Minor in Criminal Justice Studies

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • develop and apply the skills and knowledge required to critically analyze the formation of laws, crime causation, and the practice and structures that make up the American criminal justice system
  • understand the constitutional powers and limits in enforcing the criminal law, including rights for criminal suspects, defendants, and prisoners
  • understand the key elements and stages in the criminal process, from lawmaking to law enforcement to prosecution/defense to conviction/punishment, and the political, economic and social factors shaping the incentive system of criminal justice actors
  • understand the politics, and also the pros and cons of key crime policies, such as three strikes you’re out laws, mandatory sentencing, drug criminalization, private prisons, and law and order crusades



  • POLS 322 Politics of American Justice
  • SOC 357 Criminology

Field Placement

Students must take one internship. Choose between a law-related placement in a government agency (Politics 396) or in a non-governmental organization (Politics 397 or Sociology 395).

  • POLS 396 Public Administration Internship
  • POLS 397 Fieldwork in Public Interest Organizations
  • SOC 395 Fieldwork in Sociology
  • SOC 410 Senior Honors Thesis Workshop


Choose two electives, one course from each of the following groups:


  • POLS 330 Crime, Law & the Constitution
  • POLS 335 Political Power & Constitutional Law
  • POLS 336 Race, Equality & the Law
  • POLS 367 Public Policy Drug Policy
  • POLS 368 Public Policy Punishment


  • SOC 227 Violence in Society
  • SOC 354 Sociology of Law
  • SOC 355 Deviance and Social Control
  • SOC 356 Juvenile Delinquency
  • SOC 390 Latinos, Justice, & Crime


one of the following may substitute for either the politics or sociology elective requirement:

  • PHIL 225 Prisons & Punishment
  • MS 204 Media, Stereotyping, and Violence
  • PSYC 324 Perspectives Forensic Psychology