Bachelors in Justice Studies


The undergraduate program in Justice Studies provides students with an interdisciplinary curriculum that engages in critical analysis of justice issues. Core classes focus on theory and empirical research that addresses the relationship between law, justice, the justice system, and society. Electives address a number of more specialized and topical justice-related issues. There are two majors:

  1. Justice Studies, BS
  2. Justice Studies, Criminology Concentration, BS


Curriculum & Requirements

Our undergraduate curriculum is designed to cover the broad nature of Justice in local, national, and transnational contexts. The Criminology Concentration puts special emphasis on the science of crime and reactions to crime. In either major, students take courses in the following competency areas:

  1. Theories
  2. Methodologies
  3. Critical Inquiries
  4. Local, Transnational, Historical Perspectives
  5. Experiential Learning

Our innovative approach ensures students develop skills (i.e., the ability to understand, analyze, and critique) that can be used to help transform and empower our communities.


Minimum Grade Requirements

Students must pass all preparation for the major and major courses with a C or better for them to count toward earning the BS degree. Those courses passed, but not with a C or better, count toward university electives, but they are discarded from consideration for meeting major requirements.

Students have only two opportunities to pass core and required courses (JS 100W, 101, 102, 114, 151, and 189 or FS 169) with a C or better. Any student with a final grade that is C- or lower on the first attempt will be placed on administrative probation with a registration hold. They must take their probation letter to their advisor to have the hold lifted. They must retake the class the following semester.

Any student repeating a core course who fails to earn a C or higher will be disqualified from their Justice Studies major—even if it is the last course in the degree program.

To repeat a class, students will need to ask for a permission code from the course instructor, and wait until the first day of instruction to register. The University delays access to repeaters to ensure that first-time course takers are prioritized. Often students retake classes to take advantage of the University's grade forgiveness to repair their GPA.

Students repeating non-core or non-required courses for a third time must get permission (form can be downloaded from the Registrar website) and obtain an add/permission code from the class instructor (or JS Office for JS189 or FS169). The chair will not normally approve a request to take a course for a third time.


Program Learning Outcomes

At the end of the Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Studies in the Department of Justice Studies, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the major concepts, theories, and historical trends within studies of crime, law, and social justice at all levels, from local to global. 
  2. Describe and apply ways to gather valid information and conduct research to answer questions about crime, law, and social justice issues.
  3. Understand and critically analyze individual, institutional, and societal responses to crime, law, and social justice issues.
  4. Employ interdisciplinary perspectives on systems of inequality and concepts of justice to
    propose grounded, informed, and sustainable solutions to social problems in communities
    and/or institutions.
  5. Articulate compelling, reasoned, and empirically-informed positions on issues of justice to
    diverse audiences. Students will value empirical evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and recognize their role and responsibility as a member of society.


Change of Major & Other Information

If you are interested in becoming a Justice Studies Major, please see the section on Declaring a Major. Also, if you have any questions, feel free to contact our Undergraduate Coordinator.

For advising information, please visit the Academic Advising page.