Requirements – Criminal Justice Studies

General Education

Introduction to the General Education Experience 

  • 1 unit - UNIV 101


  • 1st-year composition (ENGL 101 and ENGL 102, or ENGL 109H, or ENGL 107 and ENGL 108, or equivalent transfer courses)
  • Math 107 or higher, or equivalent transfer courses (math substitutions not accepted)
  • 2nd-semester second language proficiency required

Exploring Perspectives 

  • 3 units – Artist
  • 3 units – Humanist
  • 3 units – Natural Scientist
  • 3 units – Social Scientist

Building Connections

  • 9 units (three courses)

General Education Portfolio

  • 1 unit – UNIV 301

Note: Students must complete a minimum of 32 units in their General Education coursework while satisfying the requirements.


  • 1st-year composition (ENGL 101 and ENGL 102, or ENGL 109H, or ENGL 107 and ENGL 108, or equivalent transfer courses)
  • Math 107 or higher, or equivalent transfer courses (math substitutions not accepted)
  • 2nd-semester second language proficiency required


General Education

  • 6 units Tier 1 Individuals & Societies – 150
  • 6 units Tier 1 Traditions & Cultures – 160
  • 6 units Tier 1 Natural Sciences – 170


  • 3 units Tier 2 Arts
  • 3 units Tier 2 Humanities
  • 3 units Tier 2 Natural Sciences
  • 3 units Diversity

fall 2021 oe earlier - gen-Ed Checklist


A minor is required for this program. Minors typically are 18-21 units.

See list of UA minor options

Introductory Courses for Major

  • Complete 6 required introductory courses

Required courses (must complete all 5 courses):

National and international economic issues. An introduction to economic analysis.
Theory and practice of criminal justice organizations: police, courts and correctional institutions.
General survey of the constitutional bases, organization, and functioning of the American national government; recent and current trends.
Theory and practice of executive agencies, including policy making and other functions, processes, personnel and fiscal management, and administrative law.
An introductory course in the fundamentals of modern statistics with applications and examples in the social and behavioral sciences. Topics include: methods for describing and summarizing data, probability, random sampling, estimating population parameters, significance tests, contingency tables, simple linear regression, and correlation.

Choose one course from these four courses:

Study of the international system, its actors and their capabilities; ends and means of foreign policy; international tension, conflict, and cooperation.
Basic issues in political thought, with emphasis on contemporary problems of democracy, liberty, authority, obligation, and ideology.
Survey of the major political systems and analysis of comparative political concepts, with a view to preparation for more advanced study.
Focus on the politics of diversity and inclusion in a fast-changing world. Attention to national-ethnic, racial, gender, sexual orientation, religious, and socioeconomic factors, among others, that underlie human diversity and the political conditions for cooperation, conflict, and well-being. Consideration of decision-making and political-institutional settings that may extend from the local and regional to the national and international.

Major Core Courses

  • 9 units total (Seniors have priority)
This is a course in applied ethics and not a course in philosophy or religion. Using short lectures and interactive discussions the course allows Criminal Justice students to view the systems and issues within in it from the basic philosophical positions of teleology, deontology and virtues ethics. Using those frameworks, it allows the students to view ethical issues from the basic ethical standing points.
Issues and techniques of financial management and budgeting in the public and nonprofit sectors.
Exploration of public organization theory and behavior in the context of issues confronting upper echelon public administrators on local, state and federal levels.

Required Internship

  • 3 units PA 493: Internship Course
  • To earn 3 units of credit you must complete 135 hours and be enrolled in PA 493 at the same time
  • Internship must be related to Criminal Justice Studies and be with a non-profit or government agency only (paid or unpaid)
  • See internship opportunities
pecialized work on an individual basis, consisting of training and practice in actual service in a technical, business, or governmental establishment.

Criminal Justice Electives

  • 5 courses (15 units)
  • 3 courses (9 units) must be from PA/POL home department
  • These courses may require Junior/Senior standing
This course examines the legal procedures governing the investigation and arrest phases of criminal cases, guaranteed by the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The tensions between public safety, national security, and privacy rights will be discussed. The course will also feature current, topical cases and guest speakers.
This class will survey the various forensic sciences and technologies used in the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases. This course is intended as an introduction to forensic science for those who intend to work in the criminal justice and legal community. We will also discuss the role of forensic science in famous case studies and current criminal cases.
This is an elective course for all Criminal Justice students in applied ethics and integrity in the workplace. It will instruct students on the ethical frameworks that they are already employing in anticipation of ethical dilemmas in the workplace.  Second, the course seeks to answer, in part, what a manager can do to facilitate ethical conduct in the workplace.This course will prepare students to deal with integrity issues in the workplace. Using reality-based scenarios, the students will be able to analyze and formulate plans about how they will react to issues of integrity in the...
Students will learn about the nature, etiology, and treatment of sexual deviance; the link between sexual behavior and sex crimes, and current issues in laws concerning sex offenses.  Students will consider the social and psychological distinctions between consensual sexual encounters, prostitution, pornography and predatory conduct.
This course examines guns from historical, criminological, political, legal, sociological and cultural perspectives. Grounded in the American context, the course focuses on the relationship between gun rights and gun rules; between crime and self-defense; and between the past and present politics of guns.
This course examines the principles of administration, management, politics and leadership with emphasis on their applicability to police planning, organization, direction, control, and personnel management.
Theory and research on the nature, causes and control of crime from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Analysis of selected principles of criminal law, criminal procedure and correctional law.
his course will give students an introduction into the management of the many different and complex types of critical incidents whether man-made or natural. Students will examine the nature of critical incidents learning to identify objectives, common characteristics and the vast array of variables that can impact the success of incident mitigation. Students will explore different scenarios investigating the role of first responders, the use or lack of basic incident command principles which includes identifying the different Stages, Phases and Strategies of the incident itself. This...
This course will explore the definition, history and types of homicide.
The course will offer a better understanding of how decisions are made in the criminal justice system and how discretion is used, in the framework of our society and the criminal justice system.   This will be a fast paced, current events based course that should be challenging for the student in policy and course discourse.  Each module will build upon the last to culminate in a broad overview of the problems and elements related to discretion and decision-making.
While modern police departments have always been at odds with the citizens they serve, the events of recent years have thrust this dichotomy into the public spotlight. The conflict is contentious and a resolution is not entirely clear. This course examines the police and their role and authority, the most common ways that police abuse that authority, the consequences of police abuses, and efforts to curtail police abuse of authority.
This course is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of community policing. The history of policing is examined in such a way as to explain why this concept became so important in American policing in the 1960's and how that idea has evolved into the 21st century. Proactive policing and problem solving are emphasized along with overcoming resistance to community policing within police bureaucracies. Students will gain an understanding of the benefits and challenges of creating partnerships with the community and how to implement policing strategies with regard to creating safe...
This course will explore the definition, history and types of American based gangs and some globalized gangs. The course will seek to connect lecture and text with real world events. Classroom activities and discussion will be emphasized with the objective of assisting the student in understanding and evaluating his/her own beliefs and values concerning the topic of gangs. This course will include the study of gangs, guest speakers involved in this field of work, simulation and discussion. Gang prevention, intervention and interdiction strategies will be covered and assessed as community...
Description and analysis of the executive branch of government: how federal agencies capture policy-making; why bureaucracy develops; the rules of bureaucratic culture; who controls the administrative branch.
This course addresses the political causes and consequences of the use of terrorist violence as well as the variety of methods employed by the state in response to this violence.
Policy makers have long struggled to regulate intoxicating substances, including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and opioids. While some of these substances are widely used for recreational or medicinal purposes, they can have significant deleterious effects on both the individual and societal levels. Furthermore, although evidence suggests that some policies to limit consumption of these substances may improve social welfare, other policies may unintentionally exacerbate societal inequality and cause further harms to public health and safety. In this course, we will analyze the various...
Examines the treatment of juveniles and women in the American criminal justice system.
This course is about crime and misconduct in organizations, how much there is, what it is like and what the government can and cannot do about it.  The readings, topics and discussions blend theory and research with current examples of white collar crime.
This course is designed to investigate the correction of offenders in both secure facilities and the community. After a history of the corrections system is presented, the course is an overview of trends and developments of both institutional (jails and prisons) and community corrections. Particular emphasis is placed on intermediate sanctions, the range of corrections from prison to probation.
Role of government in the prevention and control of crime.
Criminologists generally use at least three distinct measures of crime: (1) crimes known to the police (Uniform Crime Reports, 911 calls, etc.); (2) victimization surveys (e.g., the National Crime Victimization Survey); and (3) offender self-reports. Each of these three measures has idiosyncratic strengths and weaknesses that recommend its use for some purposes but not for others. In broad outline, the course will investigate research that has used each of these three measurement methods, focusing on similarities and differences in the methods.
Structure, function, and processes of the "third branch" of the American government.
Political problems of the poor; analysis of systematic poverty in the U.S. and theories of causation; selected policy problems: education, housing, job training, enforcement of anti-discrimination statutes; future of "power" movements.
Legal status of women in America, including constitutional protections, marriage and family relationships, educational and vocational opportunities, political rights, criminal law.
Overview of the role of intelligence in the formulation and execution of US national security policy. Will include a detailed look at challenges facing both the analysis of intelligence information and the introduction of that analysis into the national security policy process. Will also entail close reading and discussion of selected declassified intelligence documents.
This course is designed to provide a flexible topics seminar for undergraduates across several domains in the field of political science. Students will develop and exchange scholarly information in a small group setting. The scope of work shall consist of research by course registrants, with the exchange of the results of such research through discussion, reports, and/or papers.