Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice degree program provides general knowledge of the methods and theories of social science, along with a specialized understanding of criminal activity, policing, corrections, criminal court procedures, and social policy as it relates to crime control. The specialization core courses, electives, and related courses introduce students to critical thinking, computer applications, and quantitative analysis in relation to criminal study.

Students who complete the bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice will be able to demonstrate:

  • Proficient knowledge of theoretical perspectives of crime causation and their implications and applications for public policy and practice.
  • Specialized knowledge of content areas connected to domains within the administration of justice (law, policing, adjudication, and corrections) and specific crime- and justice-related social problems.
  • A foundation for conducting, interpreting, and evaluating research designs, as well as the quantitative and qualitative analytical methods for understanding crime- and justice-related social problems.
  • A capacity to recognize and analyze legal and ethical constraints, their implications for criminal justice policy and decision-makers, and the effect of justice policy and practice on diverse sets of values and groups in society.
  • An ability to synthesize, evaluate, recognize implications, and communicate effectively using scholarly sources of information connected to crime theory and policy.

A total of 48 credits is required.

English

  • MET EN 104 English Composition
  • MET EN 201 Intermediate Composition

Mathematics

  • MET MA 113 or MET MA 213

Computer Science

  • MET CS 101 Computers and Their Applications

Natural Science

  • Eight credits in the natural sciences (N)

Literature

  • Four credits in a 100- or 200-level MET EN literature course or MET HU 221

Philosophy

  • MET PH 150 or a similar philosophy course dealing with ethics

History

  • Four credits

Additional Courses

Four credits in the Humanities (H)
Eight credits in the Humanities (H) or Natural Sciences (N)

View undergraduate courses.

A total of 16 courses (64 credits), completed with a grade of C or higher, is required.

Required Courses

(Six courses/24 credits)

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the criminal justice system (law enforcement, the courts, and corrections) while developing students' critical thinking skills. In addition to class lectures, the course provides multiple venues for learning, to include group activities, guest lectures, a prison tour, and carefully selected films that highlight some of the most contentious issues in criminal justice today.  [ 4 cr. ]

Spring 2019
Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
D1 IND R 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm
Fall 2018
Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
A1 IND Cofield STH B22 M 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

This course provides a foundation for understanding the implications of policing in the United States. The course examines the historical development of policing in the U.S., the role of police in our society, police organizations and decision-making, policing strategies, as well as issues of authority and accountability. Throughout the course, several contemporary issues and controversies facing the police will be discussed including: police discrimination, police use of force practices, and other special topics.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
B1 IND T 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

This course provides an overview of models of punishment and rehabilitation from the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences, including a review of correctional practices and procedures, institutional treatment, probation, parole, prison conditions, programs for juveniles, and comparative systems. Correction administration topics are covered including personnel, legal, operating practices, overcrowding, and planning.  [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
B1 IND Matesanz SHA 206 T 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Theory and practice of criminal law, including sanctions, individual liability, limitations on state action, criminal and victim rights, evidence, defense, deterrence, mandatory sentencing, decriminalization, intent, entrapment, vagueness, and capital punishment. Case studies of recent court decisions.   [ 4 cr. ]

Spring 2019
Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
C1 IND Miliotis W 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm
Fall 2018
Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
D1 IND Miliotis COM 217 R 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Federal, state, and local criminal courts and their relationship to contemporary social and political issues. Historical background of the current criminal court system. Institutional functions of the courts. Role of the courts in reducing crime. Judicial process and criminal procedure, case studies and court decisions.   [ 4 cr. ]

Scientific method, measurement, experimentation, survey research, observational methods, projective techniques, and content analysis used in social science research.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
C1 IND Cadigan CAS 204A W 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Choose an additional seven courses (28 credits) from the following (at least 16 credits must be at the 300 level or higher):

Analysis of criminal and delinquent behavior. Evaluation of current theories and research into causes and sociological implications of these behavior patterns. Examination of criminal justice systems, including police, courts, and corrections.  [ 4 cr. ]

This course will look at American family violence across the life span including child abuse, teen dating violence, wife battering and elder abuse. Physical, emotional and sexual abuse will be examined. We will consider how family violence differs by class and ethnic group and its differential impact on women. Institutional responses to family violence in the legal, medical and social service systems will be included as well as the role played by the women's shelter movement. Ideological supports for family violence in gender expectations, religious teaching and the media will also be studied.  [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
A1 IND Weinreb M 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Introduction to the sociology of a wide range of legal and illicit drugs. Examines social definitions of drugs and conditions of their use. Considers deviant drug use and effects of social control on definitions and use.  [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
C1 IND Hall CAS 201 W 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Independent study in criminal justice under faculty guidance. Prior approval by program director required.  [ Var cr. ]

CJ510 is the designation for "Special Topics in Criminal Justice". The subject matter for CJ510 courses changes from semester to semester, and more than one CJ510 can be offered in a given semester. For course descriptions, please contact the Department or the Graduate Student Advisor, Professor Cronin, at swcronin@bu.edu.

Fall 2018 -- Special Topic: "Crime and Intelligence"

Crime and Intelligence will examine how major city law enforcement agencies have prioritized the importance of intelligence in their day to day operations. Students will learn about the role of the Crime Analyst and how they provide both tactical and strategic advantages to Department leadership to help them make informed decisions. There will be time focused on new innovations like Real Time Crime Centers and it's use of technology to give street officers an advantage at crime scenes. The class will learn about the National Fusion Center Network that was created post 9-11 to allow local police to share information with each other as well as with Federal Agencies to avoid another major terrorist attack. Instructors and guest speakers will be former and current practitioners who've implemented and executed intelligence operations locally and nationally.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
A1 IND Fitzgerald CAS 237 M 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Community re-integration following imprisonment has long been recognized as a significant problem. Longer sentences and rapid changes have created new problems for both returning inmates and those who provide services both inside and outside the criminal justice system. This course will examine rehabilitation philosophy in theory and practice. Lectures and seminars will address such issues as: the special problems in providing rehabilitation and education in the correctional system, the effect of inmate subculture on rehabilitation, and balancing demands for custody and rehabilitation.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
D1 IND Matesanz R 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Analysis of policy issues concerning juvenile justice and youth crime. Scope and nature of youth crime and the young offender. Juvenile justice procedures, programs, and institutional roles. Considers delinquency prevention programs, violent offenders, dispositional alternatives, and crimes against youth.   [ 4 cr. ]

Critical and technical review of theories on intellectual and social development of infants and children. Emphasis is on the role of early experiences and biological factors in the later formation of personality and intellectual motivational behaviors. Discusses the work of Erikson, Piaget, and Freud.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
C1 IND Staff MUG 205 W 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Provides a conceptual framework for understanding the development, organization, and change of the normal individual according to such diverse theoretical positions as the psychoanalytic, humanistic, and social learning schools.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
D1 IND Staff R 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Manner in which the behavior, feelings, and thoughts of one individual are influenced and determined by the behavior and/or characteristics of others. Attraction, attitudes, aggression, person perception, and groups. Readings cover theories, experimental research, and application.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
D1 IND Vitagliano MCS B33 R 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Relationship between individual and society in the postindustrial world. Problems in areas of work, education, cities, inequality, sexism, medicine, and law. Broad coverage of concepts dealing with alienation, institutional malaise, and societal ills.   [ 4 cr. ]

Relations among various racial, national, cultural, and religious groups, emphasizing the development of black-white relations in American society. Also covers the problems of contemporary minority peoples in America and other societies.  [ 4 cr. ]

Examination of current theories and research bearing on relationship between personality and social structure; contributions and convergent developments in psychology, anthropology, and sociology.   [ 4 cr. ]

Relationship between technology, environment, and social life. Impact of actual cases of technological development and environmental degradation. Emergence of social problems, and strategies for their solution.   [ 4 cr. ]

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to urban affairs and urban problems, including an overview of prominent theories about the nature and causes of urban problems. We will examine the metropolitan area as a complex system with interdependent institutions and problems and consider present as well as future urban policy options in areas such as housing, transportation, crime, education, environment and economic development.   [ 4 cr. ]

Additional courses may be chosen with academic counselor’s approval.

Related Courses

Three courses (12 credits) from any department, with at least one at the 300 level or higher, selected with the advice and approval of the Criminal Justice Advisor, to supplement the curriculum to allow students to develop further specialization in such areas as computer sciences, foreign languages, psychology, sociology, and other closely related fields.

Usually four courses (16 credits), but possibly more depending on transfer credits, chosen with the advice of an academic counselor.

View undergraduate courses.

View all Criminal Justice undergraduate courses.