Criminal Justice

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

Criminal Justice Program
HSS 336
Director: C. Daniel Vencill


Professors—Curtin, Vencill

Lecturers—Clavier, Koehler, Lynch, MacAllair, Matthews, Patterson, Walsh



B.A. in Criminal Justice
Minor in Criminal Justice

Program Scope

Criminal Justice, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Research, is one of the most rapidly expanding careers in America-and this was projected before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.  In 1998 there were more than 350,000 students majoring in CJ at the graduate and undergraduate levels in the U.S.  Now this discipline is more essential than ever, and our program offers a distinctly cross-disciplinary, international law approach to the field.  CJ is the application of law, social and natural sciences to the social phenomenon of crime, terrorism and delinquency.  The discipline covers definitions, causation, prevention, discovery procedures legal and Constitutional process and protections, treatment and rehabilitation, quantification, computer applications, and research in both criminal and civil aspects.

The Bachelor of Art allows students to pursue a rigorous, cross-disciplinary study for our justice system.  The program is designed for students who want their primary scholarly emphasis placed upon a critical appraisal of law enforcement, the courts, jails and prisons, whether for the purpose of liberal arts, a Ph.D., a law degree, professional schooling, career advancement while on the job, or any combination of those aims.

The major includes legal writing, criminal statistics and profiling, comparative international criminal justice systems, terrorism, jails and prisons, ethics, transnational organized crime, cybercrime and intelligence operations.

The major includes work in three colleges and ten different co-related departments throughout our university.  Related fields: sociology, human ecology, economics, psychology, international relations, political science, computer science, philosophy, accounting, and others.

We offer a rewarding and career-enhancing balance of theory, law, analysis, hand-on experience, internships and file study via our established, significant relationships with local police, the Police Academy, the District Attorney's Office, the Public Defender's office, juvenile justice programs, the jail administration, and Bay Area probation departments.

Students in the Criminal Justice Program will:

Identify and increase understanding of major social issues related to crime, criminals, terrorism, prevention and control, and victims.


A network  of criminal justice agencies and personnel in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area serves as a powerful asset to students.  Simultaneously, that network participates in the fulfillment of the urban mission of the university,.  The curricular importance of that network is reflected in the fact that direct field study is an integral dimension of the curricula, and a partial requirement in most of our courses.

Our program is student friendly.  Students work closely with knowledgeable and committed faculty.  We encourage student transfers from community colleges.  Many graduates from our program completed their degree requirements, including evening and weekend courses, while in service at their regular local law enforcement jobs. We have an active CJ Student Association which plans and implements charitable community service projects, provides a socializing opportunities, and acts as a valuable career networking resource. We actively seek and encourage women and minorities to complete our program and we provide topical courses, such as Women in Policing.  We have individualized advising and student mentoring services provided by our faculty who help in job placement assistance or law school admission assistance upon graduation from our program.

Career Outlook


On-line course descriptions are available.

Program Units
Core Requirements
CJ 300 The Criminal Justice System 4
Criminal Justice Systems—units selected from the following: 8
  CJ 320 Literature in Criminal Justice (4)  
  CJ 330 Heuristics in Criminal Justice (4)
  CJ 335 Seminar in Legal Writing (4)
  CJ 340 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems (4)
Political Economy—units selected from the following: 6-8
  ECON 515 The Economics of Crime  
  ECON 516 Law and Economics
  HIST 428 History of the U.S. Since 1945
  HIST 471 Legal and Constitutional History of the U.S.
  PLSI 551 Judicial Power in Public Policy Making (4)
  PLSI 552 Individual Rights in the Constitution (4)
Interdisciplinary Options—units selected from the following: 3-4
  SOC 362 Social Construction of Deviance and Conformity (4)  
  SOC 451 Criminological Theory (4)
  SOC 454 White Collar Crime (4)
  SOC 455 Punishment and Social Control (4)
  SOC 457 Sociology of Law (4)
  SOC 459 Criminal Law and Social Process (4)
  PHIL 335 Law and Society
  PHIL 380 Philosophy of Law
  AIS 310 American Indian Religion and Philosophy
  AAS 300 Asian Americans in California
  ETHS 665 Asian American Community and Public Policy
  BL S 375 Law and the Black Community
  BL S 376 Government, the Constitution, and Black Citizens
  RAZA 415 The Socio-economics of La Raza
  RAZA 430 La Raza and the Law
Total for core 21-24
Administration of Justice—units selected from the following: 8
  CJ 400 Police and Public Policy (4)  
  CJ 401 Criminal Profiling (4)
  CJ 405 Organized Crime (4)
  CJ 420 Community Policing (4)
  CJ 430 Women in Policing (4)
  CJ 450 Jails and Prisons (4)
  CJ 451 The Architecture of Incarceration (4)
  CJ 455 Incarceration Study (4)
  CJ 460 Community Corrections and Sentencing (4)
CJ 461/IR 361 Terrorism and Covert Political Warfare (4)
  CJ 470/
  SOC 452
Juvenile Justice (4)
Legal Studies—units selected from the following: 8
  CJ 501 Criminal Law (4)  
  CJ 502 Criminal Procedure (4)
  CJ 505 International Criminal Law (4)
  CJ 515 Extremism as Crime (4)
  CJ 520 The Construction of Crime and Justice (4)
  CJ 540 Classic Cinema in Criminal Justice (4)
  CJ 550 Current Issues in Criminal Justice (4)
Culminating Experience—units selected from the following: 4
  CJ 680 Field Course in Criminal Justice (4)  
  CJ 681 Internship in Criminal Justice (4)
  CJ 685 Special Projects in Teaching Criminal Justice (4)
  CJ 699 Independent Study in Criminal Justice (4)
Total for major 41-44


On-line course descriptions are available.

Introduction Units
CJ 300 Criminal Justice: A Cross-disciplinary Perspective 4
Substantive Core
One course from each of the following 3 sets on advisement, with courses in at least
2 disciplines:
Criminology 4
CJ 450 Jails and Prisons (4)  
SOC 362 Social Construction of Deviance and Conformity (4)
SOC 451 Criminological Theory (4)
Legal Studies 3-4
CJ 500 Criminal Law (4)  
PHIL 380 Philosophy of Law
PHIL 335 Law and Society
PLSI 552 Individual Rights in the Constitution (4)
PLSI 561 Jurisprudence (4)
SOC 457 Sociology of Law (4)
SOC 459 Criminal Law and Social Process (4)
Administration of Justice 4
CJ 400 Police and Public Policy (4)  
SOC 455 Punishment and Social Control (4)
One or more related course(s), chosen on the basis of individual interests with adviser approval
Culminating Seminar and Field Activity
CJ 680 Field Course in Criminal Justice 4
Total 22-24

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