University Bulletin 2017-2018

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Minor in Criminal Justice

If a minor is required in your degree program, at least 9 (lower and/or upper-division) hours of courses in the minor must be completed at the University.

Requirements For A Minor In Criminal Justice

The minor in Criminal Justice requires 18 semester hours, including PSC 130 and CJ 205, plus 12 semester hours of criminal justice electives. CJ 205 is a prerequisite to all CJ courses and must be passed with a grade of "C" or higher before enrolling in any other CJ course. Students must complete 9 hrs. of the 18 hrs. at the University of South Alabama. Also, at least 9 hours of CJ courses must be completed at 300-level or above.

Criminal Justice Minor Credit Hours
Requirements: 18
PSC 130 3 hrs  
CJ 205 3 hrs  
CJ Electives 12 hrs  

Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice web site

Undergraduate Studies

The courses offered in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice are designed to achieve three important objectives:

  1. To help students attain a liberal education
  2. To encourage and prepare students to participate actively in public affairs
  3. To help students advance toward professional careers in such fields as education, law and government.

Political Science

Political Science is a broad discipline in both content and methods. Political Science includes philosophical, historical, and analytical studies of governments, politics, and policies. Political scientists may focus on political behavior, decision making, processes, organizations, and public policies. Inquiry in political science addresses the domestic and international policies of the United States and all other countries and regions. Political scientists study the political values, attachments, and activities of people, individually and in groups. Political science examines both what preferences people share and how they differ according to their personal attributes and positions in the economy and society. Political science also studies how people regard and trust each other as well as their leaders and governments. Consequently, political science has many facets and offers opportunities for many different concentrations.

All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry.

Technological Competency Requirement

Research Methods (PSC 310/CJ 310) will satisfy the technology competency requirement for both political and criminal justice majors. This is a requirement course for both majors.

Departmental Honors

The Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice offers an opportunity for students in Political Science or Criminal Justice who are not in the University's Honors College to graduate with departmental honors. In order to graduate with departmental honors, the student needs to have at least a 3.50 grade point average (overall and in the major) and maintain that average upon graduation. In addition, the student must take a two-semester departmental honors thesis project with a faculty mentor and a committee.

Criminal Justice

The curriculum in Criminal Justice provides students interested in law enforcement, criminal law, corrections, and the criminal court system with a broad educational background emphasizing social science and the University's general education skills of critical thinking, writing and analysis. At the same time, students in the department gain basic knowledge of the criminal justice field to the extent of specialization compatible with University and College requirements. The curriculum leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree. The mission of the program must be conceived as interdisciplinary in nature, since no traditional discipline covers the wide spectrum of expertise required. The undergraduate program addresses issues respecting the entire criminal justice system, from the nature of crime and delinquency to society's varied responses to crime. Such a focus includes the organization and operation of each of the functional components in the field.

All first-time full-time freshmen are required to successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience.

Graduate Studies

The Master of Public Administration degree (MPA) curriculum in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice is a professional degree program designed principally for present and future administrators and officers in government and other public related organizations. It is open, however, to other qualified students as well.
Students entering the program come from varied academic and vocational backgrounds. Accordingly, no specific undergraduate major is required for admission to the MPA Program. However, certain course prerequisites must be satisfied prior to enrollment in any of the required core courses of the curriculum.

Requirements For Admission

Students are admitted each semester. The following criteria supplement the Graduate School criteria (see Categories of Admission).

Regular Admission

  1. Students must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on all undergraduate work (on a 4-point scale).
  2. Satisfactory GRE scores (at least 300 combined score on the Verbal and the Quantitative Sub tests).
  3. The GRE requirement may be waived for holders of earned advanced degrees on the recommendation of the program coordinator. GRE scores must be submitted prior to any category of admission- except for the person with an earned advanced degree from an accredited institution.

Provisional Admission

In addition to the minimum standards required by the Graduate School, the student must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.7, or 3.0 (on a 4-point scale) for the last 60 hours of undergraduate work and submit GRE general test scores.