Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Investigation

Department Head: Dr. H. Dean Buttram, III

126 Brewer Hall

Students who are not majoring in Criminal Justice may minor in Criminal Justice, Offender Rehabilitation, or Law Enforcement. Each minor requires a minimum of 21 credit hours.

Students who are not majoring in Forensic Investigation may minor in Forensic Investigation. A minor requires a minimum of 21 credit hours.

Criminal Justice

The Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Investigation merges liberal arts and professional studies into a well-balanced curriculum. A Bachelor of Science with a major in criminal justice is a solid foundation for law school or graduate study, in addition to being a superb preparation for employment in the rapidly growing field of criminal justice. The core courses provide a basic understanding of the nature of crime and society’s reaction to crime, as well as an in-depth investigation of the various components within the criminal justice system. Studies in concentration areas provide students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills which enhance future employment and serve as a basis for advanced studies.

The Bachelor of Science with a major in Criminal Justice requires the following, which meets the general academic regulations:

  • a minimum of 120 hours consisting of 50 hours of general studies courses
  • 18 hours of criminal justice core courses
  • 24 hours in a criminal justice concentration
  • 28 hours of minor and elective courses

NOTE: Criminal Justice majors must obtain a minor outside the department.  Spanish is the preferred minor or co-minor.

Forensic Investigation

The Bachelor of Science with a major in Forensic Investigation (FI) consists of two separate tracks that address career interests. A degree in Forensic Investigation can lead to a fulfilling career that offers a lifetime of opportunities locally, nationally, and globally. Students interested in pursuing a major in FI must initially declare their major as Forensic Investigation Undecided. They will be advised to complete the lower division Forensic Investigation core that consists of five classes (15 semester hours). Upon completion of these lower division courses, the coursework will be assessed by their advisor to determine whether they have met the minimum of a 2.5 overall GPA and a 2.5 in CJ and FI coursework required to proceed to upper division coursework in one of the two forensic investigation tracks. The minimum 2.5 overall GPA is also required to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Investigation in either track.

The Bachelor of Science with a major in Forensic Investigation is a 120 hour program which requires the following:

  • 50 hours of general studies courses
  • 15 hours of Forensic Investigation Lower Division Core courses
  • 27 hours in a Forensic Investigation track
  • 28 hours of minor and elective courses

NOTE:  Forensic Investigation - Criminal Investigation majors must obtain a minor outside the department.  Forensic Investigation - Forensic Laboratory Technician majors must minor in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics.  

Criminal Justice

CJ 101  Introduction to Criminal Justice  (3)  

Survey of the agencies and processes involved in the Criminal Justice System: the police, the prosecutor, the public defender, the courts, and corrections.

CJ 195  Explore Seminar  (1)  

This course provides a forum for assigned readings and discussion of ideas in response to a current issue/event. The topic of the course will vary. May be repeated for a total of three credit hours.

CJ 200  Introduction to Corrections  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 101.

Philosophical foundations of punishments, historical developments in American penology. Corrections in contemporary America.

CJ 201  Criminal Law (WI)  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 101.

Analysis of the origin and sources of criminal law as well as definition of parties to crimes and affirmative defenses. Discussion of specific crimes of common law and in state and national statutes. (Writing Intensive Course)

CJ 202  Introduction to Law Enforcement  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 101.

The development of contemporary American Police. Law enforcement role, philosophy, values, culture, discretion, organizational control, accountability, corruption, misconduct, police-community relations, and future trends.

CJ 225  Criminal Courts  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 101.

An analysis of the roles of the Criminal Courts in their interactions with the major participants in the Criminal Justice System; the Court structure and functions; selected critical cases and key issues, such as sentencing and plea bargaining. CJ 225 is equivalent to FI 225, and only one may be taken for credit.

CJ 300  Theories of Crime Causation  (3)  

An examination of biological, psychological, sociological, political and economic theories of crime causation.

CJ 302  Research Methods (WI)  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 101.

An introduction to the theory, design, collection, and analysis of data in criminal justice research. CJ 302 is equivalent to FI 302, and only one may be taken for credit. (Writing Intensive Course)

CJ 310  Criminal Behavior and Rehabilitation Strategies  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 200.

A study of criminal behavior from a psychological perspective with correctional rehabilitation programs and strategies serving as the focus. The effectiveness of various correctional institutions and their programs and strategies will also be examined.

CJ 311  Correctional Techniques  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 200.

An introduction to correctional strategies and the theories on which they are based. Among the topics discussed are counseling, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, humanistic psychology, learning theory, and behavior modification. This course will also provide an in-depth examination of both assessment and counseling strategy effectiveness with offender populations.

CJ 315  Community Based Corrections  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 200.

A survey of non-institutional correctional programs focusing on alternatives to incarceration in community settings. Programs reviewed include prerelease, parole, halfway houses, restitution centers, probations, and community correctional centers.

CJ 320  Criminal Investigations  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 202.

Practical application of investigative techniques for specific crimes such as sex offenses, murder, robbery, arson, assaults, and fraud cases. CJ 320 is equivalent to FI 320, and only one may be taken for credit.

CJ 322  Juvenile Agencies  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 200 or CJ 205.

Examination of the historical aspects of the juvenile justice system with emphasis on juvenile rights in the present juvenile court system and pretrial techniques.

CJ 352  Evidence  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 225.

Analysis of the rules of evidence, their origins, and types. Constitutional limitations upon their use, methods of safeguarding their value. The trial and techniques for testifying. CJ 352 is equivalent to FI 352, and only one may be used for credit.

CJ 363  Foundations of Law Enforcement  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 202.

An examination of the foundations of American law enforcement from its cultural heritage in England to the present.

CJ 370  Police Administration  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 202.

Organizational structure and coordination of all branches of law enforcement agencies; police, staff, and auxiliary function; their interrelationships and interdependence.

CJ 377  Independent Study in Criminal Justice  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing with 18 hours in CJ. An opportunity for the advanced student to explore an area of special interest.

Students must have a supervising criminal justice faculty member agree to a written proposal or outline for an appropriate topic for study and then must secure the approval of the department head. CJ 377 is equivalent to FI 377, and only one may be taken for credit.

CJ 378  Advanced Seminar in Criminal Justice  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing with 18 hours in Criminal Justice or department head approval.

An in-depth study of current issues in criminal justice. The content will vary each semester. May be duplicated for a total of six (6) semester hours. CJ 378 is equivalent to FI 378, and only one may be taken for credit.

CJ 379  Advanced Seminar in Criminal Justice  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing with 18 hours in Criminal Justice or department head approval.

An in-depth study of current issues in criminal justice. The content will vary each semester. May be duplicated for a total of six (6) hours. CJ 379 is equivalent to FI 379, and only one may be taken for credit.

CJ 395  Crime Prevention  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 101.

Analysis of the roles of the Criminal Justice System and the private sector in preventing crime. Community involvement as a source of preventing crime. Crime prevention strategies and techniques for evaluating prevention programs.

CJ 399  Study Tour  (3)  

Topics, excursions, and requirements determined by the department. May be duplicated for credit up to 6 hours. Infrequently scheduled and subject to minimum and maximum numbers. Advance deposit required.

CJ 402  Police and Community Relations  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 202.

Study of the numerous and complex factors involved in the area of human relations as it affects policing and police management.

CJ 411  Victimless Crimes  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Junior Standing with 18 hours of CJ. Study of controversial area of law that deals with consensual crimes.

Topics to be included for discussion may be drugs; obscenity and pornography; prostitution; gambling. The history of legislative enactments and judicial decisions will be dealt with, as well as the social and political implications of enforcement to both police agencies and their clients. CJ 411 is equivalent to FI 411, and only one may be taken for credit.

CJ 417  Criminal & Deviant Behavior  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 300 or SY 320.

An analysis of criminal and deviant behavior systems with an emphasis on classical and contemporary theories of crime causation. CJ 417 is equivalent to FI 417, and only one may be taken for credit.

CJ 420  Probation and Parole  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 200 or CJ 202.

Development, organization, operation of probation and parole with emphasis on alternatives to incarceration.

CJ 465  Interviews and Interrogations  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 200 or CJ 202.

Discussions and practical exercises covering the various techniques used by criminal justice practitioners to elicit information from witnesses and criminal suspects. CJ 465 and FI 465 are equivalent courses, and only one may be taken for credit

CJ 471  Internship in Criminal Justice  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing, consent of Internship Director, and only for students majoring in Criminal Justice.

Students must also possess an overall 2.5 GPA to participate with a municipal or county agency and a 3.0 overall GPA to participate with a state or federal agency. Supervised work experience in an approved criminal justice agency. The student is required to attend a pre-announced orientation meeting prior to beginning internship. (Not open to in-service personnel or those with prior CJ work experience unless approved by Internship Director.) CJ 471 is equivalent to FI 471, and only one may be taken for credit.

CJ 472  Senior Internship in Criminal Justice  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Senior standing, consent of Internship Director, and only for students majoring in Criminal Justice.

Student must also possess an overall 2.5 GPA to participate with a municipal or county agency and a 3.0 overall GPA to participate with a state or federal agency. Supervised work experience in an approved Criminal Justice agency. The student is required to attend a pre-announced orientation meeting prior to beginning internship and additional scheduled meetings with the Internship Director. (Not open to in-service personnel or those with prior CJ work experience unless approved by Internship Director.) This is a Senior Capstone course, and satisfactory work requires completing the EPP and other senior exit requirements. CJ 472 is equivalent to FI 472, and only one may be taken for credit.

CJ 488  Seminar Series  (1)  

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing with 18 hours in CJ. Seminar series dealing with current topics and issues in the field.

No more than 6 hours credit may be earned.

CJ 497  Senior Seminar I  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Senior standing in the Criminal Justice major and completion of all other criminal justice core requirements.

Capstone course which utilizes the student's knowledge and academic skills, including pursuing archival research, journal keeping, note taking, and report writing to address a topic or issue of contemporary interest in criminal justice or one of its sub-fields. While the topic or issue may change with each offering, the skills exercised will be those needed to prepare the senior in criminal justice professions. CJ 497 is equivalent to FI 497, and only one may be taken for credit.

CJ 498  Senior Seminar II  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Senior standing in the Criminal Justice major and completion of all other criminal justice core requirements.

Capstone course which utilizes the student's knowledge and academic skills, including pursuing archival research, journal keeping, note taking, and report writing to address a topic or issue of contemporary interest in criminal justice or one of its sub-fields. While the topic or issue may change with each offering, the skills exercised with be those needed to prepare the senior for careers in criminal justice professions. CJ 498 is equivalent to FI 498, and only one may be taken for credit.

CJ 499  Senior Seminar III  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Senior standing in the Criminal Justice major and completion of all other criminal justice core requirements.

Capstone course which utilizes the student's knowledge and academic skills, including pursuing archival research, journal keeping, note taking, and report writing to address a topic or issue of contemporary interest in criminal justice or one of its sub-fields. While the topic or issue may change with each offering, the skills exercised will be those needed to prepare the senior for careers in criminal justice professions. CJ 499 is equivalent to FI 499, and only one may be taken for credit.

Forensic Investigation

FI 195  Explore Seminar  (1)  

This course provides a forum for assigned readings and discussion of ideas in response to a current issue/event. The topic of the course will vary. May be repeated for a total of three credit hours.

FI 204  Introduction to Forensic Investigation  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 101.

Introduction to the development of Forensic Investigations and its contribution to the Criminal Justice System and the applications of the scientific discipline to the examination and analysis of physical evidence.

FI 225  Criminal Courts  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 101.

An analysis of the roles of the Criminal Courts in their interactions with the major participants in the Criminal Justice System; the Court structure and functions; selected critical cases and key issues, such as sentencing and plea bargaining. FI 225 is equivalent to CJ 225, and only one may be taken for credit.

FI 302  Research Methods (WI)  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 101.

An introduction to the theory, design, collection, and analysis of data in criminal justice research. FI 302 is equivalent to CJ 302, and only one may be taken for credit. (Writing Intensive Course)

FI 310  Criminalistics  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): FI 204.

Methods of scientific analysis, comparison and identification of physical evidence; blood and body fluids, casts and molds, detective dyes, fingerprints, and trace evidence.

FI 320  Criminal Investigations  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): FI 204.

Practical application of investigative techniques for specific crimes such as sex offenses, murder, robbery, arson, assaults, and fraud cases. FI 320 is equivalent to CJ 320, and only one may be taken for credit.

FI 330  Forensic Documentation  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): FI 310.

The principles and techniques of digital photography as applied to crime scenes, forensic evidence, identification, and court presentation. Emphasis is on single lens reflex digital cameral operation with various types of lighting. Legal aspects of forensic photography and courtroom presentation.

FI 340  Homicide Investigation  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): FI 204.

Special problems involved in homicide investigation, including the forensic autopsy.

FI 350  Crime Scene Processing  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): FI 204.

In-depth and practical look at various types of physical evidence and methods by which evidence is collected and transported to forensic crime laboratories.

FI 352  Evidence  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): FI 225.

Analysis of the rules of evidence, their origins, and types. Constitutional limitations upon their use, methods of safeguarding their value. The trial and techniques for testifying. FI 352 is equivalent to CJ 352, and only one may be taken for credit.

FI 377  Independent Study in Criminal Justice  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing with 18 hours in CJ or FI. An opportunity for the advanced student to explore an area of special interest.

Students must have a supervising criminal justice faculty member agree to a written proposal or outline for an appropriate topic for study and then must secure the approval of the department head. Fi 377 is equivalent to CJ 377, and only one may be taken for credit.

FI 378  Advanced Seminar in Criminal Justice  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing with 18 hours in Criminal Justice or Forensic Investigations or department head approval.

An in-depth study of current issues in criminal justice. The content will vary each semester. May be duplicated for a total of six (6) semester hours. FI 378 is equivalent to CJ 378, and only one may be taken for credit.

FI 379  Advanced Seminar in Criminal Justice  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing with 18 hours in Criminal Justice or Forensic Investigations or department head approval.

An in-depth study of current issues in criminal justice. The content will vary each semester. May be duplicated for a total of six (6) hours. FI 379 is equivalent to CJ 379, and only one may be taken for credit.

FI 380  Medicolegal Death Investigation  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): FI 330 or FI 340.

This course will examine medicolegal systems in the United States contrasting the differences between Medical Examiner and Coroner Systems. Students will be further exposed to the five manners of death and methodologies employed in their classifications. Particular emphasis will be placed upon death causality with an examination of equivocal deaths. Students will engage in analysis of the relationship between the law enforcement and medicolegal communities. Furthermore, participants will spend a substantial portion of time exploring the utility of the measurement of post mortem interval along with the assessment of skeletal remains.

FI 399  Study Tour  (3)  

Topics, excursions, and requirements determined by the department. May be duplicated for credit up to six (6) hours. Infrequently scheduled and subject to minimum and maximum numbers. Advance deposit required.

FI 410  Imprint/Impression Evidence  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): FI 330, FI 340, or FI 350.

This course presents types of evidence which are the result of objects and materials that have retained the characteristics of other objects or materials through direct physical contact. Topics will include footwear, tire tracks, bite marks, firearms, tools, pattern injuries and documents. The themes in this course will differentiate between two-dimensional and three-dimensional evidence.

FI 411  Victimless Crimes  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Junior Standing with 18 hours of CJ or FI. Study of controversial area of law that deals with consensual crimes.

Topics to be included for discussion may be drugs; obscenity and pornography; prostitution; gambling. The history of legislative enactments and judicial decisions will be dealt with, as well as the social and political implications of enforcement to both police agencies and their clients. FI 411 is equivalent to CJ 411, and only one may be taken for credit.

FI 417  Criminal & Deviant Behavior  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): CJ 300, FI 304 or SY 320.

An analysis of criminal and deviant behavior systems with an emphasis on classical and contemporary theories of crime causation. FI 417 is equivalent to CJ 417, and only one may be taken for credit.

FI 420  Investigation of Cold Cases  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): FI 320, FI 330, or FI 340.

The term "cold case" will be specifically defined as well as the difference between open and closed cases. This course will examine the term, the definition, and the investigation of cold cases with a detailed focus on crimes against persons, (i.e. homicide, sexual assualt, and crimes against children). Students will be engaged regarding the use of current technologies and methodologies in order to increase case solvability. Further, the difference between open and closed cases will be explored. Current cold cases will be used as a means to augment the student's understanding of investigative applicability.

FI 430  Arson and Fire Scene Investigation  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): FI 350.

The techniques of crime scene documentation and investigation as they relate to fire and explosion scenes. Evidence recognition and collection, along with a basic understanding of accelerant and explosive residues. Basic principles of reconstruction of the scene, including fire behavior, fire pattern analysis ignition mechanisms, interpretation of human behavior and fire scene analysis.

FI 450  Advanced Crime Scene Techniques  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): FI 350.

This course will build upon those techniques and procedures learned in Crime Scene Processing (FI 350/CJ 463) as they relate to crime scene reconstruction. An in-depth study of specialized techniques such as bloodstain pattern analysis, bullet trajectory analysis, and fire scene reconstruction. Students will then apply this knowledge during practical exercises which will emphasize current techniques and procedures.

FI 465  Interviews and Interrogations  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): FI 204.

Discussions and practical exercises covering the various techniques used by criminal justice practitioners to elicit information from witnesses and criminal suspects. FI 465 is equivalent to CJ 465, and only one may be taken for credit.

FI 471  Internship in Criminal Justice  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing, consent of Internship Director, and only for students majoring in Forensic Investigation.

Students must also possess an overall 2.5 GPA to participate with a municipal or county agency and a 3.0 overall GPA to participate with a state or federal agency. Supervised work experience in an approved criminal justice agency. The student is required to attend a pre-announced orientation meeting prior to beginning internship. (Not open to in-service personnel or those with prior CJ work experience unless approved by Internship Director.) FI 471 is equivalent to CJ 471, and only one may be taken for credit.

FI 472  Senior Internship in Criminal Justice  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Senior standing, consent of Internship Director, and only for students majoring in Forensic Investigation.

Student must also possess an overall 2.5 GPA to participate with a municipal or county agency and a 3.0 overall GPA to participate with a state or federal agency. Supervised work experience in an approved criminal justice agency. The student is required to attend a pre-announced orientation meeting prior to beginning internship and additional scheduled meetings with the Internship Director. (Not open to in-service personnel or those with prior CJ work experience unless approved by Internship Director.) This is a Senior Capstone course, and satisfactory work requires completing the EPP and other senior exit requirements. FI 472 is equivalent to CJ 472, and only one may be taken for credit.

FI 475  Drugs of Abuse  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): BY 102 and BY 104 or CY 106 and CY 108; and FI 310 or NU 306.

Drugs of abuse, their field identification and drug abuse education.

FI 480  Trace Evidence  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): BY 102 and BY 104 or CY 106 and CY 108; and FI 310.

Review of techniques used in the analysis of hairs, fibers, and minute items of evidence related to criminal matters.

FI 488  Seminar Series  (1)  

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing with 18 hours in FI. Seminars and tutorials dealing with current topics and issues in the field.

May be duplicated for credit up to six (6) hours.

FI 497  Senior Seminar I  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Senior standing in the Forensic Investigation major and completion of all Forensic Investigation Undecided core requirements.

Capstone course which utilizes the student's knowledge and academic skills, including pursuing archival research, journal keeping, note taking, and report writing to address a topic or issue of contemporary interest in criminal justice or one of its sub-fields. While the topic or issue may change with each offering, the skills exercised will be those needed to prepare the senior in criminal justice professions. FI 497 is equivalent to CJ 497, and only one may be taken for credit.

FI 498  Senior Seminar II  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Senior standing in the Forensic Investigation major and completion of all Forensic Investigation Undecided core requirements.

Capstone course which utilizes the student's knowledge and academic skills, including pursuing archival research, journal keeping, note taking, and report writing to address a topic or issue of contemporary interest in criminal justice or one of its sub-fields. While the topic or issue may change with each offering, the skills exercised with be those needed to prepare the senior for careers in criminal justice professions. FI 498 is equivalent to CJ 498, and only one may be taken for credit.

FI 499  Senior Seminar III  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Senior standing in the Forensic Investigation major and completion of all Forensic Investigation Undecided core requirements.

Capstone course which utilizes the student's knowledge and academic skills, including pursuing archival research, journal keeping, note taking, and report writing to address a topic or issue of contemporary interest in criminal justice or one of its sub-fields. While the topic or issue may change with each offering, the skills exercised will be those needed to prepare the senior for careers in criminal justice professions. FI 499 is equivalent to CJ 499, and only one may be taken for credit.