For both the thesis and non-thesis tracks, 33 credits are required. For thesis students, this includes six credits of CRJ 797 (Thesis). Non-thesis students also receive two credits of CRJ 795 (Comprehensive Exam) in addition to the 33 credits. Students complete both required and elective courses. At least one three-credit elective class must be an in-person class (i.e., not independent study) with a CRJ or SRJS prefix. For more detailed information on courses, please review the course catalog.
There are six required courses. One is a research methods course. Generally, this will be SRJS 725, which is designed specifically for students in the School of Social Research and Justice Studies (e.g., criminal justice, sociology, communication studies). However, advisors might allow substitution of research methods based on the student's interests, abilities and career goals. Another course is a statistics class to be selected by the student and his or her advisor, based on the student's interests, abilities and career goals. The other four required courses are:
CRJ 740 Crime and Criminal Justice
3 credits (taught by Associate Professor Matthew Leone)
Students arrive at the criminal justice graduate program from a variety of majors and institutions. Because of this reality, the Department of Criminal Justice designed a course that can serve the dual purposes of enhancing the understanding and knowledge of those already acquainted with criminal justice as an academic discipline, while familiarizing those outside the field with the structure, operations and nuances of the justice system. As one of the six core classes in the program, CRJ 740 students are exposed to a combination of classic and current readings, they discuss several of the most provocative and troubling aspects of the system and they complete writing assignments designed to show a deeper understanding of the problems faced by the justice system. Historically, this class has assisted the students in discovering a topic that interests them enough to eventually become a thesis or professional paper. Students are evaluated based on several position papers, class participation and a final class presentation.
- Karmen, Andrew. (2010) Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology, 7th ed: Karmen
- Friedrichs, David O. (2004) Trusted Criminals: White Collar Crime in Contemporary Society
- Thistlethwaite, Amy B. and John Wooldredge, eds. (2010) Forty Studies That Changed Criminal Justice: Explorations into the History of Criminal Justice Research
CRJ 750 Planned Change in Criminal Justice
3 credits (taught by Professor Kenneth Peak)
Historically, change in criminal justice agencies was generally slow and incremental. Continuous change now is a constant rather than an exception however, and the pace, magnitude and frequency of change also have increased. If such change is unplanned, programs will often fail and result in negative consequences in the workplace. Remember that major change occurring in one component of the justice system can have severe repercussions on the others if not anticipated and planned for. This course – which is highly interactive, writing-intense and case-study oriented - explores how change can be effectively planned and managed in criminal justice agencies.
- Welsh, Wayne N. and Phillip W. Harris. (2012) Criminal Justice Policy & Planning
- Mears, Daniel P. (2010) American Criminal Justice Policy (recommended)
CRJ 785 Criminal Justice Policy Analysis
3 credits (taught by Associate Professor Skip Griffin)
Through class discussions, weekly summary papers and a comprehensive analysis paper, students will acquire a rich understanding of the state of, empirical research on, and ideological and political sources of American crime control policy.
- Tonry Michael. (2004) Thinking About Crime: Sense and Sensibility in American Penal Culture
- Paternoster, Raymond, Robert Brame and Sarah Bacon. (2007) The Death Penalty: America's Experience with Capital Punishment
- Zimring, Franklin. (2007) The Great American Crime Decline
- Pratt, Travis. (2009) Addicted to Incarceration: Corrections Policy and the Politics of Misinformation in the United States
- Shelden, Randall G. (2010) Our Punitive Society: Race Class, Gender and Punishment in America
- Wilson, James Q. and Joan Petersilia, eds. (2011) Crime and Public Policy
- Additional chapters on reserve by Ed Lott and Franklin Zimring
CRJ 788 Ethics, Law, and Justice Policy
3 credits (taught by Assistant Professor Jennifer Lanterman
The formulation of policy is an inherently moral activity that requires ethical introspection in order to "do" justice. Because what is legal is not necessarily ethical and because justice is a much abused word, those who make, influence or implement policy must be capable of examining their information, processes and decisions from a variety of epistemological traditions. Classical, modern and post-modern ethics grounded examination of positivistic, historical and critical theory perspectives on policy formation, and some strengths and weaknesses of each as foundations for law and policy will be discussed. A major thread of this course is that law is policy, not practice and will be approached both through a critical pedagogy methodology and the learning and application by students of several qualitative techniques, including Blackian analysis and Hohfeld/Marsh analysis. Another major thread throughout the course will be developing ethical insights into unintended consequences of justice policy and practice with particular reference to race/ethnicity, gender and sexuality.
- Black, Donald. (1976) The Behavior of Law
- Huggins, Laura E. (2005) Drug War Deadlock: The Policy Battle Continues
- Menand, Louis. (2001) The Metaphysical Club: The Story of Ideas in America
- Weston, Anthony. (2001) A 21st Century Ethical Tool Box