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BCJ Courses

General Education Course Requirements

The general education course requirements are listed below:

  • Arts & Humanities (with no more than 6 semester credits counted from any one discipline)

18 credits

  • Social Sciences 

6 credits

  • Sciences

6 credits

  • Math

3 credits

  • Computer Science 

3 credits

  • Written English 

3 credits

Total

39 credits

Criminal Justice Courses 

Based on reasonable projections of faculty availability and appropriate curriculum considerations, the following courses can change as deemed necessary by Baker University to fulfill its role and mission. Approximately 18 months are required to fulfill the core program requirements. Courses must be completed in the order recommended by the University.

BCJ 300 Introduction to Criminal Justice Concepts

This course introduces students to the various processes used to prevent and control crime, as well as to examine the nature, extent and implications of these processes on crime and American society. The bulk of this course will focus on explanations for why and how the stages of the criminal justice system handle crime and offenders. This is coupled with a goal to inform students on practical aspects of the criminal justice system. (3 credits)

BCJ 310 Writing for Social Science

This course prepares students for writing in professional settings and in future SPGS courses. Students learn to write analytically and persuasively with a reader-centered approach. Students will employ the writing process of invention, drafting, editing and revision. Students will become skilled at finding and eliminating most common writing errors and learn to write succinctly. (3 credits)

BCJ 320 Criminal Justice Research

This course introduces the logic and methods of the science that explains crime and crime control. The contributions of social science to knowledge are not mere deductions of common sense, but are conclusions drawn from thorough empirical research using a scientific process. Topics include what it means to be "correlated" and what "intervening variables" are. Topic also include conceptualization and operationalization, measurement validity and reliability, types of sampling, experimentation, survey research, ethnography, secondary data analysis, research ethics, policy and program evaluation and more. The overall goal is to help the student become an informed consumer, producer and evaluator of crime data. (3 credits)

BCJ 325 Criminology

This course introduces students to the various theories used to explain crime, as well as to examine the nature, extent and causes of crime in American society. We will consider how crime is defined and measured, explore the criminalization of deviance and discuss various types of crime and criminality. The bulk of this course will focus on theoretical explanations employed by criminologists to explain why crime occurs, who offends and who is victimized. We will briefly examine classical theories, biological theories and psychological theories before studying social theories of crime, including rational choice, strain, labeling, control and conflict theories among others. (3 credits)

BCJ 326 Victimology

Victimology is the social scientific study of criminal victimization. As a sub-field of criminology it too seeks to explain crime, but through more of a focus on the victims of crime. This course will cover three general inter-related areas. One is research and theory on victimization. Here, you will learn about rates of victimization and how they differ according to social categories (race, ethnicity, age, class, gender, etc.), theories that explain differential victimization (of individuals and social categories) and empirical tests of these theories. The second area is the consequences of victimization. Here, you will learn mostly about the impact of criminal victimization upon individuals' mental (and physical) health, but also the macro-social costs of victimization (including economic). The third area is practical responses to victimization. Here, you will learn about the history and development of the "victims' rights movement," as well as social policy and services aimed at restoring victims. (3 credits)

BCJ 330 Inequality and Crime

This course examines how class, race and gender intersect with crime and the criminal justice system. The course provides an overview of class, race, ethnic and gender stratification in the United States and looks at how that stratification is reflected in judgments about crime and in treatments of various groups in the criminal justice system. Of great importance to American justice is how race, class and gender influence the ways in which individuals are treated within the criminal justice system as offenders, victims and employee. (3 credits)

BCJ 346 Policing

This course covers the fundamental principles and procedures employed in the investigation of a crime. Emphasis is placed on the investigation of specific crimes, the identification of sources of information and the procedures necessary for the proper handling of evidence. This course is designed to develop a working knowledge of the steps of investigation beginning with the initial security of the crime scene and concluding with the presentation of evidence and proper testimony in court. (3 credits)

BCJ 347 Criminal Investigations

This course covers the fundamental principles and procedures employed in the investigation of a crime. Emphasis is placed on the investigation of specific crimes, the identification of sources of information and the procedures necessary for the proper handling of evidence. This course is designed to develop a working knowledge of the steps of investigation beginning with the initial security of the crime scene and concluding with the presentation of evidence and proper testimony in court. (3 credits)

BCJ 380 Law and Society

This course is an analysis of the legal order of society. The basic premise is that law is both the product of social interaction and the impetus for social change. It emphasizes main legal theories and research techniques to study the origins, processes, functions and actors of the social reality known as Law. Students will make a combined theoretical and practical exploration into the American court system. (3 credits)

BCJ 385 Corrections

Examining and understanding the field of corrections is fundamental to the study of criminology and criminal justice. Corrections is one of the largest, most complex and controversial components of the criminal justice system. This course will examine correctional practices and reforms and their consequences. Included in the course examination will be the cultural, social and theoretical context from which various corrections reforms have emerged over the past several centuries. More recent correctional reforms and practices will be examined in detail along with the future of American corrections as we move toward what has been termed "a culture of control." (3 credits)

BCJ 344 Youth and Crime

The class will cover four areas of the relationship between youth and crime. First, the nature and extent of delinquency will provide the foundation for the remainder of the course by asking how much delinquency is there, who is delinquent and how is delinquency measured? Next, in theories of delinquency, we will explore and critique the main theories used to explain delinquent behavior. The third section, influences on delinquency, will focus on the influence of social, individual and environmental factors on juvenile delinquency, such as gender, family, drugs and the media. In the fourth section, the response to delinquency, we will address the history of the juvenile justice system and the ways in which it prevents, treats and punishes juvenile offenders. (3 credits)

BCJ 345 White Collar Crime

This course will explore the ways in which computer technology now organizes and presents opportunities for crime in modern society. In addition to Internet crime, students will explore crimes considered to be white collar. Topics to be discussed include, among others, consumer fraud, hate groups and hate speech, illegal pornography, terrorism and threats, hacking, and identity theft. In many ways, these crimes will perhaps simply mirror the social context from which the technology or business originates. Or, perhaps, there are ways in which crime is transformed into unique forms as a result of the technology. Students will also study policy responses to these crimes. (3 credits)

BCJ 395 Criminal Justice Ethics

As future employees of the criminal justice system, students will explore ethics in criminal justice. Ethical dilemmas confronting criminal justice professionals are far-reaching and prevalent in today's criminal justice system. Inherent within the criminal justice system is the power to make discretionary decisions that affect the offenders, victims and society. Students will explore ethical issues associated with the police, prosecution, courts and correctional systems. (3 credits)

BCJ 494 Criminal Justice Seminar

The seminar is the final course in the program's course of study and provides an opportunity to the criminal justice major to apply the knowledge, skills and perspectives learned in the study of the discipline. Each student will study in-depth a selected topic in criminal justice. The seminar format will be dedicated to intensive readings and discussions focusing on how selected theoretical viewpoints inform our understanding of practical applications for understanding and controlling crime. Based on that reading and as a culminating experience of the criminal justice program, students will design and execute an original research project. (3 credits)

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