55 Park Place, 5th Floor
Dean Dabney, Chair
Mark D. Reed, Undergraduate Program Coordinator
The Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice focuses on the study of the criminal justice system and its component parts, as well as the causes and consequences of crime. The degree program stresses an integrated view of the criminal justice system, highlighting relationships between system components in service provision and how the justice system influences/is influenced by other societal institutions. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a developing theoretical knowledge base in studies of crime and criminal justice, focusing on examining the system and its parts, as well as the roles of victims and offenders. The curriculum also is designed to provide students with a liberal arts education that focuses on basic skills, such as the abilities to read critically, write clearly, speak effectively, and think analytically. The curriculum is broadly structured to meet the academic needs of pre-professional students, those already employed in the wide range of agencies that compose the criminal and juvenile justice systems, and those pursuing graduate education and law school.
Students’ classroom experiences are enhanced through the research expertise of the criminal justice faculty. Currently, faculty research topics highlight organizational misconduct; sex differences in criminality and criminal justice processing; race, racism, crime and criminal justice; evidence-based policing; public defense systems; domestic violence; violence by and against people with mental illness; sexual harassment; state crime and international criminal law violations; cybercrime and security; drugs, crime and public policy; homicide investigation; homicide co-victimization; police policy and innovations; sexual victimization; the collateral consequences of mass incarceration; evaluation research; the disorder-crime nexus, constitutional law; community differences in the nature of crime; social justice leadership; informal social control; juvenile delinquency and youth violence; network analysis; groups and delinquency; active offender decision-making; and suburban crime and urban violence. Faculty members use a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods, bringing not only topical knowledge but also methodological expertise into the learning environment.
Degree programs offered through the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology include a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, a Master of Science in criminal justice, and a doctorate in criminology and criminal justice. The bachelor’s degree program complies with the core curriculum requirements of the University System of Georgia and is also provided in an online format. Criminal Justice majors are required to select between one of two academic concentrations presented in the curriculum program. Finally, the Department offers a minor in Criminal Justice and minor in Digital Criminology to students interested in augmenting their non-CJ majors and other studies.
The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology emphasizes issues of crime and justice occurring in urban environments from a multicultural, interdisciplinary perspective to inform science, policy, and practice. The mission of the Department is to produce students who are critical and ethical thinkers, knowledgeable about the issues of crime and justice, and prepared for leadership positions in public and private criminal justice.
There are no admission requirements specific to the Bachelor of Science degree program in Criminal Justice beyond the admission requirements to the University.
Program Financial Information
No special fees are associated with the Bachelor of Science degree program in Criminal Justice. Students must pay all tuition and fees required by the University.
Program Academic Regulations
- The Department has two academic concentrations: Crime and Justice or Legal Studies. The Crime and Justice concentration provides a traditional curriculum for criminal justice majors, while the Legal Studies concentration is designed for criminal justice majors desiring more intensive exposure to law often in preparation for law school. Students must declare their concentration at the time of declaring Criminal Justice as their major.
- Students must earn a grade of C or higher in CRJU 1100 /CRJU 3100 (or equivalent transfer course) and CRJU 2200 and C- or higher in all Area F - J, 2000 - 4000-level criminal justice courses to be eligible for a degree in Criminal Justice. Georgia State University undergraduate students must achieve an overall institutional grade-point average of 2.0 and a major GPA of 2.0 to receive a bachelor’s degree from the university. Grades of C- can be used to satisfy graduation requirements in Area G through J. However, some courses have prerequisites that require a grade of C or higher (see 1460 GPA Requirement for additional information).
- Students must complete a minimum of 39 semester hours in 2000-4000-level criminal justice courses at Georgia State University. CRJU 1100 /CRJU 3100 is not included in this GSU CRJU residency requirement.
- Students may transfer in a maximum of three (3) courses (e.g., 9 credits) in Areas F-I. Students must still meet the GSU CRJU residency requirement.
- A student who has received a grade of D, F, or WF in an Area (G) (Foundations of Analyses) course may repeat the course up to two additional times. This allows the student a maximum of three attempts to successfully complete the course. Emergency Withdrawals will not count against course attempts; documentation that a hardship withdrawal was granted must be provided in the situation where a fourth attempt is requested.
- Students should complete a majority of lower-division courses (Areas A - E) prior to taking 4000 level criminal justice courses.
- Students should take or complete all Area F (Criminal Justice Core) courses before taking 4000 level criminal justice courses.
- Students should be enrolled in or have taken all Area G (Foundations of Analyses) courses before enrolling in 4000 level criminal justice courses
- All criminal justice majors must complete at least one internship (CRJU 4935 ) and are allowed to enroll in up to two internship courses (CRJU 4935 and CRJU 4940 ) during their senior year in the program. Students are allowed to enroll in CRJU 4935 as early as the beginning of the senior year of undergraduate study. The mandatory CRJU 4935 counts for 6 credit hours and the optional CRJU 4940 counts for 3 credit hours. Students will complete 160 hours at an internship agency as part of the requirements in CRJU 4935 and CRJU 4940 . If a student chooses to complete one internship experience, he or she must enroll in an additional 4000-level CRJU course which will be counted in Area K. If a student elects to complete two internship and field placements (CRJU 4935 and CRJU 4940 ), he or she cannot enroll in both placements simultaneously (i.e., during the same semester) and is not allowed to use the same internship site more than once. CRJU 4935 is a prerequisite for CRJU 4940 .
- Students who fail CRJU 4935 must retake an in-house research internship with a full-time faculty member or take two (2) 4000-level courses at the discretion of and with the approval of the Undergraduate Coordinator. Students who have failed CRJU 4935 are not permitted to go back into the field for their placement nor will they be allowed to enroll in CRJU 4940 .
- Placement with an agency that deals with sensitive information may require a background investigation, which can include checks for prior arrests and convictions, of a student’s financial and driving histories, polygraphs, abuse of illegal drugs, and DUI convictions. If students have a criminal record (arrests or convictions) either before they declare their major or acquire a criminal record after declaring their major, they might be prohibited from participating in the internship. Since the internship is a requirement, students might be excluded from the degree program by the internship coordinator or department chair. A thorough description of the internship program is found at aysps.gsu.edu/criminal-justice-criminology/criminal-justice-internship-program/.
- The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology believes that all students in the internship program must be personally and psychologically equipped as well as academically prepared. A student may be denied entry into an intern field experience based on departmental prerequisites or the professional judgment of faculty based on observed performance, behavior, or documentation that indicates erratic, unpredictable, or unsuitable conduct. This policy is based on the premise that criminal justice faculty should be part of the evaluation of a student’s ability to function adequately and safely in a criminal justice setting and that the faculty has a right and responsibility to make such judgments prior to placing a student in an internship.
- The internship coordinator or department chair may remove a student from an internship site if circumstances arise at the site that pose an unforeseen danger to the student’s welfare or an unforeseen risk of liability to the student, faculty, or Department. If the reason for the move is not the fault of the student, the internship coordinator shall make reasonable efforts to assist the student with finding a new placement agency. If it is not possible to secure placement with a new agency the student will receive a grade of incomplete and be required to re-enroll in the internship course the following academic semester. The internship coordinator and department chair also have authority to withdraw a student from a classroom and/or internship experience (i.e., CRJU 4935 , CRJU 4940 ) if the student’s performance constitutes a detriment to other students in the class and/or to personnel at the field placement (internship) site, or if the student is arrested, convicted, and/or violates the agency’s workplace rules, policies, or procedures. If a student is withdrawn due to academic misconduct, the student will be given an F in the internship course and may be subjected to discipline through the University’s academic discipline process. Students terminated from their internships by their host agency, or removed by the Department for inappropriate behavior, will receive a failing grade for CRJU 4935 and CRJU 4940 . In this event they may not administratively withdraw from the course and will receive a grade of “WF” rather than “W” for the course should they attempt to withdraw from the courses prior to the term’s midpoint.
- All applications for the internship program must be completed online at aysps.gsu.edu/criminaljustice criminology/criminal-justice-internship-program/ and submitted to the AYS Office of Academic Assistance (OAA). OAA shall determine each student’s eligibility to intern and shall forward a list of approved students to the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology internship coordinator. Without exception, all applications must be submitted by the following dates in order for students to be considered for placement in the specified semester: February 15 for Fall semester; May 15 for Spring semester; September 15 for Summer semester. Additionally, candidates are required to attend an orientation session held on the fourth Friday of the month immediately following the application month noted in the preceding sentence.