Program Requirements

About the major

Criminal Justice is an interdisciplinary major that includes courses within the social sciences and humanities. Required classes from the disciplines of Psychology, Political Science, and Sociology provide a solid base for understanding crime and criminal justice. Students majoring in Criminal Justice also complete two social-science research courses where they learn the methods used to analyze crime.

Additional courses in the domains of Criminal Justice, Criminology, and Justice Studies further develop an understanding of issues related to this social problem. Through courses within the Criminal Justice block, students gain an understanding of criminal law, law enforcement, judicial processes and other aspects of the criminal justice system. Classes within the domain of Criminology are grounded in social theory. These courses use a social-science approach to understand criminal behavior and the relationship between crime and society. Courses within the Justice Studies block afford students the opportunity to better appreciate the moral, philosophical, and humanistic dimensions of the criminal justice system.

This comprehensive interdisciplinary approach provides a strong foundation for graduate school and professional careers in criminal justice. Courses within the program prepare students for employment in agencies such as the FBI, GBI, DEA, Homeland Security, and ICE. Classes also prepare students for graduate school and professional degree programs in fields such as law, criminology, law enforcement, and public affairs.

To earn a Criminal Justice degree, a minimum of 36 semester credit hours is required.

About the minor

At least 21 semester credit hours are required to minor in Criminal Justice.

Departmental Honors

Criminal Justice majors earn Departmental Honors by completing the following requirements:

  • Maintain at least a 3.75 GPA in major-required courses.
  • Complete a substantial research project, guided by a Sociology department faculty member and presented at an approved conference, such as the Southern Sociology Society or the American Society of Criminology annual meetings.

Students who wish to receive departmental honors are strongly encouraged to complete SOC 405, the course in which the research project will originate, before their senior year.