Minor inCriminal Justice

Minoring in Criminal Justice involves the study of how criminal conduct is investigated, arrests are made, evidence is gathered, charges are brought, defenses are raised, trials are conducted, sentences are rendered and punishment is carried out. 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.

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Criminal Justice Curriculum Overview

You’ll gain knowledge and skills that are important for careers in law
or law enforcement as you take 24 credit hours toward a criminal justice minor in conjunction with a different bachelor’s degree major.

Required: 16 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

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.

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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)

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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)

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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)

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Electives: 8 credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
PSY - 101 Introduction to Psychology 4
SOC - 253 Marriage and Family 4
SOC - 325 MN Criminal Codes & Statutes 2
SOC - 354 Sociology of Law 4
SOC - 357 Class and Community 4
SOC - 358 Minority Groups 4
SOC - 359 Social Welfare:An Institution 4
SOC - 451 Social Psychology 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.

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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)

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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

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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An academic minor normally consists of 20 to 24 credits taken in courses in one area or related areas of study prescribed by the faculty.

Career Potential

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

Next Steps

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