2021-2022 Humboldt State University Catalog 
    Jun 18, 2024  
2021-2022 Humboldt State University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Criminology and Justice Studies, B.A.

Criminology and Justice Studies (CJS) students find an active and supportive department culture with a dynamic curriculum intentionally focused on analyzing systems of power from a justice studies perspective. Critical criminology challenges traditional understandings of harm and seeks to unearth the social and historical processes that constitute ‘crime’. Coursework addresses law, policy, social justice and how systems of oppression are produced and reproduced by the criminal punishment system. Faculty members teaching in this major come from multiple disciplines including sociology, ethnic studies, political science, gender & sexuality studies, anthropology, and Native American studies. CJS core courses are primarily taught through a sociological perspective, which allows students to develop critical thinking about systems-structures and research skills.

The program prepares students to be transformative leaders in a variety of locations, from community activism and policy research to legal advocacy and law enforcement. Above all students will have a solid foundation to work and effect social change.

Students pursuing law enforcement careers should know that agencies have extensive training programs on the specifics of work in their organization (investigation procedures, safety protocols). Our program does not provide that training. Our CJS program provides a liberal arts degree with breadth, adaptability and practical application. Graduates choose to work in many different sectors: non-profit, private sector, social services, education, health services, public relations, and government. Many of our graduates go on to pursue graduate degrees.

Community engagement and social action are important values of the Department of Sociology. Internships and faculty supervised original research are encouraged for the capstone experience. The sociology/CJS community advisory board assists with developing and maintaining internships and community action research opportunities.

In high school take math, writing, and social science courses (history, psychology, sociology).

A bachelor’s degree requires a total of 120 units. For a description of degree requirements to be fulfilled in addition to those listed below for the major, please see “Bachelor’s Degree Requirements 

Requirements for the Major (40-43 units)

A minimum grade of C is required for all courses in the major.

Required Courses (24 Units)

Knowledge Based Requirements (13-16 Units)

SOC 480 only meets requirements if the specific topic is appropriate to the knowledge based area. Consult with an advisor.

Inequalities, Identities, and Crime

Complete one course.

Social Research and Action Skills

Complete one course.

Capstone (3 Units)

Complete one course.


Many contributing departments to the CJS major offer 1-2 unit workshops around pressing social issues and popular topics. We encourage enrollment in these workshops, but the units may not be counted as part of the required 40-43 unit major requirement. Exception: Units may be used to “make up” 1-2 units if a student is short after transferring 3-unit courses from another college.

Criminology & Justice Studies, B.A. Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing a BA in Criminology and Justice Studies will have demonstrated the following:

  1. Effectively communicate orally about social science theory and methods (oral communication)
  2. Effectively communicate in writing about social science theory and methods (information literacy)
  3. Think theoretically about crime, justice, and the process and significance of criminalization (social justice)
  4. Explain the historical evolution of law in relation to social, economic, and political forces (critical thinking - theory)
  5. Evaluate research designs and analytic techniques (critical thinking - methods)