About the Department | Undergraduate Programs | Graduate Programs | Faculty & Staff | EJS
Criminal Justice Program
Employment Relations Program
Sociology Program
Criminal Justice Club
Sociology Club


Criminal Justice Undergraduate Program

About the Deptartment * Admission Requirements * Program Major and Minor Requirements * Transfer Credit * Senior Assignment: CJ 488 Supervised Internship* Major Course Work *Electives * Recommended Links * Research and Data Links * Careers in Criminal Justice

About the Department
The B.A./B.S. degree in criminal justice studies at SIUE is a multi-disciplinary degree program with a strong academic foundation in the liberal arts. Among the general topics studied are theories of crime and delinquency; the origins and development of criminal law and procedure; the functions and operations of criminal justice agencies in America, including the criminal justice response to juvenile offenders; the prevention of crime and delinquency; privatization in corrections and policing; the nature, meaning, and purpose of criminal punishment; the nature and impact of criminal justice policy; and the relationship between criminal justice and human diversity.

The criminal justice major prepares students for a broad range of career opportunities, including work in law enforcement and security, probation and parole, the court system, and corrections. Experiential learning is an important component of the program, and all students are required to complete an internship with an organization or agency involved with some aspect of criminal justice. The internship could be with a public agency such as a police department, state or federal prison, local jail, circuit and municipal courts, or prosecutor’s office, or with a private organization delivering products or services to the criminal justice system.


As part of the internship, all students complete an oral and written presentation that relates their experience to a topic of their choosing taken from earlier coursework. This encourages students to reflect on their journey through the program and to demonstrate what they have learned. This demonstration is referred to as the "Senior Assignment" and it constitutes part of the university's program of assessment.


Admission Requirements

Admission to the criminal justice major is competitive, and students must meet the following conditions to be considered for admission:

  1. Completion of all general education skills courses with grades of C or better
  2. Completion of 15 hours of introductory courses with grades of C or better
  3. Completion of the following courses with a grade of C or better: SOC 111, POLS 112, and CJ/SOC 201, or their equivalents
  4. Completion of the Pre-CJ Program, described below
  5. A cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above

The Pre-CJ Program is a two-semester introduction to the major in criminal justice studies and includes one-on-one contact with criminal justice advisors. All students planning to major in criminal justice at SIUE must enroll in the Pre-CJ Program and complete its requirements before they are eligible to apply for admission to the major. The director of criminal justice studies admits students to the major.

Ordinarily, students are admitted to the Pre-CJ program at the beginning of the Fall semester after they have completed at least 30 semester hours of undergraduate study.

In addition to completing CJ/SOC 201 and other course prerequisites for the major, students must take CJ 202 and CJ 208 and at least one other 200 level CJ course during the two-semester Pre-CJ program. They are also encouraged to join the Criminal Justice Club, and to participate in other activities that relate to the major.


The Pre-CJ Program is waived for transfer students who have already completed
the relevant courses or have received an Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice
or equivalent field from a community college.

Application for admission to the Pre-CJ Program must be made in person at the CJ
Director's office, currently Peck Hall 1211. Admission to the Pre-CJ Program
is not a guarantee of acceptance into the major in Criminal Justice Studies.

Application for the major should be made in the CJ Director's office, currently
Peck Hall 1211.


Applications will be reviewed by an Admissions Committee composed of the Director of Criminal Justice Studies and two members of the full-time criminal justice faculty. Among the factors considered will be:

  • Overall GPA at SIUE
  • GPA in Pre-CJ Program
  • Letter of application stating career goals and reasons for pursuing a major in Criminal Justice Studies
  • Current or previous employment in criminal justice field
  • Previous coursework in criminal justice at other institutions
  • Letters of recommendation from past or present instructors
  • Other considerations that support the University's Long-term Goal of Engaged Students and Capable Graduates

Students denied admission may apply the following year but will compete with the new cohort.

Program Major and Minor Graduation Requirements


A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above in Criminal Justice course work is required for graduation.

Students must pass all required courses with a grade of C or better. A minimum of 15 semester hours of upper-level courses is required for graduation.

Students majoring in Criminal Justice are required to maintain a cumulative average of C or better in their Criminal Justice course work.


For a minor in Criminal Justice, students are required to complete at least 21 semester hours of CJ electives. Minors must maintain an average of C or better in their Criminal Justice courses. Ordinarily, minors do not take CJ 488. Up to 9 hours of transfer credit may be accepted toward the minor.

Attention Criminal Justice Studies Majors Minoring in Sociology: The sociology minor cannot be completed by “double counting” cross-listed CJ/SOC courses. These courses must be counted in one or the other program, not both. For example, since CJ/SOC 201 and 272 are required courses in Criminal Justice Studies, they can not be applied to the sociology minor. Cross-listed elective courses may count toward the sociology minor if they are not being counted toward the Criminal Justice major, and vice-versa.


Transfer Credit

Ordinarily, up to 12 semester hours of transfer credit with C or better grades may be accepted. Up to 15 hours of transfer credit may be accepted from Illinois universities and community colleges, as recommended under the Illinois Articulation Agreement. Subject to appropriate articulation agreements, community college students may count the following courses, or their equivalents, as credit towards the major. Additional transfer hours may be used if approved by criminal justice advisors.

CJ 201 Introduction to Criminal Justice [IAI Course No. CRJ 901]

CJ 202 Introduction to Corrections [IAI Course No. CRJ 911]

CJ 205 Juvenile Justice [IAI Course No. CRJ 914]

CJ 206 Criminal Law and Procedure [IAI Course No. CRJ 913]

CJ 208 Introduction to Law Enforcement [No IAI equivalent]

CJ 272 Criminology [IAI Course No. CRJ 901]


Senior Assignment: CJ 488 Supervised Internship

Attention Criminal Justice majors!  You are required to successfully complete an internship at a criminal justice related agency with a grade of C or better in order to successfully complete your Criminal Justice degree.  This document is to provide you with the necessary requirements to assure you follow the correct process in moving through the internship experience.
The internship is a great opportunity to spend time (140 Hours) in the type of Criminal Justice profession in which you hope to spend your career.  Equally important, it may help you decide what profession you do NOT wish to pursue in the Criminal Justice field!  Either way, it provides useful career information, networking opportunities, and possible employment leads.  CJ 488 functions as Criminal Justice’s Senior Assignment, so it is a time intensive course reflecting all the topics you have studied to date in Criminal Justice Studies.
                  Here are the steps to successfully begin the internship process:

  1. You should plan to enroll in CJ 488, Supervised Internship, in either the last semester before you are scheduled to graduate, or possibly, dependent upon space availability, the next to last semester.
  1. You must contact the instructor of record (either Dr. Trish Oberweis at toberwe@siue.edu, or Dr. Ann Dirks Linhorst at pdirksl@siue.edu) at the beginning of the semester PRIOR to when you plan to enroll in CJ 488.  For example, if you will take CJ 488 during the Spring semester, you must contact your instructor at the beginning of the prior Fall semester.  The instructor of record is tentatively planned as follows:


    1. Fall Semester CJ 488 Instructor*:                       Dr. Oberweis
    2. Spring Semester CJ 488 Instructor:                     Dr. Dirks Linhorst
    3. Summer CJ 488 Instructor, even years (2012)*:  Dr. Oberweis
    4. Summer CJ 488 Instructor, odd years (2013):     Dr. Dirks Linhorst

HOWEVER, it may be necessary for you to talk with one of the instructors of record even EARLIER than the beginning of the semester prior to your internship.  FOR EXAMPLE:  if you are interested in Illinois State Police (ISP), they have very specific deadlines for applications.  If you wish to take an ISP internship in Summer, your application deadline is January 30 most years.  Therefore, you should contact one of the two instructors ASAP when you decide you wish to do that internship.  There are other early deadlines as well, typically for any internships with federal agencies.  It never hurts to ask!!

  1. The Department offers one (1) section of CJ 488 in Fall semester; two to three sections (2-3) in Spring semester, and two (2) sections during the Summer Term.  These sections tend to rapidly fill, so it is imperative that you talk to Dr. Oberweis or Dr. Dirks Linhorst EARLYPLEASE NOTE THAT YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO ENROLL FOR CJ 488 UNLESS AND UNTIL YOU HAVE TALKED WITH YOUR INSTRUCTOR OF RECORD FOR THAT SEMESTER.
  1. You cannot contact a potential placement without prior express approval from your instructor of record.  Failure to follow this requirement may result in your inability to use that site for your internship experience!!!
  1. The Department has contracts with a variety of Criminal Justice agencies.  A partial list is posted on the bulletin board outside the office at 1211 Peck Hall.  HOWEVER, we are happy to work with you to obtain contracts with a new agency, if it is one that you are interested in working with, and they will agree to host you as an intern.  We need to start the contract process early, so be sure to talk with your instructor of record in that situation.  Sometimes the contract process can take up to 4 months, so starting early is essential!!!!
  1. After you and the instructor of record have agreed upon a potential placement site, you will make the call/contact with that agency or office to determine if they have a place for you for the semester in question.
    1. Most agencies request that you come in for an interview.  You may want to take a resume with you.  If you have not written one before, SIUE’s Career Development Center can assist you.
    2. Most agencies will require you to undergo a criminal background check.  Many agencies will disqualify you with a misdemeanor conviction, so you need to be honest with them up front. 
  1. You MUST attend a mandatory meeting concerning CJ 488 in the semester prior to the one in which you want to enroll.  For example, for Spring semester internship students, there will be a mandatory meeting in either late October or early November.  Please note that attendance is MANDATORY!  You will receive your syllabus, your course packet/resources, and continue to work toward placement acceptance.
  1. For registration purposes, you will need to obtain a pin number, and then enroll for CJ 488.
  1. Please do not hesitate to contact one of us if you have any questions.  We can also respond to e-mail questions from you.  Planning ahead will help assure a useful internship experience, and hopefully provide you with the location that would be of the most interest to you.
Major Course Work

The core of the Criminal Justice major consists of 24 hours of course work required of all students plus 15 hours of Criminal Justice electives. Majors must complete CJ 201, 202, and 208 with a C or better grade before they take any 300- or 400-level CJ course. CJ 302 and 303 are prerequisites for all 400-level CJ courses. Completion of at least 18 hours of Criminal Justice coursework is required for enrollment in the supervised internship. Criminal Justice majors may count up to 6 hours of 300- or 400-level courses in other programs with permission of the Director of Criminal Justice Studies.


Elective Courses

15 hours of Criminal Justice electives are required for graduation, although students may choose to take more. The elective courses must be drawn from the following list unless CJ advisors approve an alternate.

CJ 205-3 Juvenile Justice. [IAI Course No. CRJ 914] Arrest, pre-trial detention, court procedures and punishment involving juveniles; includes waivers to adult, privacy issues, community-based corrections, recidivism.

CJ 206-3 Criminal Law and Procedure. [IAI Course No. CRJ 913] Substantive law and procedural rules explored, including legislative and administrative aspects. Key U.S. Supreme Court decisions on criminal procedure and individual rights.

CJ 364-3 Rehabilitation and Treatment Modalities. Examines treatment and rehabilitation strategies including theoretical foundations, empirical success, counseling techniques, and community based approaches. Prereqs: CJ 201, CJ 202.

CJ 365-3 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. Prereqs: CJ 201, CJ 202, CJ 208.

CJ 390-3 Special Topics in Criminal Justice. Topics not included in regular course offerings. May be repeated once to a maximum of six hours provided no topic is repeated.

CJ 396-1 to 6 Independent Study in Criminal Justice. Supervised reading or projects in selected areas of criminal justice. May be repeated for up to 6 hours. Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor. CJ majors and minors only.

CJ 401-3 Community Corrections. History and current practice, success rates of community-based alternatives to prison; includes boot camps, electronic monitoring, restitution, and new "creative" sentences. Prereqs: CJ 202, junior or senior standing

CJ 420-3 U.S. 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. Prereq: junior or senior standing

CJ 422-3 White-Collar Crime. (Same as SOC 422). An examination of the nature, extent, and distribution of white-collar crime as well as its causes, correlates, and control. Prereq: CJ/SOC 272 or permission of instructor.

CJ 464-3 Mental Health and the Criminal Justice 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. Prereq: junior or senior standing

CJ 465-3 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.

CJ 472-3 Explaining Crime. (Same as SOC 472). Examination of the relationship between classical and contemporary criminological theory, research, and policy. Prereq: CJ/SOC 272 or permission of instructor.


Recommended Links

Professional Associations and Organizations

Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

American Society of Criminology

World Society of Victimology

International Association of Chiefs of Police

American Correctional Association

American Probation and Parole Association

National Organization for Victim Assistance

National White Collar Crime Center

Police Foundation

United Nations Crime and Justice Information Network

Community Policing Consortium

Research and Data Collection Sites

National Criminal Justice Reference Service

Bureau of Justice Statistics

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

United Nations Crime and Justice Information Network

World Criminal Justice Library