Degrees and Programs
Dr. Daniel Skidmore-Hess
Interim Department Head
Department of Criminal Justice, Social & Political Science
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Leadership in Public Service
The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice consists of core courses in the administration of justice, criminology, ethics and criminal procedure coupled with a concentration in juvenile justice, law enforcement, research methods, penology and law.
Our nation recognizes the necessity of well-educated criminal justice professionals. The bachelor's degree prepares students for entry-level opportunities including the following:
: : police officers
: : private security professionals
: : correctional officers
: : intake and classification specialists
: : probation and parole officers
: : juvenile justice agency personnel
Coupled with relevant work experience, the degree sharpens the candidate's competitive edge for state and federal law enforcement openings, court administration positions, and state and federal probation and parole positions. In addition, the degree is invaluable for mid-career advancement.
Students will also find the criminal justice degree helpful in preparing them for graduate and professional education and training. Many of our students go on to law schools and master's degree programs in criminal justice and public administration. Indeed, many of our graduates are now attorneys, college professors, federal law enforcement agents, state investigators, private security managers, court investigators, assistant district attorneys, judges, probation and parole supervisors, police officers and managers, and criminal justice researchers.
The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree program in criminal justice is housed in the Department of Criminal Justice, Social and Political Science, which also offers a BA in political science (with teacher certification or a minor in public administration), and Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in criminal justice with a concentration in law enforcement and with certification as a police officer, an AAS in criminal justice with a concentration in corrections Master of Science (MS) in criminal justice.
The department is diverse and has 10 full-time faculty with doctoral training, research expertise, and professional experience in law enforcement, corrections, courts, law, juvenile justice, public administration, American government, political philosophy and international affairs. Classes are purposely small and academically challenging. In addition, students without previous criminal justice work experience undertake a mandatory, full-time, semester-long internship in a criminal justice agency. This serves to acquaint the student with real-world experiences critical to one's success in criminal justice. It also opens doors to students by establishing important professional contact for further employment.
Course of Study
Beyond the core curriculum that all students must take, criminal justice majors complete 36 hours in criminal justice courses. In addition, majors take approved courses in a variety of disciplines related to criminal justice to complete 123 hours of degree requirements. There is sufficient opportunity within the program to permit the student to pursue study in specialized areas.