Criminal Justice Studies Minor

Coordinator: Associate Professor McClearn

The Criminal Justice Studies program engages students in the interdisciplinary study of crime and criminal justice, primarily within the United States. Students gain an understanding of the psychological and sociological dimensions of crime as well as insights into the workings of the criminal justice system and its components. Students examine both academic and applied aspects of the field. Ethical implications and critical analysis of issues are stressed.

The most common majors for students who minor in criminal justice studies are psychology, human service studies, sociology and political science. However, students have found that the criminal justice studies minor can serve as a valuable complement to a wide array of majors, including journalism, biology, business and philosophy.

Criminal justice studies students are encouraged to engage in experiences that move beyond the classroom, such as internships, research and independent study. Internships taken in applied settings, such as local law enforcement agencies, prisons, the court system, law offices and a medical examiner’s laboratory have proven exciting and educationally beneficial to criminal justice studies minors. In collaboration with relevant faculty, students have conducted research and independent study on a diverse array of topics, including punitiveness toward criminals, illicit drug use, police personality, psychopathology and crime, serial killers, and the relevance of thinking styles and personality traits to violent behavior.

Students are also encouraged to participate in the Crime Studies Club, a student organization involved in a host of activities related to crime and the criminal justice system. Members of the club have organized field trips to such places as forensics laboratories and prisons. Additionally, the club has hosted nationally prominent experts who have spoken on such topics as designer drugs, forensic science and the profiling of serial killers, as well as career opportunities in the realm of criminal justice.

Many criminal justice studies minors choose to continue their education after obtaining the bachelor’s degree from Elon. They have entered graduate programs in sociology, political science, social services, psychology, forensic science, criminal justice, law and others. Students who choose to enter a career upon graduation have found employment in law enforcement (at the local, state or federal level), prisons and social work.

Minor Requirements:

Required courses: 12 sh

PSY 3850CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR

4 sh

SOC 3550CRIMINOLOGY

4 sh

HSS 3590CRIMINAL JUSTICE

4 sh

Select eight semester hours of electives from the following: 8 sh

CJS 1710-1790SPECIAL TOPICS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

2-4 sh

CJS 2710-2790SPECIAL TOPICS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

2-4 sh

CJS 3710-3790SPECIAL TOPICS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

2-4 sh

CJS 2550ORGANIZED CRIME

4 sh

CJS 4985INTERNSHIP IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

2-4 sh

CJS 4991INDEPENDENT STUDY

1-4 sh

CJS 4999RESEARCH

1-4 sh

CHM 1320CSI: REALITY - CHEMISTRY FROM THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR

4 sh

COR 4050PRISON NATION: DECONSTRUCTING THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

4 sh

COR 4310INVESTIGATING CRIME FICTION: TAMING THE SLEUTH

4 sh

HSS 3690JUVENILE JUSTICE

4 sh

HSS 3490VIOLENCE IN FAMILIES

4 sh

HSS 3510GLOBAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

4 sh

PHL 3410PHILOSOPHY OF LAW

4 sh

PHL 3560RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

4 sh

POL 3240CIVIL LIBERTIES

4 sh

PSY 3810PSYCHOLOGY AND LAW

4 sh

SOC 3150DRUGS AND SOCIETY

4 sh

SOC 3420SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF DEVIANCE

4 sh

SOC 3560GENDER AND CRIME

4 sh

Other courses may be submitted for approval to the program coordinator. 

Total Credit Hours: 20

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