Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

BA

The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice prepares students with the critical thinking, research, writing and presentation skills to advance careers in criminology and criminal justice, and for graduate studies. It explores the complex nature of crime causation; history, framework and operations of criminal justice organizations; implications of public policies; and evolving aspects of criminology and criminal justice, including capital punishment, victimology, race and crime, and community corrections.

The Program at a Glance

School: School of Public Affairs Campus: CU Denver Classroom: Online and on campus classes Credits required for completion: 36 Maximum transfer credits: 15 Minimum education level: High School Application deadline: Fall: August 1; Spring: December 1; Summer: May 1

The Details

The course work explores the complex nature of crime causation; the history, framework and operations of criminal justice organizations; the implications of public policies related to crime and justice; and the intricacies of many substantive aspects of criminology and criminal justice, including capital punishment, victimology, race and crime, and community corrections. Further, the program integrates research methods and statistics to help students critically consume information, determine how to ask important questions, and carry out research, should they choose to do so. The program is designed to ensure that graduates adapt to the evolving nature of criminology and criminal justice.

As with all undergraduate degrees, students must complete the requirements of the CU Denver core curriculum. The CU Denver core curriculum draws heavily on social and natural sciences, as well as liberal arts, offering students the benefit of a well-rounded education.

The BACJ program will not only provide a direct line to employment in the growing fields of criminology and criminal justice, but it also will facilitate the transition of outstanding students into the School of Public Affairs' Master of Criminal Justice and PhD in Public Affairs programs. Students will be well-prepared with respect to substantive knowledge, critical thinking and analytic skills, research methods, and participating in diverse and inclusive environments to pursue advanced degrees in Criminology, Criminal Justice and related fields.

General requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the areas below, in addition to their individual major program requirements.

Review CU Denver's Undergraduate Academic Policies.

Program requirements

  • The Bachelor's of Arts in Criminal Justice degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework.
  • A maximum of 15 transfer credit hours may be applied to the major. Transfer Criminal Justice credit hours above the 15 credit hours already applied to the major will count as general electives. CRJU courses taken from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs are not subject to this transfer credit limit for the major.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 45 upper-division credit hours, 21 of which must be Criminal Justice credit hours.
  • Students must receive a minimum C- grade in each undergraduate course applied to satisfy major or minor degree requirements and must maintain a 2.0 GPA overall in major or minor courses.

Required courses

Students must complete the eight required courses below, for a total of 24 credit hours. All course descriptions can be found in the Undergraduate Academic Catalog.

  • CRJU 1000 - Criminology and Criminal Justice: An Overview (3 credit hours)
  • CRJU 2041 - Criminological Theory (3 credit hours)
  • CRJU 3100 - Research Methods (3 credit hours)
  • CRJU 3150 - Statistics for Criminal Justice (3 credit hours) (Students must successfully pass CRJU 3100 Criminal Justice Research Methods with a C- or better before taking CRJU 3150 Statistics for Criminal Justice.)
  • CRJU 4042 - Corrections (3 credit hours) • CRJU 4043 - Law Enforcement (3 credit hours)
  • CRJU 4043 - Law Enforcement (3 credit hours)
  • CRJU 4044 - Courts and Judicial Process (3 credit hours)

In addition, students must complete the following course:

  • SOCY 1001 - Introduction to Sociology (3 credit hours) (This class also fulfills a Social Science requirement of the CU CU Denver core curriculum.)

Elective courses

  • In addition to the required courses, students must complete 15 credit hours of elective courses, nine of which must be Criminal Justice (CRJU) courses offered by the School of Public Affairs, and six of which may be taken from an approved list of other department courses. Elective courses must be approved by the program director. All course descriptions can be found in the Undergraduate Academic Catalog.

Criminal Justice elective courses

  • Any 3000- or 4000-level CRJU course not already required for the major may count as a Criminal Justice major elective.
  • CRJU 4939 - Internship (The internship course, CRJU 4939, is required as one of the electives for the major unless officially waived by the BACJ Program Director. Students whose internship is approved will take a 3-credit hour Criminal Justice elective in place of a 3-credit hour internship. See the School of Public Affairs Graduation Requirements for more information.)

Areas of Concentration

Admissions Requirements

View the admissions requirements for the School of Public Affairs.