Criminal Justice, Law & Society | Academic Advising Handbook

The major in Criminal Justice, Law and Society explores complex issues of crime, justice and social policy from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Students will explore the theory and philosophy of law and justice in the United States and grapple with the challenges of the pursuit of justice in our complicated and quickly changing social environment.

Students pursuing the major in Criminal Justice, Law, and Society may pursue careers in social policy, criminal justice, law enforcement, juvenile justice, corrections, law, federal and state agencies, and international organizations. The CJLS major is also excellent preparation for graduate work in law, political science, sociology, social work, criminology, public administration, education and other academic disciplines.

The CJLS major includes three groups of classes— core courses, skills electives and diversity electives. However, students may take courses for the major in any order, provided the student meets the prerequisites of each course at registration. Students are advised to take CJLS 101 and 200 early in their college careers as these courses will provide an overview to the discipline. The program also offers special topics courses focusing on juvenile justice and law enforcement strategies. 

More general information on other academic requirements can be found on the Academic Advising Handbook page. The Criminal Justice, Law, and Society section of the Academic Advising Handbook (pdf) and the Course Catalog (pdf) are available for download.

Tips and Suggestions

  • PSJ 215 Conflict Mediation (2) is typically a winter term course and is not offered during the fall or spring semesters.
  • Upper-division POLS courses may require junior standing for enrollment.
  • Students will complete the CJLS 380 Practicum course in the fall of their senior year.
  • The “skills” elective is designed to build a student’s career-specific skills such as public speaking, presenting data, being a first responder, etc. Students should take one of the courses listed, but may also seek approval of an alternative skills course via the CJLS advisor.
  • The CJLS major also requires 4 credits focused on diversity in contemporary USA. Students may seek approval of an alternative diversity course via the CJLS advisor.

Major in Criminal Justice, Law and Society (CJLS)

Core Courses:
CJLS 101 Introduction to Law and Society (4 credits)
CJLS 200 Criminal Justice (4)
SOC 366 Deviance (4)
PSJ 215 Conflict Mediation (2)
PHIL 315 Philosophy of Law (4)
POLS 325 Constitutional Law (4)
POLS 326 Civil Liberties (4)
SOC 304 Criminology (4)
SOC 300 Methods of Social Research (4)
SOC 301 Social Statistics (4)
CJLS 380 CJLS Practicum 4
CJLS 491 Senior Capstone I (2)
CJLS 492 Senior Capstone II (2)

(46 core credits)

Choose One Course (2 credits) from the following skills courses:
MEDA 101 Fundamentals of Speaking (2)
MEDA 109 Intro to Communication Design (2)
PSJ 105 Introduction to Civic Engagement (2)
OL 107 Wilderness First Responder (2)
OL 207 Introduction to Outdoor Leadership (2)
APTH 272 Performance as Witness (2)

Choose One Course (4 credits) from the following courses that explore diversity in the contemporary USA:
Hist 245 Race in Modern America (4)
Hist 465 Civil Rights Movement (4)
Span 325 Mexican-American Cultural Exploration (4)
Pols 227 Civil Rights Movement (4)
Soc 316 Gender and Sexuality (4)
Soc 360 Critical Race Theory (4)
GSS 201 Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies (4)

(52 credits total)

Sample Four-Year Schedule

Year One
Fall (12 credits) Winter (2 Credits Spring (16 Credits)
CJLS 101 OL 107 CJLS 200
FYS   SOC 110
POLS 227   ECON 102
Core/Elective   Core/Elective
Year Two
Fall (16 credits) Winter (2 credits) Spring (16 credits)
POLS 266 PSJ 215 POLS 326
PHIL 315   SOC 300 or SOC 302
Core/Elective   Core/Elective
Core/Elective   Core/Elective
Year Three  
Fall (16 credits) Winter (2 credits) Spring (16 credits)
HIST 141 Elective SOC 304
SOC 301   SOC 366
POLS 325   Elective
Elective   Elective
Year Four
Fall (16 credits) Winter (2 credits) Spring (16 Credits)
CJLS 491 Elective CJLS 492
CJLS 380   Elective
Elective   Elective

Rev. 2018