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Undergraduate Program in Criminal Justice

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The Criminal Justice Program at the University of Delaware offers undergraduate students an opportunity to pursue studies leading to law school, graduate school, or a career in the administration of justice. The program is structured around a core of criminal justice courses on such topics as law enforcement, the judicial process, juvenile justice, corrections, and the criminal law. Since any criminal justice system does not exist in isolation but naturally reflects the structure, ideas, and concerns of the society in which it operates, the Criminal Justice Program draws from a wide variety of academic disciplines -- political science, psychology, history, and sociology. Consequently, graduating criminal justice majors will have achieved the skills and breadth of knowledge expected of well educated men and women in a complex and pluralistic society.

An integral component of the Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice is the field experience - a directed practicum with a criminal justice agency that gives the highly motivated student the opportunity to bridge the gap between the theory and the practice of criminal justice. The field experience is an optional course which is graded on a pass/fail basis and counts as a free elective. In the field experience, students are provided the opportunity to work on a firsthand basis in actual agency situations. Each field experience also includes a series of seminars directed by a faculty member and designed to help students integrate the field experience with their classroom learning. Students who are already employed in the criminal justice system are encouraged to discuss with the faculty how their program of study might be adapted to fit their individual needs and contribute to their career goals.


Any incoming freshman or transfer students may declare Criminal Justice as a major. Matriculated students who are undeclared or changing to a Criminal Justice major from another major at UD, may transfer in if their overall cumulative grade point average at the University of Delaware is at least 2.0.

The requirements for the degree in Criminal Justice include 30 credits in the major plus related work.

See Course Descriptions

Criminal Justice (30 credits)

CRJU 110 Introduction to Criminal Justice

CRJU 201 Problems of Law Enforcement

CRJU 202 Problems of Criminal Judiciary

CRJU 203 Problems of Corrections

CRJU Electives (6 courses at 300 or 400 level except CRJU 495)

Required Related Courses (21 credits)


SOCI 201 Introduction to Sociology

SOCI 301 Introduction to Social Research

--Political Science

POSC 150 Introduction to American Politics

AND any 1 of the following:

POSC 401 Topics in Law and Politics

POSC 402 The First Amendment

POSC 403 Civil Liberties

POSC 405 Constitutional Law


PSYC 100 General Psychology

AND any 1 of the following:

PSYC 301 Personality

PSYC 303 Introduction to Social Psychology

PSYC 325 Child Psychology

PSYC 334 Abnormal Psychology

Free elective courses may be taken on a pass/fail basis. However, students generally are allowed to take only one pass/fail course per semester. CRJU 495 (Field Experience) is a pass/fail course which counts as a free elective. But since CRJU 495 is offered as a pass/fail course only, CRJU 495 students may take another free elective course on a pass/fail basis in the same semester.

Careers in Criminal Justice

​Criminal Justice is a career-oriented liberal arts major focusing upon the inter-relationship among crime, the criminal justice system, and society as a whole. As such, there are many potential career opportunities for a student studying criminal justice. The following list represents some of these opportunities: municipal, county or state police officer, Federal law enforcement officer, court administrator, juvenile court counselor, correctional counselor, correctional administrator, probation officer, pre-professional training, law, presentence investigator, private security officer or investigator, parole officer, social worker, juvenile after-care worker, criminal justice educator or researcher, criminal justice planner or evaluator.

Criminal Justice as a Pre-Law Major

​Over the past two decades, over 500 graduates of the University's Criminal Justice Program have gone on to law school and are now pursuing careers in law. However, it should be noted that law school admissions officials do not give any special advantage to applicants who have pursued undergraduate majors in criminal justice. Indeed, a student's undergraduate major is not a particularly important criterion affecting law school admissions decisions. What is far more important is that, regardless of major, the prospective law student will have pursued a rigorous curriculum that requires superior skills in writing, reading comprehension, and analytical ability, the Criminal Justice Program is designed to do just that.

Information and Advisement About the Program

​Students seeking more information about the criminal justice degree program may contact Dr. Eric Rise, Associate Chairperson for the Criminal Justice Program, 325 Smith Hall.

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Undergraduate Program in Criminal Justice
  • Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice
  • 322/325 Smith Hall, 18 Amstel Avenue, Newark DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2581 Fax: 302-831-2607
  • Email:
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