University General Course Catalog 2023-2024 
    Jul 22, 2024  
University General Course Catalog 2023-2024

Criminal Justice (Law and Justice Specialization), B.A. in C.J.

Students who receive a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice complete a social science degree preparing them for justice-related careers, graduate study, and law school. The Criminal Justice degree is recommended for students who desire an understanding of the criminal justice system, law, and justice. The degree is not intended to serve as a professional training program; rather it is an academically centered major that focuses on the legal, ethical, administrative, and behavioral aspects of the justice system and its various parts. The degree has two options or programs. All students must complete a core of required courses which focus broadly on the criminal justice system and its components. The Criminal Justice Major particularly focuses on the components of criminal justice system and their administration, criminological theory, and issues of theory, diversity, myth, and ethics. The interdisciplinary Law and Justice Specialization concentrates on the context of law and justice in a heterogeneous society including coursework in law and justice policy and theory as well as practical courses in legal research and writing, and coursework in other disciplines such as philosophy.

Department website:

UNR Career Studio:

Go to explore majors:

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • exhibit a sound understanding of the myths of the criminal justice system and demonstrate meaningful knowledge of issues and dilemmas of problem-solving in a pluralistic society.
  • exhibit quantitative and qualitative social science skills that will allow them to meaningfully analyze empirically developed data and engage in program assessment.
  • demonstrate sophisticated thinking and writing in critical, programmatic, and evaluative venues and demonstrate the ability to approach knowledge from a variety of epistemological traditions.
  • demonstrate a solid grounding in a variety of ethical systems to enhance their ability to conduct themselves as ethical persons in complex and demanding situations.
  • conduct constant self-reflection as required to be an effective philosopher/practitioner amidst the American diversity in race, ethnicity, gender and class.

Contact Information

Department of Criminal Justice
601 Ansari Business Building
(775) 784-6164

College of Liberal Arts Student Center
Thompson Building 101
(775) 682-8745

Transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno

Use the transfer agreement  and the degree planner (available by clicking  at the top right of this page) to build your plan for graduation with your advisor. Course substitutions not identified on the transfer agreement require UNR advisor approval.

If a major-to-major transfer agreement is not available for your transfer institution, please check the General Core agreement  if available. If neither is available, access Transferology to assist in your planning.

Graduation Requirements

  • Total Units | 120
  • Cumulative GPA | 2.0
  • University GPA | 2.0
  • Major GPA | 2.0
  • Residency Requirement | 30 Upper-Division Units at UNR
  • Major Residency Requirement | 15 Upper-Division Units in the major at UNR
  • Upper-Division Requirement | 40 Upper-Division Units

I. Core General Education Requirements (24-27 units)

NOTE: Refer to the Core Curriculum  chapter of this catalog for information regarding the “Core English and Math Completion Policy  .”

Students must meet all Core Objectives (CO1 through CO14). Courses satisfying Core Objectives are designated (e.g., CO9) in General Catalog curricula and course description.

A. Composition & Communication; Critical Analysis & Use of Information (3-6 units) - CO1, CO3

B. Quantitative Reasoning (3 units minimum) - CO2

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO2 courses .

C. Physical & Natural Phenomena (6 units minimum) - CO4, CO4L

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO4/CO4L courses .

D. Cultures, Societies, & Individuals (3 units) - CO6

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO6 courses .

E. Artistic Composition, Interpretation, & Expression (3 units) - CO7

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO7 courses .

F. History & Culture; Constitution (6 units) - CO5, CO8

Refer to the Core Curriculum   chapter in this catalog.

II. Additional Core Requirements (3 units maximum)

Students must take courses that satisfy the following Core Objectives. Some or all of these Core Objectives may be satisfied in the Major Requirements (Section IV). Refer to the Core Curriculum  chapter in this catalog.

A. Science, Technology & Society - CO9

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO9  courses.

C. Global Context - CO11

D. Ethics - CO12

Choose one course; the following count in the Major Requirement:

E. Capstone Integration & Synthesis - CO13

F. Application - CO14

III. Additional College Requirements (6-20 units)

Units may vary depending on initial course placement in foreign language coursework.

A. World Language Requirement (0-14 units)

Students seeking this bachelor’s degree must demonstrate proficiency in a world language other than English equal to a fourth semester course level through one of the following options:

  1. complete a fourth semester college course in a world language other than English;
  2. demonstrate proficiency through a means determined by the Department of World Languages and Literatures including but not limited to minimum standardized test scores (CBAPE, SAT II, or IB), attaining a minimum aptitude on an accredited world language assessment test, or providing transcript evidence of a high school or equivalent diploma in which English was not the language of instruction; or,
  3. participate in a study abroad language program pre-approved by the Department of World Languages and Literatures to meet the world language requirement. 

Note: Four years of high school world language instruction does not automatically satisfy this requirement.

B. College Breadth Requirement (6 units)

Students seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree in the college shall be required to take, within the College of Liberal Arts, 6 units that are outside the departments in which they major or minor, and that exclude courses taken to fulfill the Core General Education requirements (Core Objectives 1 through 8).

IV. Major Requirements (60 units)

B. Law and justice related course work (18 units)

V. Minor Requirements (0 units)

While a minor is not required for the Criminal Justice (Law and Specialization) option since there is required Law and Justice related course work (18 units), students may select a minor to expand their knowledge and skills, but selecting a minor will require additional coursework. Please see an advisor if a minor is selected.

VI. Electives (10-27 units)

VII. Recommended Schedule

Use the Planner in MyNEVADA to build a custom graduation plan. Review and adjust the plan in each academic advisement session.

A. First Year

Fall Semester (16 units)

Spring Semester (16-17 units)

B. Second Year

C. Third Year

Fall Semester (15 units)

Spring Semester (15 units)

D. Fourth Year

Fall Semester (15 units)

Spring Semester (12-13 units)