Mar 24, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Criminal Justice and Criminology Major, B.S.

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Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology  

College of Health and Human Sciences  

  Available Program Format(s): In-Person  

About the Program

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology offers an academic degree with a foundation in the liberal arts and social sciences. The mission of the program is to engage students in the scientific study of crime, criminality, other forms of social deviance, and the official response to crime by law enforcement, the court systems, and correctional systems. To that end, the department seeks to prepare students for criminal justice careers or post graduate work as liberally educated, intellectually mature, ethically aware, and culturally sensitive people. Recognizing that many students have completed coursework at the community college and already work in the criminal justice field, the department structures its curriculum to assist transfer students and adult working students. The department engages in Statewide Transfer Articulation Agreements with a number community colleges through the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

Student Outcomes

The learning outcomes for the program are as follows: 

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in law enforcement through exhibiting a fundamental understanding of history, theory, practice and legal environment, police organization, discretion, and subculture.  
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in corrections through exhibiting a fundamental understanding of the development of correctional philosophy, incarceration, diversions, community-based corrections, and treatment of offenders.  
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in law adjudication through exhibiting a fundamental understanding of criminal law, criminal procedures, prosecution, defense, as well as court procedures and decision-making.  
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in criminology theory through exhibiting a fundamental understanding of the nature and causes of crime, social control mechanisms, typologies, offenders, and victims.  
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in research and analytic methods through exhibiting a fundamental understanding of quantitative (including statistics) and qualitative methods for conducting and analyzing criminal justice research.  
  6. Demonstrate proficiency in written and oral communication to a variety of audiences.  
  7. Be able to employ ethical perspectives and critical thinking in applying their newly acquired knowledge base to related problems and changing fact situations.  
  8. Be able to identify the effects of the criminal justice system on the lives of individuals and communities, as well as how criminal justice practitioners face the challenges of diversity in a free society. 

General Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements. 

Program Requirements

  • A total of 120 semester hours are required for graduation. 
  • A grade of C or better is required for each course in this program to count toward the bachelor’s degree. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required. 
  • A minor is required for this program. 

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits

Students should consult the General Studies Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion.  

  • Written Communication (6 credits) 
  • Oral Communication (3 credits) 
  • Quantitative Literacy (3 credits) 
  • Arts and Humanities (6 credits) 
  • Historical (3 credits) 
  • Natural and Physical Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Global Diversity (0 or 3 credits**)


** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences. 

Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Requirement: 0 or 3 credits

  • Students should consult the Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Graduation Requirement  for a list of courses that fulfill the ESSJ Requirement for degree completion.  
  • Many programs include courses that meet this requirement. Students should consult with their advisor to determine what program courses may fulfill this requirement. 

Required Ancillary Course: 3 credits

Tier II: Area Electives: 15 credits

Tier III: CJC General Electives: 9 credits

An additional nine hours of CJC general elective credits are required. Elective courses can included any CJC course, including Tier II electives that were not previously taken. Additionally, up to six internship credits may apply here. At least six of the nine CJC general elective credits must be upper division (3000/4000 level).

Summary of Requirements

General Studies Requirements 33 credits
ESSJ Requirement 0-3 credits
Ancillary Course 3 credits
Major Requirements 33 credits
Major Electives 9 credits
Senior Experience 3 credits
Minor and Unrestricted Electives 36-42 credits
Total for Criminal Justice and Criminology Major, B.S. 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and ESSJ requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree.

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