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Criminal Justice Minor

The criminal justice minor offers an opportunity to study crime and criminal justice while pursuing a major in another discipline.

This minor offers an opportunity for students to gain knowledge and competencies that are useful in a variety of career settings, including corrections, human services, social work, as well as public and social service administration. The minor can be an especially good fit for students majoring in psychology, human services or social work. All majors are welcome to consider the benefits of a criminal justice minor.

Student outcomes

A student with a minor in criminal justice will be able to:

  • describe criminal justice institutions and processes,
  • apply knowledge of criminal behavior and the criminal justice system to criminal events, and
  • analyze crime and criminal justice issues using theory and research

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Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further admission requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

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Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Criminal Justice Minor now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Criminal Justice Minor

Program eligibility requirements

To be eligible for acceptance to the Criminal Justice minor, students must submit a School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Undergraduate Program Declaration Form.

Consult with an advisor before enrolling in courses toward the minor.

  • Minor courses must be completed with C- or better.
  • Law Enforcement majors cannot use required core law enforcement courses for the criminal justice minor directed electives.
  • Computer Forensics majors cannot use CJS or LAWE courses as directed electives if the same courses are fulfilling requirements for their computer forensics major.
  • There is a residency requirement of more than 50% of the courses for the criminal justice minor to be taken at Metropolitan State University

Course requirements

Requirements (22 credits)

Core

CJS 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice

3 credits

This course provides an overview of the American criminal justice system with an emphasis on the roles and duties of police, courts, and corrections. Students examine current and future issues of the system such as due process, administration of justice, ethics, community policing, technology, and rehabilitation efforts. The course illustrates the criminal justice process from the initial violation of the criminal law, to the punishment and release of convicted persons, including juveniles.

Full course description for Introduction to Criminal Justice

CJS 201 Foundations in Criminal Justice

3 credits

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of academic research, critical thinking and professional development related to the discipline of criminal justice and law enforcement. Students learn to search, locate, retrieve, evaluate, and document research sources as well as prepare research papers using writing and citations styles expected in criminal justice and law enforcement courses. The course will also broaden students' understanding of the direct and indirect criminal justice professional opportunities and equip students with the tools to pursue careers in the field.

Full course description for Foundations in Criminal Justice

CJS 320 Criminology and Public Policy

4 credits

This course focuses on theories, concepts, narratives, and myths of crime and delinquent behavior. Contemporary issues and controversies within the criminal justice field are explored in social, political, and economic contexts. Special emphasis is placed on the roles of race, class, gender, and culture in relation to the etiology, prevention, control, and treatment of crime and delinquency. This course is committed to general theoretical debate, examination of the interrelation between criminological theory and research, and empirical analyses of policy and practice.

Full course description for Criminology and Public Policy

Additional core

Choose two

CJS 300 Corrections and Community Corrections

4 credits

Corrections is a primary component of the American criminal justice system. This course is designed to introduce students to the profession and academic discipline of corrections. Course work exposes students to the philosophy and procedures of punishment; the various components within the correctional community such as confinement, probation and parole, and community corrections. The course also addresses issues relating to prisoners, such as prisoners' rights and prison life and other issues relating to the American correctional system, such as capital punishment, rehabilitation, juvenile justice, and financial penalties.

Full course description for Corrections and Community Corrections

CJS 305 The Criminal Court System

4 credits

This course is designed to expand students' understanding of the roles of criminal court at the federal, state, and local levels. As the intermediate step between law enforcement and corrections, courts are an integral part of the criminal justice system. The course will explore the power and limitations of the judicial branch of government with regard to its role in the criminal justice system, as well as learn about the roles of various court professionals and develop a detailed understanding of the court process.

Full course description for The Criminal Court System

LAWE 330 Policing and Society

4 credits

This course provides an introduction to American policing and an overview of the critical issues which confront law enforcement officers and their agencies. Some of the issues which are examined include: the role of the police, management and policy development in law enforcement agencies; police selection, training and socialization; minorities and women in policing; psychological hazards and stress in policing; and police misconduct.

Full course description for Policing and Society

Directed electives (4 credits)

Criminal justice or law enforcement upper division courses (300 or higher).

CJS 300 Corrections and Community Corrections

4 credits

Corrections is a primary component of the American criminal justice system. This course is designed to introduce students to the profession and academic discipline of corrections. Course work exposes students to the philosophy and procedures of punishment; the various components within the correctional community such as confinement, probation and parole, and community corrections. The course also addresses issues relating to prisoners, such as prisoners' rights and prison life and other issues relating to the American correctional system, such as capital punishment, rehabilitation, juvenile justice, and financial penalties.

Full course description for Corrections and Community Corrections

CJS 305 The Criminal Court System

4 credits

This course is designed to expand students' understanding of the roles of criminal court at the federal, state, and local levels. As the intermediate step between law enforcement and corrections, courts are an integral part of the criminal justice system. The course will explore the power and limitations of the judicial branch of government with regard to its role in the criminal justice system, as well as learn about the roles of various court professionals and develop a detailed understanding of the court process.

Full course description for The Criminal Court System

CJS 310 Introduction to Security Management

4 credits

This course explores the past, current and future trends in security management. The basic concepts, tools and practices that comprise security management are examined. Students learn how to identify and minimize risk in a private setting. They also learn the basics of physical security and access control as well as how to identify potential liability in the security field. In addition, this course examines various career opportunities in security management.

Full course description for Introduction to Security Management

CJS 315 Sexual Violence and Child Exploitation

4 credits

This course examines the causes, effects, treatment, and prevention of all types of violence against women and children. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to, domestic violence; rape and sexual assault; lethality, family dynamics and response to familial violence; incest; sexual harassment; physical child abuse and sexual exploitation; infanticide; female genital mutilation; paraphilias; trafficking; vulnerable victims; trauma and cumulative trauma; limitations; sentencing and collateral consequences; indeterminate civil commitment; predatory offender registration; and sexual slavery, manipulation, and extortion.

Full course description for Sexual Violence and Child Exploitation

CJS 318 Women and Crime

4 credits

This course will be comprised of material on three main topics: women as offenders, women as victims of gendered violence, and women working in the criminal justice system. Women's involvement in criminal activity has been ignored by traditional criminological theories/theorists. This course will examine the frequency and nature of women's involvement along with the more modern theories which we can use to understand these phenomena. Students will also learn about the issues surrounding gendered violence including stalking, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Finally, students will learn about the special issues surrounding women's work in the traditionally male-dominated fields of corrections and law enforcement.

Full course description for Women and Crime

CJS 325 Inside-Out: Prison Exchange Program

4 credits

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is an opportunity for a small group of students from Metropolitan State University and a group of residents who are in area correctional facilities to exchange ideas and perceptions about crime and justice, the criminal justice system, corrections and imprisonment. It is a chance for all participants to gain a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system through the marriage of theoretical knowledge and practical experience achieved by weekly meetings extended throughout the semester.

Full course description for Inside-Out: Prison Exchange Program

CJS 333 Gangs

4 credits

This course examines the nature and extent of gangs in America. It addresses the history of gangs, why young people join them and strategies to mitigate risk associated with participation as well as associated crime. It considers variations among street gangs, and contrasts these with other groups, including security threat groups in prison and organized crime. Attention is focused on individual risks associated with gang membership, group pro dynamics, and macro-level impact of gangs and gang behaviors on individuals and communities. The role of the community and the criminal justice system in gang prevention, intervention, and suppression is also considered.

Full course description for Gangs

CJS 335 Homicide Studies

4 credits

This course offers a global perspective on homicide with cross-cultural and international comparisons. Students analyze trends in homicide offending and victimization and predictors of lethal violence. Special emphasis is given to the profiles and motivations of serial killers and mass murderers. Homicide clearance rates, investigative techniques that enhance the probability of offender identification, gun control, and the deterrent effect of capital punishment, among others, are topics examined in this course.

Full course description for Homicide Studies

CJS 340 Comparative Criminal Justice

4 credits

This course provides students with international perspectives on criminal justice. Through a comprehensive review of cross-national research data, students examine the features, successes and failures of various distinct criminal justice systems around the globe and use that information to evaluate the American criminal justice system. By exploring justice institutions in other parts of the world, students learn that criminal justice systems are shaped by the values, norms, customs or standards of behavior characteristic of the society in which they are found.

Full course description for Comparative Criminal Justice

CJS 344 Terrorism and Counterterrorism

4 credits

This course explores the emergence and manifestation of terror and terrorism from a range of historical, political, sociological and cultural perspectives. It further explores the interpretation of, and response to, contemporary manifestations of terror and terrorism, global and domestic. Emphasizing the diverse and contested nature of terror as both concept and practice, a number of case studies are highlighted to explore the complex connections between order, power, authority, security, and terror. The organizational forms and objectives of terrorist organizations, and the range of strategies available in response to the demands and challenges posed by global terror and a growing variety of domestic terrorist groups and individuals are also considered.

Full course description for Terrorism and Counterterrorism

CJS 345 Organization and Administration in Criminal Justice

4 credits

This course examines the operation of criminal justice organizations and provides students with a conceptual foundation to explore the workings of the criminal justice system. Emphasis is placed on understanding internal and external influences on the operations of criminal justice agencies including the people, practices and events that shape criminal justice administration.

Full course description for Organization and Administration in Criminal Justice

CJS 350 Citizenship: Community Involvement

4 credits

The purpose of this course is to educate and encourage the development of globally competent and active citizens and leaders who will be able to contribute to improving social issues. The course is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be engaged, responsible, and effective members of a globally interdependent society. Students will reflect on their role as an active citizen in a democracy while exploring how social, racial, political, geographical, and other factors influence current and future challenges a community needs to address. This course will have a community engaged learning component.

Full course description for Citizenship: Community Involvement

CJS 354 Restorative Justice

4 credits

This course is designed to allow students to develop a working understanding and knowledge of Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice looks at the concept of justice through nontraditional and alternative viewpoints. Rather than focus on "what is the crime, who did the crime and what should the punishment be," Restorative Justice focuses on "who has been harmed, what was the harm and who is responsible to repair the harm." Students will examine Restorative Justice from historical, sociological, criminological and psychological perspectives. Throughout the course, a wide range of specific "restorative practices" will be studied, reviewed and analyzed. Some of the concepts the course will explore are trauma and healing, conflict transformation, issues related to juvenile justice, and alternative processes such as Victim-Offender Dialogue and the Circle Process. This course will have a community engaged learning component.

Full course description for Restorative Justice

CJS 356 Violence in America

4 credits

Students will explore the nature and extent of the violence problem in the United States using a tripartite approach, which incorporates patterns, explanations, and interventions. The course will cover the history and epidemiology of violence; roots of violence, including biological, psychological, and sociological causes; specific types of violence; media portrayals of violence; the physical, emotional, social, economic, and political consequences of violence; and ways to control and prevent violence in our communities, including criminal justice and public health approaches.

Full course description for Violence in America

CJS 358 Community Building for Criminal Justice

4 credits

This course provides an overview of the American criminal justice system with an emphasis on the roles and duties of police, courts, and corrections. Students examine current and future issues of the system such as due process, administration of justice, ethics, community policing, technology, and rehabilitation efforts. The course illustrates the criminal justice process from the initial violation of the criminal law, to the punishment and release of convicted persons, including juveniles.

Full course description for Community Building for Criminal Justice

CJS 366 The U.S. Intelligence Community

4 credits

This course provides an overview of the U.S. Intelligence Community and examines how the community supports foreign policy and homeland security. Students examine the intelligence cycle and the structure, constraints, and oversight of the agencies that comprise the intelligence community. Specific attention is given to collection operations, analysis, and dissemination of finished intelligence products to consumers, with emphasis on how global intelligence is used to protect and police local communities. Also explored is how intelligence products build a common operational picture for national security management at top levels of government and how intelligence analysis supports Homeland Security by assisting federal, state, and local political leaders and law enforcement officials. Students also discuss human intelligence operations, counterintelligence, UAV (drone) operations, interrogation, and detention, and the moral, ethical, and legal framework inside which those disciplines…

Full course description for The U.S. Intelligence Community

CJS 370 Probation and Parole

3 credits

This course examines both probation and parole and how each field plays an integral part in the criminal justice system. Students are given an historical background of probation, become familiar with present day policies and procedures and are introduced to treatment philosophies and future trends. Throughout the course, students also supervise a mock caseload of probationers and parolees.

Full course description for Probation and Parole

CJS 387 White Collar Crime

4 credits

This course presents an overview of white collar crime. Students explore theories of white collar crime and corporate criminal liability. The investigation, prosecution and sentencing of white-collar offenders are examined. "Crime in the suites" is compared to "crime in the streets." Issues related to diversity are explored.

Full course description for White Collar Crime

CJS 465 Criminal Justice Response to the Mentally Ill and Other Special Populations

4 credits

This course focuses on criminal justice system responses to special populations. The types of special populations addressed includes the mentally ill, the physically ill and disabled, individual on the autism spectrum, juveniles, the elderly, females, LGBTQ+ individuals, and immigrants, among others. The course addresses both offenders and victims within each of these special populations and highlights the role of critical incident and other training for law enforcement and first responders.

Full course description for Criminal Justice Response to the Mentally Ill and Other Special Populations

LAWE 312 Emergency Management for Law Enforcement

4 credits

This course examines the fundamental principles and practices of emergency management including how it functions within the homeland security enterprise. Mass shootings, acts of terror, infrastructure collapse, and natural disasters all are examples of emergencies examined in this course. This course also explores the human and economic costs of emergencies and the intended and unintended consequences of intervention.

Full course description for Emergency Management for Law Enforcement

LAWE 330 Policing and Society

4 credits

This course provides an introduction to American policing and an overview of the critical issues which confront law enforcement officers and their agencies. Some of the issues which are examined include: the role of the police, management and policy development in law enforcement agencies; police selection, training and socialization; minorities and women in policing; psychological hazards and stress in policing; and police misconduct.

Full course description for Policing and Society

LAWE 367 Exploring Forensic Science

4 credits

This course will provide the student with a general overview and a better understanding of the wide range of disciplines found within the forensic sciences. Fundamental topics such as forensic anthropology, forensic entomology, forensic pathology, and forensic accounting will be discussed. In addition 'traditionally' recognized topics in forensic science such as DNA, Trace Evidence, Impression Evidence, Drugs, and Questioned Documents will be covered. The course instructor will utilize multi-media in a lecture format, utilizing case-studies, video supplements and expert guest speakers.

Full course description for Exploring Forensic Science

LAWE 388 Crime Analysis

4 credits

This course is intended to develop the student's skills and knowledge in the field of crime analysis. Students will become familiar with the variety of tasks and issues encountered within the public and private sectors by a crime analyst. Students will also participate in group activities to build knowledge and skills associated with the different functions of a crime analyst.

Full course description for Crime Analysis

LAWE 431 Police Culture

4 credits

This course will explore the complex interactions between police culture and issues relating to integrity and ethics for the police. It will examine the underlying values of the police culture and how those affect police behavior. Loyalty, racism, and use of force issues will be examined.

Full course description for Police Culture