Criminal Justice

Department of Criminal Justice

This major offers students a greater awareness of social services, judicial practice and court proceedings, law enforcement, corrections, fraud examination, public policy, emergency management, security, loss prevention, compliance, law, intelligence, juvenile justice, forensics, victim services, and other helping fields.

Criminal Justice courses allow students to explore critical thinking in an experiential environment by participating in mock investigations and trials and by participating in internships with corrections facilities, district courts, state or federal government agencies, and a vast array of social services organizations. Students are eligible to apply for internships in a criminal justice related organization during their junior year.

Baccalaureate degree holders will be prepared to seek employment positions in local, state, and federal organizations and private companies, or they may continue their education to complete a master’s degree in Criminal Justice or a law degree.  

A minor in Criminal Justice or Forensic Science, when paired with a major from a program from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, will significantly broaden students’ prospective career paths, equipping them with in-demand marketable skills.


Criminal Justice faculty members are multi-faceted and active in the discipline.  As Criminal Justice is an Interdisciplinary program, faculty specialties include Public Policy, Law, Public Administration, Sociology, Criminology, and Criminal Justice. Faculty are highly engaged in research and routinely involve students.  Faculty are members of the American Society of Criminology, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and regional associations related to Criminal Justice, Sociology, Juvenile Justice, Corrections and Law.


Students must maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 in the major, consistent with Worcester State University policy.

Evening and Summer Criminal Justice Courses

Core courses, though not offered in an online format, are available as evening courses.  Elective courses are offered in the evening and online during the regular academic calendar as well as during the summer sessions. Many courses are available in online and blended formats (in-class and online blend).

Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society

Students who challenge themselves to lead by example in all aspects of their academic environment become excellent candidates for induction into the Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society.  Membership in the Honor Society highlights outstanding students who exhibit self-motivation and exceed expectations. Prospective students with a GPA of 3.3 or higher can benefit from membership; it is highly recommended for adding to the resume.

Criminal Justice Club

Students are encouraged to join the CJ Club, a student-run club assisted by a Faculty Adviser. The Club serves as a conduit for students to network with peers, meet with guest speakers, attend the annual Career Fair, and take part in field trips and special events designed to broaden career choices and offer opportunities unique to each students’ particular path.   


Mark H. Beaudry, Assistant Professor (2018), A.S., Mount Wachusett Community College; M.S., B.S., Northeastern University; Ph.D., Capella University

Aimée Delaney, Associate Professor (2013), B.A., M.A., C.A.G.S., (Domestic Violence) University of Massachusetts, Lowell; Ph.D., University of New Hampshire

Hyesun Kim, Department Chair, Professor (2010), B.A., Dongguk University, South Korea; M.A., Ewha Women's University, South Korea; M.A., John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Ph.D., Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Penny Martin, Associate Professor (2003), B.S., Weber State College, Utah; M.A., Humboldt State University; Ph.D., University of Miami

Stephen A. Morreale, Professor (2007), B.S., University of Massachusetts, Boston; M.P.A., Golden Gate University; D.P.A., Nova Southeastern University

Francis G. Olive III, Associate Professor (2016), B.S., Our Lady of the Elms College; M.C.S.W., Fordham University; Ph.D., University of New Haven

John R. Tahiliani, Professor (2008), B.A., King's College; M.A., Ph.D., Washington State University


CJ-101 Introduction to Criminal Justice

LASC Categories: GP, HBS, ICW

This course provides a general introduction to the criminal justice system, including the historical development, fundamental principles, and legal framework of the criminal justice system in the United States and around the world. It examines the various components of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, courts, and corrections, assessing their effectiveness in promoting public safety and ensuring justice. The course also explores various theoretical perspectives on criminal behavior and ethical considerations for criminal justice professionals.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

CJ-102 Introduction to Corrections

Prerequisites: CJ-101

Corrections is described as a study of the historical and contemporary views that examine the punishment of crime, offender management, and rehabilitation. This course focuses on correctional philosophy, theory, and practices. It further explores sentencing, jails, prisons, probation, parole, correctional policies, agencies, prison life, treatment, challenges facing correctional populations, and reentry.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

CJ-103 Evidence Collection and Crime Scene Preservation

Prerequisites: CJ-101. Forensic Science minors must take BT-101 as the prerequisite for this course.

This course provides students with a theoretical framework for the practice of evidence collection and crime scene preservation. Various techniques and protocols for investigation will be reviewed and linked to methods of collection of physical evidence, as well as the interpretation, accountability and preservation of data. Techniques of documentation and case preparation will also be explored.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-111 Law Enforcement and Society

Prerequisites: CJ-101

The structure and function of law enforcement agencies in contemporary society will be analyzed in their sociological context. Particular emphasis will be placed on the role of the police within the framework of the Criminal Justice System.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

CJ-193 Special Topics for First-Year Students

LASC Categories: FYS

Introductory level course covering topics of special interest to first-year students. Offered only as a First-Year Seminar.

Every year. 3 Credits

CJ-203 Theories of Crime

Prerequisites: CJ-101

This course explores the prominent theories of crime causation, including biological, psychological, sociological, and cultural explanations. In this course, students also learn the implications of these theories for policy making within the criminal justice system.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

CJ-204 Introduction to Research in Criminal Jus

Prerequisites: CJ-203

This course provides an overview of research concepts, designs, and applications within the content areas of criminal justice. Reasoning, concept construction, theoretical frameworks, ethical principles, and professional writing conventions are examined.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

CJ-205 American Judicial System

Prerequisites: CJ-101

An examination of the development of law and the American legal system. The problems related to the meaning and uses of law: the organizational hierarchy of the courts: and the role of the courts in the criminal justice systems.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

CJ-208 Systems of Addictions Treatment

Prerequisites: HE-285 or CJ-285

This course provides an overview of counseling modalities and techniques used in addiction treatment and recovery settings, including for those with co-occurring disorders. A family systems approach will be employed to understand how the Criminal Justice System, the Mental Health System, and the larger community relate. Legal and regulatory restrictions, ethical codes, and legal sanctions also are discussed.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

CJ-211 Victimology

Prerequisites: CJ-101

Criminal-victim relationships, with emphasis on victim-precipitated crimes and compensation to the victims.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-212 Homeland Security

The course is designed to introduce students to the established Department of Homeland Security. The course will examine issues such as interdepartmental workings, legal restrictions placed on the DHS mandates, how the DHS interacts with both domestic and international agencies, and how effective has the DHS been since its inception.

Alternating and every year. 3 Credits

CJ-215 Art Crimes

LASC Categories: TLC, HBS

This course explores a variety of criminal offenses involving the production, consumption, distribution, and display of art, including graffiti/street art, forgery, theft, vandalism, rights infringement, and indecent and politically subversive art. The course examines these offenses from an interdisciplinary perspective, including law, criminology, aesthetics, economics, and cultural studies. Art crimes are examined from the international level to the locaL. (This course does not count as a Criminal Justice elective for Criminal Justice majors.)

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-216 Cybercrime

Prerequisites: CJ-101 and CJ-111

Cybercrime has grown in visibility and importance during the last two decades. There is growing public interest in cybercrime and identity theft and its consequences for businesses and individuals, only scant attention has been given to investigation and understanding of this crime. The focus of this course is to introduce students to the technical, social and legal aspects of cybercrime while exposing students to theories, tools and approaches to preventing and investigation of Cybercrime.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-217 Criminal Justice and Cultural Studies Abroad

LASC Categories: DAC

This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to explore culture, crime, and criminal justice systems overseas by attending international programs held in foreign countries. This course includes a study of criminal justice practices and systems through field studies, lectures, seminars, workshops, and the like. Further, students are exposed to diverse cultural experiences and events throughout the program.

Every 2-3 years. 3-6 Credits

CJ-218 Emergency Management

This course covers topics such as risk identification and assessment of natural hazards such as an environmental event or a human-made hazards such as violence in the workplace. The course also covers the development of crisis and disaster incident management programs. Students are required to take the assigned Federal Emergency Management Agency online course and a certificate is optional.

Alternating and every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-230 Leading Criminal Justice Organizations

Prerequisites: CJ-101 and CJ-102 and CJ-111

An examination of organizational and leadership theory and its applications within criminal justice organizations. Consideration of the principles of organization and methods adopted by progressive agencies to effectuate change and ensure effective criminal justice service to the community.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-250 Quantifying Crime

LASC Categories: QAC

Prerequisites: Score of 3 or higher on math Accuplacer or passing grade in college level math class.

Students are provided with an overview of statistics used in criminal justice and criminology. The course covers topics including constructing testable research questions in the study of crime, organizing data, applying appropriate statistical tests, and interpreting results. This course also teaches students how to evaluate government data, technical reports, and empirical studies which summarize criminal justice data. Specific topics may include measuring crime, calculating crime hot spots, and crime mapping.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-285 Drugs and Society

This course examines the history of alcohol and other mood changing drugs in the U.S, the myths and stereotypes of alcohol and drug use, sociocultural factors that contribute to the use of drugs, and the patterns and progression of substance use disorders.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-301 Juvenile Procedure

Prerequisites: CJ-101, CJ-201/CJ-111, CJ-202/CJ-102, CJ-205.

An examination of the underlying philosophy of juvenile justice and procedures used to process a juvenile alleged to be delinquent through the juvenile justice system. The course will focus on the differences between juvenile procedure and adult criminal procedure by examining recent court decisions and statutory law pertaining to juveniles.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-302 Criminal Law

Prerequisites: CJ-101 and CJ 205

The function of criminal law and its relationship to various criminal offenses, including crimes against persons and crimes against property.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

CJ-305 Principles of Evidence and Proof

Prerequisites: CJ-101 and CJ-205.

This course analyzes federal and state rules of evidence in criminal proceedings, focusing on the relationship between evidence and proof. The course also examines issues related to the collection and seizure of admissible physical evidence, the role of privileges, and the interrogation of the accused.

Spring only and every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-306 Contemporary Issues in Corrections

Prerequisites: CJ-101, CJ-201/CJ-111, CJ-202/CJ-102, CJ-205.

This course is designed to examine contemporary issues in the field of corrections. The focus of this course will include jails, prisons and community corrections and will examine current issues in: correctional administration, inmate management, mental health, rehabilitation programs, and reentry and reintegration.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-307 Contemporary Issues in Law Enforcement

Prerequisites: CJ-101, CJ-201/CJ-111, CJ-202/CJ-102, CJ-205.

An intensive analysis of selected problems in American law enforcement and police-community relations. A major research paper is required.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-310 Organized and White Collar Crime

Prerequisites: CJ-101, CJ-201/CJ-111, CJ-202/CJ-102, CJ-205.

The methods through which organized crime influences and, in many instances, controls entire communities. Traditional types of crime heavily influenced by organized crime, such as loan sharking and gambling, will be analyzed in an effort to demonstrate the basis of power and wealth of organized crime in the United States.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-320 Criminal Procedure

Prerequisites: CJ 205, or its equivalent or permission of the instructor

A study of the basic constitutional rights associated with the investigation, prosecution, and trial of criminal cases, and how the U.S. Supreme Court and other appellate courts have interpreted those rights. The course focuses on law enforcement practices including arrests, lineups, interrogations, searches and seizures, and in court processes including pre-trial proceedings, trial, and sentencing.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-322 Gangs

This course will offer an in-depth study of gangs in the United States. Topics to be examined include various theories of gang formation, group dynamics, and individual factors associated with gang membership. Attention will also be given to the different types of gangs that exist. Given these dynamics, the final portion of the course will focus on prevention and intervention efforts aimed at reducing gang behavior.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-325 Capital Punishment

This course focuses on capital punishment law, particularly United States Supreme Court decisions addressing constitutional issues relevant to the death penalty. Students also will explore empirical, penological, political, and moral issues related to the death penalty and its administration.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-327 Race, Ethnicity and Criminal Justice

Prerequisites: CJ-205

An examination of the issues of race and ethnicity which continue to affect all aspects of criminal justice in America. Whether as offenders, victims, or as persons working (or seeking to work) within the system, African Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities are treated differently than non-minorities. This course explores the core concepts of race and ethnicity as they have developed in our culture, and examines the evidence for and against various forms of racism and discrimination in key institutions of the criminal justice system. The nature and status of constitutional, statutory, and other remedies are also explored.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-332 Violent Crime

Prerequisites: CJ-101, CJ-203 and CJ-205

This course focuses on the study of violence and crime in America through exploring historical perspectives, examining diverse acts of violence, assessing relevant criminology theory regarding the genesis of violent behavior, considering media coverage, and reviewing trends in national and international data on violence. Specific violent crimes such as homicide, family violence, sexual assault, workplace violence, youth violence, and serial crimes will be surveyed. Acts of official violence, such as capital punishment and police brutality, will also be examined along with their impact on society.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-333 Terrorism

Prerequisites: CJ-101, CJ-201/CJ-111

This course will explore the development of terrorism as a form of crime. Topics to be studied include major terrorist groups and their strategies, tactics and targets, jurisdictional issues, anti- and counter-terrorist operations, federal law enforcement, and future trends in terrorism.

Fall and Spring and every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-334 Drugs, Crime and Society

Prerequisites: CJ-101.

This course will present an overview of the problems of drug-related crime in contemporary society. Specific drug substances are discussed, as well as legal, cultural, and social factors in connection with drug law enforcement.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-335 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems

Prerequisites: CJ-205

Increasingly, practitioners in the American criminal justice systems are required to interact with their counterparts, as well as citizens from other national jurisdictions. Effective interaction, including cooperation and sharing, requires some understanding of how criminal justice is conceived and practiced in other parts of the world. This course examines and compares key institutions of the criminal justice systems in six model countries, two in Europe, two in Asia, one Islamic nation, and one from Latin America. We look not only at formal organizations in each country, but also at actual practices and how they compare with each other and the United States. To understand how differences and similarities have developed, we also learn something of the history, culture, political system and economic conditions of each model country.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-337 Criminal Justice Ethics

Prerequisites: CJ-101

This course investigates the application of moral logic to problems in the field of criminal justice. Issues related to policing, criminal prosecution, and corrections will be studied. Students will be encouraged to induce general moral precepts and rules from the examination of particular situations and problems.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-338 Issues in Contemporary Security

An overview of security systems applicable to contemporary industrial and commercial demands. Losses through physical, technological, and personnel hazards are viewed as preventable phenomena if vulnerabilities are recognized and ameliorative measures taken. Counter-measures will be weighed within the framework of loss criticality and cost of effectiveness.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-340 Special Topics in Criminal Justice

An in-depth study of a limited or specialized area within the criminal justice field. Course content will vary according to the area of specialization of the instructor and the interest of the students. May be repeated if course content differs.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

CJ-351 Applied Research

Prerequisites: CJ-101 and CJ-204.

Students will work directly with one or more of the department faculty member(s) on new or ongoing research focused on a criminal justice topic and will gain practical experience in the research methodology appropriate to the research project. Topics will vary each semester by research needs of the Criminal Justice faculty.

Alternating and every year. 3-9 Credits

CJ-352 Principles of Investigation

Prerequisites: CJ-101 and CJ-201/CJ-111.

This course provides students with a theoretical framework for the practice of investigation in both the private and public sectors. Various techniques and protocols for investigation will be explored including infractions and ethics investigations and background investigations. Students will link these methods to the collection of physical evidence, interpretation and preservation of data, rules of evidence, techniques of documentation, along with interview and interrogation approaches.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-354 Addictions Counseling of Individuals and Families

LASC Categories: ICW

Prerequisites: HE-285 or CJ-285

This course provides students with an applied understanding of counseling skills, techniques, and strategies in addiction treatment. The psychology of addictions and various treatment modalities are discussed. Engagement, assessment, treatment planning, brief and ongoing treatment, continuing care, and work with special populations are considered. Dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness practice techniques, and motivational interviewing concepts are introduced, and students apply them in role-playing scenarios. Boundaries, ethics, and counselor self-awareness are also covered.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

CJ-360 Program Evaluation

Prerequisites: CJ-101 and CJ-204.

This course will explore the process by which we, in a practical sense, are able to provide useful information and analysis on policy and programs within a given set of real-world constraints. The class contains a service-learning component in which the student will perform a program evaluation on behalf of a community social service agency.

Alternating and every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-361 Public Policy in Criminal Justice

Prerequisites: CJ-101

This course provides an overview of how public policy shapes and influences the criminal justice system through the examination of various political, economic, legal, and social contexts. Current issues facing criminal justice policy makers are explored and various policy evaluation methodologies are reviewed. Additionally, reforms of the political process are discussed with respect to critical issues facing the criminal justice system in contemporary America.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-371 Strategic Planning

Prerequisites: CJ-101

This course is designed to acquaint students with general theories of planned change at the individual, organizational, and community levels. Special attention will be given to the need for employee involvement and collaboration in working toward organizational goals, with reference to concepts such as reinventing government and total quality management. The emphasis will be on applied theory. Students will be expected to develop their own ideas for change in the fields of policing, courts, or corrections. They would then be required to consider the resistances that would likely arise as their changes are introduced, and how they should best be dealt with, considering planned change theories from the course.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

CJ-398 Criminal Justice Internship

Prerequisites: CJ-101 and CJ-102 and CJ-111 and CJ-203

Criminal Justice internship involves student field-based work experience within selected agencies of the criminal justice system or allied helping agencies. This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to translate theoretically oriented classroom principles into practical application.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3-6 Credits

CJ-399 Independent Study in Criminal Justice

Individual research and independent study related to a particular aspect of criminal justice that is of special interest.

Every year. 3-6 Credits

CJ-400 Criminal Justice Capstone

LASC Categories: CAP

Prerequisites: CJ-101, CJ-102/CJ-202, CJ-111/CJ-201, CJ-203/CJ-121, CJ-205, and CJ-331/204.

Provide students the opportunity to engage in a culminating experience in which they use critical thinking skills to analyze, integrate, and synthesize the knowledge gained in their major program of study. Students will apply that knowledge and critical thinking skill to the exploration of issues and concerns/problems of the profession in preparation of future employment and/or graduate education.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

CJ-401 Forensic Science Senior Seminar

Prerequisites: BT-101 and CJ-103

The senior seminar is designed to bring together the diverse areas of knowledge that the student has gained in the area of forensic science. It is a synthesis of classroom knowledge applied to real world forensic science issues. Topics covered emphasize the use of critical thinking skills to analyze, integrate and synthesize research and case studies relevant to the forensic sciences.

Spring only and every year. 3 Credits

CJ-406 The 12 Core Functions of Addictions Counseling

Prerequisites: HE-285 or CJ-285 Take CJ-208 or HE-208; Take PS-270 or HE-270; Take CJ-354 or HE-354;

This culminating course prepares students to enter the field of substance use disorders and/or addictions counseling through an intensive review of the 12 Core Functions of Addictions Counseling. Students further develop the skill sets from prior coursework to serve as a foundation for gaining practical experience in addictions counseling.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

CJ-407 Pre-Practicum Seminar in Addictions Counseling

Prerequisites: PS-101 Take HE-285 or CJ-285; Take HE-270 or PS-270; Take HE-208 or CJ-208; Take HE-354 or CJ-354;
Prerequisites or Corequisite: CJ-406 or HE-406

The course is designed for students who wish to complete the course Practicum in Addictions Counseling in pursuit of CADC licensure. Students are prepared for fieldwork through practice of counseling techniques, reviews of case studies, and study of counseling theories. All core functions of addictions counseling are reviewed and reinforced, with particular emphasis on assessment, counseling, and case management. Students practice in role play using a variety of modalities while considering the needs of special populations and the opportunities and constraints of various treatment settings. Ethical and legal considerations for addictions counselors are also explored. Open to Addictions Counseling Certificate

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

CJ-408 Directed Study: Criminal Justice

Directed study offers students, who because of unusual circumstances may be unable to register for a course when offered, the opportunity to complete an existing course with an established syllabus under the direction and with agreement from a faculty member.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

CJ-409 Practicum in Addictions Counseling

Prerequisites: CJ-407 or HE-407

Field experience in which students complete 150 hours of direct care experience in a substance use disorders counseling setting. To qualify for CADC licensure, the practicum must be repeated for a total of 300 hours and 6 credits. Course may be repeated.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Possess the capacity to comprehend and evaluate qualitative and quantitative social science research, including at least a basic familiarity with introductory level statistical concepts.
  • Comprehend the Constitutional concepts and values of due process, equal protection, and fundamental fairness in policing, courts and corrections.
  • Demonstrate the capacity for ethical and moral reasoning in all aspects of the criminal justice curriculum.
  • Comprehend the nature and significance of gender, racial, ethnic-cultural, and class issues in the administration of criminal justice.
  • Demonstrate sufficient writing, research, communications, and computer literacy skills to enable graduates to obtain bachelor-level entry in criminal justice and applied professional fields, or alternatively, to pursue graduate studies in such fields and disciplines.
  • Be able to employ critical reasoning skills across criminal justice curriculum.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with both traditional and contemporary theories of crime causation, and their implications for public policy.
  • Be cognizant of the history, development, fundamental concepts, and current operation of American law and our principal criminal justice institutions, together with their relationships to each other and to the larger social and political context.