Criminal Justice

Academic Year: 2009 – 2010

Criminal Justice is an interdisciplinary field that studies crime and the ways society responds to crime. The Criminal Justice curriculum examines the nature and causes of crime, the purposes and activities of the criminal justice system, and the impact of crime on victims and society. Since crime is a social problem, many courses include the study of community-based programs and social service agencies as well as the components of the criminal justice system. The Criminal Justice Department, located within the College of Public Affairs and Administration, emphasizes the study of public policy and change efforts as an essential part of its curriculum. Students have the opportunity to participate in public affairs research projects conducted by department faculty.

The Criminal Justice degree is designed for students interested in the general study of crime and the administration of justice and those pursuing professional careers in criminal justice or related fields. The degree also prepares students for entrance into graduate or professional schools in criminal justice, law, public administration, social work, and the social sciences.

The Criminal Justice major provides an integrated curriculum that emphasizes problem-solving and analytical skills, an approach favored by many criminal justice agencies and employers. The curriculum reflects the multidisciplinary character of the field, drawing on a variety of liberal arts and professional areas of expertise. Faculty associated with the department have degrees in fields such as criminal justice, criminology, law, political science, psychology, and sociology. Student majors take a core curriculum that familiarizes them with a range of perspectives, methods, and content areas of the criminal justice field. They may use their electives to take additional courses or to minor in another field. Majors also have the opportunity to study abroad.

All majors participate in an ECCE Engagement Experience through the UIS Experiential and Service-Learning Programs (EXL). Students have the opportunity to work with state agencies and training centers as well as local criminal justice and social service agencies.


Entrance Requirements
Transfer students admitted to UIS with 30 or more credit hours and a cumulative transfer grade-point average of at least 2.50 on a 4.00 scale qualify for full admission to the Criminal Justice Department. Transfer students with a GPA below 2.50 are granted conditional admission to the major, which permits enrollment in up to 12 semester hours of advisor-approved courses during the first semester. The final decision on admission to the major for conditionally admitted students is made after completion of 8 to 12 hours at UIS. Students admitted to UIS with 0 to 29 hours of credit must file a declaration of major through the CRJ department.

Major Requirements
Core Courses
CRJ 221 Introduction to Criminology
CRJ 239 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3 Hrs.
CRJ 315 Critical Thinking in Criminal Justice 3 Hrs.
CRJ 342 Quantitative Reasoning in Criminal Justice 3 Hrs.
CRJ 345 Research Methods in Criminal Justice 3 Hrs.
CRJ 421 Criminological Theory 3 Hrs.
CRJ 489 Senior Seminar 3 Hrs.

CRJ electives
Eighteen hours of CRJ electives are required. Students are required to take at least 12 hours at the 300- to 400-level.

Non-CRJ electives
Nine hours of non-CRJ elective courses are required at the 300- to 400-level.

Other CRJ requirements
* Six hours of experiential learning in the CRJ field
* Three hours of Global Awareness and three hours of U.S. Communities (Each of these may be taken through the CRJ Department, in addition to the required CRJ elective requirements.)
Students should consult with advisors in the major for specific guidance regarding completion of general education requirements.

Grading Policy
Criminal justice majors must receive a grade of C or better in all required core courses.

Transfer Courses
Transfer courses will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Communication Skills
To satisfy the UIS communication skills requirement, students prepare a portfolio of written work from 300-level core courses with final assessment occurring in the senior seminar.


Fifteen hours of UIS CRJ courses make up the minor. At least 9 hours of the electives must be taken at the 300- to 400-level.

CRJ 221 Introduction to Criminology
CRJ 239 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3 Hrs.
Criminal Justice elective courses 12 Hrs.


Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Concentration within the Master of Public Administration degree, Undergraduate Minor


Leanne Brecklin, Jay Gilliam, ,Juanita Ortiz, Beverly Rivera, Stephen Schnebly, Ryan Williams
Emeritus Faculty: Barbara Hayler
Adjunct Faculty: Chris Bolinger, Jonna Cooley, Robert Jones, Steve Kossman, Bruce Liebe, Richard Montcalm


Phone: 217/206-6301