Bachelor of Science in Criminology & Justice Studies
The Department of Criminology and Justice Studies offers a rich educational experience that emphasizes justice and criminological theory, in addition to translating concepts into practice. With our three concentrations: Criminology and Justice Policy, Justice Informatics and Criminal Justice; we provide students with foundational knowledge and tools of the discipline, while allowing them to specialize in different areas of interest within the discipline.
Criminology & Justice Studies Concentrations
Criminology & Justice Policy
The Criminology and Justice Policy (C&JP) concentration grounds students in criminological theory and crime policy, as well as justice analytics, to help them identify, describe and respond to current and emerging crime and security problems. A key goal of any rational crime policy is to maximize its benefits — i.e., reduce crime — while limiting its social costs, such as mass-incarceration, racial disparities and violent backlashes. Through that lens, C&JP students work with geo-tagged social media transmissions, crime and police calls for service data, and other sources of information to identify and explain crime trends, ”hotspots” and “coldspots” across given geographies. Students put theory to use as they learn to generate and test research hypotheses related to crime and justice policy outcomes.
Through community-based learning (a core value of the program), we offer students the unique opportunity to experience criminology and justice education from the perspectives of those most affected by the criminal justice system: One required course is taught in an active jail; another is taught in a local community service organization.
Recognizing the global nature of crime and justice issues, we require one course on international justice systems and two globally themed courses outside the program; we also encourage all students to participate in at least one faculty-led study abroad program, during which students explore various justice-related themes (examples of recent trips: The Legacy of Nazi Policing and Cold War Justice in Munich and Prague; The Roots of Common Law Justice in London). Please see the Study Abroad program webpage to view the location and itinerary of the next study tour.
The Criminology and Justice Policy concentration reserves 31 free electives so students can earn a minor outside of the department. Students interested in intelligence/security-related careers should consider minoring in a language. Visit Drexel's Modern Languages program webpage for a list of language minors.
Key Courses in this Concentration:
- Communities and Crime
- Comparative Justice Systems
- Crime and Public Policy
- Crime and the City
- Crime Mapping Using Geographic Information Systems (lab course)
- Criminal Procedure
- Death Penalty – An American Dilemma
- Environmental Crimes
- Intelligence-Led Decision Making (lab course)
- Justice in Our Community (taught at a local social service agency with community members as classmates)
- Prison, Society and You (taught inside a prison with soon-to-be-released inmates as classmates)
- Program Evaluation
- Race, Crime and Justice
- Restorative Justice
Our concentration in Justice Informatics (JI), produces graduates who possess the knowledge and skills that are highly valued by criminal justice agencies in the 21st century. Namely, the program draws from criminology and criminal justice, and computing and informatics, to produce globally aware and technologically proficient graduates who are able to solve problems created by crime.
Each exposure to the criminal justice system represents a data collection point, which becomes part of a massive and disparate array of data held by the government. Students will learn how to collect, manage, visualize, and analyze large sources of information — a highly sought-after skill in the crime and justice occupational arena. In addition to learning to work with "big data" in the public justice arena, students will learn how to identify, collect, manage and use data from the expansive — and rapidly growing — private system of justice and security to come up with innovative solutions to identify, solve, and prevent crime.
Graduates of the Justice Informatics concentration will be ideally suited for careers as crime analysts in criminal justice, defense and intelligence agencies, and in the private-sector security community. Crime analysts have become an essential part of the modern criminal justice agency. They are vital to the large police department looking to deploy resources in a manner that matches crime trends; the intelligence agency working to prevent terrorist events; and the financial services firm hoping to identify the fraudulent use of a credit card. JI graduates can also play an integral role on teams that build future information technology solutions for intelligence, defense and criminal justice agencies from the public and private sectors.
Given the global nature of crime and justice issues, we require one course on international justice systems. We also encourage all students to participate in at least one faculty-led study abroad program during which students will explore various justice-related themes (examples of recent trips: The Legacy of Nazi Policing and Cold War Justice in Munich and Prague; The Roots of Common Law Justice in London). Please see the Study Abroad program webpage to view the location and itinerary of the next study tour.
The Justice Informatics concentration reserves 27 free electives so students can earn a minor outside of the department. Students interested in intelligence/security-related careers should consider minoring in a language. Visit Drexel's Modern Languages program webpage for a list of language minors.
Key Courses in this Concentration:
- Capstone in Justice Informatics
- Computer Investigation and the Law
- Database Management Systems
- Foundations of Software
- Human-Computer Interaction I
- Introduction to Computer Crime
- Introduction to Data Science
- Introduction to Informatics
- Introduction to Information Technology
- Social Media Trend Spotting
- Surveillance, Technology and the Law
- Systems Analysis I
- Technology and the Justice System
The Criminal Justice (CJ) concentration is a "generalist" concentration and is intended for students seeking a traditional criminal justice education.The curriculum focuses primarily on the substance of criminal justice institutions and crime and does not require many of the analytics and computer-based courses that the other two concentrations require. Because the Criminal Justice concentration reserves 41 free electives, it is the most flexible of the three concentrations, allowing students to double major or take on a minor, while still reserving enough free credit for other courses of interest outside the program.
While the CJ concentration is the least analytically demanding of the three concentrations, it still offers the community-based learning and global perspectives of the other two concentrations. Students in all three concentrations are encouraged to participate in at least one faculty-led study abroad program, during which students explore various justice-related themes (examples of recent trips: The Legacy of Nazi Policing and Cold War Justice in Munich and Prague and The Roots of Common Law Justice in London). Please see the Study Abroad program webpage to view the location and itinerary of the next study tour.
For questions or more information about any of these programs please contact Mica Storer, program coordinator.
Learn more about the degree in the Course Catalog
Through Drexel’s renowned cooperative education program, students embark on up to three, six-month periods of full-time employment, exploring their career options, strengthening their resumes and building a professional network in the process.
The Department of Criminology and Justice Studies offers two options for students: A four-year, one co-op option; and a four-year no co-op option. While both options exist, we encourage students to take advantage of the co-op program.
Criminology and Justice Studies students have held co-op positions at the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, at local sheriff and police departments, with local judges, at criminal justice agencies, law firms, community agencies and nonprofit organizations locally and nationally. Our students have also had co-ops in highly competitive organizations, such as the Department of Homeland Security, and the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center — a federally funded regional intelligence agency consisting of several policing and other law enforcement organizations.
Learn more about Co-op at Drexel University