Jacqueline B. Helfgott, PhD, Chair
Criminal Justice is an interdisciplinary social science involving the study of crime and societal responses to it. The Criminal Justice Department offers degree and specialization options designed to prepare students for a broad range of career opportunities in the criminal justice field and for graduate study in criminology/criminal justice, forensic psychology, forensic science, and law. The criminal justice curriculum provides foundation for understanding contemporary criminological theory and criminal justice practice with scholarly emphasis and critical appraisal of law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. The criminal justice major is designed to provide knowledge of the components of criminal justice system and stages of criminal justice process while allowing students to concentrate study in a particular area of interest within the criminal justice field. Our goal is to provide students with conceptual and empirical knowledge that will foster sophisticated thinking, reflection, and action — to develop in students the knowledge, insight, critical thinking skills, values, and ethical consciousness essential to becoming responsible practitioners, managers, researchers, and leaders in the criminal justice field. The driving spirit of the Criminal Justice Department reflects the basic foundation of Jesuit education—reflection and action. We seek to develop a spirit of inquiry and innovation in students—encouraging them to ask “why not?” of things not tried and to reflect and think critically about crime and justice issues and the systems that deal with them in our complex society.
The department offers the bachelor of criminal justice (BCJ) with specialization in administration of justice, criminology and criminal justice theory, forensic psychology, and forensic science and the bachelor of science (BS) major in criminal justice, with specialization in forensic psychology and forensic science. Internship and research opportunities supplement course work by providing students with experience working and conducting research within criminal justice agencies. Graduates are prepared for positions in law enforcement, courts, corrections, and human service in private, county, state, and federal agencies and/or to pursue graduate study in criminal justice, criminology, forensic science, forensic psychology, or law.