Criminal Justice Undergraduate Courses

Click on any course title below to read its description. Courses offered in the upcoming semester include a schedule, and are indicated by a label to the right of the title.

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. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
A1 IND Hall MCS B23 M 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

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 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
D1 IND Didomenica MCS B33 R 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. ]

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
C1 IND Weinreb MCS B25 W 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. ]

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. ]

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. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
B1 IND Miliotis SOC B63 T 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

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

Independent study on special projects under faculty guidance.   [ 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 2017 -- Special Topic: "Mental Health & Justice"

The intersection of mental health and criminal justice systems has become a major contemporary issue in our society. This course explores the history of mental health policy as situated within the criminal justice system. Both historical and contemporary impacts of justice policy are addressed with an understanding of how justice policy impacts treatment within criminal justice settings. Examines treatment and policy issues within the domains of policing, courts, corrections, and community reentry. Topics addressed include mental health law, the impact of mass incarceration on mental health, and contemporary prevention strategies. Explores ethical issues in the delivery of forensic mental health services. Students gain valuable understanding of these important areas through case studies, site visits, guest speakers, and other active learning assignments.   [ 4 cr. ]

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 CAS 323A R 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Violence and Trauma examines the psychological impact of crime, terror and disasters on society and the individuals who are members of it. The class is geared toward students in the social sciences including Psychology, Urban Affairs, Criminal Justice, and Sociology. A variety of traumas will be examined (e.g., childhood abuse, domestic violence and crime, war combat, terrorism, and natural disasters). The course examines the social, cultural and political environments in which trauma, trauma research and treatment occur. This course provides an introduction and overview of the field of traumatic stress studies including the nature of trauma, responses to trauma and treatment for disorders of traumatic stress.   [ 4 cr. ]

Additional Courses

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. ]

Operation of the criminal justice system in the urban setting. Special attention is paid to the problems of safeguarding individual rights. Examines relationship between social and economic structure of cities and workings of the system of justice.  [ 4 cr. ]