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Curriculum

The criminal justice major prepares students for academic and professional careers in criminal justice and related fields. Utilizing a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach, through scholarship, research, and training, students develop an understanding of the dynamic interplay between theory and practice in the criminal justice system. Further, students develop an understanding of and appreciation for the complex relationship between the three components of the criminal justice system-law enforcement, the courts, and corrections.

Learning Outcomes

A successful criminal justice graduate is expected to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the major theories, principles, and concepts that govern each of the following
    core areas of criminal justice:
    1. Law;
    2. Law enforcement;
    3. Corrections;
    4. The court system;
    5. Crime causation;
    6. Research methods and statistics.
  2. Integrate and apply the major theories, principles, and concepts of criminal justice to analyze and evaluate research and/or applied issues in the field of criminal justice using critical thinking skills, skeptical inquiry, and, where applicable, the scientific approach;
  3. Produce criminal justice information in a clear, concise manner, consistent with relevant professional standards.

Curriculum Requirements

General Education Requirements (30 credits)

Students are required to complete 30 credit hours as part of the General Education Program.

Criminal Justice Major Requirements (54 credits)

CRJU 1100 - Introduction to Criminal Justice (3 credits)

This course includes an overview of the agencies and individuals that comprise the American criminal justice system. Students will examine the theories that seek to explain the "causes" and "cures" of crime. The major focus is on the development and operation of law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Topics include history, structure, functions, and philosophy of the criminal justice system and its relationship to life in our society.

CRJU 1200 - Criminal Law (3 credits)

This course covers the study of substantive criminal law. Students learn the elements of major crimes and defenses. Students also examine the distinctions between various state statutes, the common law, the Bill of Rights, and the Model Penal Code. Topics include sources of substantive law, classification of crimes, parties to crime, elements of crimes, and matters of criminal responsibility.

CRJU 2000 - Constitutional Issues (3 credits)

This course will provide a general review of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, especially the constitutional basis for criminal law and the impact of the Constitution and its amendments on the criminal justice system. Students also examine the constitutional aspects of criminal procedure, including searches, seizures, arrests, interrogation, the pretrial process, trial, sentencing and appeal. Prerequisite: CRJU 1100.

CRJU 2220 - Criminology (3 credits)

This course is designed to familiarize students with theories of criminal behavior and basic research methodology in criminal justice and criminology. Specifically, students will examine the scientific study of crime and criminals. Throughout the course various topics will be covered, including criminological theory, defining and measuring crime, contemporary crime patterns and types of crime. Prerequisite: CRJU 1100.

CRJU 2400 - Court Systems and Procedures (3 credits)

The court process is complex and affects both policing and corrections, this course will delve into the authority, power, and limitations of the court systems of America. While focusing on the dynamics of American court systems, each class will accentuate crucial aspects of law and procedure on-the-books contrasted with law-in-practice. The key personnel of court system will be highlighted, with an emphasis placed on authentic real-life situations, not just participant's ideal behaviors and actions. Further, controversial issues and technological changes will be addressed, including their impact on the contemporary American court systems and procedures. Prerequisite: CRJU 1100. 

CRJU 2500 - Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice (3 credits)

This course is designed to acquaint students with an understanding of the importance of ethics within the United States Criminal Justice System through applying basic ethical principles to the three components of the criminal justice system: the police, the courts and corrections. Prerequisite: CRJU 1100.

CRJU 2600 - Multiculturalism and Crime (3 credits)

This course examines the interplay between race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, and crime by exploring the contemporary and historical experience of marginal groups in the criminal justice system. Widely held beliefs regarding the treatment of minority groups by the criminal justice system will be critically evaluated to understand the relationship between crime and marginality in theory and practice. The political influence of minority groups on criminal justice practice and policy formulation is also examined. Substantive areas explored include racial profiling, hate crimes, disparate arrest rates and sentencing, (including the death penalty) of marginal groups, and the experience of minority practitioners in the criminal justice system. Prerequisite: CRJU 1100. 

CRJU 3100 - Juvenile Delinquency (3 credits)

An orientation to the issues, policies and procedures that make up the juvenile justice system. This course will cover the historical and theoretical principals of juvenile justice, including the functions and legal responsibilities of the police, probation, juvenile court, and the juvenile corrections system in the United States. Emphasis will be placed on the social forces that cause children to become involved in the juvenile justice system. Prerequisite: CRJU 1100.

CRJU 3220 - Policing (3 credits)

This course covers the historical development of policing, current trends, education, training, models of policing and ethical implications. Students will explore the role that police play in society as well as their relationship with the communities that they serve. Additionally, state and federal levels of law enforcement will be reviewed. Prerequisites: CRJU 1100.

CRJU 3250 - Interviewing, Interrogation, and Report Writing (3 credits)

This course will cover the gathering of information by law enforcement officials from individuals in both an interview and interrogation environment. Emphasis will be placed upon preparation for questioning, discussion setting, general questioning techniques, specific offender type strategies, recognition of deception, obtaining admissions, documentation of confessions, ethical aspects of investigations and legal rights of those interviewed/interrogated. Further, the composition and writing of reports will be covered with an emphasis on clarity, precision and brevity. Prerequisites: CRJU 1100. 

CRJU 3300 - Corrections in America (3 credits)

An analysis of corrections with an in-depth view of the major components of the field. Emphasis is placed on the various systems of corrections, the practice of corrections, institutional custody, community-based corrections, probation and parole, the correctional client and the death penalty. Special attention will be given to trends in incarceration rates, including race, ethnicity, sex, special offenders and enhanced sentencing. Prerequisite: CRJU 1100.

CRJU 3400 - Criminal Investigations (3 credits)

This course will cover the fundamentals of investigation, crime scene search and recording, the collection, documenting and submission of evidence, scientific aids to criminal investigation, interviews and interrogation, follow-up investigation and case preparation. Emphasis is placed on the investigation of specific crimes, identification of information sources and procedures required for the handling of evidence. Also discussed are the legal elements of the crimes and field techniques for the gathering of data and presentation of cases to the courts. Prerequisites: CRJU 1100. 

CRJU 4000 - Victimology (3 credits)

This course will examine both the institutional and social factors and the issues and developments within the legal process that are relevant to the study of victims of crime. This includes an examination of the definition of a victim, crime, and a historical review of the role of the victim in the criminal justice system. Topics in this course may include psychological impacts of crime, the impact of victimization, legal approaches to victims, services provided to victims, restorative justice and emerging trends in the field of victimology. Prerequisite: CRJU 2220. 

CRJU 4500 - Research Methods in Criminal Justice (3 credits)

This is an introductory course in research methodology in criminal justice. It is designed to introduce the student to basic concepts and problems encountered in quantitative and qualitative investigation, including types of data and measurement, sampling, probability, and research design. This course will emphasize examples of methodology in the field and utilize actual data. Prerequisite: CRJU 2220. 

CRJU 4880 - Senior Seminar (3 credits)

This course provides an in-depth analysis of historical and contemporary literature in the field of criminal justice. Students will read classic and contemporary literature and apply this literature to real life dilemmas in the criminal justice system. This course challenges students to integrate and critically examine theories and concepts from criminal justice literature, appreciate the relationship between theory and policy, and challenges students to build on skills and knowledge acquired through earlier academic experience. Prerequisite: CRJU 4500. 

Select 9 credits from the following courses:

CRJU 3500 - Probation, Parole, and Community Corrections (3 credits)

This course explores the historical development and current administration of probation, parole, and other community corrections strategies in the United States. Topics covered include sentencing structures, supervision strategies, the pre-sentence investigation report, and the role and function of probation and parole officers. Students are exposed to current research and evaluate factors that may contribute to success or failure of community corrections programs. Prerequisite: CRJU 3300. 

CRJU 3600 - Comparative Criminal Justice – Spain (3 credits)

This course examines the legal and criminal justice systems of select nations with a special focus on the criminal justice system of Spain. It highlights the differing approaches used by various countries to "the crime problem", as they compare to the U.S. justice model. This course also addresses the influence of different historical, political, economic, social and cultural factors on the structures of legal institutions and systems of justice. Given the course's special focus on Spain's criminal justice system, required Spring Break travel to Spain will include visits to criminal justice agencies and facilities, along with interactions with criminal justice professionals and students. Students will identify and analyze points of convergence and divergence between the United States and Spain on perceived causes of crimes and approaches to crime prevention and control. Prerequisites: CRJU 1100 or LGST 2500 or LEGS 1150 or INST 1500 or POLS 1200 or INB 3550.

CRJU 3700 - The CSI Effect: Media and Criminal Justice (3 credits)

This course illustrates how media coverage and television programs influence the public's perception of criminal justice. Fiction is often mistaken for reality, and this phenomenon, known as the "CSI Effect," adds to the assumption that all criminal cases can be easily solved by the employment of high-tech forensic science, as depicted on television crime shows. This course explores the common misperceptions and their consequences, through real-world examples, providing students with the ability to critically analyze and assess information promoted by the media and entertainment television. Prerequisite: CRJU 1100. 

CRJU 4200 - Terrorism and Homeland Security (3 credits)

This course will provide students with a comprehensive introduction to terrorism and homeland security. The first section of the course will provide students with a basic understanding of terrorism as a definitional, theoretical and criminological issue. The second section of the course presents a detailed historical discussion of the birth and evolution of terrorism movements. The third section focuses on contemporary international and domestic terrorism. The final section concentrates on issues surrounding the prevention of terrorism through homeland security. Critical thinking will be encouraged through class discussions of controversial issues where students will be asked to consider various positions, choose their own approach, and cite evidence to support their positions. Students will also have the opportunity to study a specific terrorist group of interest through the writing of an in-depth research paper. Prerequisites: CRJU 1100. 

CRJU 4400 - Police Organizational Behavior and Management (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to management principles as applied to law enforcement agencies. The student will explore how the organizational structure and occupational values of policing affect management actions and organizational outcomes. Case studies will be used to illustrate and analyze management issues and decision-making in a police environment. Topics include police organizational structure, police personality and occupational values, motivation, police discipline, police unionization, decision-making, leadership, and organizational change. Prerequisite: CRJU 3220. 

CRJU 4600 - Gangs in America (3 credits)

This course will cover various aspects of the gang problem that involve the criminal justice system, including gang enforcement by law enforcement, gang laws and pending legislation, gang prosecution, and the effect of the gang culture on the streets of America. Also discussed are issues dealing with gang theory, including concepts of street gangs, graffiti, violence, and gang structure and organization. Students will explore the reasons why gangs exist, how they are formed, and the impact of gang crime and victimization on society. Prerequisite: CRJU 1100. 

CRJU 4900 - Special Topics in Criminal Justice (3 credits)

Topics in criminal justice that are not included in regular course offerings. Specific content is announced in the course schedule for a given term. Students may re-enroll for special topics covering different content. Prerequisites: CRJU 1100 and any other prerequisite deemed appropriate by the instructor depending on the course topic.

CRJU 4950 - Internship in Criminal Justice (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to integrate academic and experiential knowledge. Students will be placed in an agency or organization, of their choice, related to the practice of criminal justice. Additionally, students are required to complete a minimum of 140 hours at the internship placement site during the 16 weeks of enrollment. Prerequisites: (1) a minimum grade point average of 2.5 as calculated by NSU; (2) completion of 60 credit hours and CRJU 4500; (3) an approved placement site prior to enrolling in the course; and (4) permission from the academic director.

PSYC 2450 - Forensic Psychology (3 credits)

This course describes various interactions between psychology and the legal system. It discusses how psychologists assist law enforcement agencies in the selection, training, and evaluation of law enforcement officers and in conducting criminal investigations. It also describes the various forensic psychology roles in civil and criminal proceedings. Lastly, this course will highlight ways in which forensic psychologists can work to influence public policy. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or 1020H.

PSYC 3270 - The Psychology of Criminal Behavior (3 credits)

This course provides an overview of the psychology related to criminal actions. The course will focus on some of the developmental, biological, neurological, behavioral, cognitive, and social forces shown to influence criminal thinking and behavior. The class will also cover characteristics of several specific criminal subpopulations including psychopaths, sexual predators, female offenders, substance abusers, serial killers, and mentally disordered criminal offenders. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or 1020H.

The academic program and curriculum requirements listed on this page are from the NSU Undergraduate Student Catalog. Students are bound by policies and curricula published in the catalog in effect the semester they enter the university, unless an agreement is made with appropriate NSU administration officials allowing them to abide by policies published in a later catalog.

View sample 4-Year Academic Plan

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