Criminal Justice

Student smiling in suit.

What is Criminal Justice?

The Criminal Justice program provides broad exposure to the core aspects of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, courts, and corrections. We have a dynamic department with award winning faculty who excel in both teaching and research. With courses offered on the main campus and on our Baldwin County campus, students have the ability to tailor a degree to their own interests. We offer a variety of elective courses and internships with local, state, and federal agencies. Students will gain strong analytical and critical thinking skills that will prepare them well for a diversity of careers in areas including law enforcement, probation, parole, and victim services, or for graduate programs including law school. Come join us at South — we would be delighted to welcome you here!

▼   Majoring in Criminal Justice

At South, you’ll discover an exceptional classroom experience supporting a number of career options in criminal justice, and many campus organizations and activities to join. Our program offers a variety learning experiences to help prepare students for their careers, with courses led by award winning faculty who have been recognized for their teaching, advising, service, and research. The critical thinking, writing, and analytical skills our programs provide have prepared our graduates well for work in fields that have included law enforcement; education; government; law; corrections; public policy; business; NGOs and non-profits; and more.

The department has a long history of both student internships and community engagement, as the city of Mobile is home to the field offices of multiple law enforcement agencies (federal, state, and local), a jail, a juvenile detention center, a county courthouse, a federal district courthouse, and multiple victim service agencies. Our active Criminal Justice Association provides social and educational opportunities for students within our department, and students are encouraged to join the Alpha Phi Sigma honors society.

▼   Requirements for the Criminal Justice Major
Course Credit Hours
CJ 105 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3 hours
PSC 130 Introduction to U.S. Government 3 hours
CJ 210 Policing and Society 3 hours
CJ 215 Correctional Policies and Procedures 3 hours
CJ 310 or PSC 310 (W) Research Methods 3 hours
CJ 330 or PSC 330 Judicial Process 3 hours
CJ 360 Theories of Offending 3 hours
CJ 492 (W) Capstone Seminar in Criminal Justice 3 hours
300/400 Level CJ Electives 15 hours
Total Credit Hours for the CJ Major 39 hours
▼   Requirements for the Criminal Justice Minor
Course Credit Hours
CJ 105 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3 hours
200/300/400 Level CJ electives 6 hours
300/400 Level CJ electives 9 hours
Total Credit Hours for the CJ Minor 18 hours
▼   Criminal Justice Electives
Elective
CJ 105 is a  prerequisite for most other Criminal Justice courses, and a grade of C or better in CJ 105 is required.
CJ 321 Public and Private Security
CJ/PSC/PHL 331 Constitutional Law
CJ/PSC 332 Criminal Law
CJ/PSC/PHL 336 The Law and Legal Theory
CJ/PSC/PHL 337 Liability and Punishment
CJ/PSC 363 Crime and Politics in Latin America
CJ 372 Gender and Criminal Justice
CJ 374 Race, Ethnicity, and Criminal Justice
CJ 380 Drugs and Crime
CJ 390 Special Topics
CJ 403 Sexual Violence
CJ/PSC 411/511 Criminal Justice Administration
CJ 422 Criminal Investigations
CJ/PSC 430 (W) Criminal Procedure
CJ 440 (W) Community Based Corrections
CJ 455 Juvenile Justice Administration and Policy
CJ/PSC 469 Criminal Justice Policies
CJ 471 Police Accountability and Community
CJ 472 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
CJ 490 Special Topics
CJ/PSC 488 Armed Conflict
CJ/PSC 491 Seminar on Terrorism
CJ 494 Directed Studies
CJ 496 Internship
CJ 499: Honors Thesis

/ Indicates Cross-Listed Course

(W) = Writing Intensive

PSC = Political Science

PHL = Philosophy

500 Numbers Indicate Cross-Listed with Graduate Course

▼   Careers

Local law enforcement: 

  • Municipal and County police departments 
  • Park police
  • County police
  • Juvenile justice centers

State law enforcement:

  • Crime labs
  • State Crime Commissions
  • The Court System
  • Attorney General Offices
  • Narcotics Bureaus
  • Liquor Control Boards
  • State Police
  • Alabama Bureau of Investigation

Federal law enforcement:

  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • U.S. Marshals Service
  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
  • Veterans Affairs
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of State
  • Office of the Inspector General
  • For a more complete listing of federal law enforcement agencies see http://www.usa.gov/

Private sector law enforcement:

  • Insurance companies
  • Private detectives/investigators
  • Safety officers
  • Private security
  • Security patrol officers

Courts and Corrections:

  • Law Clerk 
  • Court Reporter
  • Bailiff
  • Probation Officer
  • Parole Officer
  • Correctional Officer
  • Correctional Counselor

Other Typical Vocations:

  • Data/research analyst 
  • Victim's advocate
  • Juvenile probation officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Parole Officer
  • Correctional Officer
  • Correctional Counselor

With additional graduate course work:

  • Criminologist 
  • Criminal profiler
  • Psychologist/Psychiatrist
  • Forensic pathologist
  • Forensic anthropologist
  • Instructor/Professor
  • Forensic scientist
  • Crime lab analyst
  • Data analyst
  • Crime scene investigator
  • Prosecutor
  • Defense attorney