Courses & Programs

Criminal Justice

Alejandro Sanchez

Chair, Criminal Justice

Social Sciences

Frost 176

413.552.2841 (Tel)


What will you learn?

This program provides students with a broad academic background in criminal justice and the opportunity to develop the skills needed for pursuing a career in public service, the private sector, or transfer to a four year institution, in a learning environment which embraces academic excellence, diversity and professionalism.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon graduating from this program, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the American criminal justice system and the legal, theoretical, and public policy issues that are relevant to it.
  2. Develop effective and professional communication skills, both orally and in writing.
  3. Articulate an awareness of issues of diversity, including but not limited to race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, social class, disability, and religious belief.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the primary data sources and methods used to measure practices in the criminal justice field and criminal behavior in society.
  5. Identify, locate, evaluate, and responsibly use appropriate legal, sociological, and other sources in papers and assignments.
  6. Recognize the importance of ethics and ethical behavior in the achievement of justice. 

What will you do?

Continue your education or enter the workforce! Career options include:

  • Corrections
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Advocacy
  • Law Enforcement
  • Consulting
  • Education

Learn more at What Can I Do With This Major?

62 total credits

26 credits General Education Requirements + 21 credits Program Requirements

Depending on course selection, 100% of this program can be completed online.


General Education Requirements

26 CREDITS
This course is the first half of the college composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, beginning research skills, and the writing process. Students will read, analyze, and cite a range of nonfiction texts. Students will produce several formal essays totaling approximately 3000 words. Prerequisite: Appropriate scores on English placement tests or C- or higher in ENG 095.
This course is the second half of the first-year composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, academic writing, research, and the writing process. Students will locate and evaluate both primary and secondary sources, and will gain skill in summarizing and synthesizing source material while employing MLA documentation. Texts will include a range of nonfiction (articles, essays, scholarly sources) and literary works. Students will produce at least 3000 words of formal written work, including a documented essay of at least 1250 words. Prerequisite: ENG 101 with a grade of C-or higher.
Introduction to the study and principles of behavior. Topics include general principles of scientific investigation; physiological bases of behavior including sensation, perception, learning, emotion, and motivation; development; individual differences; attitudes; and group dynamics. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101.
A scientific examination of human social phenomena. Major topics include interaction, statuses and roles, groups, social institutions, culture, socialization, social control, conforming and deviant behavior, collective behavior, social inequality, demography, social change, urbanism, industrialism and globalization.Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101
An introduction to the structure, functions, and politics of the United States national (federal) government within its historical, constitutional, social, and theoretical context.
An introduction to the structure, function, and politics of United States government at the state, county, and municipal levels, emphasizing their roles within the federal system.
Laboratory Science [E] ElectivesAST 110, AST 140, BIO 101, BIO 102, BIO 106, BIO 107, BIO 108, BIO 110, BIO 111, BIO 114, BIO 120, BIO 130, BIO 215, BIO 217, BIO 218, BIO 222, BIO 223, BIO 229, BIO 230, BIO 243, CHM 101, CHM 102, CHM 113, CHM 114, CHM 121, CHM 124, CHM 221, CHM 222, CHM 224, EGR 110, EGR 111, ESC 111, ESC 115, ESC 120, ESC 130, ENV 120, ENV 124, ENV 137, ENV 138, ENV 140, ENV 253, FRS 100, FRS 101, FRS 110, FRS 201, PHS 101, PHS 102, PHS 111, PHS 112, PHS 201, SEM 110, SEM 111, SEM 116, SEM 130, SUS 101, SUS 102, SUS 103, SUS 116, SUS 216
Laboratory Science [E] ElectivesAST 110, AST 140, BIO 101, BIO 102, BIO 106, BIO 107, BIO 108, BIO 110, BIO 111, BIO 114, BIO 120, BIO 130, BIO 215, BIO 217, BIO 218, BIO 222, BIO 223, BIO 229, BIO 230, BIO 243, CHM 101, CHM 102, CHM 113, CHM 114, CHM 121, CHM 124, CHM 221, CHM 222, CHM 224, EGR 110, EGR 111, ESC 110, ESC 111, ESC 115, ESC 120, ESC 130, ENV 120, ENV 124, ENV 137, ENV 138, ENV 140, ENV 253, FRS 100, FRS 101, FRS 110, FRS 201, PHS 101, PHS 102, PHS 111, PHS 112, PHS 201, SEM 110, SEM 111, SEM 116, SEM 130, SUS 101, SUS 102, SUS 103, SUS 116, SUS 216
Graphical description of data, measures of central tendency and variability, probability and probability distributions, central limit theorem, estimation of parameters, testing hypotheses, regression and correlation, analysis of variance, and other topics in statistical inference. Prerequisite: MTH 085 or MTH 099 with a grade of C- or better; or SM12, or adequate score on the Mathematics Placement Examination.

Program Requirements

21 CREDITS
Historical and philosophical background and critical evaluation of the criminal justice system. A study of the United States Constitution and its impact on modern criminal justice. The relationship of crime to the police, prosecution, the courts, probation, parole, corrections, and the general functions of each. Exploration of the field of criminal justice and professional career opportunities in it. Prerequisite: English 095 eligibility
Introduction to the modern correctional services of local, state, and federal institutions; the present philosophy, theory, and practice of the correctional process as it applies to convicted law violators of all age groups. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 095
Origin and development of crime, the relationship between law and crime, theories of social and psychological factors in criminal and delinquent behavior, current programs for treatment and prevention. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or PSY 110
This course studies the history and development of criminal law as a form of social control, the evolution of criminal law from civil law, and the relationship between common and statutory criminal law. The criminal process from investigation through indictment, arrest, arraignment, trial, and sentencing will be reviewed. Through analytic case studies, emphasis will be given to substantive aspects of criminal law and current constitutional constraints established by the United States Supreme Court on law enforcement procedures occurring during arrests, searches and seizures, interrogations, electronic surveillances, and other investigative practices. Prerequisite: CRJ 100
This course will explore the history, evolution, and organization of the police in the United States. Examines the role of police in society, structure and culture of police organizations, function and activities of the police, and police deviance and accountability. Prerequisite: CRJ 100
A critical examination of issues of diversity, ethics, and human relations as they affect the work of criminal justice practitioners. Emphasis is placed on improving skills as observers, listeners, and communicators through exercises involving resolution of individual and group conflict in a variety of settings. Prerequisites: SOC 110 or PSY 110
This course is designed to provide criminal justice majors with a capstone experience emphasizing integration of knowledge. Students will analyze contemporary issues in order to demonstrate mastery of the content acquired in previous courses. In addition to other requirements, students will develop and prepare a research project that will result in an end of semester presentation to the class. This course should be taken in the semester immediately preceding graduation.Prerequisites: Criminal Justice matriculation, completion of 42 credit hours including all required Criminal Justice courses, ENG 101, ENG 102, and SOC 110 or PSY 110.

15 CREDITS OF ELECTIVES


Three Humanities (C) Required for Transfer Compact Requirements or Mass Transfer Block.

HUM XX1  |  Humanities Elective [C] *   
Credits: 3

HUM XX2  |  Humanities Elective [C] *   
Credits: 3

HUM XX3  |  Humanities Elective [C] *   
Credits: 3

SOC XX1  |  Social Science Elective [B] 
Credits: 3

CRJ 102   |  Criminal Evidence
Credits: 3
Prerequisite: CRJ 100 and CRJ 112

CRJ 105  |  Introduction to Security  
Credits: 3
Prerequisite:  Eligibility for ENG 095

CRJ 110  |  Child Abuse and Neglect
Credits: 3
Prerequisite:  SOC 110 or PSY 110 

CRJ 200|  Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice [B]
Credits: 3
Prerequisite:  SOC 110 or PSY 110

CRJ 205  |  Criminal Investigation and Crime Analysis
Credits: 3
Prerequisite:  CRJ 100 and CRJ 112  

CRJ 208  |  Juvenile Justice [B]
Credits: 3
Prerequisite:  SOC 110 or PSY 110  

CRJ 211  |  Probation and Parole
Credits: 3
Prerequisite:  CRJ 100 and SOC 110 or PSY 110  

CRJ 217  |  Women, Crime and Justice [B]
Credits: 3
Prerequisite:  SOC 110 or PSY 110  

SEC 261  |  Information Security & Assurance Administration
Credits: 3
Prerequisite:  CRJ 105 or SEC 105  

SOC 208  |  Substance Abuse
Credits: 3
Prerequisite:  PSY 110 or SOC 110 (same as HSV 208)  

PHI 120  |  Ethics [C]
Credits: 3

PSY 240  |  Forensic Psychology [B]
Credits: 3
Prerequisite: PSY 110  

SOC 213  |  Urban Sociology [B]
Credits: 3
Prerequisite: SOC 110  

SOC 214  |  Social Problems [B]
Credits: 3
Prerequisite: SOC 110  

SOC 220  |  Race and Ethnicity [B]
Credits: 3
Prerequisite: SOC 110  

SSN 104  |  Soul of a Citizen: Topics in Community Service Learning [B]
Credits: 3
Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101

*Humanities [C] Electives: ART 101, ART 110, ART 121, ART 122, ART 123, ART 124, ART 131, ART 132, ART 140, ART 141, ART 276 (formerly 142), ART 145, ART 147, ART 148, ART 150, ART 151, ART 222, ART 272 (formerly 156), ART 231, ART 232, ART 235, ART 241, ART 242, ART 250, ART 253, ART 254, ART 255, ART 261, ART 262, ART 273, ART 274, ART 275, ASL 201, ASL 202, ASL 291, ASL 292, COM 121, COM 131, COM 150, COM 205, COM 214, COM 235, EMS 111, EMS 112, EMS 118, EMS 124, EMS 125, EMS 225, DFS 101, DFS 104, DFS 108 (formerly 106), DFS 205, ENG 201, ENG 202, ENG 203, ENG 211, ENG 212, ENG 214, ENG 215, ENG 216, ENG 217, ENG 218, ENG 223, ENG 224, ENG 226, ENG 227, ENG 230, ENG 231, ENG 232, ENG 235, ENG 237, ENG 245, ENG 250, FRH 201, FRH 202, FRH 205, FRH 206, GER 205, HIS 101, HIS 102, HIS 103, HIS 104, HIS 105, HIS 107, HIS 109, HIS 108, HIS 111, HIS 112, HIS 121, HIS 130, HIS 150, HIS 162, HIS 220, HIS 225, HIS 250, HIS 260, HON 206, HUM 206, MUS 100, MUS 105, MUS 106, MUS 107, MUS 110, MUS 126, MUS 140, MUS 150, MUS 208, MUS 209, MUS 250, MUS 259, MUS 260, PHI 100, PHI 101, PHI 103, PHI 110, PHI 120, PHI 130, PHI 140, PHI 230, SPA 201, SPA 202, SPA 203, SPA 204, SPA 205, SPA 206, SPA 110, SPA 210, SPA 211, SPA 212, SPA 214, THE 100, THE 110, THE 124, THE 125, THE 212, THE 213, THE 227, THE 235, THE 237.


Department of Higher Education guidelines authorized by Section 18L of Chapter 41 in the Massachusetts General Laws DO NOT allow academic credit to be granted for: 

  • Life experience or military, police or other training; or 
  • Academic credit for knowledge-based testing (CLEP, DANTES, etc) to exceed 6 credits; or 
  • Perkins Articulation credit

Students being re-admitted into the CRJ Program will enroll in the current program of study. 

Students selecting this major are advised that employers in Criminal Justice and related fields conduct CORI and SORI checks pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 6, Sections 172-178 and regulations promulgated to such statutes. 

This program qualifies for MassTransfer, if the student takes 9 credits in the Humanities as Program Electives, which guarantees credit transfer to Massachusetts state colleges and universities. MassTransfer also will grant students automatic acceptance to certain state colleges and universities by achieving the minimum grade point average and the HCC degree.