(Bachelor of Science Degree)
Criminal justice is the study of crime, its causes, and its effects on society. It is concerned with preventing and deterring criminal behavior, rehabilitating the offender, and providing a system where justice and rights are served. Graduates of the program have opportunities in a variety of criminal justice fields including policing, law, probation, juvenile services, private security, public administration/planning, counseling, research, and regulatory enforcement.
Utica College offers an on-ground undergraduate program in Criminal Justice; there is also an undergraduate online program for transfer students. The online BS in Criminal Justice degree is a completion program, which means that students must have an Associate’s degree from an accredited institution prior to enrolling in the program. Students transferring into this program without an Associate’s degree, but who have at least 57 transferable credits from a four-year institution may be considered. Additionally, students who show academic promise and don’t meet the prior 2 requirements may also be considered. However all students must meet the New York State Education Department’s mandated liberal arts requirements. A success coach will create an academic plan for students to ensure all core, liberal arts and graduation requirements are satisfied. Please see Utica’s Academic Requirements for more information on Utica’s Core and liberal arts requirements for transfer students.
In addition to entry level employment opportunities, graduates may pursue advanced study in fields such as public administration, criminal justice and criminology, management, and law.
A student who graduates from the program will be able to demonstrate the following:
- Demonstrate knowledge of key criminal justice and criminological concepts, processes, and issues, including major legal terms, considerations, and landmark cases.
- Describe major criminological theories in terms of the cause(s) and control(s) of crime, considering the community.
- Exhibit critical thinking about crime and criminal justice policy claims and issues, with an emphasis on questioning the credibility of claims and statistics.
- Articulate how research is used to test hypotheses and inform policy decisions, including the design of evaluation studies.
- Describe how ethics influence the exercise of discretion in the field of criminal justice as well as in the conduct of criminological research.
- Communicate effectively about crime and the criminal justice system, including written and oral communication and technology proficiency.
- Demonstrate an understanding of what effective employment in a criminal justice setting involves, such as working with diverse others and professionalism.
- rticulate how economic and cybercrime influence traditional forms of crime and the criminal justice system’s response to them.
The faculty have identified several advising specializations, groups of courses within the elective offerings that provide students with a focused path of study. Elective specializations are not formal parts of the curriculum but options within the elective section of the program. Students do not have to focus on a specialization but can with the consent of their advisor, simply elect to take courses that meet their needs or interests. The specializations identified by the faculty are:
- Criminal Justice
- Cybercriminology and Policy
- Homeland Security
- Legal Issues in Criminal Justice
- Public Policy and Leadership
- White-Collar Crime
Students in criminal justice are required to achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) across major, major-related, major elective, and major concentration courses by the first semester of their junior year and to maintain that average thereafter.