Criminal Justice Program Requirements

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outlines the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

Students graduating with a BA degree in Criminal Justice will be able to:

1. Explain the difference between the criminal justice system and process.

2. Identify the agencies that make up the criminal justice system, describe the functions of each, and explain the roles/responsibilities of the criminal justice personnel who work in those agencies.

3. Identify the specific stages of the criminal justice process, from arrest to appeal, describe the amount of proof required at each stage, who must offer that proof, and explain what happens at each particular stage of the process.

4. Identify and explain the various sources of law in American society, distinguish between criminal and civil law, and identify U.S. Constitutional Amendments most relevant to the criminal justice process. Students will also identify and explain how certain landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions have shaped and influenced the American criminal justice process.

5. Eexplain the theories/justifications for criminal punishment and articulate the strengths and weaknesses of each theory. Students will examine how our government imposes punishment on convicted offenders, learn the differences between institutional and community correctional practices and programs, and demonstrate an understanding of the pros and cons of each approach.

6. Explain the difference between organization and management, understand how various criminal justice agencies are organized and managed, and identify who serves as the chief managers of specific criminal justice agencies. Additionally, students will understand and explain how a criminal justice organization influences the behavior of its personnel, as well as how it influences and is influenced by the environment in which it operates.

7. Distinguish between and explain the various theories of ethics, explain why a commitment to ethics is important in the criminal justice field, and be given opportunities to apply their knowledge of ethics to resolve dilemmas and controversies they may face as future criminal justice professionals.

8. Identify and explain the source and purpose of various government methods of gathering data about crime, and evaluate the strengths and shortcomings of each data source. Students will also explain how government agencies use date to identify patterns of crime and victimization, and discuss various theories of crime causation, and link them to a variety of programs/strategies developed to prevent or reduce crime.

To earn the BA in Criminal Justice, students must complete the following coursework:

Majors must earn an overall 2.0 average in all CRJ and CRJ-related courses in the major

Complete these core CRJ courses (24 cr):

Majors should complete CRJ 1010, CRJ 2010, CRJ 2080, and CRJ 2510 in their first two years of study.

Code Course Credits

CRJ 1010

Introduction to Criminal Justice

(must be completed with a C or better)

An overview of the American criminal justice system, tracing its history and development and assessing its strengths and weaknesses. Roles of the agencies that comprise the criminal justice system (representing law enforcement, courts, and corrections) are examined.

This course counts towards the Social & Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

CRJ 2010

Law Enforcement in America

An examination of the history and evolution of law enforcement in the United States. Among the topics examined in this course are: law enforcement careers; the police role; selection, recruitment, and training of personnel; occupational socialization & the police subculture; discretion; management and organizational behavior; and patrol/investigative functions. Other issues considered include police use of force; police-community relations, job stress, and corruption/ethical problems.

Prerequisite: CRJ 1010 passed with a grade of “C” or better.

Every semester

3

CRJ 2020

American Judicial Process

A course designed to provide students with an overview of the American judicial process; examining its history, structure, and operation. Topics considered include: court organization and administration; the courtroom “work group;” the trial and appellate processes; problems that plague the courts; and alternatives to courts for conflict resolution.

Prerequisite: CRJ 1010 passed with a grade of “C” or better.

Every semester

3

CRJ 2080

Correctional Philosophies and Practices

An interdisciplinary study of the historical and contemporary philosophies and practices of sentencing, punishment, and rehabilitation in American corrections. The course will be a comprehensive examination of all facets of institutional and community-based corrections, including facilities, probation, intermediate sanctions, and parole, as well as special and controversial issues in the field. Field study will be an essential component of this course and may include field trips, interviews and other research, guest speakers, and/or community service.

Prerequisite: CRJ 1010 passed with a grade of “C” or better.

Every semester

3

CRJ 2510

Criminal Law

An examination of the evolution and development of substantive criminal law. Topics examined include: common law vs. statutory crimes; elements of a crime; parties to a crime; criminal responsibility; and defenses to criminal culpability. Selected portions of the Vermont criminal code are also examined.

Prerequisite: CRJ 2020 or consent of instructor.

Every semester

3

CRJ 3010

Crime Victims

An interdisciplinary study of criminal victimization and prevention. The course examines patterns of crime, offending, and victimization and how to use such information to prevent violent and property crime, including rape, domestic violence, and hate crime. Other issues to be explored include victimization theories, prevention programs, treatment of victims, and victims' rights and remedies.

Prerequisite: CRJ 1010, SOC 1010, and Junior standing or consent of instructor.

Spring

3

CRJ 3170

Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice

This class in applied ethics is designed to introduce upper level CRJ students to ethical theories and help them apply these theories to real world dilemmas they may confront as criminal justice practitioners. Among the topics explored in this class are: the meaning of morality and ethics, the problem of defining right wrong/good-bad behavior, the connections between law, morality and justice, and the consideration of what consequences should befall those caught in unethical behavior. Ethical checklists and decision making strategies are also examined and evaluated.

Prerequisite: Sophomore level standing and completion of at least two of the following: CRJ 2010, CRJ 2020, CRJ 2080.

Spring

3

CRJ 4720

Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice

This is the final, culminating course in a BA.CRJ student’s academic career, where seniors will be expected to perform at a level appropriate for educated graduates about to enter the field. In this discussion-oriented course, students will be required to demonstrate the ability to retrieve, analyze, integrate, and apply knowledge gained through both research and prior study to contemporary issues in criminal justice. Additionally, the course will examine the future of agencies of the criminal justice system, as well as providing students with the opportunity to explore and clarify their own career options and goals.

Prerequisite: Senior Criminal Justice majors graduating in same calendar year only, and consent of instructor.

Spring

3

And at least 4 CRJ or CRJ-approved electives, 2 of which must be at the 3000 or 4000 level, which may include any of the following courses (12 cr):

Code Course Credits

SOC 2210

Deviant Behavior

An examination of theories of etiology and distribution of deviant behavior.

Prerequisite: SOC 1010 or consent of instructor.

Spring

3

SOC 3410

Dismantling Rape Culture

This course makes the case that there is a structured precarity that all women face when it comes to the crime of rape. This means that the way society is structured historically, politically, legally and socially makes all women vulnerable to rape. The course will explore how rape culture makes all women vulnerable to rape, but also how this vulnerability is exacerbated by race, class and gender non-conformity. The course will also examine the problematic construction of masculinity in the US and how this notion of masculinity contributes to rape culture and limits men's freedom of expression. The course makes the case that we all benefit by dismantling rape culture.

Periodically

3

SWK 2020

Family Violence

Analyzes the psychosocial dynamics of families disrupted by domestic violence. Aspects of child abuse, spouse abuse and elder abuse will be covered. Differential social work assessment and intervention will be emphasized.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every Semester

3

And complete 1 of the following courses (3 cr):

Code Course Credits

SOC 2040

Race, Ethnicity, Class and Gender

An exploration of the historical and contemporary roots for discrimination (especially on the institutional level) on the basis of race, ethnicity, class, and gender. This course examines issues such as culture, identity, and oppression.

Prerequisite: SOC 1010 or consent of instructor.

Every semester

3

SWK 2040

Discrimination in American Society

An understanding of the dynamics and American history of prejudice and discrimination in relation to racial and ethnic minorities, women and the aged is developed. Special emphasis placed on issues relevant to Social Welfare.

Prerequisite: SOC 1010 or consent of instructor.

Spring

3

And complete 1 of the following courses (3 cr):

Code Course Credits

SOC 3210

Criminology

An interdisciplinary study of the causes of crime and criminal behavior, with particular emphasis on sociological perspectives. Classical through contemporary criminological theories will be examined, as well as patterns and varieties of crime.

Prerequisite: SOC 1010 or consent of instructor.

Spring

3

PSY 3160

Criminal Behavior

An examination of the physiological, cognitive and learning factors involved in criminal behavior from a psychological perspective.

Prerequisite: PSY 1012 or instructor permission

Periodically

3

And complete 1 of the following courses (4 cr):

Code Course Credits

SOC 3910

Research Methods

Introduction to the basic methods of sociological research design, data collection, the organization and analysis of data, and their interpretation through an actual research project. This course fulfills the Gen Ed computing requirement for Sociology majors.

Prerequisite: Junior majors in SOC, CRJ or acceptance in Social Work program, or consent of instructor.

4

PSY 3151

Psychological Research I

(for double majors in CRJ and PSY only)

Introduction to the scientific method as applied to behavior. Emphasis is on the development of scientific attitudes as well as the development of the basic research skills of data collection, analysis and interpretation. This course fulfills the Gen Ed computing requirement for Psychology majors.

Prerequisite: PSY 3040 or PSY 3410 or instructor permission

Spring

4

(Total credits required for the major: 46)

And complete a minor

Consult with your Criminal Justice Advisor to select a minor.

A second major may be substituted for the minor.

And complete the university's Gen Ed requirements

Review the Gen Ed requirements

Note: CRJ majors must complete these specific General Education courses:

  • MAT 2021 - Statistics I 3 cr
  • PSY 1012 - Introduction to Psychological Science 3 cr
  • SOC 1010 - Introduction to Sociology 3 cr