Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice

The study of criminal justice offers students the opportunity to study fascinating issues of crime and justice that are critical to the functioning of a healthy society. Understanding patterns and causes of crime, the challenges facing criminal justice agencies as they seek to balance crime control with preservation of civil liberties, and the growing importance of security management in what has been called the “risk society” are just some of the issues you will study as a criminal justice major.

The Student Planning Guide is created for undergraduates to assist in planning the four-year curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice.  It supplements the following University publications: Description of Courses, Academic Programs, and Schedule of Classes.  Students, in consultation with the School of Criminal Justice academic advisors and faculty, are responsible for organizing their programs and satisfying their degree requirements.

Detailed information about the Bachelors of Arts degree in Criminal Justice can be found in the Student Planning Guide. Questions can also be directed to the main office at 517-355-2197.

Student Planning Guide

Student Planning Guide – New Curriculum (for all students enrolled in CJ starting Fall 2017)

Program Requirements

REQUIREMENTS FOR A BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR IN SECURITY MANAGEMENT

Requirements for a Minor in Security Management

The complexities of modern society have combined to generate a variety of threats to business organizations, information networks, government installations and operations, and individuals. The Undergraduate Minor in Security Management is designed for students who are interested in private and government security.

The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor's degree programs at Michigan State University. The minor should be of particular interest to students who are enrolled in certain programs in the Eli Broad College of Business and the College of Social Science, and to students who are enrolled in the Bachelor of Science degree program in computer science.

The Minor in Security Management is designed to help students to understand:

  • The business and technical aspects of protecting private and government assets.
  • The administrative, management, technical, and legal problems of asset protection and loss prevention.
  • Concepts related to protecting personal and personnel rights, proprietary information, facilities, and other assets of an organization.
  • Security's relationship to the value of freedom and democratic principles in our society.

REQUIREMENTS FOR AN ADDITIONAL MAJOR IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Students whose primary major is not criminal justice may earn an additional major in CJ. The additional major will be noted on the student’s transcript but not on the official diploma. Students must successfully complete the following requirements to receive the additional major.

Major Requirements (30 credits):

Core Courses: 12 credits

Thematic Areas: Select 2 or 3 (6 – 9 credits)

CJ electives: Select 9-12 credits

A minimum of nine credits in criminal justice elective coursework is required. All credits in criminal justice must total 30, with at least nine credits at the 400-level. Elective courses include CJ 434W, CJ 456W, CJ 466W and CJ 485W but exclude CJ 494 (internship).

To receive the additional major, students must maintain a 2.0 for both cumulative GPA and criminal justice courses.

Students who wish to declare criminal justice as an additional major should make an appointment with an academic adviser.

After a student declares criminal justice as an additional major, the intention to complete the additional major will be noted on his or her academic record in the Registrar's Office.

See the Planning Guide for course suggestions on the above requirements.

REQUIREMENTS FOR A SECOND DEGREE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Students who successfully complete a second degree at Michigan State University receive two bachelor’s degrees and two diplomas. The following are required for a second degree:

Major Requirements (30 credits):

Core Courses: 12 credits

Thematic Areas: Select 2 or 3 (6 – 9 credits)

CJ electives: Select 9-12 credits

A minimum of 9 credits in criminal justice elective coursework is required. All credits in criminal justice must total 30, with at least 9 credits at the 400-level. Elective courses include CJ 434W, CJ 456W, CJ 466W and CJ 485W but exclude CJ 494 (internship).

College of Social Science Requirements (30 credits):

Social Science: 15 credits

Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Anthropology, Geography, Social Work, Economics, History, Family & Child Ecology


Arts and Letters: 9 credits

Philosophy, Religious Studies, Theater, English, Classical Studies, Studio Art, Foreign Languages, Women’s Studies, History of Art, Music


Natural Science: 6 credits

Astronomy, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, Zoology, Entomology, Mathematics, Statistics, Geology, Biochemistry, Computer Science, selected social science courses (see Student Planning Guide).

Requesting the degree

To declare criminal justice as a second degree, you must make an appointment with a criminal justice adviser.

Description of Courses

CJ 110 – Introduction to Criminal Justice

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall and Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Description and analysis of agencies and processes involved in administration of justice in the United States.

CJ 220 – Criminology

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall and Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Introduction to the socio-legal foundation of crime. Crime typology and measurement procedures. Theory and public policy. Societal responses to crime and criminals.

CJ 235 – Investigation Procedure

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Laws of evidence controlling investigative procedures. Crime scene concerns. Multiagency investigation.

CJ 275 – Criminal Procedure

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall and Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Administration of criminal law. Investigation, prosecution, adjudication, and sentencing. Constitutional safeguards and legal controls on official action.

CJ 292 – Methods of Criminal Justice Research

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall and Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate Online

Logic, design, analysis, and ethical principles in criminal justice research. Indicators of crime and its control.

CJ 294 – Leadership and Professional Development in Criminal Justice

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall and Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Career planning and professional development. Leadership principles and theory, as related to the field of criminal justice.

CJ 335 – Policing

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall and Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Roles, responsibilities, issues, and trends pertinent to contemporary law enforcement organizations in contemporary society.

CJ 355 – Juvenile Justice

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall and Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

The juvenile justice system and law. Theories of juvenile delinquency and deviance. Sociological, psychological, and anthropological perspectives.

CJ 365 – Corrections

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall and Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Historical and contemporary views of offender management and treatment. Corrections system operation. Effects of institutionalization. Alternatives to incarceration.

CJ 385 – Private Security

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Relationships of private protective services with public law enforcement. Individuals, businesses, and governments providing prevention, protection, investigation, and disaster recovery services. Protection of persons, property, and information.

CJ 422 – Comparative and Historical Criminal Justice

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall of odd years
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Comparative study of criminal justice systems. Theories, types, and effects of intervention.

CJ 424 – Crime, Mass Media, and Society (W)

Credits: 3 | Offered: Spring of even years
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Representation of crime and criminal justice in the media. Relationship between media and criminal justice organizations. Images of crime, criminal justice, and trafficking. Media effects on criminal justice policy.

CJ 425 – Women and Criminal Justice

Credits: 3 | Offered: Spring of even years
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Theories on women’s victimization and criminality. Women’s experiences as victims, offenders, and criminal justice employees. Laws and their effects on the rights of women in the criminal justice system.

CJ 426 – Violence Against Women (W)

Credits: 3 | Offered: Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Intimate partner violence, rape, and stalking. Theoretical causes of violence against women and factors commonly associated with it. Physical, mental and legal consequences; institutional responses; and prevention efforts.

CJ 427 – Criminology and Public Policy (W)

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Advanced study of criminological theory. Examination of policies implied by different theories of crime. Evaluation of crime control policies.

CJ 430 – Advanced Seminar in Policing (W)

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Advanced issues in policing. Police strategies and evaluation. Behavioral determinants of policing. Socialization and culture of police. Police coercion. Police deviance.

CJ 432 – Community Policing

Credits: 3 | Offered: Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Community policing philosophy, applications, issues, and contemporary research. Community policing models.

CJ 433 – Law Enforcement Intelligence Operations

Credits: 3 | Offered: Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Law enforcement intelligence as an analytic tool for case development and resource allocation. Historical, ethical, legal, and operational issues affecting current practice.

CJ 434 – Police Administration

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Organizational theory, leadership, communications, and labor relations in police administration. Historical and legal perspectives.

CJ 439 – Homeland Security

Credits: 3 | Offered: Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Definition of terrorism and terrorist groups. Fundamental principles of emergency management and homeland security. Historical perspectives and modern threats. Public health and environmental protection. Private sector role and impacts. Security vs. civil liberties. Science, technology, and research issues.

CJ 445 – Cyber-Crime and Cyber-Security (W)

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Internet crimes, problems, and procedures for cybersecurity.

CJ 455 – Delinquency and Treatment Approaches

Credits: 3 | Offered: Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Investigation and evaluation of delinquency. Prevention programs and treatment approaches. Implementation and assessments of correctional and community intervention strategies in agency settings.

CJ 465 – Critical issues in Corrections (W)

Credits: 3 | Offered: Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Advanced topics in corrections. Probation and parole. Community corrections. Recidivism and reentry. Evolution of punishment. Comparative systems of confinement.

CJ 466 – Corrections Organizations and Systems

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Management of correctional organizations. Interactions between correctional organizations and their political and cultural environments.

CJ 471 – Law of Corrections

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall of odd years
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Constitutional limitations and the impact of law on correctional practice. Due process, prisoners’ rights, and parole and probation.

CJ 473 – Comparative Constitutional Law

Credits: 3 | Offered: Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Comparative constitutional law. Courts with constitutional jurisdiction. Allocation of constitutional powers. Relationship among levels of government. Individual constitutional rights.

CJ 474 – Law and Criminal Justice Policy

Credits: 3 | Offered: Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Impact of law on police practices, court processes, and correctional institutions and programs. Development, implementation, and evaluation of judicial policies.

CJ 485 – Critical Issues in Private Security (W)

Credits: 3 | Offered: Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Advanced topics in private security. Planning and administering. Organizing and staffing. Human relations. Management styles. Media relations.

CJ 490 – Independent Study

Credits: 1-3 | Offered: Fall, Spring and Summer
 | Available To: Undergraduate

Individual study in fields of criminal justice, under direct supervision of a faculty member.

CJ 491 – Topics in Criminal Justice

Credits: 3 | Offered: Fall and Spring
 | Available To: Undergraduate Online

Special issues in criminal justice.

CJ 494 – Criminal Justice Practicum

Credits: 3-12 | Offered: Fall, Spring and Summer
 | Available To: Undergraduate Online

Observation, participation, and study in selected criminal justice agencies.

Study Abroad Opportunites

Comparative Law and Legal Systems in the Caribbean

This spring program, open to all majors, offers a unique opportunity for comparative study of two of the world’s major legal systems: the common law system (in Barbados, United States Virgin Islands, and British Virgin Islands) and the civil law system (in Dutch St. Maarten and French St. Martin). Using an array of perspectives, the study of each system will cover the basic aspects of constitutional law, criminal law, civil law, court systems, and legal education. Some attention will also be given to the links between law and religion, politics, economics, race and other cultural aspects of the Caribbean region. Additionally, the program will explore the transition of legal systems from colonial to independent and their relationship to regional and international law. In addition to the program activities, there will be many opportunities to independently explore the islands and travel to neighboring islands during and after the program.


Australia: Its People, Government, Justice Systems and Public Policies

Open to all majors, this spring semester interdisciplinary program offers an exceptional opportunity to study firsthand the people, government and justice systems, and public policies of Australia. The program allows students to study the dichotomous qualities of Australia, from its cosmopolitan environment to its reputation as one of the world's last frontiers.

Scheduled during Australia's summer months of January and February, this overseas studies program is conducive to many sun and water activities during participants' free time. Classes generally meet four times a week, leaving long weekends for individual travel and sightseeing.


Madagascar: Paradise in Peril? Exploring Madagascar's Biodiversity Crisis

Open to all majors, this early summer program is co-sponsored by the Colleges of Social Science, Agriculture & Natural Resources and Natural Science. The three-week program takes students to the island of Madagascar, home to an astonishing eight plant, four bird, and five primate families that live nowhere else on Earth. The program allows students to examine the delicate relationship Madagascar is faced in balancing between human development and environmental protection.


The Philippines: Justice and Development Practice in Transitional Societies of Southeast Asia

Open to all majors, this early spring program (May/June) is sponsored by the College of Social Science.  The month long program takes place in the Southeast Asia country of the Philippines.  The Philippines has undergone significant social and political transformations within the last few decades, partly fueled by experiences of globalization and technology.  The program allows students to learn firsthand many contradictions, challenges, and opportunities in a transitional and developing society in the areas of justice and legal systems, the dynamics of governance and public citizenship and environmental protection.