Bachelor of Science-Criminal Justice

Texas A&M University-Texarkana offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Minor in Criminal Justice.  Using research-based knowledge of crime, criminal justice, and society, our students have the opportunity to develop skills in analytical thinking, research, and writing that increase their value to current and future employers. 

The BS-CJ degree is oriented to pre-service and in-service criminal justice employees, particularly those who wish to be promoted to supervisory and management roles, employed in state and federal agencies, or attend graduate school.  Graduates of the program work at local, state, and federal agencies.  Other students who commonly seek the BS-CJ are those with career interests in social service and rehabilitation organizations that are commonly adjuncts to the criminal justice system.  Faculty will help students customize their degree plan based on the individual student's interests and goals.  Students may specialize in interests such as law enforcement, community corrections, juvenile justice, pre-law, incarceration, management & leadership, human behavior, forensic science, social justice, or other areas.

Careers in Criminal Justice

  • Police Officer
  • Jail Officer
  • Victim advocate
  • Probation officer
  • Investigator

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BS-CJ) is a 120-credit hour curriculum starting with a freshman Introduction to Criminal Justice that is integrated into your University Core curriculum then continuing with upper-division work beginning in your sophomore year. 

Both transfer students and changes of major can transition smoothly into the "2+2" program design.  Students may begin their college experience in virtually any degree program at Texas A&M University-Texarkana or at a community college before transferring to complete their 4-year degree in Criminal Justice.  Full-time students with 60 hours creditable toward the degree can complete the degree in two years or less taking day, night, and web classes.

The goal of the criminal justice faculty is to enhance the value of our students as employees and citizens.  We strive to increase the knowledge, skills, and abilities of current and future criminal justice employees, citizens, and leaders through an intellectually challenging curriculum examining problems of crime and justice through theory, observation, and analysis.  Our students include pre-service and in-service criminal justice personnel, social service providers, and students working in the private sector.  Our graduates are employed in local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies and a host of public and private organizations.

Degree Requirements

Students should refer to their DegreeWorks degree audit in their Web for Students account for more information regarding their degree requirements.

Major Requirements
General Education Requirements42
CJ 400Internship3
CJ 430Constitutional Issues: Rights of Accused and Convicted Offenders3
CJ 454Research Techniques in Criminal Justice3
CJ 480Criminological Theories3
CJ 485Seminar in Criminal Justice3
Upper Division Criminal Justice Electives15
Other Requirements
ENG 340Advanced Expository Writing (EL)3
ITED 350Technology and Digital Literacy3
Upper Division Electives18
Upper Division or Lower Division Electives24
A maximum of 21 semester credit hours Criminal Justice transfer curriculum could be used to meet degree requirements
Minimum Hours for Degree120

Note: A minimum of 54 upper division hours (300 and 400 level courses) are required for this degree. Resident credit totaling 25% of the hours is required for the degree.  A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in three areas for graduation:  Overall GPA, Institutional GPA, and Major GPA.

Undergraduate Courses in Criminal Justice

CJ 1301. Introduction to Criminal Justice. 3 Hours.

This course is a survey of U.S. law enforcement, courts, and corrections at the federal, state, and local level. The course includes research, analysis, and writing tasks appropriate to freshman level development as well as explorations of criminal justice education and career options.

CJ 310. The Juvenile Justice System. 3 Hours.

This course covers the history and development of traditional and current methods for responding to the needs of the juvenile offender, juvenile practices and procedures, juvenile law, and the role of the police and other involved agencies.

CJ 311. Drugs, Crime and the Law. 3 Hours.

This is a survey of the historical, social, and political discourse on the relationship between drugs, people, and policy in the U.S. focusing on the criminalization of certain substances. It includes historical patterns of drug abuse in the U.S., drug laws, contemporary drug use, the connection of drug use to crime and violence, and the "War on Drugs".

CJ 312. Guns and Violence in American Society. 3 Hours.

This course explores philosophical, Constitutional, and empirical questions and claims about firearms and their place and effects in U.S. Society. Special attention is given to debate over the Second Amendment and competing hypotheses about the relationship of guns to violence.

CJ 315. Law and Society. 3 Hours.

This course is an examination of the nature, functions, and limitations of law as an instrument of social control. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of the situational and systemic demands within which actors in the legal system operate and perform their roles and in developing a perspective which views law as a practical resource and as a mechanism for handling the widest range of unspecified social issues, problems, and conflicts. This course is cross listed with SOC 315.

CJ 320. Deviance and Deviant Behavior. 3 Hours.

This course is an introduction to the general phenomena of social deviance with primary emphasis given to non-criminal deviance and victimless crimes, including mental disorders, drug use, prostitution, sexual deviance, and pornography. The course is cross listed with SOC 320. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.

CJ 325. Crime and Delinquency. 3 Hours.

This course provides a study of the meaning, nature, and extent of crime and delinquency, including analysis and evaluation of preventive and treatment methods. Emphasis will be on theories of crime and delinquency causation. Cross listed with SOC 325. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.

CJ 330. Institutional Corrections, Theory, and Practice. 3 Hours.

This course provides examinations of the historical development of corrections, including concepts of punishment and rehabilitation, with emphasis on institutional corrections from conviction to release. Cross listed with SOC 330.

CJ 340. Criminal Law and Procedure. 3 Hours.

This course covers the history and philosophy of modern substantive criminal law with an emphasis on the Texas Penal Code. The course provides definitions and elements of principle crimes, criminal liability, and defenses to criminal penalties.

CJ 350. Types of Crime. 3 Hours.

This course provides a detailed analysis of four major categories of crime: white collar, street crime, organized and consensual crime, and violent crime.

CJ 351. Crime Prevention. 3 Hours.

An exploration of approaches to preventing future crime based on the locus of treatment such as known criminals, physical spaces, and at risk populations. Includes theoretical and practical applications to include evaluations of prevention program effects.

CJ 355. Victimology. 3 Hours.

Students will learn about the history of victimology theories explaining victimization, victims rights and remedies, and will cover specific crimes and how they affect crime victims.

CJ 360. Probation, Parole, and Community Corrections. 3 Hours.

This course provices a survey and analysis of probation and parole as well as other community reintegration efforts such as boot camps, halfway houses, restitution centers, electronic monitoring, and other community-centered programs.

CJ 380. Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in America. 3 Hours.

This course reviews the originalities and experiences of the various national, ethnic, cultural, religious, and social groups that make up what is known today as the United States of America. Attention is also paid to how such originalities and/or experiences impact or influence contemporary realities for each group. Cross listed with SOC 380.

CJ 390. Criminal Investigations. 3 Hours.

This course examines the criminal investigation process. It also includes investigative techniques base don type of crime, with evolving issues regarding rules of evidence and constitutional issues.

CJ 400. Internship. 3-9 Hours.

This course offers supervised experience in a criminal justice agency. The course offers participant observation and hands-on experience that provides the opportunity to integrate theory and practice (3-9 SCH). Only 3 SCH apply to the major. To receive 9, SCH the student must work full-time 3 months during either the summer or a long semester. A student may earn a maximum of 9 SCH for an internship, with only 3 SCH counted for the major. Prerequisite: Senior standing.

CJ 420. Administration of Criminal Justice Agencies. 3 Hours.

This course provides an analysis of modern administration theory and management principles and their application to the unique operating problems of criminal justice organizations.

CJ 421. American Law Enforcement Studies. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on historical developments and problematic issues in law enforcement. In addition to long-term intransient issues, it examines contemporary issues based on recent and ongoing events. Cross listed with CJ 521.

CJ 430. Constitutional Issues: Rights of Accused and Convicted Offenders. 3 Hours.

This course offers an examination of state and federal constitutional rights and guarantees for the offender; rights and privileges of incarcerated offenders; and constitutional rights of juveniles.

CJ 440. The Death Penalty. 3 Hours.

This class is a study and critical appraisal of capital punishment. Students will learn about the historical imposition of the death penalty, the legal history in the U.S., the emotional consequences to victims' family, offenders' family, offenders, staff, and others in the criminal justice system, as well as the applicaiton process of capital punishment.

CJ 454. Research Techniques in Criminal Justice. 3 Hours.

This course provides an introduction to research methods and computer applications in criminal justice. This course covers word processing, electronic spreadsheets, and an introduction to major criminal justice databases.

CJ 460. Civil Disruption, Terrorism, and Mass Violence. 3 Hours.

This course provides an examination of historic and current trends in civil disruption from a domestic and an international perspective and from civil disobedience to more violent means of dissent or revolt.

CJ 470. Police and Community Relations. 3 Hours.

This course provides an examination of the interface between the police and the community they serve. Topics under consideration include civilian review boards, deadly force, police corruption, community-oriented policing, the police and other community agencies that serve the public, and crime prevention methods versus traditional policing that responds after a crime is committed.

CJ 472. Introduction to Forensic Science. 3 Hours.

This course is the study of basic concepts, techniques, practices, and procedures of criminalistics, including the most current technologies in forensic analysis. Criminal investigation of actual cases will be discussed with a minimum of scientific terminology. In addition, the nature of physical evidence will be emphasized, including the use of DNA profiling. Instructors strongly recommend this course for Criminal Justice majors and Pre-Allied Health track students in Biology. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing.

CJ 480. Criminological Theories. 3 Hours.

This course describes the role of theory in crime scholarship. It surveys the major schools of thought related to crime causation (sociological, psychological, and biological) and particular theories about crime and delinquency, places these theories in historical context, and reviews some of the primary assumptions of the theories and conclusions reached from criminology research.

CJ 485. Seminar in Criminal Justice. 3 Hours.

This course provides students with a detailed understanding of the various agencies that make up what the government refers to as the criminal justice system in America. Emphasis is placed on how the organization, management, goals and objectives of each agency affect administration of justice.

CJ 489. Individual Study. 3 Hours.

This course provides individual instruction. Students may repeat the course when topics vary.

CJ 497. Special Topics. 3 Hours.

Instructors will provide an organized class designed to cover areas of specific interest. Students may repeat the course when topics vary.


Dr. Tom Jordan

Associate Professor


Dr. Godpower Okereke



Brenda Riley

Interim Assistant Professor