Department of Criminal Justice

Department Objectives

  • To provide a broad academic and multidisciplinary background for students majoring in Criminal Justice;
  • To prepare students of high character and ethical standards for leadership positions within the employment areas of law enforcement, corrections, probation, parole, private security, and the courts;
  • To assist students in gaining employment within criminal justice and related career fields;
  • To cultivate in students a realistic awareness of present and historical trends of crime and criminal methodology;
  • To stimulate an awareness of deviant and abnormal human behavior of concern to criminal justice practitioners;
  • To acquaint students with current literature and research pertaining to the administration of justice.

General Information

At least 15 credit hours (5 courses) of upper division credit in criminal justice must be taken from UNK.

Criminal Justice Major

Two options are available in this major:

  1. Criminal Justice Comprehensive - Bachelor of Science Degree
  2. Criminal Justice - Bachelor of Science Degree

The Criminal Justice minor is available for students pursuing majors in other disciplines.

Criminal Justice (CJUS)

CJUS 101 – Introduction to Criminal Justice     3 credit hours

This course is intended to provide a broad understanding of the functional components of the criminal justice system and their interrelationship. It will also provide a basic understanding of the American crime problem.

CJUS 102 – Crime, Democracy and Justice     3 credit hours

This course is intended to provide a broad understanding of the American criminal justice system. This course will evaluate the evolution of criminal justice in the United States, with particular attention paid to the role that individual rights play in democracy and justice.

CJUS 103 – Orientation to Criminal Justice     1 credit hour

This course provides a review of academic, professional and career planning issues of a criminal justice major. Offered only as credit/no credit.
Prerequisite: CJUS 101

CJUS 126 – First Year Seminar     1 credit hour

The First-Year Seminar provides students with a multidisciplinary experience in which they approach an issue or problem from the perspective of three different academic differences. The First-Year Seminar will consist of three 1-credit hour courses taken as co-requisites in a single semester. The successful completion of all three courses satisfies the General Studies LOPER 1 course requirement. Students may take the First-Year Seminar in any discipline, irrespective of their major or minor. Students admitted as readmit students or transfer students who transfer 18 or more hours of General Studies credit to UNK are exempt from taking a LOPER 1 course.

CJUS 201 – The Juvenile Justice System     3 credit hours

This course is intended to introduce various components that comprise the juvenile justice system. Topics will include juvenile courts, role modeling, interaction between youth and the juvenile justice system, and the future of the juvenile justice system.
Prerequisite: CJUS 101

CJUS 215 – Correctional Services and Systems     3 credit hours

This course covers the historical development of corrections leading to an analysis of our correctional process and systems in contemporary America.
Prerequisite: CJUS 101

CJUS 230 – The Police Service     3 credit hours

This course is intended to introduce students to the major developments and problems in policing. Topics will include rights and responsibilities of the uniformed officer, patrol and manpower distribution theories, police unionism, ethics and corruption, community relations, and the police subculture as a distinct value system.
Prerequisite: CJUS 101

CJUS 304 – Criminal Justice Research Methods I     3 credit hours

A course intended to give students an introduction to research methods in the field of criminal justice. Topics will include ethics in social science research, research design, and program evaluation.

CJUS 310 – Community Based Corrections     3 credit hours

This course is concerned with correctional theory and practice as they are applied in the community setting. Specific areas of concern are probation, parole, diversion, and nontraditional community correctional programs. The application of community resources and responsibilities with the needs of offenders in the criminal justice system is a primary focus of the course. Some contrasts and comparisons are made with the institutional correctional setting.
Prerequisite: CJUS 215

CJUS 315 – Victimology: Victims of Crime     3 credit hours

This course is designed to introduce the students to the overall problems dealing with victimization. Areas covered will include homicides, child abuse and neglect, rape, spouse abuse, abuse to the elderly, and other victimizations along with the post traumatic stress involved. The philosophy, history, and objectives of victimology will be reviewed in additions to the Victims' Rights Movement and research findings about victims. This course is designed to assist students in relating to victims of crime in a professional manner.

CJUS 321 – Technology in Criminal Justice     3 credit hours

This course is designed to introduce students to some of the major developments and issues in technology that are facing the criminal justice system. Students will explore topics such as cybercrime, digital investigation and evidence preservation, use of technology in the commission of sex crimes, fraud, hacking, terrorism, and the legal issues and statues surrounding the use of technology in the commission of crime and in the investigation of crimes involving technology.
Prerequisite: CJUS 101

CJUS 326 – Theories of Crime and Criminal Law     3 credit hours

This course is intended to introduce students to the philosophical foundations of criminal law, as well as the various theories that have been proposed to address criminal offending and the prevention of crime. Students will evaluate each theory within the context of the crime and the criminal justice system in the United States.
Prerequisite: CJUS 101

CJUS 340 – Criminal Evidence, Procedure and the Courts     3 credit hours

The emphasis of this course will be on the concept of evidence and the rules governing its admissibility. There will also be theoretical and pragmatic considerations of constitutional requirements affecting evidence and procedure.
Prerequisite: CJUS 101

CJUS 345 – Criminal Law     3 credit hours

Examines the foundation and elements of criminal law. Special emphasis is placed upon the definition of crime, criminal liability, defenses to criminal liability and the sanctions for committing crime.
Prerequisite: CJUS 101

CJUS 350 – Organized Crime     3 credit hours

Designed to examine the different organized criminal elements in American society. This examination will include their economic effect on society, law enforcement efforts to minimize that effect, the major criminal areas involved in their day-to-day operations, and the historical development of the criminal groups as they exist today.
Prerequisite: CJUS 101

CJUS 360 – Sex Crimes     3 credit hours

This course is designed to introduce the students to the growing problem of sex crimes. Areas covered will include prostitution, the role of fantasy in sex crimes, pornography, Internet related sex crimes, sex trafficking and tourism, pedophilia, dangerous sex crimes, and rape. Related laws, typologies of offenders, profiling offenders, and evidence collection will also be discussed.

CJUS 370 – Women and Crime     3 credit hours

The study of gender criminology, female offenders, and the incarceration and treatment of offending women; an examination of female victims of male violence including battering, stalking, and sexual victimization; an evaluation of women working in the criminal justice field, their employment and promotion rates, gender discrimination, and safety on the job.

CJUS 380 – Minorities and Criminal Justice     3 credit hours

This course provides a survey of minority relations and criminal justice adjudication in America (law enforcement, judicial processing and corrections). Particular attention is focused on majority/minority relations and how these sentiments are reflected within the criminal justice process. While many minority groups will be examined, three will be emphasized: (1) racial minorities; (2) female victims and offenders; and (3) unique white ethnic subcultures.

CJUS 390 – Criminal Investigation     3 credit hours

Deals with the following fundamental procedures of criminal investigation: Crime scene search and recording; collection and preservation of physical evidence; scientific evaluation; modus operandi; sources of information; interviews and interrogations; and case preparation.
Prerequisite: CJUS 230
Additional Course Fee Required

CJUS 401 – Special Topics     1-3 credit hours

Concerned with current issues and developments in the criminal justice field. Each semester a topic will be chosen as the subject for inquiry. It is designed for students who wish to explore current issues and broaden their exposure to important and timely issues in criminal justice. This course may be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours.
Total Credits Allowed: 12.00
Prerequisite: CJUS 101 or permission of instructor

CJUS 405 – Criminal Justice Research Methods II     6 credit hours

A course intended to give students an applied research experience in the field of criminal justice.
Prerequisite: CJUS 304

CJUS 411 – Readings in Criminal Justice     1-3 credit hours

An independent study course intended to supplement students' understanding of the criminal justice system through selected readings in the field. This course may be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.
Department Consent Required
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00
Prerequisite: Senior standing and permission of instructor and department chairperson.

CJUS 420 – Supervision and Management in Criminal Justice     3 credit hours

This course introduces upper-level students to supervision and management concepts within criminal justice organizations, Students will learn how to employ sound principles of human relations and supervision techniques to be effective leaders.
Prerequisite: Junior standing

CJUS 430 – Drugs and the Criminal Justice System     3 credit hours

This course focuses on the historical and contemporary pattern of psychoactive drug use in the United States and on the development of criminal justice policies intended to reduce or eliminate drug use and/or drug problems. Specific topics include major types of psychoactive drugs, the War on Drugs, the international context of drug production and distribution, and personal and social problems resulting from drug use. A major focus of the course will be the evaluation of different criminal justice strategies for reducing drug-related problems.

CJUS 435 – Interviewing and Correctional Case Management     3 credit hours

This course is designed to develop student knowledge of specific interviewing techniques, case management and technical report writing as they apply to the fields of probation, parole, community corrections and correctional institutions. Specific emphasis will include the integration of assessment tools, interview results and community resources to formulate case management plans. This class emphasizes report writing and traditional written products as they relate to the corrections field.
Prerequisite: CJUS 310

CJUS 440 – Laws of Arrest, Search and Seizure     3 credit hours

An examination of state and federal American law concerning arrest, search and seizure. Emphasis on basic legal precedents developed by courts.
Prerequisite: CJUS 340

CJUS 445 – Sex Offender Supervision and Control     3 credit hours

This course examines the numerous social policies and laws used to treat and control sex offenders. Students will delve into the history, purpose and rationale, laws, legal challenges and court rulings, and the effectiveness of various policies of control.
Prerequisite: CJUS 215

CJUS 475 – Internship     5-9 credit hours

Designed to give students on-the-job exposure to their areas of interest within the criminal justice system. Offered only as credit/no credit.
Department Consent Required
Total Credits Allowed: 12.00
Prerequisite: CJUS 480 and junior or senior standing and permission of instructor and department chair

CJUS 480 – Criminal Justice Seminar: Professional Ethics and Career Development     3 credit hours

This class is available to Juniors and Seniors only. This is a capstone course for the criminal justice program and will include assessment methods. This course is designed for upper-level criminal justice students to give them tools they need to succeed in a criminal justice organization and beyond. In this course, you will have the invaluable opportunity to learn about criminal justice organizations, and their various processes and problems of general importance to the field of criminal justice.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing
Additional Course Fee Required

CJUS 490 – Advanced Criminal and Crime Scene Investigations (CSI)     3 credit hours

This course is designed to present various advanced methods and theories of criminal investigation, crime scene process, and related areas of forensic science. More complex crimes not covered in CJUS 390 will be examined, with associated crime scene material presented. Additionally, criminal identification methods and investigative behavior in court will be presented.
Prerequisite: CJUS 390
Additional Course Fee Required

CJUS 499 – Independent Study     1-3 credit hours

An examination in depth of specific areas of the criminal justice system, with emphasis on the special roles of related agencies and disciplines.
Department Consent Required
Total Credits Allowed: 9.00
Prerequisite: Senior standing and permission of instructor and department chair.