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Criminology & Criminal Justice Program

Bachelor of Arts — Program Overview

Do you find yourself glued to courtroom dramas or police and crime shows? Could it be that your fascination actually stems from your interest in the law or law enforcement? Well, majoring in criminology and criminal justice would provide a great base for you to become a lawyer, police officer, counselor, or just about anything else related to our country’s legal system!

Criminal Justice

Get a well-rounded degree.

At Briar Cliff, you won’t just learn how our justice system works, but also why it works. Explore current-day issues like immigration, terrorism, drug abuse, and cruel and unusual punishment; through the lenses of sociology, political science, psychology, social work — and most importantly, our Franciscan mission. 

Gain hands-on experience.

You’ll have the chance to compete in a regional crime scene investigation (CSI) competition, participate in a mock trial — even shadow a local law enforcement professional! Finally, you’ll cap your collegiate experience with a senior internship with local or state law enforcement, the court system, a counseling facility, or other criminology related organization. 

Be a name, not a number.

Learn under faculty who have years of real practice in law and law enforcement. And with our small student-to-faculty ratio, you’ll form relationships with your professors that last a lifetime.

Minor in legal studies.

Interested in becoming a lawyer? Pick up a minor in legal studies — the best way to prepare for success in law school after Briar Cliff!

Introduce yourself →  Schedule a visit →

Core Criminology & Criminal Justice Program Courses

CJUS 100 - Introduction to Criminal Justice

Introduction to Criminal Justice is an overview of the criminal justice system and the sub-systems in the United States. Read more »

CJUS 246 - Introduction to Criminology

Introduction to Criminology presents the major biological, psychological, and sociological theories of criminal behavior, and provides a descriptive overview of crime in the United States. Topics include crime rate statistics, historical trends in crime and crime rates, and characteristics of both offenders and victims. Read more »

CJUS 250 - Modern Police Theory and Practice

Modern Police Theory and Practice is an overview and analysis of the American system of law enforcement, examining the origins, development, roles, functions, and operations of policing in a modern democratic society. Read more »

CJUS 251 - Courts and the Criminal Justice Process

Courts and the Criminal Justice Process provides an in-depth exploration of the criminal adjudication process in the U.S. Read more »

CJUS 352 - Issues in Corrections

Issues in Corrections examines a continuum of sanctions ranging from probation to institutional confinement. Read more »

CJUS 447 - Advanced Criminology

Advanced Criminology offers an extensive examination of the theoretical explanations of deviance and their intersection with crime control policies. The course emphasizes theory development, integration and evaluation, and requires extensive reading and writing. Read more »

CJUS 460 - The Constitution and Criminal Justice

The Constitution and Criminal Justice examines the criminal procedural foundations established by the fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Read more »

CJUS 470 - Ethics in the Criminal Justice System

Ethics in the Criminal Justice System is an in depth analysis of theories and practices in areas of legality, morality, values and ethics. Read more »

CJUS 490 - Criminal Justice Internship

A supervised experiential learning opportunity in a criminal justice setting; it requires a minimum of 150 hours of work for three credits and 200 hours for four credits, maintaining a descriptive log and a reflective journal, and periodic meetings with the on- and off-campus supervisors. Permission of the program director is required. Read more »

PSCI 370 - Criminal Law

Introduction to the substantive and procedural aspects of criminal law. Nature and origins of U.S. criminal law; conditions for criminality and type of crime. Read more »

PSYC 310 - Social Psychology

A comprehensive overview of the field of social psychology which examines the impact of other individuals, groups or social stimuli on individual thinking and behavior. The social influence process is studied through topics such as self-theory, attribution, social cognition, attitudes, aggression, pro-social behavior, attraction and groups. (See SOCY 310.) Prerequisite: PSYC 110 Read more »

SOCY 320 - Restorative Justice

Introduction to innovations and alternatives in the traditional criminal justice system with an emphasis on negotiation, mediation, and reparation in dispute resolution; emphasis on non- violence and peacemaking in the Franciscan tradition. Read more »

SOCY 340 - Social Science Research Methods

Principles of problem formulation, design, measurement, sampling, data collection and analysis; ethical considerations for research on human subjects. Students are given the opportunity to design or carry out a research project. Prerequisite: SOCY 124 or instructor's consent Read more »

SWRK 252 - Corrections

Study of corrections in USA: court system, sentencing, probation, parole and prisons; alternatives to current system including restorative justice. Includes a brief look at juvenile system. Read more »

Additional Program Requirements

 For additional requirements and curriculum information, download the latest University academic catalog.