Criminal Justice - Major/Minor

For information contact Scott A. Hoke, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, , 610-606-4666 x4454

Program Description

Criminal justice is the study of the social factors, social conditions and environmental influences that affect the development of human behavior that is contrary to commonly accepted norms.  It is a field of study that attempts to scientifically examine the causes, personal and societal consequences, and effective preventative/rehabilitative responses to socially dysfunctional behavior such as crime, drug abuse, violence, prejudice and human exploitation.

Primarily, the coursework has been designed to allow the student to examine human behavior from a number of different viewpoints.  Today, the emphasis in criminal justice is in the prevention of harmful behavior, rather than simply its detection and prosecution.  To effectively prevent behavior from occurring one must understand what influences it.  As a result, the curriculum places an emphasis on understanding the social, biological, psychological, and environmental factors that influence behavior. 

Additionally, the emphasis on research methods, evaluation and presentation allows the student to develop leadership skills through the practical application of problem solving strategies.  Combined with a sound field experience, the student is allowed to apply material presented throughout the curriculum to the professional setting, further enhancing their ability to understand, process, and evaluate the critical issues facing the profession.

Criminal Justice Program Mission Statement

The mission of the criminal justice program is to provide students with a state of the art educational experience that is grounded in an understanding of the traditional theories and origins of the criminal justice system but also one that places emphasis on developing an understanding of the emerging issues and developments that are influencing and impacting society today.  In addition, it is the mission of the program to produce students who are prepared to assume a position of leadership within the profession.  Leadership requires students to be well-rounded academically, intellectually mature, aware of the ethical standards by which the criminal justice system is intended to function, and sensitive to the social and cultural challenges presented by the application of the system. 

Criminal Justice Major

Total number of credits required by program: 34 credits

Program Requirements

In order to participate in, or maintain one’s status in the Criminal Justice Program students must have achieved at least a 2.0 in all of the foundation courses; must receive no less than a C in any of the professional courses; and must complete the required field experience.

Additionally, students must complete a criminal history check.  Students will not be permitted into the program if they possess either a felony conviction, or a misdemeanor involving the possession or use of a controlled substance; fraud; violence; or child neglect or abuse.

Course Requirements

The curriculum is organized around a combination of required and elective courses.  Each student has the ability to select one of three elective packages that best suits their level of interest.  Students may select more than one elective package, but each being designed to allow the student to develop some level of specific depth to the analysis of human behavior.  The elective packages are as follows:

  1. Criminal Behavior and Deviance – This elective package allows the student to examine human behavior from a social, psychological, and environmental perspective.  Each of these areas influences behavior and effective control often involves understanding aspects of each of these elements.  Addiction, Psychopathology, and Crime examines the social aspects of drug use and allows the student to understand drug influenced behavior; Corrections, and Crime and Place evaluate the environmental influences of human behavior; while Abnormal, and/or Forensic Psychology assist in understanding behavior from a psychological perspective.
  2. Juvenile Studies – This elective package allows the student to develop an understanding of childhood development and adolescent behavior.  Many of the students who major in criminal justice at Cedar Crest express an interest in working with juvenile offenders and this package offers the student a greater understanding of the issues surrounding juvenile behavior than what they are currently receiving.
  3. Law Enforcement Administration – This elective package is designed for students who have an interest in police administration. It is not intended to expose the student to police practices but rather is designed to better their understanding of the issues related to running a police/law enforcement organization.  All of the courses in this package are available in an online or accelerated format.
  4. Self-Designed Elective package – This is elective package allows the students to self-design an area of interest within the criminal justice system. One might choose to study forensic psychology, social justice, restorative practices, crime and community mapping or any other subject area where one’s interest exists.

Criminal Justice Requirements - 34 credits

Core Requirements (22 credits):
CRJ 101 The Legal System
CRJ 106 Criminology
CRJ 211 Criminal Justice Ethics
CRJ 206 Class, Race, Gender, and Crime
CRJ 325 Criminal Justice Research Methods
CRJ 331 Leadership in Criminal Justice
REL 227 Islam in America

Elective Packages (12 credits – the student must select at least one)

Criminal Behavior and Deviance (12 credits):
CRJ 201 Addiction, Psychopathology and Crime
CRJ 306 Corrections
CRJ 311 Crime and Place
PSY 309 Abnormal Psychology

PSY 310 Forensic Psychology

Juvenile Studies (12 credits):
CRJ 201 Addiction, Psychopathology, and Crime
CRJ 301 Juvenile Justice
SWK 303 Human Behavior & Social Environment

PSY 250 Life Span Development
SWK 304 Child Abuse Maltreatment and Neglect

Law Enforcement Administration (12 credits):
BUA 110 Principles of Management
BUA 220 Human Resource Management
BUA 239 Employment Law
PSC 214 Public Administration
CRJ 316 Crime and Public Policy

Self-Designed Elective Package – Thematic design must be approved by faculty advisor (12 credits)

Field Experience

The field experience enables the student to apply knowledge acquired in the major in a criminal justice agency of the student’s choice.  This application of knowledge is vital to the career placement of the graduate.  Students are required to engage in a 220-hour experience, 16 hours per week in a community setting developed by the criminal justice faculty.

In addition, a field experience seminar has been designed to be taken concurrent with the field experience. The seminar provides an opportunity for students to critically assess learning in the field with theoretical concepts associated with the major in criminal justice.

Fulfillment of LAC Requirements

The student fulfills the Technology, Oral Presentation, and Information Literacy requirements by successfully completing the following courses embedded within the criminal justice major:

CRJ 110 Introduction to GIS and Crime Mapping
CRJ 210 Advanced Crime and Community Mapping
CRJ 325 Criminal Justice Research Methods
CRJ 311 Crime and Place

Oral Presentation:
CRJ 211 Criminal Justice Ethics
CRJ 325 Criminal Justice Research Methods
CRJ 326 Field Placement Seminar
CRJ 331 Leadership in Criminal Justice

Information Literacy:
Each of the required courses contributes to the completion of this Liberal Arts requirement.

Learning Outcomes

  • The student will be able to analyze human behavior and identify the social factors that influence it.
  • The student will be able to analyze human behavior and identify the environmental factors that influence it.
  • Students will be able to apply criminal justice theory and content to a larger community context.
  • Students will be able to analyze criminal justice decision-making to determine if it meets acceptable ethical standards.
  • Students will demonstrate effective oral communication skills.
  • Students will demonstrate effective written communication skills.

Criminal Justice Minor

Program Requirements for the Criminal Justice Minor

Cedar Crest College does offer a minor in criminal justice, which consists of 18 credits.  It can be completed by using the following format:

Course Requirements for the Criminal Justice Minor: 18 credits

Required Courses (6 Credits):

CRJ 101 The Legal System
CRJ 106 Criminology

Elective Courses (12 credits):

CRJ 110 Introduction to GIS and Crime Mapping
CRJ 201 Addiction, Psychopathology and Crime
CRJ 206 Class, Race and Gender
CRJ 210 Advanced Crime and Community Mapping
CRJ 211 Criminal Justice Ethics
CRJ 212 Problem-Oriented Policing
CRJ 301 Juvenile Justice
CRJ 306 Corrections
CRJ 311 Crime and Place
CRJ 316 Crime and Public Policy

One of the following courses can be substituted for one of the elective criminal justice courses:

PSC 202 Law and Justice
PSC 207 Law and Women’s Rights
PSC 218 Criminal Procedure and Constitutional Rights
PSC 250 Modern Political Thought
PSC 300 Topics in Law and Public Policy