CJS 101

Introduction to Criminal Justice

3 Undergraduate credits
Effective August 1, 1998 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

As an introduction to the field of criminal justice, this course provides students with a brief but comprehensive overview of criminal justice institutions in American society. Students learn about the role of the criminal justice system in maintaining social order. The course also examines the duties and functions of criminal justice practitioners, including police officers, prosecutors, judges and correctional officials from the initial violation of the criminal law, to the punishment and release of convicted offenders.

Learning outcomes


  • Understand the various components of the criminal justice system including their origins, development, structure, functions, goals.
  • Classify, examine, and evaluate crime and criminal justice system response.
  • Describe the current and historical relationship between the criminal justice system and the process of justice administration.
  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of local, state, and federal agencies in the criminal justice system.
  • Demonstrate written and oral communication skills.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.