Criminology and Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

This degree provides students with the opportunity to engage in diverse coursework to increase knowledge and analytical skills appropriate for a variety of career paths. These career paths include work in an area of the public justice system, such as police, courts, corrections, regulatory agencies, and environmental protection, or in community-based programs related to crime prevention, rehabilitation, and victim assistance, as well as pursuit of further education in graduate or law school.

In addition to a minor in Criminology and Criminal Justice the Department offers a minor in Law, Rights and Justice for those interested in pre-law.

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's diversity, liberal studies, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.

    The full policy can be viewed here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 36 units of major requirements
  • At least 18 units of minor requirements

  • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements.

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA C
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
University Honors Program Optional
Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan Optional
AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A Recommended
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan
Student Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The undergraduate degree program in Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJ) combines foundational knowledge of criminal justice with a critical understanding of its institutions, processes and operations. CCJ students learn how social forces influence lawmaking, approaches to criminal justice, perceptions and experiences of justice; and how, in turn, criminal justice trends influence society. In accordance with our commitment to promote a more just society, CCJ students develop a firm understanding of the cultural, political, economic and moral complexities surrounding the creation and enforcement of law, and are prepared to become practitioners, advocates and defenders of social justice. CCJ students accomplish this through critical examinations of how power and privilege shape the social realities of criminal justice globally, nationally and locally and by utilizing the latest in legal and social science research to develop critical understandings of how these realities impact diverse groups of people. In addition, CCJ students investigate how social and cultural identities are related to differential experiences of criminalization, victimization, offending, and justice work. 
We use the latest theories, research and investigative traditions in our interdisciplinary field to explore contemporary real world issues and their impacts on policy, public opinion and criminal justice work. Through direct contact with leading scholars and respected practitioners of justice, CCJ students obtain career and academic mentoring that facilitate connections between their classroom learning and real world experience. Both in and out of the classroom we place a high priority on collaborative and experiential learning so that students can practice the skills needed to succeed within a justice related setting. CCJ students apply their writing, intercultural, research and analytic skills to demonstrate specialized knowledge about a subject area most related to their future aspirations.
Criminology and Criminal Justice graduates use their knowledge of criminology and justice to pursue meaningful and rewarding careers with integrity. Our graduates are critically informed citizens, who value diversity and social justice, and use this knowledge to advance the cause of justice.  

Student Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to: 

  • Identify the key stages of criminal justice processes and at each stage locate the core institutions involved and the key roles performed by those who inhabit them
  • Summarize and differentiate the major theories about crime, criminalization and victimization and then apply theories to critically analyze contemporary injustices
  • Describe the differences between popular perceptions of criminal justice institutions and the lived realities of victims, criminals and justice workers
  • Recognize how social forces affect the perception and pursuit of justice in the U.S. and around the world
  • Critically assess how power and privilege impact law making and law enforcement
  •  Use criminal justice theories, methods or investigative techniques to assess patterns of crime, criminalization and victimization and to establish justification for a course of action.
  • Through written or oral communication describe differential impacts on diverse members of society and provide sustained, focused justifications for the value of diversity for a more just society
  • Apply collaborative skills, ethical reasoning, analytic skills and knowledge about crime and justice to address an injustice, advance causes of justice.
  • Pursue advanced professional training and/or a meaningful justice-related career

Major Requirements
  • This major requires 54-60 units distributed as follows:

    • Criminology and Criminal Justice Common Courses: 36 units
    • Minor: 18-24 units

    Take the following 36 units with a Grade of "C" or better in each course:

    Criminology and Criminal Justice Common Courses

    • Note: You may apply up to 15 units of criminology, criminal justice, or administration of justice coursework taken at other institutions toward your criminology and criminal justice degree at Northern Arizona University.

Minor Requirements
  • You must complete a minor of at least 18 units from those described in this catalog. In consultation with your advisor, you should select a minor that is appropriate for your career aspirations and educational needs. Your minor advisor will advise you about this part of your academic plan.

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.

    You may take these remaining courses from any of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

    We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.

  • This program is available as an Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan wherein a student may start a master's degree while simultaneously completing their bachelor's degree.

  • Bachelor/Juris Doctor 3+3 Program

    This plan is eligible for NAU’s 3+3 program offered in conjunction with the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. This program allows outstanding students to substitute their final year of undergraduate studies with their first year of law school and earn an undergraduate (BS or BA) and law (JD) degree in six years instead of seven years. Please refer to the Bachelor/Juris Doctor 3+3 Program for more information.