Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice

A Broad Spectrum of Career Opportunities Benefits the Criminal Justice Major

Criminal justice is the study of criminal law, criminal procedure and activities relating to the enforcement of the criminal law.  Students enrolled in the criminal justice major at Canisius examine the basic components of the criminal justice system (police, courts, corrections) and contemporary issues under existing structures.  Criminal justice is also concerned with policy making and the difficult choices that must be made in order to formulate and enforce rules for the daily operations of each system component.  Courses address the many ethical issues that face criminal justice practitioners today.  Finally, students enrolled in the criminal justice major gain an appreciation of the empirical study of crime and the criminal justice system.  Empirical research provides information that can be used to reform the criminal justice system.

Several adjunct faculty are actual practitioners in the field of criminal justice and include practicing attorneys, judges, and prosecuting attorneys.

The criminal justice major at Canisius consists of two introductory criminal justice courses, plus the following: violence and the family, criminal law, criminal procedure, criminal ethics, constitutional foundations of American government, introduction to sociology and sociological research methods.  Three electives may be selected from a variety of classes offered each semester.

A total of 12 courses are required to complete the major.  Many of the department's majors combine criminal justice with a second major in another discipline, such as psychology, political science, history, modern languages, or communication studies. 

Dual Majors

Criminal justice can be combined in a dual major program with sociology, psychology (students can also elect to minor in forensic psychology) and political science.  Contact the department chair for more information.