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The School of Public Affairs’ Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice (BACJ) program is designed for students who are interested in studying the American criminal justice system. Coursework in the major includes 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 special topics such as capital punishment, victimology, race and crime, and community corrections. Students also receive rigorous training in research methods and statistics, allowing them to understand how to frame important questions and become critical consumers of information. Students may choose to concentrate their electives in Law Enforcement, Victims and Victim Studies, or may use electives to study other criminal justice-related topics.
As with all undergraduate degrees at CU Denver, BACJ students will also complete the requirements of the CU Denver core curriculum, ensuring that they have a well-rounded liberal arts education. The critical thinking skills provided by the degree are important to any future career path, but BACJ students are particularly well-prepared for careers in criminal justice organizations such as local, state, and federal law enforcement and criminal justice agencies and in nonprofit organizations working with people and communities affected by crime. Many graduates pursue advanced degrees in law, criminal justice, and related fields.
- Courses are offered on campus, online, and in hybrid formats.
Declaring This Major
To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements.
- The Bachelors of Arts in Criminal Justice degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework. Students must complete a minimum of 45 upper-division credit hours, 21 of which must be Criminal Justice credit hours.
- A maximum of 15 transfer credits may be applied to the major. Transfer Criminal Justice credits above the 15 credits 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 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.
Students must complete the following required courses:
- CRJU 1000 - Criminology and Criminal Justice: An Overview
- CRJU 2041 - Criminological Theory
- CRJU 3100 - Research Methods
- CRJU 3150 - Statistics for Criminal Justice *
- CRJU 4042 - Corrections
- CRJU 4043 - Law Enforcement
- CRJU 4044 - Courts and Judicial Process
- SOCY 1001 - Understanding the Social World **
Students must complete 15 credit hours of electives, 9 of which must be Criminal Justice courses offered by the School of Public Affairs, and 6 of which may be taken from the approved list of other department courses.
*Students must successfully pass CRJU 3100 Criminal Justice Research Methods with a C- or better before taking CRJU 3150 Statistics for Criminal Justice
**This class also fulfills a Social Science requirement of the CU Denver core curriculum
Take fifteen credit hours of electives, nine of which must be Criminal Justice courses offered by the School of Public Affairs, and six of which may be taken from the approved list of other department courses.
Criminal Justice Electives:
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 (CRJU 4939) is required as one of the electives for the major unless officially waived by the BACJ Program Director. Students whose internships are approved will take a 3 credit hour Criminal Justice elective in place of a 3 credit- hours internship. Students should direct questions and concerns to their Academic Advisor. See SPA Graduation Requirements for more information.
Other electives: **
- ANTH 4090 - Drug Syndemic
- CHEM 1494 - Forensic Chemistry
- COMM 4040 - Communication, Prisons, and Social Justice
- COMM 4265 - Gender and Communication
- COMM 4750 - Legal Reasoning and Writing
- HDFR 4075 - Family Policy & Law
- HIST 3231 - Famous U.S. Trials
- HIST 4308 - Crime, Policing, and Justice in American History
- ECON 3300 - Economics of Crime and Punishment
- PSCI 3034 - Race, Gender, Law and Public Policy
- PSCI 4124 - Denver Politics
- PSCI 4185 - Corruption in the U.S. and Abroad
- PSCI 4216 - International Politics: Human Rights
- PSCI 4237 - American National Security
- PSCI 4240 - International Security
- PSCI 4280 - The Politics of War Law
- PSCI 4427 - Law, Politics and Justice
- PSCI 4477 - Constitutional Law I
- PSCI 4487 - Constitutional Law II
- PSCI 4494 - Judicial Politics
- PSCI 4545 - Immigration Politics
- PSCI 4837 - Contemporary Issues in Civil Liberties
- PSYC 3205 - Human Development I: Child Psychology
- PSYC 3215 - Human Development II: Adolescence and Adulthood
- PSYC 3265 - Drugs, Brain and Behavior
- PSYC 3305 - Abnormal Psychology
- PSYC 3505 - Psychology and the Law
- PSYC 3610 - Psychological Trauma
- PSYC 3612 - Domestic Abuse
- SOCY 2462 - Introduction to Social Psychology
- SOCY 3020 - Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.
- SOCY 3040 - Drugs, Alcohol & Society
- SOCY 3490 - Criminology
- SOCY 3700 - Sociology of the Family
- SOCY 4340 - Juvenile Delinquency
- SOCY 4440 - Poverty and Social Inequality
- SOCY 4460 - Hate Groups and Group Violence
- SOCY 4700 - Sociology of Law
- SOCY 4770 - Advanced Topics in Sociology (Women & Crime)
- PSCI 4807 - Political Violence
- PSCI 4827 - Women and the Law
- SOCY 4780 - Violence in Relationships
- See advisor for recent additions to the list
**Students must comply with departmental prerequisites.