Why obtain a BA in Community Criminal Justice or Criminology?


Community Criminal Justice and Criminology are multidisciplinary approaches to the study of crime and society. Some of the questions explored in these programs are:

  • Why do people commit crimes?
  • Who is most likely to be victimized by crime?
  • What are the costs of crime?
  • How much crime is there?
  • Why are some things considered crimes at all and some harmful activities not?
  • How should we respond to criminals?
  • How does the justice system work, and is it fair and effective?
  • Who polices the police?
  • Who goes to jail?
  • Are our correctional systems humane and effective?
  • How can we tell if they do work?
  • How can we build safer and more just communities?
  • What can we learn from other places and systems?

While each degree has its own emphasis and special courses, the BA CCJ and the BA CRIM share core courses which draw on many disciplines, including psychology, sociology, history, political science, and law, to answer these questions. Thus, not only do students learn about the specifics of crime and its relationship to society and community, they also receive a good grounding in other disciplines.

Interdisciplinary courses unique to Criminology programs include Law, Media and Popular Culture, Crime and the Community, advanced Sociological Criminology and advanced Psychological Criminology, Human Rights and Community Advocacy, and Administrative and Regulatory Law.

The Criminology Department offers traditional courses in all important areas of criminology. However, it is working to develop new emphasis on understanding the relationship between community, crime, and justice in all of its courses, including those in the lower divisions.

The Criminology faculty come from many disciplines, including Criminology, History, Law, Sociology, and Psychology. Many work with criminal and community justice agencies, and several are involved in community research projects.

See Programs and Courses for a description of the differences between the BA CCJ and the BA CRIM.