As a criminal justice major you’ll examine the issues of crime and punishment as well as the processes and agencies involved in addressing crime and practices of justice. Continually changing to meet the demands of the discipline and the challenges of crime in a modern society, this professional major provides an intensive knowledge of the causes of delinquent and criminal behaviors and the problems of the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
The criminal justice program has its roots in the tradition and mission of the Christian Brothers. It supports the University’s mission to pursue the free search for truth by teaching students the basic skills, knowledge, and values they will need for a life of human dignity. Students will witness the human impacts of crime policy, particularly ethical issues, but also the differential impacts by race/ethnicity, gender, and social class.
Courses in this Major
Students enjoy a wide range of interesting and unique courses including:
CRJ 261: Criminology
This is an exploration of major theories of deviance as they apply to behavior viewed as criminal or delinquent. Draws on a variety of academic perspectives to help understand and explain varied manifestations of crime and criminal behavior. Focus is on classical, positivist, and critical approaches, as well as the social policy implications of various theoretical frames of reference.
CRJ 324: Policing: Theory and Dynamics
This course offers an analysis of police roles, including evolution, public perceptions, administration, culture, and police deviance. Social and political contexts are emphasized through incorporation of social science research related to policing and organizations. Encourages integration of concepts of police on a micro level (the police occupation) with a macro level (the context in which social action occurs), facilitating understanding of the complex relationships between a society and its police.
CRJ 340: Crimes of the Powerful
This course offers a study of social harms perpetrated by persons of power and influence. Theoretical approaches for understanding elite deviance and legal issues in definition, investigation, prosecution, and sentencing will be considered. Specific crimes of the powerful will be explored, including through case studies.
CRJ 387: Gender, Crime, and Justice
This course is a study of the gendered nature of criminal justice theory, policy, and practice. Among the major themes are: gender differences in criminal behavior, criminal victimization, and criminal processing. Includes consideration of the contributions of feminist criminologies.
CRJ 495: Senior Seminar: Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice
This course is an exploration of the interaction between ethics and criminal justice practice, including application of ethical theory to criminal justice issues. Focus is primarily on normative ethics (both deontological and teleological views), including major theorists. The course helps to integrate knowledge gained from previous courses through the overarching theme of the pursuit of justice as an ethical ideal.
“We need to keep making our streets safer and our criminal justice system fairer – our homeland more secure, our world more peaceful and sustainable for the next generation.”
— Barack Obama
Blaze Your Own Path
A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice will lay the foundation of your career. Whether you choose to venture into anything from law enforcement to policy, you’ll be trained in the theoretical insights and practical applications of aspects of the criminal justice system. We take a multi-disciplinary approach with an emphasis on social justice and social service to prepare you to fully examine the world ahead. You’ll be ready to start a career as a:
Federal Agent (FBI, Secret Service, ICE, Homeland Security).
Professional internships serve a number of important functions.
Linking Theory with Practice
La Salle’s mission is to foster “creative teaching that blends theory with practice, producing an educational experience with practical applications.” The link between the theories, best practices learned in class, and the practical application of that knowledge in a professional setting is a quintessential Lasallian tradition. Your internship allows you to take the academic ideas and theories you have learned in class and apply that knowledge in a real-world setting where you will be mentored by experienced professionals in criminal justice, legal, government, advocacy, and non-profit settings.
Building Professional Networks, Getting a Job and the Resume
Today it’s both what and who you know. Several of our students have obtained employment at the organizations where they interned. While the jump from one’s internship experience to permanent employment at the internship site is a possibility, the social networks developed through the internship experience are permanent, far-reaching, and can aid in future employment possibilities. Internships provide students with occupational and social networks that are invaluable in a competitive labor market.
Building the Resume
Internships provide students with a way to distinguish themselves on their resumes from other job applicants adding an experiential component to their list of academic achievements.
Testing the Waters
Internships provide students with the chance to determine if their career choice is right for them. Part of the intellectually and experiential journey of an internship is trying your hand at different career possibilities. It may be the case your internship confirms what job is right for you or you may come to realize that your career interests lie elsewhere. Our students have interned at places such as:
As a criminal justice student at La Salle you’ll learn highly marketable interpersonal and communication skills which are key to becoming an outstanding member of society, a dedicated professional, and an exceptional graduate student. Our curriculum will provide the skills to conduct qualitative and quantitative research, think critically, solve problems, and draw conclusions, all of which is necessary for success in a graduate program. Our students have found success at universities such as:
Charles A. Gallagher is professor and chair of the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department at La Salle University. His research focuses on social inequality, race relations, and immigration and has published over 50 articles, reviews, and books on these topics. As a nationally recognized expert on race, immigration, and social inequality, Gallagher has given over […]
Charles A. Gallagher is professor and chair of the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department at La Salle University. His research focuses on social inequality, race relations, and immigration and has published over 50 articles, reviews, and books on these topics. As a nationally recognized expert on race, immigration, and social inequality, Gallagher has given over 60 talks on these topics around the country, serves as an expert witness on civil rights cases, and is a frequent media source on these issues, appearing in the press, television and radio interviews over 100 times. He is currently writing a book on how institutions create self-reinforcing accounts of colorblind egalitarianism that serve to maintain, normalize, and reproduce racial inequality. In 2016, he was selected to serve as a Fulbright Scholar in the UK where he studied residents’ views on immigration. He also serves as Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Urban Ethnography Project.
Beyond the Classroom
92% of graduates are employed, volunteering full-time through service programs or pursuing additional education full time within one year of graduation.
Ranked 34th in the North Region on U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 list of Best Colleges.
Ranked 5th on the Money magazine’s list “The 50 Colleges That Add the Most Value”.