Criminology and Criminal Justice

Bachelor of Arts
Undergraduate Minor
Office Phone: (217) 206-6301
ffice Location: PAC 384

Departmental Goals and Objectives

Criminology and Criminal Justice is an interdisciplinary field that studies crime and the ways society responds to crime. The Criminology and Criminal Justice curriculum examines the nature and causes of crime, the criminal justice system's purposes and activities, 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 and the components of the criminal justice system. The Criminology and 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 may have the opportunity to participate in public affairs research projects conducted by department faculty.

The Criminology and 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 criminology, criminal justice, or related fields. The degree also prepares students for entrance into graduate or professional schools in criminology, criminal justice, law, public administration, social work, and the social sciences.

The Criminology and 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 field's multidisciplinary character, drawing on a variety of liberal arts and professional areas of expertise. Faculty associated with the department have degrees in 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.

All majors participate in an ECCE Engagement Experience through Internships and Prior Learning (IPL). Students have the opportunity to work with state agencies and training centers and local criminal justice and social service agencies.

The Bachelor's Degree


All declared CCJ majors and minors are assigned a department faculty advisor. Faculty advisor contact information is included in the CCJ department welcome email sent to each student as soon as they have declared CCJ as their major or minor. CCJ majors and minors should contact their assigned advisor each semester before enrolling in classes.

Grading Policy

Criminology and Criminal Justice majors must receive a C (2.0) grade or better in all required core courses. Grades of C- or lower will not be accepted in these courses.

Transfer Courses

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

Degree Requirements

Core Courses
CCJ 239Introduction to Criminal Justice3
CCJ 315Critical Thinking in Criminal Justice3
CCJ 342Statistics for Criminal Justice3
CCJ 345Research Methods in Criminal Justice3
CCJ 421Criminological Theory3
CCJ 489Senior Seminar3
CCJ electives
Students are required to complete at least 17 hours at the 300 or 400-level, which can include 300-400 level transfer courses. The remaining 6 hours may be taken at the 100, 200, 300, or 400 level and can include transfer courses.23
Total Hours41

*Students should consult with their academic advisor in the major for specific guidance regarding completing any general education and ECCE requirements.

Engagement Experience/ECCE

Criminology & Criminal Justice (CCJ) majors are required to complete a minimum of 10 credit hours of Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) coursework in the areas of U.S. Communities, Global Awareness, Engagement Experience, and ECCE Speaker Series.

The CCJ department recommends that students complete 6 of the required 10 ECCE hours by completing an internship, which falls under the Engagement Experience ECCE category. Internships benefit students in many ways: they allow students to learn from practical hands-on experience outside of the university setting, they aid in the process of career assessment, and they foster students’ understanding of the relationships between theory, research, and practice. To complete the internship, CCJ students must enroll in IPL 300 for 6 credit hours. 

To complete the remaining 4 credit hours of ECCE requirements, CCJ majors will take EITHER a 3 credit hour U.S. Communities ECCE course OR a 3 credit hour Global Awareness ECCE course, as well as a 1 credit hour Speaker Series ECCE course. 

Lastly, although CCJ majors are encouraged to complete an internship, students may request approval from their academic advisor to substitute the 6 credit hour internship with 6 credit hours of either U.S. Communities or Global Awareness ECCE coursework.

Communication Skills

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

Degree Program Program Type Dept Application Materials and Admission Criteria Prerequisite Course Requirements Department ADM Review Dept Conditional Admits Dept Appeal Process
Criminology and Criminal Justice BA On campus Additional admission criterion for transfer students:

*Minimum cumulative transfer GPA of 2.50 on a 4.0 scale for full admission
N/A Department Chair Yes: Transfer students with a cumulative GPA below 2.50 are granted conditional admission to the major that permits enrollment in up to 12 semester hours of advisor-approved courses during the first semester No


CCJ 221. Introduction to Criminology. 3 Hours.

Introduction to the multi-disciplinary study and analysis of the nature, causes, and control of crime; measurement of crime; and the interactive roles of the system, victim, and offender. Course Information: This course fulfills a general education requirement at UIS in the area of Social and Behavioral Sciences. IAI Major Code: CRJ 912.

CCJ 231. Juvenile Delinquency. 3 Hours.

Theoretical explanations of juvenile delinquency with critical view of their value in the field, followed by practical and analytical view of juvenile justice systems in operation. Course Information: Same as SOA 232. This course fulfills a general education requirement at UIS in the area of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

CCJ 239. Introduction to Criminal Justice. 3 Hours.

The course covers the underlying principles and processes of the criminal justice system, with emphasis on the interdependence of law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. The relationship between criminal justice agencies, social groups, and communities are examined.

CCJ 311. Law and Legal Processes. 3 Hours.

Legal issues and policies in criminal justice, including court authority and operation, criminal law and procedure, and legal rights and responsibilities of criminal justice personnel. Constitutional limits on law and police powers in the U.S.

CCJ 312. ECCE: Policing In America. 3 Hours.

Critical analysis of the role and function of law enforcement in the United States. Consideration of the police role in a democratic society, historical development of policing, organizational models and methods of service delivery, theories of patrol, occupational socialization of police, and ethical dilemmas for police. Examination of the effect of police practice and policy on a diverse range of communities and populations. Course Information: This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of ECCE U. S. Communities.

CCJ 313. Correctional Systems. 3 Hours.

Foundations and development of adult and juvenile correctional systems. Organization and operation of jails, prisons, and community-based programs. Corrections issues include pre-trial diversion, social control, alternatives to incarceration, post-release issues, and the study of inmate and correctional officer cultures.

CCJ 315. Critical Thinking in Criminal Justice. 3 Hours.

This course provides students with the tools to conduct scholarly research on topics relative to the criminal justice arena. Students will learn to read, evaluate, and write using academic resources in the criminal justice field as well as how to effectively format, document, and cite their own research. Course Information: Prerequisite: ENG 101 and ENG 102.

CCJ 323. Physical Evidence Processing. 3 Hours.

This course provides students with a basic understanding of the nature of physical evidence and its role in the criminal justice system. Students will explore basic scientific and legal principles involved with the identification, collection, preservation, and analysis of forensic evidence.

CCJ 324. Issues of Intervention: Law Enforcement and Human Services. 3 Hours.

Responsibilities of community members and criminal justice professionals, including those in helping agencies, in dealing with persons under stress; intervention situations involving marriage and family problems, alcoholism, and suicide; child neglect and abuse; truancy; and advocacy.

CCJ 337. Corrections and the Mass Media. 3 Hours.

Examines images of American corrections, including institutions, personnel, procedures, and prisoners. Studies the ways in which public images and presentations shape public opinion and public policy.

CCJ 342. Statistics for Criminal Justice. 3 Hours.

This course is a basic introduction to quantitative research techniques in criminal justice. Statistical software will be used in the analyses of descriptive and inferential statistics. The application and interpretation of statistical results will be emphasized. The course provides the tools to better understand and assess criminological research.

CCJ 343. ECCE: Women and Criminal Justice. 3 Hours.

Examines women as perpetrators and victims of crime and as criminal justice professionals. Evaluates factors that contribute to women becoming involved with the criminal justice system in each of these capacities and assesses the degree to which the criminal justice system provides women with equitable treatment. Course Information: Same as WGS 343. This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of ECCE U.S. Communities.

CCJ 345. Research Methods in Criminal Justice. 3 Hours.

Problem definition, proposal writing, study design, information gathering, and data interpretation. Attention given to research design, sampling techniques, interviewing, questionnaire or survey instrumentation, and observation-participation techniques. Course Information: Prerequisite: CRJ 315 and permission of advisor.

CCJ 346. ECCE: International Criminal Justice Systems. 3 Hours.

Justice systems throughout the world. Comparative components include criminal codes, legal systems, policing and prosecution, and punishment principles and institutions. Course Information: This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of Global Awareness.

CCJ 347. ECCE: Race, Class, and Social Justice. 3 Hours.

Considers the relationship between race and ethnicity, class, and the American criminal justice system, and the intersection of race/ethnic and class relations in America. Explores the experiences of marginalized ethnic minorities, working class, and poor people in the criminal justice system. Course Information: This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of ECCE U. S. Communities.

CCJ 348. Violence Against Women and Children. 3 Hours.

Explores the two most common crimes against women and children: sexual assault and abuse and domestic violence. Examines nature and frequency of these assaults, legal definitions and treatment, victim and survivor experiences, criminal justice and social service responses, offender characteristics, victim services and treatment, and local community resources. Course Information: Same as SWK 348 and WGS 348.

CCJ 349. Alternatives to Incarceration. 3 Hours.

This course examines the theory and practice of sentencing alternatives. Studies the range of existing programs and considers ways to expand community-based alternatives to detention centers and prisons. The types of programs examined include drug courts, electronic monitoring, pretrial release, boot camps, and intensive supervision programs.

CCJ 351. Contemporary Issues in Law Enforcement. 3 Hours.

Contemporary approaches to law enforcement management and administration. Management issues include changing views of police responsibilities, proactive policing, profiling and other targeting practices, diversity within police agencies, and leadership and ethics in law enforcement.

CCJ 352. Community Policing. 3 Hours.

Examines the influence community policing has had on America's law enforcement culture as well as the community's perceptions, expectations, and responsibilities related to this method of policing. Topics covered include the history, philosophy, implementation, best practices, assessment and future of community policing. Students will examine key elements such as problem solving, partnership building, organizational change and communications, as well as selected special topics within the community policing framework.

CCJ 353. Psychology of the Offender. 3 Hours.

Psychological makeup and selected characteristics of various types of criminal offenders. Psychological patterns in criminal behavior, including risk assessment and impulse control. Considers how and why psychological rehabilitation or change may occur.

CCJ 354. Critical Incident Resources and Response. 3 Hours.

Examines the theories and philosophies of critical incident management, providing an in-depth view of the concepts and principles involved in crisis resolution by police. Operational planning, management, and decision making will be explored in depth from an academic perspective and an analysis of actual events.

CCJ 355. Deviant Behavior. 3 Hours.

This course will provide in-depth coverage of deviant behavior and the many deviant and criminal subcultures that exist throughout society. Appropriate theoretical approaches will explain interconnection of deviance and crime and place the focus upon how members of these subcultures navigate traditional cultural norms. Students will explore how normative behavior is established and how rejection of normative behavior leads to the formation of deviant and criminal subcultures.

CCJ 363. Gangs, Crime, and Justice. 3 Hours.

This course examines the historical background of gangs including: formation, membership, and gang identifiers, including stereotypes and misconceptions. Drugs, investigating gang violence, and the music/media portrayal are explored. Prevention, interventions, and suppression strategies related to gang crimes, as well as criminal justice system responses are discussed.

CCJ 364. Communities, Fear, and Crime Control. 3 Hours.

This course will explore fear of crime in society and principles of crime control and community safety. The effectiveness of several crime prevention strategies will be reviewed, such as social interventions, media campaigns, environmental design, situational factors, and police strategies.

CCJ 411. Crime Myths and Moral Panic. 3 Hours.

This course introduces students to the societal myths that exist regarding criminal behavior. More specifically, students will learn how crime myths impact the decision making process of law enforcement, policy makers, and the general public. Specific emphasis will be placed on the critical analysis of how the social institutions of government and mass media proliferate the construction and growth of these crime myths.

CCJ 414. Criminology of Sport. 3 Hours.

This course will examine the ways in which criminal and deviant behaviors are embedded in the sporting process. The course will provide an overview of various social and legal responses to criminal and deviant behaviors related to sports.

CCJ 415. ECCE: Crime and Sentencing: Global Issues. 3 Hours.

This course examines historical and current overviews in crime, sentencing options, and criminal sanctions in the United States and industrialized countries, newly-industrialized countries, and developing nations. Topics include weapons, drugs, identity theft, computer crime, prostitution, human trafficking, and racial profiling. Course Information: This course fulfills an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience requirement at UIS in the area of Global Awareness.

CCJ 416. Law Enforcement Challenges: Terrorism. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on the challenges placed on law enforcement by terrorism. Terrorism will be examined from a variety of approaches with special emphasis on the balance of security versus civil liberties. The course will cover terrorism past, present, and future.

CCJ 417. Criminal Procedure. 3 Hours.

Examines the rights of criminal defendants as set out in the U.S. Constitution and interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court. Studies procedures governing state and federal criminal justice systems and related public policies using court opinions, statutes, and case studies. Course Information: Same as LES 477.

CCJ 418. Substantive Criminal Law. 3,4 Hours.

Examines the elements of selected crimes, using both state and federal court cases and statutes. Topics include criminal responsibility, criminal liability, and criminal defenses. Particular attention paid to the Illinois criminal code. Course Information: Same as LES 478.

CCJ 419. Justice and Juveniles. 3 Hours.

Children in families and in community institutions and their interaction with the juvenile justice system. Includes the range of programs and institutions concerned with child abuse and neglect, minors receiving formal intervention or supervision, and criminal offenses committed by juveniles.

CCJ 421. Criminological Theory. 3 Hours.

Classical and modern theories of crime; social and economic factors in criminal behavior, crime formation, and social control; exploration of the justice system; evaluation of treatment of offenders. All elements of criminology viewed critically. Course Information: Same as SOA 421. Prerequisite: CCJ 315, CCJ 345, and permission of advisor.

CCJ 424. Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law. 3 Hours.

This class is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the development of law as it pertains to selected scientific principles and their application within the criminal justice system. Students completing this course should gain an improved understanding of the legal and scientific principles applicable to forensic evidence. Course Information: Same as LES 424.

CCJ 426. Environmental Crime. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on the criminal acts that are directly related to current environmental and ecological issues. Students will learn about the victims and offenders of environmental crime as well as the important topics involving environmental justice.

CCJ 428. Juvenile Law. 3,4 Hours.

Laws and legal practices governing children and youth, particularly wards of the courts and juvenile offenders. Rights of children, youth services available, and institutional practices and laws governing juveniles. Course Information: Same as LES 448.

CCJ 433. Probation Supervision Programs. 3 Hours.

Examines the variety of intervention and supervision programs currently used within probation systems, drawing on practical experience in implementing these programs. Focuses on essential intervention and communication skills needed to work effectively with a range of probationers and to carry out probation responsibilities. This elective is strongly recommended for students interested in working in the probation field.

CCJ 442. The Death Penalty. 3 Hours.

Explores the history, politics, and administration of capital punishment in the United States. Students examine the social, cultural, and legal factors that have led to the modern version of capital punishment in America. Students will critically assess the viability of the modern American death penalty as a suitable tool in the application of social control and the administration of justice.

CCJ 445. Organizational Crime. 3 Hours.

Focuses on organized crime in the United States and around the world, and the larger category of this behavior, organizational or white collar crime. Compares the two activities, their impact on society, and the criminal justice system response. Explores definitions, characteristics, and theories of each.

CCJ 447. Investigative Concepts and Analysis. 3 Hours.

Organizational and logical components of investigation as they relate to decision making and policy development in specific situations. Definition and analysis of fact-finding problems in both criminal and civil settings.

CCJ 452. Serial Murder. 3 Hours.

A broad examination of the study of the phenomenon of serial murder historically and currently. Includes psychological and social theories as well as the varied definitions and descriptions of the offenders within the field of researchers, the FBI and other criminology sources. Case studies, comparison and contrasts to crimes like Mass and Spree Murder and examination of how the topic has evolved are included.

CCJ 455. The Politics of Prosecution. 3,4 Hours.

Through politics, people make decisions and choices about values and interests to be preferred or denied. This concept will be brought to bear on the roles of local prosecutors, state attorneys general, and Department of Justice officials. As executive-bureaucratic decision-makers, they may exercise greater power, in the aggregate, than does the judiciary. Course Information: Same as LES 455 and PSC 455.

CCJ 457. Counseling Criminal Justice Clients. 3 Hours.

Applies counseling techniques and strategies to problems encountered by those working within the criminal justice system. Course topics include counseling the reluctant or resisting client, working within criminal justice constraints, and safety and security issues.

CCJ 463. Introduction to Human Rights. 3 Hours.

This course will introduce students to the large issue of human rights as an American phenomenon and as an international phenomenon. The course may focus on one or two particular human rights issues and then compare the problems and the possible solutions at home and globally. For example, the course might focus on the problem of human trafficking and how it is manifested in the United States. Students will examine how the U.S. Communities deal with human trafficking and then how it is manifested in another country and how it is dealt with there. Students will examine international treaties and their implementation to judge efficacy and possible changes locally and internationally. Course Information: Same as GBL 464 and LES 464.

CCJ 470. Special Topics. 1-4 Hours.

Selected topics of special interest to the criminal justice field. Specific topic is reflected in course title, with description available in the course schedule and from the department office. Course Information: May be repeated if topics vary. Students may register in more than one section per term.

CCJ 474. Law of Evidence. 3,4 Hours.

Basic study of rules of evidence for nonlawyers working in lawyer-support or investigatory situations that require basic evidentiary knowledge. Provides practical knowledge of problems faced in investigations with a view toward evidentiary sufficiency and possible admissibility in hearings or trials. Course Information: Same as LES 474.

CCJ 481. Perspectives on Child Maltreatment and Advocacy. 3,4 Hours.

Covers the history, comparative perspectives, legal framework, responses to child maltreatment, the skills necessary to do the work, and other pertinent issues pertaining to child maltreatment and child advocacy. The approach of the course will be from a variety of diverse, professional perspectives. The course is designed for students majoring in public administration, criminal justice, psychology, social work, sociology, legal studies or other areas where knowledge of child maltreatment and advocating for children might be necessary or beneficial. Course Information: Same as PAD 481, PSY 481, SWK 481, and TEP 481.

CCJ 489. Senior Seminar. 3 Hours.

Capstone seminar for CCJ majors in their final semester. Builds on each student's knowledge of criminal justice policy, theory, and practice. Students prepare a major research paper dealing with criminal justice public policy and make a formal presentation. Seminar provides the basis for exit assessment of writing, research, and communication skills in the major. Course Information: Prerequisite: CCJ 315, CCJ 345, and CCJ 421. Requires portfolio approval and permission from advisor. Restricted to CCJ majors.

CCJ 499. Tutorial. 1-4 Hours.

Independent study on selected topic by agreement with a criminal justice faculty member. Topics, method of study, and means of evaluation are determined between student and supervising faculty member. Course Information: May be repeated with approval.

CCJ 599. Tutorial. 1-4 Hours.

Independent study on selected topic by agreement with a criminal justice faculty member. Course Information: May be repeated with approval. Prerequisite: graduate status and permission of instructor.