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Purpose and Focus
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice is intended to provide students with a critical understanding of the nature and causes of crime and delinquency, the origins and meaning of law and social control (with emphasis on criminal law), the nature of the criminal justice system and the processing of cases through that system, and proposals for reducing crime and delinquency. The program is designed to broadly educate students, to prepare students for careers in various criminal justice settings, and to pursue graduate education.
Upon completing an undergraduate program in Criminal Justice, a student will:
- Have demonstrated an awareness of the history and nature of the major components of the criminal justice system: police, courts, and corrections.
- Be familiar with the basis of the law and the legal system as well as decision making in the criminal justice process, the social and political context of the legal system, important constitutional issues, and how criminal law differs from other forms of law.
- Have demonstrated knowledge of the overall problem of crime in the United States in terms of being familiar with different types of crimes committed in society as well as possessing knowledge of the distribution of these crimes.
- Understand issues related to crime prevention and the rehabilitation of offenders.
- Be familiar with various methods of social science research, including survey research, field research, and experimental research, and demonstrate awareness of the linkage between theory and research.
- Have basic knowledge of statistical procedures commonly used in the social sciences — in particular, those involved with descriptive research and hypothesis testing.
- Be able to conduct a research project from beginning to end, including how to locate existing sources of relevant information, operationalize concepts of interest, collect data, interpret findings, and present information in a professional manner.
- Be cognizant of various ethics concerns relevant to the study of criminal justice issues and the distribution of justice in society.
- Be able to apply his or her knowledge in a variety of criminal justice settings, whether it be at the federal, state, or local level, or to pursue graduate education in criminal justice or a related field.
Learning outcomes will be assessed by the administration of a Criminal Justice Department Exit Survey. The exit survey measures the extent to which required courses facilitated learning of each degree objective. In addition, students will complete a Criminal Justice Senior Assessment (CRJ 498) in their final semester.
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Admission to the Major
Minimum GPA: 2.00
Students will be assigned a Pre-Criminal Justice Major (PRE-CRJ) designation until they have completed a minimum of 30 college or university credits with a minimum of 2.00 GPA. The 30 credits must include: ENG 101, CRJ 104, and CRJ 270.
Humanities and Fine Arts: (9 credits)
Two 3-credit courses from two different humanities areas and one three-credit introductory or appreciation course from a fine arts. (See notes.)
Life and Physical Sciences and Analytical Thinking: (9-10 credits)
Logic (PHIL 102) 3 credits and two courses from the life and physical sciences, at least one of which must be a laboratory course. (See notes.)
Only transfer credits in which the student has received a C or better will apply toward the 48-credit criminal justice requirements. Transfer students must complete CRJ 301 and 302 at UNLV.
Transfer students are required to consult with an academic advisor from the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs’ Student Advising Center within the first semester after admission to the department. This initial advising session will determine to what extent those credits accepted by the university will be accepted as part of the major.
The Department of Criminal Justice generally limits transfer credits for criminal justice courses taken at lower-division level to such courses as it offers at that level. Therefore, transferring students should not expect to substitute lower-division courses taken at another institution for upper-division criminal justice courses required at UNLV for degrees offered by the department.
Community college credits for approved courses are transferred as lower division only. Requirements for upper-division courses in the Department of Criminal Justice generally cannot be met with community college courses.
A 2.00 GPA must be maintained in order to continue as a criminal justice major.
Pre-Criminal Justice majors may not take upper-division courses.
Upon acceptance as a major, each student must meet with an advisor from the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs’ Student Advising Center. To ensure orderly progress toward the degree, the faculty of the Criminal Justice Department strongly suggest that majors see an advisor at least once each year, preferably every semester. Upon acceptance as a pre-major or major and at least once a year thereafter, students should contact the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs’ Student Advising Center.
Curricular decisions must be made through consultation with an advisor. Decisions about the appropriate courses in related areas must be approved.
Transfer students are required to consult with an academic advisor within the first semester after admission to the department. This initial advising session will determine to what extent those credits accepted by the university will be accepted as part of the major.
The Advising Center can be reached at 702-895-1009 or Urbanaffairs@unlv.edu or may be visited in person on the 4th Floor of Greenspun Hall.
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