justice system, and it seeks to develop the decision-making and communication skills necessary to professional success.
In addition to a core of criminal justice courses, students enrolled in the major will study sociology, psychology, religion, social work, and political science. This focused, multidisciplinary approach is designed to enhance students’ knowledge of the human and societal complexities which are integral to an understanding of the criminal justice field. Within this course of study there is strong emphasis on development of oral and written communication skills, critical thinking skills, professional problem-solving, and ethics. Students will also gain hands-on experience through field observation, internships, service learning, and practicum.
Vocational Applications: Traditional careers in criminal justice include positions such as city police officers, county/state/federal law enforcement, private investigators, security officers, loss prevention specialists, attorneys, courts service employees, parole officers, probation officers, and corrections officers. There are also numerous agencies and programs which support aspects of the criminal justice system in areas such as crime prevention, juvenile services, victim services, and aftercare. The concentrated social science education which Criminal Justice majors receive also has broad application within social service fields.