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The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Degree MAPs page in the University Catalog or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Literacy Requirement:

See Mathematics and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog. Writing proficiency in the major is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a course in your major which has been designated as the Writing Proficiency (WP) course for the semester in which you take the course. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or higher to receive WP credit. See the Class Schedule for the designated WP courses for each semester. You must pass ENGL 130I or JOUR 130I (or equivalent) with a C- or higher before you may register for a WP course.

For more information on courses that may double count in the major and General Education, please see your advisor.

Course Requirements for the Major: 53 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree.

Major Core Requirements: 23 units

8 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
The history and philosophy of criminal justice in America; recapitulation of the system and how it disproportionately impacts different groups in America; identifying the various sub-systems, role expectations, and their interrelationships; theories of crime, punishment, and rehabilitation; ethics, education, and training for professionalism in the criminal justice system. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (001563)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher.
An introduction to the discipline of political science, with emphasis on the major controversy of substance and method therein. Should be taken at the beginning of the junior year. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (007495)
This course covers use of computers and the Internet in political science research. 3 hours independent study. Credit/no credit grading. (007496)
This course is also offered as PHIL 332 .
An investigation of contemporary moral issues involved in police work and corrections, such as deadly force, entrapment, undercover work, corruption, and prisoners' rights. 3 hours seminar. (007269)
This course introduces students to the theories and practices of justice, as well as the administration of justice. As a writing intensive course, students examine pertinent justice issues of local, national, or international significance, identify the theory (or theories) of justice relevant to the situation, and investigate how justice was (or was not) administered. 3 hours lecture.This is an approved Writing Intensive course. This is an approved General Education Capstone course. (007600)
This course is an independent study of special problems offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (007523)

Note: 1 unit of credit will be assigned for POLS 399.

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: POLS 331 or permission of instructor.
Investigation of methodology and the techniques used in the study of political phenomena, with emphasis on the construction of appropriate research designs, data collection, and analysis. 3 hours discussion. (007542)
Prerequisites: POLS 421 and faculty permission.
This course involves an integrated analysis and critical examination of all of the subfields of criminal justice, including criminology, policing, adjudication, corrections, and criminal justice process and policy. This seminar will assess the substantive knowledge, critical analysis, writing, speaking, and computer skills of senior-level students. 3 hours seminar. (007591)

1 course selected from:

Note: The course not selected may be used as a disciplinary elective.

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisite: POLS 250.
This course examines the situational, social, and legislative approaches to the prevention of crime and delinquency. The emphasis is on the theories of victimization and the extent to which victim demographics play a role in crime, and the implementation and consequences of various crime prevention policies and approaches and their differential effects on victims throughout various sectors of society. 3 hours lecture. (021288)
The study of crime and criminal behavior as a social phenomenon. Adopting a sociological perspective, this course examines crime trends, types of crime, and social and personal factors related to criminal behavior. Special attention is paid to inequality in the criminal justice system, street and white-collar crimes, victimization and other social costs of crime and punishment. 3 hours lecture. (009017)

Criminal Justice Disciplinary Electives: 30 units

Select 6 courses from either the Institutions Law Electives or the Justice Studies Electives. The additional 4 courses must be taken from the other disciplinary electives.

Institutions and Law Electives: 12-18 units

12-18 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
A survey of the relationship between science and society by noting the history and nature of the role of the expert witness and the forensic scientist in aiding to resolve various legal issues. 3 hours lecture. (000511)
This course examines criminal investigation techniques and includes a survey of a wide variety of topics in criminal investigation. Emphasis is placed on the practical application of education toward gaining employment and enhancing law enforcement careers. During the semester, students participate in a Chico community service learning project. 3 hours lecture. (007479)
Prerequisites: POLS 250 or faculty permission.
Examines current and developing programs and issues in the field of criminal justice. 3 hours seminar. (001603)
This course is also offered as HCSV 319 .
Current status and future opportunities in health care for prisoners. Major health issues to be explored are addiction, sexuality, violence reduction, mental health, and health promotion. Special attention is given to incarcerated women, juveniles, elders, and the mentally ill. Issues in worksite health promotion for prison employees is also addressed. 3 hours lecture. (020831)
Prerequisites: POLS 250.
This course examines the history, philosophy, evolution, and legal obligations of the police and the roles, functions, and policy issues associated with policing in a democratic society. 3 hours lecture. (007505)
Prerequisites: POLS 250.
This course surveys corrections in the United States, including the history, philosophy, and evolution of correctional systems; correctional institutions, community-based corrections, and correctional policy issues. 3 hours lecture. (007506)
This course considers the historical development of probation and parole, addresses questions regarding how and why probation and parole have changed over time, and outlines how community corrections are influenced by the constraints of the criminal justice system and how it is affected by public perceptions of crime and criminals. Students assess the success and feasibility of community corrections given current resources and public sentiment. Finally, the course addresses the population of offenders that are on probation and parole, their likely backgrounds and futures. 3 hours lecture. (007507)
This course is also offered as PHIL 438 .
The philosophical nature and origins of law. Topics to be examined include theories of law, justice, the relationship of law to morality, natural law, responsibility, punishment, and other basic concepts. Approach is both theoretical and via case studies. 3 hours lecture. (007282)
Analysis of judicial cases and related materials illustrating historical and current interpretations of constitutional problems such as the powers of the courts, congress, and President; and the balance of federal-state power in such areas as commerce and taxation. 3 hours lecture. (007577)
Prerequisites: POLS 250.
The machinery of criminal justice in theory and practice; the significance of the rule of law and its exceptions in the actual administration of justice. This course will concentrate on the application of the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments to the U.S. Constitution in the administration of justice and the application of modern behavioral research as it applies to police and court administration. 3 hours discussion. (007588)
Executive function in government; survey of the principles of administrative organization, personnel management, financial administration, administrative law, administrative policies. Problems and trends in government as a career. 3 hours lecture. (007592)
This course introduces students to the organization of police departments and explores the history of policing and organizational theory. It further examines the role of the police executive as a public manager and as a leadership position. Topics for the course include departmental management, police operations, budgeting, discipline, promotion, external political factors, and public planning and research. By the end of the course, students should have a general knowledge of public organizations and specific knowledge about the operation and management of police departments. 3 hours lecture. (007595)
Study of the role of administrative law in American government. Scope and implications of discretionary decision-making. 3 hours lecture. (007599)
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.
Field work with criminal justice agencies in the areas of policing, courts, and corrections. Work supervised by the faculty internship coordinator and the staff of the internship office. Directed readings and writings may be assigned. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 15.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (007618)
The study of crime and criminal behavior as a social phenomenon. Adopting a sociological perspective, this course examines crime trends, types of crime, and social and personal factors related to criminal behavior. Special attention is paid to inequality in the criminal justice system, street and white-collar crimes, victimization and other social costs of crime and punishment. 3 hours lecture. (009017)

Note: POLS 489E must be taken for 3 units and may only be counted once in this section.

Justice Studies Electives: 12-18 units

12-18 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
An overview of the use and abuse of alcohol, prescription and street drugs, and their personal and societal consequences on the young adult, the family, and society. Historical perspectives, legal issues, and decision-making skills regarding drug use will also be addressed. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (004435)
This course provides an introduction to the juvenile justice system in the United States. Juvenile justice is a key component of the overall criminal justice system. The course highlights the activity in the main institutions of juvenile justice (the police, the courts, and corrections), examines past practice as well as concentrating on current policies, explores some of the reasons for treating juveniles differently from adults, and investigates future policy in juvenile justice. 3 hours lecture. (007478)
Prerequisite: POLS 250 or concurrent enrollment.
This course is a seminar on selected topics in criminal justice. 3 hours lecture. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (020601)
Prerequisite: POLS 250.
This course examines the situational, social, and legislative approaches to the prevention of crime and delinquency. The emphasis is on the theories of victimization and the extent to which victim demographics play a role in crime, and the implementation and consequences of various crime prevention policies and approaches and their differential effects on victims throughout various sectors of society. 3 hours lecture. (021288)
Prerequisite: POLS 250 (may be taken concurrently).
This course highlights the responsibilities and roles of all community members in accomplishing justice. In particular, it focuses on harms instead of crimes, the debt owed to victims and communities instead of to the state, and making the situation right through restoration and other methods instead of constructing deviancy. 3 hours lecture. (021289)
This course is also offered as PHIL 437 .
An extended discussion of the nature of anarchy, corporatism, oligarchy, classical liberalism, radical liberalism, democratic socialism, communism, and fascism, with a continued focus on these political cultures and their ideological expressions in contemporary politics. 3 hours seminar. (007281)
This course is also offered as MCGS 451B .
Analysis of judicial cases and related materials illustrating historical and current interpretations of constitutional problems such as racial discrimination, criminal procedures, and freedom of speech and religion. 3 hours lecture. (005645)
Prerequisites: POLS 250.
This course will serve as a capstone for majors and will seek to tie together the various threads of the major while at the same time investigating public policy issues relating to criminal justice. It will examine the behavioral and policy evaluative literature relating to CJ policy in the United States and will strengthen the evaluative techniques of the students. 3 hours discussion. (007589)
Introduction to the study, definition, and classification of deviant behavior, including experimental psychopathology, psychodiagnostic methods, and psychotherapeutic procedures. 3 hours lecture. (007939)
Examination of the nature of prejudice and hate and their contribution to societal violence. How prejudice and hatred affect personal, family, and group behavior are considered in a context of understanding factors that contribute to their development. Strategies for reducing the prevalence of prejudice, hatred, and violence in our contemporary culture are evaluated. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (007908)
This course is also offered as MCGS 350 .
This course examines the social construction of race, and studies ethnic and racial relations in the United States, looking at variations by class, gender, and immigration experiences. Students analyze interpersonal relationships between racial and ethnic groups, discrimination, resistance, social movements, and governmental policies 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (005640)
This course takes an in-depth look at how deviance is constructed in our society. This includes deviant identities, deviant subcultures, and the stigmatization of individuals and groups engage in non-normative behavior. Students examine the main theories of deviance, and consider ethical and political issues when researching deviance. 3 hours lecture. (008974)
Prerequisites: SOCI 384 recommended.
This course examines marginalized, deviant, and criminally active youth. Students consider how teen experiences and behaviors are labeled and treated differently throughout society. Social, historical, and legal perspectives are used to understand the impact of the juvenile justice system, policies, and trends on the lives of American youth. 3 hours lecture. (009018)
This course explores the social context of law, legality, and society, concentrating on the numerous ways that law permeates all forms of social behavior. The focus is on the relationships between law, social institutions and social change, and how they interact with issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and social justice. 3 hours lecture. (009016)
This course explores gang activity in the United States, focusing primarily on contemporary street gangs. The social conditions that lead to their emergence are considered, as well as perceptions of the gang problem. Also considered are racial and ethnic differences between gangs and potential solutions to the challenges that gang present. 3 hours lecture. (008976)
This course identifies groups within American society which have a high risk of disenfranchisement. Societal responses established to reduce the impact of inequitable distribution of goods, services, and opportunities based on economic, medical, educational, generational, gender, and legal scarcity are studied. Issues are examined from historical and contemporary perspectives. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (009411)

Electives Requirement:

To complete the total units required for the bachelor's degree, select additional elective courses from the total University offerings. You should consult with an advisor regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your University experience and possibly apply to a supportive second major or minor.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Catalog Cycle:14