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Majoring in Criminal Justice

Students who would like to declare a major in Criminal Justice Studies must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 for courses taken at SIUE.  Those who meet the GPA requirement can declare the CJ major with their academic advisor either in General Advising or in CAS Advising.  Once declared, students should contact the Criminal Justice Director for more information. 

Students also may be interested in learning more about other minors supported by the Criminal Justice Studies faculty, such as the Forensic Sciences minor, the Pre-Law minor, and the Women's Studies minor.   

Requirements for the Major

Once a students has declared the Criminal Justice Studies major through either General Advising or through CAS advising, we encourage you to visit the Director of Criminal Justice Studies for additional support and information.  Students must complete the General Education requirements, as established by the College of Arts and Sciences and must also complete 9 required core classes in Criminal Justice Studies with a C or better , as well as at least 15 credit hours of electives, also with a C or better.   Please view the annual course catalog for information about prerequisites, standing or transfer credits. 

The nine required Criminal Justice courses are:

CJ  111 Introduction to Criminal Justice –Introduction to the system of criminal justice including police, courts and corrections.

 CJ 202 Introduction to Corrections – Overview of corrections in the U.S.; includes philosophy of punishment, prisons, community-based sanctions, death penalty, ethical issues. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

 CJ 206  Principles of Criminal Law –Introduction to criminal law. The course covers the elements of crimes, criminal defenses and the nature of criminal responsibility. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

 CJ 208 Introduction to Law Enforcement – History, organization and operations of police; includes use of discretion, arrest powers, detective work, interagency cooperation, use of force.

 CJ 273 Crime, Theory and Practice –An introduction to theory and research on lawmaking, lawbreaking and the reactions to crime and criminality.

 CJ 302 Research Methods in Criminal Justice –Major research methods in social sciences as applied to study of crime and justice; includes surveys, observational methods, experimentation, comparative and historical research.  Open to CJ majors and minors only.

 CJ 303 Data Analysis in Criminal Justice –Key statistical concepts, their application and interpretation. Using a computer to calculate and graphically display statistics. Creating and manipulating data sets. Prerequisite: CJ 302, CJ majors or minors only.

 CJ 366 Race and Class in Criminal Justice –Criminal justice from the vantage point of race and class relations, racial/ cultural interaction, enforcement patterns, use of discretion, case outcomes, and punishment.

 CJ 488 Supervised Internship/Senior Assignment – 140 hours of supervised work in a criminal justice organization culminating in a written and oral presentation to CJ faculty relating the experience to course work. Prerequisite: CJ majors only with senior standing and completion of at least 18 hours of CJ course work.  Please click here for more information about this course.  You will need to plan this course with an instructor 1-2 semesters before you are ready to enroll. 

Majors must also take 15 hours of CJ Electives, but please remember that not every elective will be offered every semester.  Some are offered only once per year, or only intermittently. 

 Elective Courses in Criminal Justice

205 Juvenile Justice –Arrest, pretrial detention, court procedures, and punishment involving juveniles; includes waivers to adult court, privacy issues, community-based corrections, recidivism.

207 Criminal Procedure –Supreme Court criminal procedure cases analyzed. Application of law to stop and frisk, search, seizure, warrants, cyberspace, interrogations, etc., highlighted at federal and Illinois level.

311 Perspectives on Terrorism - A survey of international and domestic terrorism, the organizations, philosophies, and responses. Investigates the social, psychological, cultural, historical, political, religious, and economic dynamics of terrorism.

348  Law and Society - (same as PHIL 348 and POLS 392) Examines the nexus of culture, dispute management and law. We will explore law as a social construct, focusing on law’s everyday impact on citizen’s lives.

357  Organized Crime –History, development, and current practices of organized crime in the United States and other countries.

364 Rehabilitation and Treatment Modalities –Examines treatment and rehabilitation strategies, including theoretical foundations, counseling techniques, and community-based approaches.

365 Ethics in Criminal Justice –Explores ethical responsibilities of criminal justice personnel and the moral dilemmas faced by police, court, and corrections officials in processing suspects, defendants, and offenders.

367 Gender and Criminal Justice –Issues of gender in criminal justice, particularly with regard to offending, victimization, processing, incarcerating, rehabilitating and among professionals in the field.

368 Serial Rape and Murder - Prevailing myths surrounding sexual assault and examination of the various typologies explaining rape and murder.

390 Special Topics in Criminal Justice –Topics not included in regular course offerings. May be repeated once to a maximum of 6 hours provided no topic is repeated.

396-1 to 6 Readings in Criminal Justice - Supervised reading or projects in selected areas of criminal justice. May be repeated for up to 6 hours.  Consent of Instructor required prior to enrolling; open to CJ majors/minors only.

401 Community Corrections –History and current practice, success rates of community-based alternatives to prison; includes boot camps, probation, electronic monitoring, and new “creative” sentencing.

408 Critical Issues in Law Enforcement – [SS] Examination and analysis of issues in policing, including training and socialization, management and organization, deviance, minority recruitment, community-based efforts and use of force.

410 Judicial Process –Organization of and participants in the federal and Illinois state criminal courts are examined. Sources of law, criminal trial process and appellate process are discussed.

420 United States Drug Policy –Examines historical and contemporary drug use and policy efforts, including secondary problems affiliated with drugs, the War on Drugs and its impact, nationally and internationally. Prerequisite: junior/senior standing.

454 Capital Punishment –Explores the history, practice, and legal status of the death penalty in the United States and other countries.

464 Mental Health and the Criminal System –Explores treatment of mentally ill defendants by police, courts and corrections. Insanity defense, trial competency, guardianship, civil commitment and court diversion initiatives for such defendants are discussed.

465 Theories of the Just Society –Examines various constructions of the just society and the functions of government. Students consider the role of law and its relationship to justice for citizens.

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