Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Undergraduate Courses
47:202:102 : Criminology (3 credits)

This course introduces an examination of the field of criminology. Major topics include definitions of, and the basic assumptions that are used to formulate, criminological theories. Causes of crime and crime rates, United States and international comparisons, and a review of the current direction of research within the study of crime are also discussed. Required Course – B.S.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Describe how crime is defined and measured.
  2. Articulate the major theories that explain criminal behavior, and the principal research findings associated with each major theory.
  3. Critically examine crime and deviance as social constructs and evaluate the effects that societal response to crime has on criminal behavior.
  4. Recognize diverse methods of data collection and the challenges of researching crime and deviance.
47:202:103 : Introduction to Criminal Justice (3 credits)

This course introduces the study of societal responses to crime and provides an explanation of why criminal justice should be thought of as a system. Specific topics include the study of the people and organizations that make up the criminal justice system including actors such as the police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, and corrections officials. Major branches and functions of the criminal justice system including law enforcement and order maintenance, courts and sentencing, and corrections and reentry are covered. Required Course – B.S.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Explain the structure and functioning of the basic components of the criminal justice system including the police, courts, corrections, and the juvenile justice system.
  2. Articulate how the criminal justice system is a dynamic and interdisciplinary system made up of many different people and agencies.
  3. Describe the relationships among all parts and players of the criminal justice system as well as their relationships to other social systems and relevant stakeholders.
  4. Critically analyze how policies and practices of criminal justice agencies may directly or indirectly affect other criminal justice agencies, social systems, and/or key stakeholders.
47:202:104 : Cutting Edge of Criminology (3 credits)

This course features the research of faculty members and other researchers and policymakers involved in local, national, and international criminal justice.. It offers an opportunity to interact with criminal justice stakeholders and gain knowledge about cutting edge research within the fields of criminology and criminal justice.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Describe the goals and breadth of research in criminology and criminal justice.
  2. Develop critical and creative thinking skills through an in-depth exploration of how criminologists evaluate arguments and information in order to create the foundations for their research.
  3. Be conversant with the diverse modes of inquiry and methodological approaches employed by criminologists to understand crime and justice.
47:202:203 : Police and Society (3 credits)

The course examines the function of police in contemporary society; the problems arising between citizens and police from the enforcement and non-enforcement of laws are covered in this course. The mechanisms by which social changes impact the law enforcement and order maintenance functions of the police, interactions between the public and the police, and how these interactions impact police legitimacy are major topics that will be discussed.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Describe the history of policing in the United States, and analyze how the role of the police has developed and evolved in American society.
  2. Critically analyze key components of American policing such as the use of discretion, the development of police subcultures, ethics and policing, and the relationship between policing and technological developments.
  3. Articulate the historical roots of policing tactics such as stop and frisk, questioning suspects, the use of force, and search and seizure, and analyze their use in contemporary policing.
  4. Analyze the roles and functions of the police in the broader criminal justice system.


47:202:204 : Corrections (3 credits)

This course provides a general overview of the theory and practice of legal punishment in the United States. It documents the evolution of correctional institutions and correctional systems including interactions between corrections and other components of State/Federal criminal justice systems (i.e., Courts, Police, State legislatures). This course also explores theories on the various uses and functions of punishment, as well as approaches to prisoner management within and beyond prison walls (i.e., jails, parole, community corrections) with an emphasis on social, political and economic dilemmas associated with mass incarceration and prisoner reentry.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Articulate the historical roots and contemporary functions of the institutional and community corrections systems in the United States.
  2. Demonstrate an in depth knowledge about the subsystems that make up the American correctional system such as prisons, jails, probation, and parole, as well as alternative sanctions.
  3. Articulate potential collateral consequences brought about by processing individuals through a correctional system, as well as the potential social, political, and economic ramifications of expanding correctional resources.
  4. Analyze the roles and functions of corrections in the broader criminal justice system.


47:202:220 : Reducing Local Crime (3 credits)

When urban governments and quasi-governmental activities do their jobs well, they can greatly reduce various types of crime. This course relates urban design and management to crime and crime reduction. Specific topics include public violence, abandonment, littering, public drunkenness, environmental degradation, safe parks, secure streets and campuses, robberies, teen hangouts, outdoor drug markets, and more. The course is presented through the critical lens of problem oriented policing, routine activity analysis, and situational crime prevention to reducing local crime.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Explain what crime prevention is, and be able to identify policy prescriptions aimed at crime prevention.
  2. Assess and critique the major theories associated with crime prevention.
  3. Articulate how crime prevention strategies are used to prevent various street and retail offenses.
  4. Demonstrate an in depth knowledge, and become a critical consumer of the academic and applied evidence-bases that articulate crime prevention strategies.
47:202:221 : Case Processing: The Law and the Courts (3 credits)

This course explores criminal laws and judicial opinions that influence the policies, procedures, personnel, and clients of the criminal justice system in the United States. Specific topics include, but are not limited to, the origin, development, and continuing changes in criminal law, administration of criminal justice, and the criminal courts.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Describe the jurisdiction, history, and structure of the judicial system in the United States.
  2. Discuss the various sources of law in the United States.
  3. Analyze judicial opinions that have shaped the American policy landscape as well as the procedures used by the broader criminal justice system.
  4. Explain the roles that the various actors and stakeholders within the American court system play, and how they interface more broadly with other actors and stakeholders within the criminal justice system.
47:202:222 : Constitutional Issues in Criminal Justice (3 credits)

This course explores the U.S. Constitution and how it regulates the criminal justice system processes. This course will provide a historical overview of the Constitution, the formation of the legal system and the evolution of the Constitution through its Amendments.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Discuss the historical significance of constitutional interpretation relating to criminal offenses and criminal justice procedures, and the effect societal changes have on constitutional interpretation.
  2. Identify, analyze, and interpret the constitutional principles that apply to procedural law and criminal investigations.
  3. Identify and understand the Supreme Court cases commonly identified with criminal justice policy as well as demonstrate an understanding of the Court’s rationale behind its decisions.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding about the issues and controversies involved with the U.S. Constitution and the Supreme Court’s interpretation of them.
47:202:223 : Delinquency and Juvenile Justice (3 credits)

This course explores the causes and rates of delinquent behavior. Investigates the nature and operation of the juvenile justice system, and provides comparisons between the purpose and functioning of the juvenile justice system in comparison to the adult criminal justice system. Issues of juvenile waiver to adult courts, important due process safeguards afforded to juveniles, and international comparisons are discussed.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Explain the historical origins of the juvenile justice system, the changing societal views towards the punishment and/or treatment of minors within the American justice system as well as the origins of delinquency.
  2. Discuss the concept of parens patriae and identify and interpret major Supreme Court cases that ushered in the due process revolution in the juvenile court.
  3. Analyze and critique the major theoretical explanations for the sources of delinquency behavior from psychological, sociological, and criminal justice perspectives.
  4. Demonstrate an increased knowledge about how the juvenile justice system fits within the broader criminal justice system within the United States.
47:202:224 : Community Corrections (3 credits)

This course examines the theory and practice of major community-based correctional responses (such as probation, parole, and diversion programs) to people convicted of criminal offenses. Discussions centering on why community corrections is an important social movement, and the countermovement to abolish the discretionary parole release function, are offered in this course.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Articulate the historical roots of community corrections within the United States.
  2. Develop an in depth knowledge about the functions of the different subsystems of community corrections including probation, parole, diversionary programs, and alternative sanctions.
  3. Analyze and critique community corrections practices, and assess the evidence-base from which these practices stem.
  4. Analyze the roles and functions of community corrections in the broader criminal justice system.


47:202:225 : Criminal Justice: Ethical and Philosophical Foundations (3 credits)

This course explores ethical and philosophical issues and moral dilemmas within the field of criminal justice, including principles of justice, deontology and utilitarianism, philosophical issues in sentencing, police and ethics, ethics and research, and the scope of state control are discussed in this course.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Explain the study of ethics as a necessary component of the criminal justice system, and how ethics apply to the system’s major institutions.
  2. Describe and explain different types of theories related to ethics.
  3. Apply ethical principles and theories to the decision-making mechanisms of actors and stakeholders within the criminal justice system.
  4. Analyze ethical dilemmas that are experienced by criminal justice actors.



47:202:301 : Criminal Justice Research Methods (3 credits; formerly 4 credits)

This course develops the tools needed for conducting research and writing reports and scholarly papers in criminal justice. Students that take this course will become informed consumers of criminological research, and gain the tools to conduct their own basic research projects. Specific topics include the primacy of design, principles of reliability and validity, sampling theory, survey preparation, and the differences between, and strengths and detriments of, experimental and quasi- experimental designs. Required Course – B.S., B.A. Cannot be used to complete a minor in Criminal Justice (waived if minor declared before spring 2022). 

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Describe common methods of social science inquiry.
  2. Discuss the linkage between research questions and research design.
  3. Explore major debates about research methods, social science, and ethics in research.
  4. Critically evaluate social scientific evidence and research.
  5. Become better-informed consumers of new reports, political rhetoric, and public discussion about the social world and social scientific research.
47:202:302 : Data Analysis in Criminal Justice (3 credits; formerly 4 credits)

This course examines the various types of data used within criminal justice and the fundamentals of statistics and analysis. It also provides an analysis of the appropriate use of data, the limits of various methods, how data are collected, and how to interpret findings. Policy implications of data will also be discussed. Prerequisite: 21:62:202:301 and the basic undergraduate math requirement. Required Course – B.S., B.A. Cannot be used to complete a minor in Criminal Justice (waived if minor declared before spring 2022). 

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Define the main characteristics of research designs.
  2. Distinguish the levels of measurements and types of variables.
  3. Choose, apply, and correctly interpret summary measures.
  4. Visualize distributions of continuous and categorical variables.
  5. Calculate and interpret measures of association.
  6. Explain the principles of statistical inference.
  7. Test hypotheses using bivariate analytic techniques.
  8. Conduct basic statistical analyses by hand and using computer software.
47:202:312 : Comparative Criminal Justice Systems (3 credits)

This course provides a worldwide overview of cultural and legal traditions related to crime. This worldview is used to fuel discussions about different approaches to law enforcement, criminal procedure and criminal law, corrections, and juvenile justice across locations and cultures.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Compare and contrast organizational behavior concepts, management practices, and legal traditions of policing, court, corrections, and juvenile justice systems among different countries around the world.
  2. Evaluate the role of organizations across the world in setting criminal justice policies in different nations.
  3. Critique components, processes, and mechanisms involved in comparing cross-cultural criminal justice contexts.
  4. Discuss current events in justice systems in various countries across the world.
47:202:313 : Gender, Crime, and Justice (3 credits)

This course provides an in-depth survey of changing social values about gender, changing criminal codes about sex crimes, changing law enforcement policies and procedures in prosecuting sex crimes, and emerging legal doctrines about privacy and sexual rights. Gender differences in crime commission and the types of crimes committed, as well as issues centering on criminal justice processing are explored.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Explore theories addressing female criminality, as well as differences between theories explaining male and female offending.
  2. Discuss the historical and socio-cultural construction of gender and how it influences agency and disempowerment.
  3. Increase understanding about the differences in the treatment of men and women as they are processed through the criminal justice system.
  4. Evaluate the roles that women play as employees in criminal justice agencies.



47:202:323 : Cybercrime (3 credits)

This course examines cybercrime, its prevention, and its significance for law enforcement. These types of crimes include illicit attacks on personal computers, on computer systems, on people via computers, and more. They include theft of information via computers, spreading of harmful code, and stealing credit and other information. Particular discussions about the level of technical proficiency in cybercrime are covered in this course.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Demonstrate an in depth knowledge about the origin, development, trend and future of delinquency and crime in cyber space.
  2. Analyze the causes, definitions, and typologies of cybercrime and cyber terrorism as well as the structure and functioning of basic Information and Technology infrastructures and their vulnerabilities.
  3. Articulate the dynamic relationships among cybercriminals, victims, Information Technology society and cyber policing.
  4. Discuss critically the policies and practices of policing on cybercrime might affect other criminal justice agencies, social systems, and/or key stakeholders.


47:202:324 : Violent Crime (3 credits)

This course provides an in-depth analysis of the relationship between violence and criminal behavior. It assesses the theoretical basis of violence by investigating its anthropological, biological, and sociological explanations and roots. It includes in-depth investigations of how and why violence occurs within the contexts of individuals, groups, and societies.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Discuss methodological issues in measuring violence in society.
  2. Compare and contrast different contexts in respect to violence perpetration; such as social class and violence, violence in the family, between- and within-race violence, gender and violence, and the link between mental illness and violence.
  3. Identify causes of youth violence and the origins of youth gangs.
47:202:333 : Race, Crime, and Justice (3 credits)

This course examines how race is related to crime, victimization, punishment, and interactions with the criminal justice system. The course considers how race is defined at societal, cultural, and individual levels, how these definitions are malleable, and how this affects criminal justice policy.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Define race, ethnicity, gender, as well as other relevant sociopolitical concepts.
  2. Examine the criminal justice system and its impact on people of color, and ethnic groups that constitute the minority population in the United States.
  3. Analyze, interpret, and critique the major theoretical perspectives tying together race and crime, and understand how these perspectives have changed over time.
  4. Analyze policies and practices of the police, courts, and corrections systems and how they can differentially impact racial and ethnic minorities.



47:202:342Q : Contemporary Policing (3 credits)

This course covers various topics that are considered to be critical law enforcement problems. Specific areas of inquiry include how to police organized crime, alcohol and drugs, the policing of civil and natural disturbances, and the diffusion and multiplicity of police agencies. Discussion of issues within crime reporting by the police, assessment difficulties, and public reactions to law enforcement and order maintenance strategies used by the police are covered in this course. Administrative problems of staffing, supervision, employee morale and militancy, and public charges are also critically discussed. Writing Intensive Course– B.S., B.A.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the critical issues in policing including use of force, management and organization, subculture, discretion, accountability, use of new technologies, evaluations of success, legitimacy, ethic, accountability, and professionalism.
  2. Identify and explain a variety of contemporary approaches used by the police to control and reduce crimes with evidence-based practices.
  3. Describe the role and function of police in a society and the impact of law enforcement on crime and public support.
  4. Apply theoretical knowledge of policing strategies to real life scenarios.
47:202:343Q : White‐collar Crime (3 credits)

This course focuses on crimes organized by persons whose economic, political, and/or privileged positions facilitate the commission of illegal activities. The course will include critical assessments of how white-collar crime is defined and understood, and the similarities and differences between white-collar crimes and other criminal activities. The costs, investigative procedures, challenges with measuring, and long-term potential consequences of white-collar crimes are discussed. Writing Intensive Course– B.S., B.A.

 Course Learning Goals:

  1. Analyze acts that constitute white collar crimes and draw parallels between white collar and conventional criminological actives.
  2. Articulate the major theories that explain white collar crimes, and the principal research findings associated with the major theory.
  3. Analyze case studies of white collar crimes in order to explore themes around victimization, social damages, and criminal justice, and broader policy responses.
  4. Explore and critique different philosophies of punishing white collar crime.


47:202:344Q : Crime in Different Cultures (3 credits)

This course explores crime through the critical lens of anthropology by situating criminal acts as consequences of the complexity and nuances of human interactivity and cultural heterogeneity. Crime and punishment in other societies, especially non-Western societies that lack institutional systems of criminal justice, and the social evolution of crime and crime-related institutions throughout the United States of America’s history are particular topics that are discussed in this course. Writing Intensive Course – B.S., B.A.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Analyze various crimes across nations and cultures.
  2. Explore and critically analyze scholarly works on crimes across different nations and cultures.
  3. Compare and contrast the workings of the criminal justice system in the United States to that in different nations and cultures.
  4. Increase understanding and conceptualization of crime as a social phenomenon in the context of culture.
47:202:402 : Contemporary Problems in Corrections (3 credits)

This course explores the impact of alternatives to incarceration, the growing prisoner rights movement, strikes by correctional employees, and public resentment toward persistently high rates of recidivism. In addition, the class provides an in-depth study of issues concerning correctional education, job training, work release, and post-incarceration employment.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the current issues faced by the United States’ institutional and community corrections systems.
  2. Critically assess criminological theories used to explain corrections and punishment.
  3. Analyze contemporary evidence-based strategies aimed at reducing rates of incarceration and recidivism.
  4. Analyze the history and development of the corrections system in the United States to provide context to contemporary problems.


47:202:410 : Environmental Criminology (3 credits)

This course considers how the everyday environment provides opportunities for crime as well as obstacles for carrying it out. Students that take this class will be involved in discussions about important methods for reducing crime by modifying or planning the built environment. Discussions about how environmental design may produce and places that make crime commission more or less opportune are covered in this class. Moreover, the course offers an alternative theory of crime based on the opportunity to carry it out.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Discuss the historical roots of the study between the relationship between ecology and crime.
  2. Critically assess theories of environmental criminology.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding about analytic strategies and tools that are used to study crime patterns and events as they relate to the convergence of place, space, and time.
  4. Assess the role of situational factors and criminal opportunities in explaining crime events, and how these can be used to guide prevention and control strategies.


47:202:411 : Juvenile Gangs and Co‐Offending (3 credits)

This course explores juvenile street gangs, when they exist, when they are illusory, and public reactions to them. It also considers co-offending by juveniles who are not necessarily gang members. The course considers what gang membership means, and when gangs are cohesive or not. It examines variations among juvenile street gangs, and contrasts these with other groups of youth that are sometimes called “gangs.”

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Articulate how gangs are defined, and why these groups are considered a major social problem.
  2. Discuss the role that race, ethnicity, and gender play in the formation and activities of street gangs.
  3. Assess the role of gangs in relation to crime, drugs, and violence.
  4. Critique programs and policies that have attempted to address the problem of gangs in the United States and other contexts.
47:202:412 : Organized Crime (3 credits)

This course provides a historical and theoretical overview of organized crime, as well as a specific understanding of its variety. It examines the structures of organized crime and the varieties of businesses associated with traditional and nontraditional organized crime groups.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Identify the various classifications of organized crime.
  2. Interpret laws relating to organized crime.
  3. Explain theories of organized crime causation.
  4. Discuss the historical perspectives of organized crime, its origins, growth, and persistence.
  5. Assess and critique policy strategies for organized crime prevention and enforcement.
  6. Evaluate the economic and social impacts of organized crime.


47 202:420: Drug Policy (3 credits)

This course examines how drug policies are formed, how they change over time, and how they travel across the world. You will engage with innovative research on the prevalence and nature of both legal and illegal drug use, the effects of drug trade on political instability, and how drug policies create and sustain inequality. We will also discuss relative merits and the evidence base for public health approaches to drug policy on the one hand, and punitive approaches on the other. Course topics may include prohibition of alcohol in the early 20th century, the effects of cannabis legalization, and the contemporary opioid epidemic. The course perspective will be decidedly comparative and global.

Course Learning Goals:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the historical and political emergence of drug control policies in the United States and globally.
  2. Identify the main characteristics of dominant drug control policies, and how effective they are in reducing drug use and illegal drug trade.
  3. Explain how punitive approaches to drug use are different from public health approaches that focus on harm reduction and decriminalization.
  4. Articulate the role of dominant drug control policies in creating and sustaining racial inequality, with a particular focus on the criminal justice system.
47:202:421 : Crime Mapping (3 credits)

This course introduces analyzing and mapping crime and other public safety data using open-sourced and web-based applications, as well as ArcGIS geographic information system (GIS) software. It provides opportunities to make and analyze maps and to develop a solid base upon which to build further expertise in crime mapping and GIS.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Develop the theoretical and practical skills necessary for studying crime in a geographic context.
  2. Explore data sources for understanding the geography of crime.
  3. Use computer-mapping software as a tool for examining crime in a variety of geographic settings.
  4. Describe how crime mapping is being used in criminal justice agencies.


47:202:422 : Youth Violence (3 credits)

This course focuses on the assessment, development, prevention, and treatment of youth violence among children and adolescents. Understanding and preventing youth violence is a major focus of the nation’s policy agenda and involves research and practice in the mental health, public health, psychiatry, and criminal justice communities. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, the course reviews the biological, social, and psychological underpinnings of youth violence, and discuss how policymakers and practitioners at all levels deal with this problem.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Discuss the historical roots of youth violence within a criminal justice context.
  2. Describe research findings about causes of youth violence.
  3. Assess the consequences of youth violence to individuals, families, and communities.
  4. Analyze and critique the evidence-base about policy prescriptions for the prevention and treatment of youth violence.


47:202:423 : Crime Over the Lifecourse (3 credits)

This course examines the development of anti-social and criminal of behavior from childhood through old age, including patterns of onset, persistence, intermittence, and desistance. What is known about why and how people start and stop committing crime at various ages, and the different types of crimes that are typically committed by people at different ages are specific topics covered in this course.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Develop an understanding of the life course perspective of studying crime.
  2. Evaluate and critique the basic theories, concepts, and research methods used by life course criminologists.
  3. Identify and interpret patterns of criminal onset, persistence, intermittence, and desistance within the lens of life course criminology.


47:202:424 : Mass Incarceration and Collateral Consequences (3 credits)

This course examines trends in mass incarceration, their sources, and their direct and indirect effects on society. Since 1970, incarceration rates in the United States have quintupled and are now higher than those in any other country in the world. These huge increases in mass incarceration over a short period of time have persisted through periods when crime was rising, and even in the more recent time periods when crime has been falling. Apart from the dubious effects of mass incarceration on public safety suggested by these divergent trends, mass incarceration also has substantial collateral consequences across society, affecting families, communities, the labor market, the military, political processes, and the use of taxpayer dollars.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Examine the criminal justice system and its impact on people of color, and ethnic groups that constitute a minority population in the United States.
  2. Increase understanding about how incarceration experiences can reverberate into other life domains after release from prison and/or jail.
  3. Examine the socio-cultural and historical roots of the criminal justice system and high incarceration rates.
  4. Assess and evaluate sources of the differential impact that major criminal justice institutions have on various races and ethnic groups in American society.


47:202:425 : Miscarriages of Justice (3 credits)

This course provides a critical and interdisciplinary examination of the current functioning of the American criminal justice system, focusing specifically on the procedures used by various criminal justice actors that can lead to errors in case processing and unjust outcomes. Students that take this course will examine policies and practices of the United States’ criminal justice system (e.g., police procedure, prosecution, jury selection, scientific evidence, appellate court procedures, etc.) that unintentionally contribute to the wrongful apprehension, prosecution, conviction, incarceration, and even execution of the innocent. Moreover, we explore the collateral consequences of punishing “false positives,” including implications for undermining the legitimacy of the criminal justice system and allowing impunity for culpable offenders who remain at-large.

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Describe and explain the mechanisms, dynamics, and situational and social context of wrongful convictions and miscarriages of justice in the United States.
  2. Examine and critique policies and practices that contribute to miscarriages of justice.
  3. Analyze how the media influences and shapes public discourses about the criminal justice system in regards to miscarriages of justice.
  4. Examine theories that articulate how wrongful convictions occur, sources of error, and proposed remedies for what can be done to minimize and/or prevent future errors.
47:202:466 : Topics in Criminal Justice - Vary per semester (3 credits)

Current issues and problems; topics vary. May be taken more than once for different topics.

47:202:499 : Internship in Criminal Justice (BA) Prerequisites: Special permission and junior or senior standing. (3 credits)

First-hand experience in the day-to-day operation of a criminal justice agency in government, research or non-profit settings. Internship placements are supervised by the person designated to supervise the course (i.e., the SCJ Director of Community Outreach) and a practitioner in the field-placement area. Interested students must meet with the course supervisor to receive approval for the placement and permission to enroll. The course is graded pass/fail.


47:204:105 : The Pursuit of Justice (3 credits)

This course surveys philosophies and strategies regarding structures of justice. The class begins with a review of retributive and distributive justice and how the two are related. This leads to a broader discussion of “what justice means,” both historically and in contemporary thinking. The course will explore an array of ideas about justice in social relations and in response to the law.  Required Course

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Identify and explain fundamental elements of traditional Western moral philosophy.
  2. Think critically about ethical and moral issues relevant to racism in Western societies.
  3. Apply critical ethical thought to aspects of daily life affected by culture, power, and privilege.
47:204:220 : Inequality (3 credits)

American society tends to hold itself up as an arbiter of justice and equality, domestically and globally. Upon scrutiny, however, the topic of inequality reveals itself to be an epistemological aporia in which starkly oppositional ideas and frameworks are all held up as social goods, whether within American social practice, theoretical debate, academic discourse, or lived experience. This course addresses one, central question: How is it that institutions and nations with expressed intentions of achieving freedom, justice, fairness, and democratic thriving often end up both exacerbating injustice and deepening inequality?   Required Course

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Discuss the concept of inequality in social, political, racial, economic, and gendered capacities.
  2. Identify key theoretical and methodological perspectives on inequality and eruditely comment on those perspectives, their benefits, and drawbacks.
  3. Gain a sense of inequality beyond the scope of a single cultural, racial, economic or gendered perspective, including its intersectional forms.
  4. Evaluate and identify enduring and recurring political or social processes and phenomena beyond the contemporary world with which they are familiar, such as the presence of inequality in multiethnic societies.
  5. Develop and deepen a personal view about the nature of inequality, and gain skills as a critical consumer of relevant research and popular media.
  6. Examine the discourse of inequality from multiple time periods and multiple voices.
  7. Produce critical and original academic work which explores inequality, drawing on both interdisciplinary reading and students’ own lived experiences.
47:204:466 : Topics in Justice Studies - Vary per semester (3 credits)
47: 204:481Q : Senior Thesis I (3 credits)

This course is a research-based seminar designed for students demonstrating the academic maturity and preparation to pursue a thesis project independently. Students will draw on their knowledge of theory, methods, and policy learned in core and elective courses to analyze and propose a research plan on an important topic in criminal justice. Required Course

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Locate and identify appropriate sources of scholarly research.
  2. Synthesize and evaluate information from sources.
  3. Develop research questions or specific hypothesis relevant to previous research.


47: 204:482Q : Senior Thesis II (3 credits)

The senior thesis must be a substantive piece of scholarship involving primary or secondary research, which serves to synthesize knowledge acquired in the Justice Studies major over the course of the student’s undergraduate career. A senior thesis project should be an original work that ideally contributes to the discipline of justice studies. Required Course

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Analyze research findings, including data, the construction of arguments, and use of evidence.
  2. Develop conclusions and an argument based on researched results.
  3. Present findings in a well-written academic paper (including notes, bibliography, and paper format) and professional presentation.