Chairperson: Dr. DeVere D. Woods, Jr.
Department Office: Holmstedt Hall, room 208
Web site: http://www.indstate.edu/ccj
Crime affects nearly everyone in society. It is a real threat to the safety and security of many people; it is a source of fascination for the general public as evidenced by the popularity of books, films, and television shows about crime; it is a mystery of human nature which challenges society to understand why some people choose lives of crime while most choose productive and decent styles of life. This continuing curiosity about crime has made criminology/criminal justice one of the most popular academic fields in the nation.
Criminology and criminal justice is an empirical discipline that scientifically studies the nature and extent of crime, the causes of crime, and the development of methods designed to effectively prevent and control criminal behavior while achieving justice. The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice is designed as a liberal arts program rooted in the social sciences and as a professional preparation program in criminal justice administration. Through traditional classroom instruction and required hands-on experiences in criminal justice agencies and facilities, the department provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful career in corrections, law enforcement, victim assistance, investigation, or corporate and private security, as well as for the pursuit of graduate degrees in criminology and criminal justice, law, or related disciplines. Employment opportunities in these fields are plentiful, and students work with faculty advisors to determine the best preparation for their career goals.
In support of the liberal arts mission of the College of Arts and Sciences and Indiana State University, the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice participates in the Foundational Studies Program and the Women’s Studies Program. The department also offers a baccalaureate degree-completion program in criminology and criminal justice to students in the University’s DegreeLink Program. DegreeLink, an extended access, degree-completion program, enables students who have earned credit hours or associate degrees from accredited collegiate institutions to transfer credit hours, as a block or on a course-by-course basis, to Indiana State University baccalaureate degree programs. (See the DegreeLink Program description in this Catalog.)
The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers a curriculum leading to a bachelor of science degree. Candidates for either degree must complete the University requirement of a minimum of 120 credits, including Foundational Studies course work, as well as the requirements for the departmental major. Although selection of a relevant minor may enhance employability and is thus encouraged, a minor is not required for either of these degrees.
The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice expects its students to share fully in the intellectual and social life of the department and the University. In support of this goal, the department offers frequent opportunities for majors and minors to participate in professional activities in the field (practicums and internships), student activities in the department (Lambda Alpha Epsilon professional fraternity and Alpha Phi Sigma honor fraternity), and scholarly activities at professional meetings (Indiana Criminal Justice Association, Midwest Criminal Justice Association, American Society of Criminology, and Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences). Students who are interested in conducting research may wish to assist in faculty-sponsored research projects or to apply for funds to conduct their own research project from the department’s Institute of Criminology. The Institute provides administrative services for activities that supplement the department’s traditional academic program, such as distance learning programs, grants and contract proposals, research projects, and partnership programs with practitioners. Each year during Honors Day, a criminology and criminal justice student is given the department’s Outstanding Senior Award for academic excellence and distinguished service to the community.
Majors and minors in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice are encouraged to maintain regular contact with their academic advisors and are expected to work with their advisors prior to registration each semester. Students who do so are more likely to meet their goals and achieve academic success. Students can find their assigned advisors by consulting the college, the department, or their Degree Audit Tools (MySam or DARS). The department also offers group-scheduling sessions prior to the priority scheduling period each semester. Students are encouraged to attend one or more of these sessions prior to meeting with their advisor. Current information about classes, schedules, graduation requirements, and the work of the department in general is available on the departmental Web site.
Criminology majors all complete an internship in one of several criminal justice settings, such as law enforcement, courts, correctional institutions, juvenile facilities, in accordance with the interests of the student and recommendation of the faculty. The course is designed to integrate work experience in the criminal justice agency with knowledge gained through research and past classroom instruction for the student. The internship provides the student with an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in a professional criminal justice setting; allowing the student an opportunity to work directly with agency personnel and clientele, incorporating both academic and experiential knowledge.