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Bachelor of Science in CRJ

The Bachelor of Science program is structured to meet the educational standards of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and provide students with a multidisciplinary understanding of crime and justice within the framework of broader social processes.  Required courses expose a criminal justice major to all aspects of the justice system and foster a systemic view rather than a specialization in a single component of this field.  Within this broad framework, courses deal with specific substantive topics.  Practical field experience can be arranged under the guidance of the internship coordinator.

The curriculum in criminal justice is designed to offer students a comprehensive education by providing a fundamental understanding of crime causation and the criminal justice system, together with the skills and knowledge useful in pursuing professional careers.  An emphasis on analytical and writing skills is consonant with the growing sophistication of criminal justice agencies.  Law enforcement agencies, including police departments and correctional facilities, as well as court administrators' offices require an increasing number of personnel with quantitative analytical abilities, computer skills, personal interaction skills, excellent command of the English language, knowledge of foreign languages, and the ability to understand legal materials.


Admission requirements for this program are satisfied by the general requirements for undergraduate admission to the University. The first step is to apply for admission. For the online application and complete instructions, go to http://www.admissions.wayne.edu and follow the link that applies to you, e.g., Incoming Freshman, Transfer Students, Post Bachelor Students, Guest Students, etc.

The first step in the declaration of major process is to schedule a General Education degree audit appointment with a General Education advisor in the Adamany Undergraduate Library (313-577-2680.)

At this appointment, the advisor will review the General Education and College Group requirements for the degree on a form entitled "Degree Audit". The student should also request a Declaration of Major form. To complete the declaration of major process, students must schedule an appointment with the Criminal Justice advisor (313-577-0772) to obtain his/her authorizing signature on the Declaration of Major form and a Criminal Justice plan of work.

Degree Requirements

Candidates for the bachelor's degree must complete 120 credits in course work, including satisfaction of the University General Education Requirements and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Group Requirements, as well as the major requirements listed below. All course work must be completed in accordance with the academic procedures of the University and the College governing undergraduate scholarship and degrees. It is recommended that students complete most, if not all, of the General Education course requirements before they initiate Criminal Justice major course work.

Since the degree requirements may change, students must meet with a Criminal Justice advisor to identify all major/residency requirements prior to taking courses in the major.

Course Requirements

Core courses:  Seven core courses include classes on theories of criminal behavior, criminal law, criminal justice institutions, criminal justice research methods, and the criminal justice process.  These core courses are designed to acquaint students with problems of crime and deviance in American society, the major public institutions which deal with these problems, the legal foundation of criminal justice, and analytic research methods used to better understand the social and behavioral realities of criminal justice. Criminal Justice majors must complete all core courses in the major with a final grade of "C-minus" or better, and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 overall and in the major.

Elective courses: a minimum of 12 credits (3-4 elective courses) must be selected for concentrated elective coursework in the criminal justice field.  The approved criminal justice electives provide a structured set of rigorous upper-division courses which are relevant to (1) a deeper understanding of the justice process and (2) knowledge and skills in specific career areas in the field.

Transfer Credit: The list of courses, which will transfer to Wayne State University, can be accessed online at transfercredit.wayne.edu and follow the link to Equivalency Tables. Transfer students should consult with a Criminal Justice advisor to determine the applicability of transfer credits toward the major.

List of Core Courses

  1. CRJ 1010 Introduction to Criminal Justice  (4 credits)
  2. CRJ 4000 Criminological Theories  (4 credits)
  3. CRJ 4300 Corrections (4 credits)
  4. Select one of the following two process classes:
    1. CRJ 4400 Judicial Process  (4 credits)   or
    2. CRJ 4410 Juvenile Justice  (4 credits)
  5. CRJ 4600 Police and Society  (4 credits)
  6. CRJ 4860 Research Methods in Criminal Justice  (4 credits)
  7. CRJ 5710 Constitutional Criminal Procedure (4 credits)

 List of Approved Electives (minimum of 12 credits)

  • CRJ 3120 Politics of the Criminal Justice Process (4 credits)
  • CRJ 3260 Investigation (3 credits)
  • CRJ 3510 Introduction to Security (4 credits)
  • CRJ 3710 Legal Writing (4 credits)
  • CRJ 3750 Diversity in Criminal Justice (4 credits)
  • CRJ 4400 Judicial Process (4 credits)
  • CRJ 4410 Juvenile Justice (4 credits)
  • CRJ 4750 Domestic Violence and Criminal Justice (4 credits)
  • CRJ 4800 Outsiders, Outcasts, and Social Deviants (3 credits)
  • CRJ 4970 Internship in Criminal Justice (3 credits)
  • CRJ 4990 Directed Study (1-3 credits)
  • CRJ 4998 Honors Thesis (3-6 credits)
  • CRJ 5060 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems (3 credits)
  • CRJ 5150 Criminalistics (4 credits)
  • CRJ 5340 Community Based Corrections  (3 credits)
  • CRJ 5430 Correctional Counseling Methods (3 credits)
  • CRJ 5500 Child Abuse and Neglect   (3 credits)
  • CRJ 5720 Criminal Law   (4 credits)
  • CRJ 5790 Topics in Justice and Law   (4 credits)
  • CRJ 5810 Law in Human Society  (3 credits)
  • CRJ 5910 Seminar in Crime, Victimization & Society  (4 credits)
  • CRJ 5994 Dispute Resolution (3 credits)
  • CRJ 5995 Special Topics - 9 maximum credits for up to 3 different topics (3 credits)  

 Writing Intensive (WI) Course in Criminal Justice (CRJ 5993) Requirement

Students majoring in criminal justice must register for CRJ 5993 and co-register in the same term for one of the following courses (with both the instructor's and the criminal justice advisor’s consent): CRJ 3120, 3260, 3510, 3710, 3750, 4000, 4300, 4400, 4410, 4600, 4750, 4860, 5060, 5150, 5340, 5430, 5500, 5720, 5910, 5995.

Other Requirements

  • Residency Requirements: A minimum of sixteen of the twenty-eight credits in Core courses and four of the twelve credits in Elective courses must be earned at Wayne State University. In addition, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences stipulates that the final 30 credits (senior year) must be earned at WSU.
  • Major Requirements: It is the student's responsibility to meet with a Criminal Justice advisor to officially file a Declaration of Major form with the Department and to identify all major requirements.
  • Graduation: Students must officially apply for graduation at pipeline.wayne.edu no later than the fourth week of classes in the semester they expect to complete all degree requirements. A graduation application form must be filed on Pipeline. For more information, contact Student Records at (313)577-3531.

Other Program Options

Minor in Criminal Justice

The Department offers a minor in Criminal Justice for which the notation of a minor appears on the student's transcript. The required Criminal Justice courses are:

  • CRJ 1010 - Introduction to Criminal Justice  (4 credits)
  • CRJ 4300 - Corrections  (4 credits)
  • CRJ 4400 - The Judicial Process  (4 credits)
  • CRJ 4600 – Police and Society  (4 credits)
  • CRJ 5710 - Constitutional Criminal Procedure  (4 credits)
  • Criminal Justice Elective (3-4 credits)

Total Minor Credits: 23-24

Students wishing to minor in criminal justice are encouraged to visit the Departmental Office for information and counseling.  A minor must be declared, by filing a Declaration of Minor form with the Criminal Justice advisor, prior to graduation.  For more information, contact Marianka Holloway at (313) 577-0772.

'AGRADE' Program

The Criminal Justice Department actively participates in the 'AGRADE' (Accelerated Graduate Enrollment) Program, which enables qualified seniors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to enroll simultaneously in the undergraduate and graduate programs of the College, and to apply a maximum of (15) fifteen credits toward both an undergraduate and graduate degree in Criminal Justice.  Students interested in the Criminal Justice 'AGRADE' program should contact Marianka Holloway at (313) 577-0772 prior to completing a plan of work for the criminal justice major requirements.  A more complete discussion of the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program appears in the Criminal Justice Graduate Handbook and the Wayne State University Graduate Bulletin.

Honors in Criminal Justice

The Honors Program in Criminal Justice is open to students of superior academic ability who are majoring in criminal justice.  To be eligible for a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Honors, a student must maintain a cumulative honor point average of at least 3.3.  S(he) must earn at least twelve credits in honors-designated coursework, including honors requirements within Criminal Justice (CRJ 4990, 4998 and one CRJ elective course) as well as one 4000-level Honors seminar (consult the Schedule of Classes under 'Honors Program').  The Honors student must demonstrate the ability to do an original Honors Thesis during his/her senior year.  Interested students should contact the Criminal Justice Honors Director at (313) 577-2705 for additional information.

Criminal Justice
3291 Faculty/Administration Bldg. 656 W. Kirby
Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: (313) 577-2705
Fax: (313) 577-9977
Website: clasweb.clas.wayne.edu/CRJ
Email: ab1493@wayne.edu