Criminal Justice Studies

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The Degree
Bradley’s Department of Criminal Justice Studies is an evolving, multidisciplinary field that addresses the presence, causes, consequences and prevention and control of crime in society. The Department seeks to provide an educational environment which allows students to actively and critically explore both theoretical and practical concerns of criminal justice. Professors are not only passionate educators and mentors, but also are committed to fostering enrichment of the discipline and advancing the boundaries of the study of crime, law and justice.

The Criminal Justice Studies curriculum is comprised of 21 lower-level hours of Criminal Justice Studies and Political Science required courses. The upper-level hours requirement also encompasses 21 hours of coursework that spans the disciplines of Criminal Justice Studies, Political Science, History and Sociology. The major has both a research and an internship requirement.

Bradley’s Distinctive Approach
The Department of Criminal Justice Studies at Bradley University separates itself from other criminal justice programs in several important respects. CJS students enjoy an integrative learning experience rooted in theory and research, as opposed to a “training” program. One of the guiding principles of the program is that theory and practice must go hand in hand. Additionally, students gain an appreciation for the rich history of crime and societal response to crime, and are encouraged to adopt a critical posture and entertain a diversity of theoretical and methodological perspectives in examining the contexts within which crime and social control can be understood.

CJS faculty have educational backgrounds and research interests in a variety of disciplines including forensic psychology, sociology, history, political science, law and computer science and information systems. As a result, students have opportunities for directed research on topics ranging from investigations and criminal law to forensic computing, social justice and forensic psychology. The CJS Department encourages students to accept the notion that pursuing justice means more than operating within the existing system of police, courts and corrections. The field of criminal justice emphasizes not only the importance of university education for practitioners, but also the significance of ethics, integrity and moral character.

Bradley undergraduates become exposed to the practical side of the criminal justice system through internship programs. Recent examples include:

  • Federal Marshals Service
  • Federal Prisons
  • State Patrol and local Police agencies
  • Court Services
  • Legal Research Assistant

Beyond Bradley
The Criminal Justice Studies curriculum is designed to prepare students for a variety of career opportunities, as well as for graduate studies in any of several interrelated academic disciplines. Graduates have enjoyed successful careers as:

  • Local, state, and federal law enforcement officers and administrators, such as Federal Bureau of Investigations (F.B.I.) agents, Secret Service agents and officers and U.S. Deputy Marshals
  • Victim and witness advocates
  • Private security officers and private investigators
  • Counselors and administrators within the juvenile justice system