Major in Criminal Justice

Students may seek either an academic major or minor in criminal justice.

The criminal justice program helps provide students with an understanding of the nature of crime and the personnel, institutions, and processes that prevent or respond to crime. Students are introduced to both the theory and practice of the criminal justice system. The curriculum covers crime and criminal behavior, law enforcement, courts, corrections, security, and investigation. It helps provide a solid foundation for further study or entry into a variety of criminal justice professions.

Articulation Agreement

Students who complete their undergraduate degree at UMUC with a major in Criminal Justice can reduce the total coursework for the graduate degree by up to 6 credits (two courses) and complete both degrees with a total of 150 credits of coursework. More information is available in the Articulation Agreement.

Intended Program Outcomes

The student who graduates with a major in criminal justice should be able to

  • Communicate, accurately, orally and in writing, to complete organizational missions to ensure public safety.
  • Apply critical thinking skills and logic to analyze and solve a variety of complex problems in the criminal justice environment.
  • Manage and evaluate organizational efforts to ensure effective cooperation with stakeholders to prevent, control, and manage crime to ensure public safety.
  • Utilize an ethical framework and an understanding of legal constraints to make decisions as a criminal justice professional.
  • Develop specialized technical knowledge and skills relevant to subspecialties in the field of criminal justice to ensure public safety.
  • Use interpersonal and leadership skills to work both independently and cooperatively as a member of a criminal justice team.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements Update

Degree requirements are being updated for fall 2015. How does this affect you? Your degree requirements may vary depending on when you start your program.

A degree with a major in criminal justice requires the successful completion of 120 credits of coursework, including 30 credits for the major; 41 credits in general education requirements; and 49 credits in the minor, electives, and other degree requirements. At least 15 credits in the major must be earned in upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above).

Requirements for the Criminal Justice Major

Coursework for a major in criminal justice includes the following:

  • Introductory course (3 credits): CCJS 100 or CCJS 105
  • Required statistics course (3 credits): STAT 200
  • Core courses (12 credits): CCJS 340, 345, 380, and 497
  • Supplemental major courses (9 credits): Any 3-credit CCJS courses (Note: Taking courses within a single topic area—law enforcement, law, corrections, security management, forensics, intelligence, or leadership—is highly recommended.)
  • Capstone course (3 credits) CCJS 495

Recommended Sequence

The following course sequence will fulfill all the requirements for the BS in criminal justice. Coursework for the major is indicated by Coursework for the major. Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may make it necessary to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Students should consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options.

Criminal Justice Degree Courses

First Courses (to be taken within the first 18 credits)

Note: Placement tests are required for math and writing courses.

  • LIBS 150 Introduction to Research (1)
  • WRTG 101 Introduction to Writing (3)
    or WRTG 101S Introduction to Writing (3)
  • MATH 106 Finite Mathematics (3)
    or a higher-level math course
  • Coursework for the major CCJS 100 Introduction to Criminal Justice (3)
    or CCJS 105 Introduction to Criminology

Introductory Courses (to be taken within the first 30 credits)

  • ECON 103 Economics in the Information Age (3)
    or other behavioral and social sciences course
  • BIOL 103 Introduction to Biology (4) 
    or other biological and physical sciences lecture and laboratory course(s)
  • WRTG 293 Introduction to Professional Writing (3)
    or other writing course
  • IFSM 201 Concepts and Applications of Information Technology (3)
    or CMST 301 Digital Media and Society (3)
  • HUMN 100 Introduction to Humanities (3)
    or other arts and humanities course

Foundation Courses (to be taken within the first 60 credits)

  • Coursework for the major STAT 200 Introduction to Statistics (3)
  • BEHS 103 Technology in Contemporary Society (3)
    or other behavioral and social sciences course (discipline must differ from first)
  • NSCI 100 Introduction to Physical Science (3)
    or other biological and physical sciences lecture course
  • HIST 125 Technological Transformations (3)
    or other arts and humanities/historical perspective course (discipline must differ from other humanities course)
  • COMM 202 Media and Society (3)
    or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • CMIS 111 Social Networking and Cybersecurity Best Practices (3)
    or other computing course
  • Coursework for the major CCJS 340 Law-Enforcement Administration (3)

Additional Required Courses (to be taken after introductory and foundation courses)

  • WRTG 391 Advanced Research Writing (3)
    or other upper-level advanced writing course
  • Coursework for the major CCJS 345 Introduction to Security Management (3)
  • Coursework for the major CCJS 380 Ethical Behavior in Criminal Justice (3)
  • Coursework for the major CCJS 497 Correctional Administration (3)
  • Coursework for the major CCJS 341 Criminal Investigation (3)
    or other supplemental major course
  • Coursework for the major CCJS 342 Crime Scene Investigation (3)
    or other supplemental major course
  • Coursework for the major CCJS 352 Drugs and Crime (3)
    or other supplemental major course

Capstone Course for Major (to be taken in the last 9 credits)

Coursework for the major CCJS 495 Issues in Criminal Justice (3)

Minor and/or Elective Courses (49)
(to be taken in the last 60 credits along with required major courses)

Recommended Electives

Total credits for BS in criminal justice: 120

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Learning from a Police Lieutenant Colonel

A criminal justice professor draws from her experiences at Baltimore Police Department to help students learn from real-world cases.

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