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Criminal Justice

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Program Overview

Eastern Kentucky University has been a national leader in criminal justice education for decades. The Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice is based on a dynamic curriculum that is intended to help students understand the underlying cultural, economic, and political connections with social harm, crime and systems of social control. Our Criminal Justice students have the opportunity to study with highly accomplished faculty who have earned acclaim for their teaching and scholarship. Our Criminal Justice Program is designed to cultivate the critical thinking and reasoning skills needed to be successful in criminal justice careers or further educational pursuits.

Career Opportunities

  • State and Local Law Enforcement (State Police, County Sheriff’s Office, City Police)
  • Federal Law Enforcement (ATF, FBI, Secret Service, Park Service, Fish & Wildlife)
  • State and Local Corrections (Probation, Parole, Prisons, Jails)
  • Federal Corrections (Bureau of Prisons, Probation and Parole)
  • Bailiff
  • Corporate / Industrial Security Services
  • Crime Policy Analyst
  • Crime Scene Investigators Criminologist
  • Customs Agent
  • Juvenile Justice & Youth Services Private Investigator
  • Rape Crisis, Battered Women Shelters, Drug Treatment
  • State and Federal Courts U.S. Military Services
  • Victim Advocacy & Child Protective Services


Bachelor’s Degree

Total Curriculum Requirements: 120 hours
37 hours: General Education / University Requirements
15 hours: Core Courses (listed below)
27 hours: CRJ Electives
  9 hours: Supporting Courses 
32 hours: Free Electives


Total Curriculum Requirements: 18 Hours
CRJ 101, 313, or 313s, 331, 388, 400


Core Courses

CRJ 101 – Introduction to Criminal Justice
A general overview of the criminal justice system including a description of the major agencies; police, prosecution, courts, and corrections, and analysis of their interdependence in the criminal justice process.

CRJ 313 Criminal Justice Ethics
Examines the moral, legal and normative obligations of the state and criminal justice professionals. Surveys the philosophies and theories of ethics and deviance.

CRJ 331 Criminological Theory
Overview of crime and its control. Examines law making, law breaking, and the social response from theoretical perspectives including social, economic, cultural, symbolic, phychological and biological. Includes historical and contemporary developments.

CRJ 338 Research Methods
Overview of the research process, with emphasis on finding, using and evaluating criminal justice research. Examination of both quantitative and qualitative social science research methods and procedures appropriate to the study of crime policy and criminal justice.

CRJ 400 Criminal Justice Statistics
Analytical and statistical concepts and procedures rele- vant to crime and criminal justice data. Includes quantita- tive and qualitative techniques.

Elective Options

CRJ 204 Foundations of Corrections
CRJ 301 Drugs, Crime, and Society
CRJ 305 Domestic Violence
CRJ 314 Law and Society
CRJ 325 White Collar Crime/Crimes of the Powerful
CRJ 340 Crime and Media
CRJ 342 Victimology
CRJ 344 Violence Against Women
CRJ 350 International & Comparative Criminal Justice System
CRJ 355 Rural Crime and Justice
CRJ 375 Climage Change and Crime
CRJ 401 Organized Crime
CRJ 406 Critical Issues in Criminal Justice
CRJ 411 Capital Punishment in the U.S.
CRJ 412 Gender, Class and Race
CRJ 422 Human Trafficking
CRJ 423 Topical Seminar
CRJ 424 Field Experience
CRJ 430 Crime and Economy
CRJ 440 Pathological Gambling and Crime
CRJ 460 Independent Study
CRJ 490 Senior Seminar

Students may also choose elective courses from Police Studies (PLS) or Social Justice Studies (SJS) to meet the Criminal Justice elective requirement.

Information based on EKU’s 2023 – 24 course catalog and is subject to change.

College of Justice, Safety, and Military Science

521 Lancaster Avenue
Stratton 354
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: 859-622-3565

Connect with CJS @ EKU