Criminal Justice Minor

A criminal justice minor from Saint Mary’s complements many fields of study within the social sciences and other areas.

An awareness of how our system of criminal justice functions and interplays with other disciplines enriches, broadens, and deepens understanding and awareness for the way in which our society operates and each individual's circumstances.

Students who minor in criminal justice are exposed to topics such as police and correctional processes and the problems caused by drugs, crime, and delinquency. Other areas to explore involve criminal law, victimology, law enforcement, ethnicity, class, and gender issues.

Career Options

Border patrol; customs inspector; correctional officer; drug counselor; drug enforcement administration; Federal Bureau of Investigation agent; police officer; probation/parole officer; protective services; security 

High School Preparation

European and U.S. History; Government; Psychology; Sociology; Statistics

Enhance Your Experience

Criminal justice minors often pursue majors in history, human servicespsychologysociology, theology, and other social sciences.

Degree Requirements

A. The following courses:

CJ111 Introduction to Criminal Justice (3 cr.)

This course is intended to provide the students with an introduction to the historical, political and social aspects of the criminal justice system. Students explore issues that impact the overall functioning criminal justice system, with a focus on the three main components of the system: police, courts and corrections.

CJ250 Police Process (3 cr.)

This is an in-depth study of the organization management and function of the police in our modern pluralistic society. Topics covered include: basic police administration and organization relative to police staff and operational functions, operational methods, basic criminal investigative techniques, written and oral communications to include report taking, writing, and testifying in court, and an overview of the legal requirements regarding criminal procedure and evidence.

B. 12 upper-division credits from:

CJ302 Correctional Processes (3 cr.)

This course examines the history, philosophies, and components of the American correctional system. It provides an overview of the origins of corrections and an introduction to the philosophical ideas with which specific correctional approaches are associated. The history, nature and recent developments of major institutions and programs that make up the current correctional system: jails, probation, intermediate punishments, prison, and parole are explored.

CJ352 Drugs in American Society (3 cr.)

The primary objective of this course is to provide a comprehensive survey of the use and/or abuse of drugs in the United States and their impact on the criminal justice system. Special attention is given to the historical and sociological contexts in which drug laws have evolved and the implication of those laws on drug prevention policies.

CJ402 Minnesota Criminal Law (4 cr.)

Learning objectives of this course include an understanding of the problems faced by entry-level police officers in the area of criminal warrants and confessions, stop-and-frisk, and pre-trial identification procedures. A detailed understanding of the Minnesota Criminal Statutes is also expected.

CJ425 Ethnicity, Class and Gender (3 cr.)

This course provides numerous theoretical perspectives on ethnicity, class and gender along with a variety of activities which ensure each student an opportunity for developing an experience base with members of various ethnic, social class and gender communities.

CJ452 Victimology (3 cr.)

This course examines the multifaceted problem of criminal victimization. The historical and emerging roles of victimology as a field of study are examined and special attention is paid to the theoretical and policy aspects of the field.

CJ460 Law Enforcement Professional (4 cr.)

Learning objectives of this course include understanding the evolution of Law Enforcement, and the different issues that present themselves during this process. Each student is expected to demonstrate an understanding of the: selection and socialization of police professionals; organizational management; police deviance: corruption and controls; minorities in policing; community-based policing; the use of force and the hazards of police work.

S301 Crime and Delinquency (3 cr.)

The study of deviant behavior as it relates to the definition of crime, crime statistics, theories of crime causation, and crime typologies are treated. The course covers topics such as criminological research, explanations of crime and delinquency, and the development of criminal justice policies.

S320 Children and the State (4 cr.)

This course focuses on the concept of youth in contemporary society in terms of their behaviors, roles, experiences, and treatment. It does so within the context of the evolution and structural development of two major social institutions: the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The course uses a sociological framework to emphasize the social, economic, and political realities of childhood in American society.