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Bachelor of Science in Criminology & Justice Studies

"You can learn anything about another country, but until you’re submerged in the culture, you don’t realize the differences."

Emma Nolan

BS Criminology & Justice Studies '18

Read More About Emma

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 three concentrations — Criminology and Justice Policy, Justice Informatics and Criminal Justice — the BS in Criminology and Justice Studies provides students with foundational knowledge and tools of the discipline, while allowing them to specialize in different areas of interest within the discipline.

CRIMINOLOGY BACHELOR’S DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Drexel’s criminology bachelor’s degree offers three distinct concentrations, all of which have their own course requirements. Each criminal justice degree can be completed in four years, and reserves at least 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.

Given the global nature of crime and justice issues, the department requires 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.

CRIMINOLOGY & JUSTICE STUDIES CONCENTRATIONS

Criminology & Justice Policy

The Criminology and Justice Policy (C&JP) concentration grounds students earning their bachelor's 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.

The Curriculum

Through community-based learning (a core value of the program), we offer criminology and justice studies 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

Justice Informatics

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.

The Curriculum

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

Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice (CJ) concentration is a "generalist" concentration and is intended for students seeking a traditional bachelor's degree in criminal justice. 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.

The Curriculum

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

Drexel Co-op for Criminology Majors

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 earning their bachelor's degree in criminology 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

Community based Learning in Crime and Justice Studies

The College of Arts and Sciences offers a range of community-based learning courses that allow students to immerse themselves in course material and learn side-by-side with community partners. To explore justice studies in America, we take our students straight to the source; we offer two of our core courses in community settings — one of which (Prison, Society and You) is taught in a local prison.

View Current Community-Based Learning Courses

Criminology & Justice Studies Student & Alumni Stories

"The professors in the CJS program at Drexel have incredible knowledge and know students on a first-name basis."

Emily Greberman

BS Criminology & Justice Studies and Psychology '21

"Every course and faculty member has taught me something that will always stick with me."

Khalil McFarlane

BS Criminology & Justice Studies & Sociology'21

"I learned a lot during my co-op, and with every learning experience came something that could be applied to my future career."

Madheline Gomez

BS Criminology & Justice Studies '19

Meet More Criminology & Justice Studies Students and Alumni

Careers in Criminology & Justice Studies

Criminology and justice studies is an exciting field that leads to careers in a range of disciplines — from law to cybersecurity, social science research and federal intelligence. Recent criminology and justice studies graduates have gone on to successful careers at:

  • Top graduate programs in law, criminal justice and related disciplines
  • Government agencies like the Department of Justice and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
  • Technology, security and software companies
  • Financial companies and investment firms

Learn More About Careers in Criminology

BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY TOWARD A CAREER IN CRIMINOLOGY OR JUSTICE STUDIES TODAY

Apply to Drexel’s BS in Criminology and Justice Studies, or visit campus to get firsthand information about a Drexel education. Contact Mica Storer, program coordinator for criminology and justice studies, at mls46@drexel.edu for more information about the bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Prospective Student Inquiries

Please send inquiries to coas@drexel.edu or call us at 215.895.1805. We look forward to hearing from you.


Undergraduate Advising

Mica Storer

Mica Storer

Academic Adviser
3401 Market Street, 110-H
215.571.4628 | mls46@drexel.edu