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Contact

  • College of Arts & Sciences

    • Social Sciences Division
    • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 226
    • tel: 610-499-4365
    • fax: 610-499-4603
  • Lauren Shermer, PhD

    • Criminal Justice Chair
    • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 232
    • tel: 610-499-4529
    • fax: 610-499-4603
    • loshermer@widener.edu

Curriculum, Criminal Justice

Pride Group Session

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Join us on Saturday, April 23.

A criminal justice degree prepares students for careers in corrections, the court system, probation, police work, and other law-related professions. The program prepares students for graduate work in criminal justice and other social science related fields, as well as law school. 

Core requirements for the criminal justice major include:

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice (CJ 105)
  • Criminology (SOC 201)
  • Law Enforcement (CJ 205)
  • Criminal Courts (CJ 210)
  • Correctional System (CJ 215)
  • Juvenile Justice (CJ 315)
  • Criminal Law and Procedure (CJ 325)
  • Statistical Methods (PSY 385)
  • Ethics in Criminal Justice (CJ 405)
  • Senior Research (CJ 409 & CJ 410)
  • Internship (CJ 423)

See below for a selection of courses students may take as electives.

CJ 225 Principles of Criminal Investigation

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of the criminal investigation process. It is designed to provide students with an understanding of the investigative process, beginning with the detection of a crime and culminating with the presentation of the case in court. In addition to the basic investigative processes, students examine crime scene searches, including the proper procedures for recording, collecting and preserving evidence. Students also identify the elements of crime, as defined in applicable state law and incorporate the rules of evidence and criminal procedure as appropriate. 

CJ 235 Diversity in Criminal Justice

This course focuses on how various dimensions of social stratification influence the nature and types of crimes committed, responses of the criminal justice system to such crime, and strategies for reform. With a primary emphasis on race/ethnicity and class, students study not only the effects of stratifying factors on socialization, but also how such socialization processes relate to crime and society's reaction to criminal deviance.

CJ 240 Domestic Terrorism

This course explores terrorism or terrorism committed by Americans on American soil. Students study the history and case studies of domestic terrorism, such as the Oklahoma City Bombing, eco-terrorists, the Unabomber crime spree, the D.C. Snipers, and political assassinations. This course also focuses on hate groups and militias (nearly 1,000 hate groups are active in the United States). Students examine the U.S. governmental responses to cults, hate groups, and militias, including law enforcement and state sponsored violence. Students learn the organizational structure and philosophies behind domestic terrorism events and how to interpret terrorist acts from various theoretical perspectives.

CJ 268 Cyber Crime

The ever growing advances of technology have resulted in the increase in the commission of cyber crimes---crimes that involve a computer, any computer technology or the Internet. This course will review the history of cyber crime, types of cyber crime, laws that pertain to cybercrime, and efforts by state and U.S. federal law enforcement to combat cyber crime. The role of and investigations by computer forensic experts are also explored.

CJ 310 Criminal Violence in America

This honors course provides students with an overview of criminal violence in America. To this end, the class explores violent offenses and behaviors by discussing the frequency of and theoretical explanations for such violence. Criminal justice policy responses to criminal violence are also examined.


For more information about courses and requirements for criminal justice, please refer to our course catalog.