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Saint Xavier University Chicago Campus Residence Halls

Criminal Justice Courses

Prerequisite/Corequisite Key

P = Course must be taken previously C = Course must be taken concurrently E = Course can be taken previously or concurrently
(RQ) = Required (RM) = Recommended  

CJ 101

Introduction to Criminal Justice

3 credit hours

The course reviews the historical and philosophical background of the U.S. criminal justice system and its three major components: police, courts and corrections. Attention is focused on topics such as the Constitution's impact on modern criminal justice and a comparative analysis of criminal justice systems in selected foreign nations. The course also critically evaluates local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and surveys theories of criminal behavior.

CJ 201

Law Enforcement and Society

3 credit hours

P: CJ-101

The course will examine the social and historical origins of various police systems; police culture; role and career; police in the legal system; social and legal restraints on police practices; police discretion in practice; police and the community; police organization and community control mechanisms. Offered spring.

CJ 202

Introduction to Corrections

3 credit hours

E: CJ-101

This course offers an overview of the history and philosophical foundations of the American correctional system. Emphasis is placed on how the theories of retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation affect current issues such as overcrowding, social control in prison, legal rights of prisoners and alternatives to incarceration. Offered fall.

CJ 210

Criminal Law

3 credit hours

This course examines the historical evolution of criminal law in the U.S. Through in-depth analysis of key state and federal court decisions, the course provides analysis of the purposes, constitutionality and application of criminal law. It also compares U.S. criminal laws to laws in select foreign jurisdictions. Offered fall.

CJ 214

Law, Courts, and Justice

3 credit hours

P: CJ-101

The course offers an examination of the role of the judiciary, current issues in law and the legal profession in the United States. Among the topics covered are those which analyze connections between ethics, social change and the application of law. This course is strongly recommended for students considering a career in law. Offered spring.

CJ 216

Crime and the Media

3 credit hours

The course offers an examination of the intersection of news media and the criminal justice system. Topics covered include moral panics, framing, narratives and the evolution of media, including social media. The course also gives an overview of the representation of the criminal justice system in entertainment media, including music, documentary, television and film. Students are required to have access to a streaming platform such as Netflix.

CJ 228

Latinos and the Criminal Justice System

3 credit hours

P: CJ-101

This course examines the relationship between Latinos/as and the criminal justice system. Specifically, the course explores what distinguishes Latinos/as from other racial and ethnic groups in the criminal justice system, and what sociological/criminological theories can help us understand the causes of these differences and inequalities. The course considers key variables such as historical context, ethnic and race relations, and current criminal justice policy regarding Latinos/as in the United States. Offered as needed.

CJ 245

Race, Class, Gender and the Criminal Justice System

3 credit hours

The objective of this course is to examine the relationship between race, class, gender and the criminal justice system. Throughout the course, students will examine the multiple and intersecting ways these concepts shape the criminal justice process. Specifically, how do these socially constructed axioms influence a variety of institutional contexts such as law enforcement, courts and corrections? The goal is to provide students with knowledge and understanding of the criminal justice system from the position of under-represented groups in America. The course will examine key variables such as historical and community context, ethnic and race relations, and current criminal justice policy. Offered as needed.

CJ 280

Serial Killers

3 credit hours

P: CJ-101

This course introduces students to the scientific study of serial killers. Despite the fascination with serial killers in popular media, these sensationalized stories provide little insight into the realities of these horrific crimes. Focusing on empirical research and case studies, this course provides a scholarly perspective. Topics in typologies of serial murder, prevalence of serial murder, female serial murders, and victims of serial murder.

CJ 283

Gangs and Society

3 credit hours

In this course the historical evolution and social roots of gangs and street gangs in modern U.S. society are explored, along with their growth, recruitment and organization. Criminological theories are used to assess gang structure, characteristics and activities. Additionally, the relationships of gangs to each other, to crime and violence, to the law, and to the community are also explored. Offered as needed.

CJ 294

Research Methods and Design

3 credit hours

P: CJ-101, MATH-135, junior standing

This course examines the fundamental principles and tools of social science research. Students will develop a basic literacy enabling them to design social science research studies, explore the merits and limits of various research strategies and tools of analysis, and comprehend the basics of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Students will also identify ethical considerations important to social science research, describe the main elements of a social science research study, and define important platforms used to disseminate research findings. Offered fall. Formerly Research Methods and Design.

CJ 302

Organized Crime

3 credit hours

The course provides an overview of organized crime in the U.S. beginning with definitions of the phenomenon and analysis of the history of organized crime, including ethnic patterns and cross-cultural comparisons. Students will also consider the competing explanations for organized crime in the U.S., policy issues, and techniques used to combat organized crime. Offered as needed.

CJ 303

Police Administration

3 credit hours

This course reviews the evolution of police organizational theory, management, planning and leadership skills. This course also addresses issues concerned with stress and police personnel, labor relations, state civil liability, and civil rights liability under 42 U.S.C. Sect. 1983. Offered spring.

CJ 306

Special Topics

3 credit hours

This course will focus on studies from a variety of perspectives on issues of justice and society.

CJ 307

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency

3 credit hours

This course considers the problem of delinquency in culture and its relation to conventional culture. Students will examine the introduction to delinquent lifestyles and the relationship to adult criminal behavior. Offered as needed.

CJ 311

Probation and Parole

3 credit hours

P: CJ-101

This course provides an overview of the history and philosophical foundations of probation and parole in the United States. Criminological theories concerned with probation and parole supervision are considered. Laws and court decisions relating to probation and parole are assessed and current issues and problems in probation and parole are explored. Offered fall.

CJ 312


3 credit hours

P: CJ-101, 6 credit hours in criminal justice

This course is an examination of the major theories of deviance, crime and criminal behavior from a variety of disciplines: biology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, economics, gender and women's studies etc. Student will apply knowledge and understanding of theories to real-world crime and criminals. Offered spring.

CJ 316


3 credit hours

P: CJ-101

This course will review victimology as an evolving discipline. It will examine the elements of this new field, including the development of the discipline, the economic and other costs of crime to victims, the use of victimization surveys, services and programs for victims and the implications of the victim-offender system on the criminal justice process, as well as the societal response to, and description of, victims.

CJ 317

Violence Against Women and Girls

3 credit hours

Studies the various forms of violence for which females are victimized at significantly higher rates. Students will examine (a) the theories related to female victimization, (b) the impact of stereotypes and myths on societal perceptions of female victimization, (c) the criminal justice system response to female victims and (d) the impact of victimization on the victims themselves and on females in general.

CJ 318

Globalization and Crime

3 credit hours

This course examines criminal justice systems and crime from a comparative perspective. Utilizing historical, legal, jurisprudential approaches, this course examines how economic global dependencies create opportunities for crime and how travel, communication, and other technologies facilitate its occurrence. The course examines topics such as gun trafficking, human trafficking, drug trafficking, cyber-crime, maritime piracy and counterfeiting. The course also explores international responses to global crime. Offered as needed.

CJ 320

Ethics in Criminal Justice

3 credit hours

Ethical and moral decision making is an important dilemma that students who enter the criminal justice field will face during their careers. The purpose of this course will be to provide students with an understanding of ethics and justice as well as provide them opportunities to discuss ethical decision-making and the implications of such decision-making. Offered fall.

CJ 321

21st Century Policing

3 credit hours

This course examines the history and development of police community relations in the United States and its importance for crime control. Topics covered in this course include community policing, problem-oriented policing, and the effects of aggressive patrol strategies on community relations. The recommendations of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing are also examined. Offered spring.

CJ 328

African Americans and the Criminal Justice System

3 credit hours

The course African Americans and the Criminal Justice System explores the interrelationship between race and involvement with the criminal justice system. This course will explore one of the most sensitive questions facing Americans today: Why are African Americans grossly over-represented in the American criminal system? The explanations for the disparities that haunt the criminal justice system are nuanced and complex, and therefore deserving of careful study. Absorbing lessons from a wide variety of disciplines, including history, sociology, political science, economics, psychology, and law, "African Americans and the Criminal Justice System" will examine this vexing American problem. Students will also examine how the criminal justice system intersects with other systems of social control, like the welfare state and foster care. This course approaches the topic with an intersectional lens in which race, gender, class, and sexuality are all analyzed as integral parts of the social construction of "criminality."

CJ 336

Criminal Investigation

3 credit hours

P: CJ-101

This course examines the historical evolution of techniques used in criminal investigation. Topics covered include crime scene activities, chain of evidence, interviewing and interrogation, records and intelligence, undercover operations, computerized crime analysis, and the use of informants. Offered summer.

CJ 337


3 credit hours

P: CJ-101

This course is designed to acquaint the student with the capabilities and limitations of the criminalistics laboratory. While reviewing the application of natural sciences to the problems encountered in the examination of evidence, students assess the quality and effectiveness of scientific theories in their application. Offered as needed.

CJ 338

Drugs and the Criminal Justice System

3 credit hours

This course provides a comprehensive examination of the issue of drug abuse. While focusing on the history, causes, and treatment of drug abuse, it also assesses varied drug policies, drug trafficking, drug law enforcement, and the drug legalization movement. Offered as needed.

CJ 345

Jurisprudence and Gender

3 credit hours

P: CJ-101

The Rule of Law is meant to establish a system of rules founded on principles rather than personalities. In this course students examine a system that is gendered, built on the story of men's lives. Analysis will take students through at least three major strains of legal argument that begin with different assumptions and lead to different policy outcomes but all of which are guided by a notion of gender equality.

CJ 366


3 to 9 credit hours

The student will spend a specified number of hours working in a criminal justice agency, reporting regularly to an assigned academic supervisor and completing academic assignments appropriate to his/her type of work. All field placements must be approved in advance by the course instructor. Needs Program approval. Junior standing.

CJ 367

Individual Research

3 credit hours

In this course the student conducts filed and/or library research and then prepares and completes a research proposal under the direction of a specific faculty member. No classes; meetings with faculty member as required.

CJ 368

Senior Seminar

3 credit hours

P: CJ-101 CJ-294 CJ-295 College level MATH junior standing

This course entails researching a major topic in criminal justice and providing a significant written assessment of the results of that research. Building on students' prior work on criminal justice history and practice as well as criminological theories, the course reexamines fundamental questions concerning the social construction of crime and the policing of society. Specific research topics will be assigned by the instructor to each student. NOTE: This course is ONLY open to criminal justice majors.

CJ 390

Independent Study

3 credit hours

With the approval and under the guidance of an assigned faculty member, students in this course engage in readings and research on a specific criminal justice topic.