The Criminal Justice Major and Minor
The Criminal Justice major at Simpson College is concerned with the application of knowledge derived primarily from the social sciences. The major consists of required core courses, elective options selected by the student in consultation with their advisor, and the capstone course of Standards of Professional Behavior.
Students gain exposure to the components of the criminal justice system, the value of research and analysis, and the theoretical explanations for crime and criminal behavior. The program also has an overall focus on both the importance of issues of diversity and ethical decision-making in the criminal justice system.
In 2013, Simpson criminal justice undergraduates scored in the 99th percentile on the Educational Testing Service’s Major Field Test, relative to 102 comparison institutions from across the United States. The results reaffirm the strength of Simpson’s program in content delivery and student mastery of discipline-specific subject matter.
Students completing the Criminal Justice major will be able to:
- Apply criminological theories to concrete situations;
- Analyze and interpret social science data;
- Formulate ethical responses to professional situations; and
- Critique how issues of power and inequalities in the U.S. impact criminal justice outcomes.
The Criminal Justice major is 44 credits (11 courses), while the Criminal Justice minor is 20 credits (5 courses).
Required Major Courses (44 credits)
ECON 135: Applied Statistics 4cr.
CJ 220: Criminal Justice Systems 4cr.
SOC 321: Methods of Social Research I 4cr.
CJ 346: Field Experience in Criminal Justice 4cr.
SCJ 352: Standards for Professional Behavior 4cr.
Take one of the following 4cr.
- CJ 335: Inequality & Justice - This course will introduce students to criminological thought on the intersection between crime and multiple social constructs such as race/ethnicity, gender, class, and sexual orientation. The course will consider how these areas impact people's interactions with the criminal justice system as offenders, victims, and workers, as well as how issues of inequality are related to crime and criminal behavior. Offered alternate years. (DIVRSTY) OR
- SCJ 340: Race and Ethnic Relations- This course explores the dynamics and results of inter-group relations. Prejudice and discrimination are examined in both historical and international perspective. Among the concrete topics discussed are affirmative action, multiculturalism, institutional discrimination, and the interrelationship of sex, class, and ethnicity. Offered every semester. (DIVRSTY)
Take one of the following 4cr.
- CJ 342: Juvenile Delinquency - The extent and cause of criminal behavior of children, adolescents, and young adults. Development and operation of juvenile courts and theories and methods of juvenile treatment and rehabilitation are examined. (CIVIC, CRITTHNK) OR
- CJ 343: Criminology - The extent and cause of adult criminal behavior, adjudication procedures, penal theories and practices, rehabilitation programs, and crime prevention.
Criminal Justice Electives 16cr.
I have been to other colleges and Simpson has been SUCH a great experience. Being able to take classes at night makes it possible to still work full time and still get a degree.. advisors are so knowledgeable and also care personally about everyone that they deal with.
I chose the Criminal Justice Major because I wanted to be able to use my life experiences and skills to help other people. I find sociology and the psychology of people fascinating and Criminal Justice was a way to use my interest in those things in to practice every day.
Samantha Williams '16, Criminal Justice Major