A system of criminal justice must meet the needs of each citizen as well as the needs of complex social, economic and governmental institutions. The Bachelor of Arts degree program in criminal justice was developed with these needs in mind and is appropriate for both career-bound pre-service students and in-service personnel in law enforcement, probation, parole, corrections, social service agencies and related areas.
The mission of the Department of Criminal Justice is to maintain high quality academic programs to meet the needs of undergraduate students. The program offers a broad array of coursework and activities designed to provide students with the requisite preparation to become well qualified criminal justice professionals or to continue their professional education (e.g., law school administration, postgraduate degree); to encourage the pursuit of excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service by a regionally and (inter)nationally recognized faculty; and to meet the needs of the University and the criminal justice community.
Through several course offerings, inclusive of internships in the community, the program supports the University’s mission and emphasis as a comprehensive, multi-purpose, regional university. The undergraduate program combines a strong theoretical foundation with preparation for a wide variety of professional careers in criminal justice and related fields.
Program Learning Objectives for the B.A. in Criminal Justice
By the time they complete the B.A. program, students will acquire knowledge and understanding of the criminal justice system and its operation as well as the impact of laws and law enforcement on society generally. Specific Learning Objects are as follows:
- Students will be able to evaluate policy-relevant questions and issues surrounding the various components of the criminal justice system: police, courts, and corrections.
- Students will understand the methods used by the criminal justice system to process and sanction criminal offenders.
- Students will develop an understanding of the purposes and functions of law enforcement in a democratic society.
- Students will understand the functions of criminal law and the judicial system in American society, inclusive of criminal procedure and the rules of evidence.
- Students will understand the purposes and functions of the correctional system, inclusive of prisons, jails, and community programs
- Students will develop an understanding of the theories of crime and causation, including its measurement.
- Students will develop an understanding of research methods in criminal justice.
- Students will develop a basic understanding in common statistical techniques used in social science, particularly criminological research.
The Department of Criminal Justice has a highly qualified faculty that is nationally recognized. They received doctorates from the most prestigious programs in the field and they consistently publish in leading journals reporting on cutting-edge research. We also work with a number of criminal justice agencies in the region and nationally including the Riverside Probation Department, San Bernardino Probation Department, San Bernardino Police Department, Ontario Police Department, Fontana Police Department, Colton Police Department, Palm Springs Police Department, and San Bernardino County Police Chiefs and Sheriffs’ Association. Additionally, the department operates two research centers: the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism and the Criminal Justice Research Center.