Bachelor of Arts inCriminal Justice

You’ll explore the criminal justice system within the realm of social and behavioral science. What are the benefits of community policing? What constitutes cruel and unusual punishment? How can juvenile offenders be rehabilitated? You’ll gain knowledge and skills that are important for careers in law or law enforcement as you take 44 credit hours towards a Bachelor of Arts degree, and the criminal justice curriculum meets the requirements for Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification.

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Criminal Justice Curriculum Overview

Students have the opportunity to explore the criminal justice system within the realm of social and behavioral science. The knowledge and expertise of the faculty, small classes and individual attention allow students to develop a deep understanding of the subject matter. Some key topics in the coursework include juvenile justice, community policing, the judicial process, and criminal law. The educational outcomes in combination with the internship experience prepare students to enter a career of choice or graduate school.

Required: 28 credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
SOC - 152 Introduction to Sociology 4
SOC - 256 Intro to Criminal Justice 4
SOC - 351 Juvenile Justice 4
SOC - 352 Police and Community 4
SOC - 357 Class and Community 4
SOC - 498 Sociology Internship 1

This course provides an introduction to the systematic study of society and social behavior. Investigation will focus on the values and norms shared by society's members, the groups and institutions that compose social structure, and the forces that are transforming social reality.

The course uses a sociological perspective to analyze the meaning of crime for a society, theories of criminal behavior and crime prevention. Emphasis is placed on understanding the law enforcement, judicial and corrections systems. Current issues such as police discretion, gun control, capital punishment and corporate crime are examined. (Prerequisite: SOC152)

The course examines the nature and extent of juvenile crime in American society. It includes an analysis of the historical and intellectual foundations of the juvenile justice system and the interpretation of Constitutional law as applied to children. Emphasis is placed on the role of the family and community in the prevention and treatment of delinquency. (Prerequisites: SOC152, SOC256)

Though this course addresses the primary purposes and functions of policing, instructional priorities include scientific police management; the dynamics of community policing; theories underlying crime prevention and control; the ability of law enforcement of effectively address cultural diversity, police ethics; emerging technologies; and the application of Constitutional and Minnesota State law and procedures to current practice. (Prerequisites: SOC152, SOC256)

This course analyzes the nature and functions of American social class and community life. The primary focus is on patterns of social in equality and resulting systems of stratification, both of which are evaluated in terms of their consequences for the individual and the community. The debate of rights verses responsibilities forms the basis of inquiry into the individual-community relationship. (Prerequisite: SOC152)

Students participate in internships in social service agencies, local government, urban studies and related fields of interest under supervision of field professionals and staff members of the sociology department. (Prerequisites: SOC152; sociology majors only)

Electives: choose 16 credits from among the following
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
PSY - 101 Introduction to Psychology 4
PSY - 360 Abnormal Psychology 4
SOC - 253 Marriage and Family 4
SOC - 258 Careers in CJ & Private Securi 2
SOC - 325 MN Criminal Codes & Statutes 2
SOC - 354 Sociology of Law 4
SOC - 358 Minority Groups 4
SOC - 359 Social Welfare:An Institution 4
SOC - 451 Social Psychology 4
SOC - 452 Social Organization 4

This course introduces the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Psychological, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic and social-cultural perspectives are explored. Topics such as scientific method, statistical reasoning, neuroscience, learning, cognitive processes, development, psychological adjustment, therapy, social psychology, diversity and community are studied.

An introduction to the study of abnormal psychology. The course covers a wide range of behaviors that are distressing to a person or society or which are otherwise identified as abnormal. A comprehensive review of the etiologies of psychological disorders, discussion of available treatments and a focus on the effects that mental illness has on the individual, the family system, and society are included. Current controversies in the field are identified. (Prerequisite: PSY101)

This course considers the family as one of the primary social institutions within the larger social system. It explores the family's internal structure and functioning, how it serves the needs of both individuals and society, how it is changing in contemporary American society, and the societal challenges of families in crisis. (Prerequisite: SOC152)

This course will allow students to explore the many career opportunities in criminal justice and private security. Students will be given factual information, career guidance and an overview of what this field has to offer. Students who would like to know more about the criminal justice field as well as those planning on or are currently majoring in this area will benefit directly from the content covered.

The course covers the elements and effects of the Minnesota Criminal Code. Students study basic procedural law; crimes against persons, crimes against property, juvenile law, traffic law, and laws relating to domestic violence. Pertinent court cases are discussed in relation to each topic. (The course is required for students who intend to take the POST exam for Minnesota law enforcement officers.) Prerequisite: SOC152

This course examines the formal, public responses to crime. It includes a discussion of the nature of criminal law and its purposes and the classification and grading of various criminal wrongs. Case law examples are used to enable students to understand, critique and apply criminal laws to situations in contemporary society. (Prerequisites: SOC152, SOC256 or consent of instructor)

Students study various racial, ethnic, and other social groups in the broad context of American society. Attention is given to the concept of minority status as it relates to prejudices, discrimination and segregation in contemporary life. (Prerequisite: SOC152)

This course examines basic social welfare theory and methods in order to understand the structure and function of public and private welfare in American society. Social welfare is examined as part of the larger American social structure, reflecting cultural values as well as political and economic processes. Attention is given to several areas of social welfare in which specialization has occurred, including work with the elderly, the chemically dependent and battered children and adults. (Prerequisite: SOC152)

Students examine how the individual's personality, behavior and attitudes are shaped through interaction with others. The course deals with such issues as conformity, persuasion, aggression, altruism, and attraction. Individual behavior is understood in light of symbolic communication and the social construction of the self. (Prerequisite: SOC152 or PSY101)

This course addresses the fundamental question of how and why social organization is possible. Attention is given to major concepts and theories of social structure, forms of social organization (groups, communities, networks, formal organizations), basic social processes (integration, differentiation, regulation, change), the emergence of social organization from individual decision-making, and the sociology of work and occupations. (Prerequisite: SOC152)

Bachelor of Arts degrees at Concordia University, St. Paul consists of a major of typically 32 to 44 credits or two minors, general education courses, and elective courses totaling a minimum of 128 credits.

Career Potential

You'll also have real opportunities to learn beyond the classroom via a 12-credit internship, Criminal Justice Club activities, service-learning projects and more. Because we design our criminal justice program to be responsive to the exact needs of the marketplace, it will be a relevant degree if you’re considering a career as a correctional officer, criminal psychologist, criminologist, law enforcement officer, probation or parole officer or private security officer.

  • Correctional Officer
  • Criminal Psychologist
  • Criminologist
  • Federal Law Enforcement
  • Lawyer
  • Local Law Enforcement
  • Probation Officer
  • Parole Officer
  • Private Security Officer
  • State Law Enforcement
  • Prison Guard

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