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Criminal Justice Studies (B.A.)

The program is framed by Thiel’s commitment to the liberal arts, signifying the importance of supporting the development of humane and altruistic perspectives of students in all fields of thought and work.

A student who graduates from Thiel College with a major in criminal justice studies will:

  • understand the major theoretical paradigms of criminal justice.
  • understand the principles of social science research methodology.
  • understand the complexity and interaction of social marginality in United States culture in terms of deviance, criminality, corrections, race/ethnicity, sex/gender and social class.
  • understand the criminal justice system and role of law in the United States as related to critical issues in US society: restorative justice, terrorism, domestic and transnational crime, corrections, deviance, race/ethnicity, sex/gender, juvenile law, and domestic violence.
  • understand the diversity of criminal acts and the variety of criminal justice systems in a global context.

The major is interdisciplinary and requires study in a variety of related and supportive fields including sociology, political science, psychology, religion and philosophy. Graduates from the program may work in courts, law enforcement, probation and parole, specialized treatment programs, public and private agencies such as juvenile probation, child and protective services and other occupations dedicated to principles of behavior reform. The major in criminal justice studies requires a minimum of 44 semester credit hours, distributed according to the rules presented below.

(Note: All courses listed are three credit hours unless otherwise indicated; CJS = criminal justice studies).

Major Requirements (31 CH)

The major requires a minimum of 31 credit hours and must include the following courses:

  • CJS 101 - Introduction to Criminal Justice Studies
  • SOC 121 - Microsociology or SOC 141 - Macrosociology
  • CJS 230 - Law Enforcement
  • CJS 221 - Corrections
  • CJS 301 - Juvenile Justice Studies or CJS 431 - Victimology
  • SOC 331 - Criminology or SOC 321 - Deviance
  • SOC 342 - Sociological Theory
  • SOC 341 - Research Methods
  • SOC 233 - Statistics for Social Sciences
  • PHIL 267 - Ethics
  • POSC 439 - Criminal Law or CJS/POSC 438 - Criminal Due Process Rights or POSC 445 - The Great American Trial
  • CJS 371 - Proseminar (1 CH)

The major also requires 12 additional course hours - students may use the unselected courses above and/or any of the following:

  • CJS 301 Juvenile Justice Studies
  • CJS 431 Victimology
  • SOC 191 Social Problems
  • SOC 251 Minorities
  • SOC 321 Deviance
  • SOC 331 Criminology
  • SOC 401 Sociology for the Family
  • SOC 411 Organizations
  • SOC/CJS 431 SelectedTopics
  • ACCT 453 Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination
  • BADM 355 Business Law I
  • BADM 356 Business Law II
  • BADM 364 Business Ethics
  • COMM 455 Media Law and Regulation
  • ENSC 200 Introduction to Environmental Law
  • POSC 116 American Government & Politics
  • POSC 226 Stateand Local Politics and Policy    
  • POSC 236 Public Policy
  • POSC 300 Introduction to Legal Studies
  • POSC 316 Topics: Civil Rights and Liberties           
  • POSC 336 Public Administration
  • POSC 385 The Law of Families
  • POSC 388 The Death Penalty
  • POSC 436 Constitutional Law
  • POSC 437 First Amendment Law
  • POSC 438 Criminal Due Process Rights
  • POSC 439 Criminal Law
  • POSC 445 The Great American Trial
  • PSY 240 Child Development
  • PSY 242 Adolescent Development
  • PSY 300 Abnormal Behavior
  • PSY 360 Social Psychology
  • PSY 370 Counseling Methods
  • PHIL 277 Business Ethics
  • PHIL 297 Environmental Ethics
  • PHIL 347 Social and Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 377 Legal Philosophy
  • REL 200 Contemporary Ethical Issues

Students electing to double major in sociology and criminal justice studies may not use the same elective courses to satisfy the elective requirement in both majors. An elective, experiential educational opportunity in criminal justice studies areas is strongly encouraged. Internships may be in the local area, Washington, D.C., via Thiel College’s Washington Semester programs or in another region accessible to the student and approved by the program’s administrators (e.g. Harrisburg, Pa., a nearby city or near the student’s home.) Credit hours awarded are variable (1 to 16), depending on the program selected.