Undergraduate program

The Division of Criminology and Criminal Justice is designed for students who are interested in studying the causes, prevention, and control of criminal activity. The division’s curriculum provides students with a broad base of knowledge about crime, criminals, victims, and the criminal justice system. This includes coverage of theories, programs and research on crime prevention, policing, courts, and corrections within the context of sustainable communities. Examination of these issues occurs at individual, community, and societal levels. Moreover, the curriculum is designed to foster student skills in critical reasoning, problem solving, and written and oral communication.

Reflecting the philosophy of the university as a whole, the program emphasizes the importance of diversity, ethical treatment, and involvement in the community. Specifically, the program provides students with opportunities to apply what they have learned in the classroom to community settings.

Students in this dynamic program have the opportunity to debate some of the most controversial issues facing our nation. Are people born deviant or do they become deviant through environmental influences? Are minorities treated fairly in the criminal justice system? Should we “get tough on crime” or does this lead to tougher offenders? Does the death penalty deter crime? Is plea bargaining corrupting our judicial system? Can serious crime be prevented by mobilizing neighborhoods, redesigning cities, and creating sustainable communities?

Criminology and criminal justice is an interdisciplinary major, a fact demonstrated by the diverse backgrounds of our full-time and adjunct faculty. Students graduating from our program have a wide range of choices when they look for employment or post-graduate education. Our graduates work in local and federal law enforcement in corrections (probation and parole, correctional administration), in human services (offender counseling, victim assistance), and in fields like security and investigation within the business community. Graduates from our program also go on to pursue advanced degrees in such areas as law, criminal justice, psychology, social work, public administration, and urban planning.

Degree Maps and Learning Outcomes

Admission Requirements

Criminology and Criminal Justice, B.A./B.S.

Criminology and Criminal Justice Minor

Criminology and Criminal Justice Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

Criminology and Criminal Justice, B.A./B.S.


In addition to meeting the general University degree requirements, students who major in criminology and criminal justice (CCJ) must complete core and elective courses within the division. Some of these courses have prerequisites, and students should read course descriptions in the current PSU Bulletin before registration. All core and elective courses submitted to satisfy the requirements for a major, whether taken at PSU or elsewhere, must be passed with a grade of “C” (2.00 GPA) or above. A course grade of C- does not satisfy this requirement. Courses taken under the undifferentiated grading option (pass/no pass) will not be accepted toward fulfilling division major requirements. The CCJ degree requirements are:

Core Courses

CCJ 200Criminology and Criminal Justice


CCJ 230Policing in America


CCJ 240Punishment and Corrections


CCJ 310American Courts


CCJ 320Theories of Crime & Justice


CCJ 330Crime Control Strategies


CCJ 340Crime Analysis


CCJ 380Criminal Justice Research


CCJ 404Cooperative Education/Internship


CCJ 420Criminal Law and Legal Reasoning


Total Credit Hours:44

CCJ Electives

Total Credit Hours:24

Total Credit Hours: 68