Criminal Justice (B.S.)

The Bachelor of Science program is structured to provide students with a multidisciplinary understanding of crime and justice within the framework of broader social processes. Required courses expose a criminal justice major to all aspects of the justice system and foster a systemic view rather than a specialization in a single component of this field. Within this broad framework, courses deal with specific substantive topics. Practical field experience can be arranged under the guidance of the internship coordinator.

The curriculum is designed to offer students a comprehensive education by providing a fundamental understanding of crime causation and the criminal justice system, together with the skills and knowledge useful in pursuing professional careers. Analytical and writing skills are developed so as to prepare students for roles in today's criminal justice agencies. Police departments, correctional facilities, and court administrators' offices require an increasing number of personnel with quantitative analytical abilities, computer skills, personal interaction skills, excellent command of English, knowledge of foreign languages, and the ability to understand legal materials.

Core Criminal Justice Courses include classes on theories of criminal behavior, criminal procedure, criminal justice institutions, criminal justice research methods, and the criminal justice process. These core courses are designed to acquaint students with problems of crime and deviance in American society, the major public institutions which deal with these problems, the legal foundation of criminal justice, and analytic research methods used to better understand the social and behavioral realities of criminal justice. Criminal justice majors must maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average overall and in the major.

Criminal Justice Electives: A minimum of twelve credits must be selected for concentrated elective course work in the criminal justice field. The approved criminal justice electives provide a structured set of rigorous upper-division courses which are relevant to: 1) a deeper understanding of the justice process and 2) knowledge and skills in specific career areas in the field.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for this program are satisfied by the general requirements for undergraduate admission to the University.


Candidates must complete 120 credits in course work including satisfaction of the University General Education Requirements and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Group Requirements, as well as the departmental major  requirements cited below. All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the University and the College governing undergraduate scholarship and degrees. It is recommended that students complete much of the General Education Requirements before they initiate Criminal Justice major course work.

Major Requirements 

It is the student’s responsibility to meet with a Criminal Justice Academic Advisor to officially declare their Major and to identify all major and degree requirements. 

Required Core Courses
CRJ 1010Introduction to Criminal Justice3
CRJ 3200Police and Society4
CRJ 3350Corrections4
CRJ 3550Research Methods in Criminal Justice4
CRJ 3800Criminological Theories4
CRJ 4740Constitutional Criminal Procedure4
Select one of the following process courses:
CRJ 3400Juvenile Delinquency and Justice4
or CRJ 3700 The Judicial Process
Approved Electives
Select a minimum of twelve credits of the following:12
Outsiders and Deviants
Race, Crime and Justice
Gender and Crime
Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice
Mental Health and Crime
Domestic Violence and Criminal Justice
Politics of the Criminal Justice Process
Juvenile Delinquency and Justice
The Judicial Process
Legal Writing for Criminal Justice
Comparative Criminal Justice
Crime and Public Health
Correctional Counseling Methods
Internship in Criminal Justice
Directed Study
Honors Thesis in Criminal Justice
Child Abuse and Neglect
Law in Human Society
Dispute Resolution
Special Topics in Criminal Justice
Special Topics in Criminology
Special Topics in Law and the Legal System
Total Credits39

Residency Requirements

A minimum of sixteen of the twenty-seven credits in Criminal Justice Core courses and four of the twelve credits in Criminal Justice Elective courses must be earned at Wayne State University. 

Transfer Credit

Students should visit the transfer credit website and consult with the Criminal Justice Academic Advisor to determine the applicability of transfer credits toward the major.

Criminal Justice Honors (B.S. Program)

The Honors Program in Criminal Justice is open to students of superior academic ability who are majoring in criminal justice. To be recommended for an honors degree from this department, a student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.3. He/she must accumulate at least twelve credits in honors-designated course work from various departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, including honors requirements within Criminal Justice and at least one 4000-level Honors College seminar. The Honors student must complete an original Honors Thesis during the senior year. For information about the requirements of the department's honors curriculum, contact the Criminal Justice Honors Director or Academic Services Officer (313-577-0772).

Pre-Law Advising and Curriculum

Students considering legal careers and wishing to major or minor in criminal justice should notify their Criminal Justice Academic Advisor at the beginning of their junior year. For non-majors wishing to take a pre-law sequence of courses in criminal justice, the following are recommended:

CRJ 1010Introduction to Criminal Justice3
CRJ 3260Investigation3
CRJ 3700The Judicial Process4
CRJ 3710Legal Writing for Criminal Justice4
CRJ 4740Constitutional Criminal Procedure4
CRJ 5997Special Topics in Law and the Legal System3
Total Credits21

Graduate Study

Graduating seniors who are planning graduate study in criminal justice may qualify to complete approved course work toward the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree under the AGRADE or the Senior Rule provision.

Senior Rule Study

Minimum requirements for Senior Rule study include: a 3.0 grade point average for the junior and senior years of study, and at least one (but not more than ten) credits remaining to be completed for the undergraduate degree. Additional limitations and requirements apply for this status and for continuing graduate study in criminal justice. Interested seniors should consult with their Academic Advisor for further information.

‘AGRADE’ Program (Accelerated Graduate Enrollment)

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Accelerated Graduate Enrollment (AGRADE) Program allows qualified seniors to apply a maximum of fifteen credits toward both the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Criminal Justice degrees. Qualifications for AGRADE include Senior status and a minimum major g.p.a. of 3.6. For additional eligibility information, interested students should contact the Criminal Justice Academic Services Officer (313-577-0772).