FAQs

I’m a first/second year student, and I’m having a hard time getting into any criminology courses. Isn’t that a problem?

No, it isn’t a problem at all. If you look at the tracking requirements for the criminology major, you’ll see that we do not “track” you into a criminology class until semester 5! In theory, you could go your first two years here without taking a course from this department, and still be on track for your major.

Even if it isn’t a problem, I’d really like to take a criminology course anyway. What are my options?

You don’t have all that many options, because most of our courses require you to have third-year standing as a prerequisite. There are some courses that you could take. Consider taking CCJ 3024, Advanced Principles of Criminal Justice or CCJ 3038, Law and Society. You might also take CJL 2000, Law and Legal Process. In addition, you could consider taking approved interdisciplinary courses for the major, for which you may have the prerequisites already.

Do I have to take the courses in any particular order?

It is always a good idea to take CCJ 3024, Advanced Principles of Criminal Justice, by your fifth semester. This course is the prerequisite for almost all of our other courses.

After that, you can proceed in whatever order you like. In general, it is a good idea not to leave all your required courses (such as Criminological Theory, or Research Methods) for your final semester!

Are all the courses offered every semester? How about summer?

Specific elective courses in criminology are generally not offered every semester. So, for example, a course like Victimology is offered only occasionally. With elective courses, there are never any guarantees that a specific one will be offered in a given semester.

The four required courses (CCJ 3024, CCJ 3038, CCJ 3701, and CCJ 4604) are offered every fall and spring semester.

The three law-courses, from which you have to choose one, are not offered every semester, but at least one will always be available. For example, criminal procedure is being offered in the Fall of 2003, and Criminal Law in the Spring of 2004. Juvenile Law, it should be noted, is generally offered less frequently than the other two.

As for summer, there are never any guarantees! It is always best not to count on anything for the summer, especially required courses. In recent years the Department has been able to offer 2 or 3 courses per summer session. Typically these have included CCJ 3024 and CCJ 3038, plus some elective courses—BUT remember that past practice is no guarantee of future summer schedules!

Do I have to take the interdisciplinary courses?

No. We offer our majors credit for these courses because interdisciplinary breadth is an important part of the study of criminology and law. Therefore our majors may enroll in related courses offered outside the Department, but they are not required to do so.

I’m taking a course that seems related to criminology and law, outside the Department, but it isn’t on the list of approved interdisciplinary courses. Can I still get credit for it in my criminology major?

Maybe. New courses are always being introduced. If you think you’ve taken a course that relates, bring a copy of the syllabus to the undergraduate coordinator for Criminology, and make your case!

Do upper-division interdisciplinary courses in other departments that count for criminology also count toward my college requirement of 18 hours of upper-division electives outside my major?

Yes.

On my audit, it says that I have not completed a senior thesis. Do I have to do one?

No. The audits look a bit confusing, but a senior thesis is NOT required of our majors.