School of Criminal Justice
- Admission Requirements
- Degree Requirements for the Major in Criminal Justice
- Combined B.A./M.A. Program
James R. Acker
David H. Bayley, Ph.D.
Hans H. Toch, Ph.D.
Distinguished Teaching Professor
Graeme R. Newman, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
Fred Cohen, LL.M.
Robert H. Hardt, Ph.D.
Vincent O'Leary, M.A.
University of Washington
Marguerite Q. Warren, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
James R. Acker, J.D.
Ph.D., University at Albany
David E. Duffee, Ph.D.
University at Albany
Alan J. Lizotte, Ph.D.
University of Illinois
Colin Loftin, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
David McDowall, Ph.D.
Terence P. Thornberry, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
Frankie Bailey, Ph.D.
University at Albany
Alissa Pollitz Worden, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Robert E. Worden, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Greg Pogarsky, Ph.D.
Carnegie Mellon University
J.D. University of Pittsburgh
Adjuncts (estimated): 7
Teaching Assistants (estimated): 9
Even as crime declines from the high levels of the 1970's and 1980's, it remains an urgent social problem and policy issue. As welcome as the decrease in crime has been, it has prompted debate about the forces that produced it-such as demographic and economic changes, or more effective policing and tougher sentencing-and it has raised corollary questions about whether and how the trend can be sustained. Well-founded judgments and prudent policy choices about crime and justice require an understanding of crime, criminal behavior, criminal justice processes, and the law. The study of criminal justice at the University at Albany is concerned with these phenomena. The faculty are drawn from several academic disciplines, including criminal justice, public policy, sociology, psychology, political science, and law, and its members are nationally and internationally recognized for its research on delinquency, violence, sentencing, policing, capital punishment, and other topics. The School of Criminal Justice offers graduate programs that lead to the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy, and which are widely regarded as among the best in the nation.
The baccalaureate program is a multi-disciplinary, liberal arts curriculum intended to develop students' capacities to think critically, communicate effectively, and engage in reasoned problem-solving. The major includes not only courses in criminal justice but also a concentration in a disciplinary field related to criminal justice, and majors are urged to take additional courses in history, English, and mathematics. Criminal justice majors acquire knowledge of: the nature, incidence, explanations, and individual and social consequences of crime and criminal behavior; the criminal justice process, including the social, psychological, organizational, and political influences on the discretionary decisions of criminal justice actors, and the effectiveness, equity, and responsiveness of criminal justice policy; the law and its application to criminal justice; and social science methodology. The School's graduates go on to graduate or professional education, or directly into positions with criminal justice or related agencies.
Criminal justice is a restricted major with limited enrollment. Applications for admission to the criminal justice major are reviewed by the School's Undergraduate Admissions and Awards Committee. Applicants must have completed at least 42 graduation credits prior to application and 56 credits at the time of admission, and they must have earned a B or higher in R Crj 200 (or A Soc 381) or R Crj 201. Transfer applicants must have completed the equivalent of R Crj 200 or 201.
Applications will be evaluated against the following criteria:
- Overall grade point average.
- Breadth and quality of liberal arts background. The committee will view favorably students who have strong records in history, mathematics, English, languages, and/or natural sciences.
- Statement by student of reason for seeking to undertake a criminal justice major.
It should be noted that because this program is not intended for persons interested in police science, criminalistics, etc., transfer students who have taken courses in such areas may expect such credits not to be transferable into the major. Transfer students must also fulfill concentration requirements. Articulation of such courses will be processed on a case-by-case basis.
For fall admission, applications must be received by February 14.
For spring admission, applications must be received by September 20.
Degree Requirements for the Major in Criminal Justice
General Program B.A.: The major in criminal justice requires a minimum of 36 credits distributed as follows:
12 credits from any 200- and 300-level criminal justice courses and/or A Soc 283M.
9 credits from any 400-level criminal justice courses.
3 credits of statistics, either R Crj 281 or A Soc 221; and 3 credits in research methods, either R Crj 282 or A Soc 223.
9 credits, including at least 6 at or above the 300 level, in an approved concentration area (e.g., law, American government, sociology, psychology).
Students are advised that A Psy 101M is the prerequisite for many psychology courses and A Soc 115M or 115G is a prerequisite for the listed sociology courses.
Combined B.A./M.A. Program
The combined B.A./M.A. program in criminal justice provides an opportunity for students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity to fulfill integrated requirements of undergraduate and master's degree programs from the beginning of their junior year.
The combined program requires a minimum of 141 credits, of which at least 30 must be graduate credits. In qualifying for the B.A., students must meet all University and college requirements, including the requirements of the undergraduate major described previously, the minor requirement, the minimum 90-credit liberal arts and sciences requirement, the general education requirements and residency requirements. In qualifying for the M.A., students must meet all University and college requirements as outlined in the Graduate Bulletin, including completion of a minimum of 30 graduate credits and any other conditions such as a research seminar, thesis, comprehensive examination, professional experience and residency requirements. Up to 9 graduate credits may be applied simultaneously to both the B.A. and M.A. programs.
Students are considered as undergraduates until completion of 120 graduation credits and satisfactory completion of all B.A. requirements. Upon meeting B.A. requirements, students are automatically considered as graduate students.
Students may be admitted to the combined degree program at the beginning of their junior year, or after the successful completion of 56 credits, but no later than the accumulation of 100 credits. A cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher and three supportive letters of recommendation from faculty are required for consideration. Students will be admitted upon the recommendation of the Graduate Admissions Committee of the school.
R Crj 200 Introduction to the Nature of Crime and Its Control (3)
Multidisciplinary analysis of criminal and delinquent behavior. Special attention to the definition, nature and scope of crime and delinquency in the United States and the explanations which evolved to account for these phenomena. Includes historical analysis of criminological thought and strategies of social control, with special emphasis on the law, which underpins current (and past) penal codes and correctional practices. NOTE: Only one of R Crj 200 and A Soc 381 may be taken for credit.
R Crj 201 Introduction to the Criminal Justice Process (3)
Analysis of the decisions made in the process whereby citizens become suspects, suspects become defendants, some defendants are convicted and in turn become probationers, inmates and parolees. Analysis of operational practices at the major criminal justice decision stages. Analysis of innovative programs and the dilemmas of change in policing, diversion, court administration, sentencing and community correctional programs.
R Crj 210 Policies of Crime in Heterogeneous Societies (3)
general education: HD
This course examines the implementation of policies of crime control in heterogeneous societies, with concentration on the United States. Criminal and distributive justice is explored. The effects of crime control measures across racial and ethnic groups are then examined. May not be offered during 2000-2001.
R Crj 281 Introduction to Statistics in Criminal Justice (3)
Provides an introduction to statistical methods useful for analyzing the types of data most often encountered in criminal justice research, and it is intended primarily for criminal justice undergraduates. The course has a "practitioner" orientation, emphasizing how to understand and use statistics rather than how to create them. A variety of widely used statistical methods will be considered, including descriptive statistics, correlation and regression, hypothesis testing (inferential statistics,) and contingency tables. A working knowledge of high school algebra will be assumed. May not be taken for credit by students with credit for A Soc 221.
R Crj 282 Introduction to Research Design in Criminal Justice (3)
The practical aspect of doing theoretically informed criminological research. The course should provide students with 1) the methods of research available to criminologists, 2) the connection between theory and data, and 3) how to make criminological sense out of a body of data. It will cover a variety of design issues, methodological issues and analytic techniques. The techniques provide a springboard for the discussion of important methodological issues: the relationship between theory and data, the logic of inference, causality, data collection, model specification, standardized versus unstandardized data and many others. May not be taken for credit by students with credit for A Soc 223. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 281.
R Crj 302 Punishment and Corrections (3)
Interdisciplinary review of the history of criminal punishment, analyzing the main changes that have occurred and their causes. Examines the dominant justifications used for punishing offenders, such as deterrence, retribution and rehabilitation. Special attention is given to the implications of the different justifications of punishment for current penological practice such as prison, jail, probation, parole, other alternative ways of dealing with offenders and sentencing. Reform is then discussed within this historical and interdisciplinary context. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 200 or 201.
R Crj 308 Juvenile Justice Administration (3)
The law of juvenile delinquency and the administration of the juvenile justice system. Examines the historical development of the concept of delinquency, the special status of juveniles before the law and juvenile justice procedural law. Considers the structure and operations of the major components of juvenile justice systems and contemporary reform efforts in juvenile justice. Examines recent developments in law reform concerning delinquency and dependency, along with change and reform in the youth corrections systems. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 201, or junior or senior class standing.
R Crj 351 Policing in a Free Society (3)
Introduction to the study of the local police in the United States, which provides the basis for a continuing study of policing. Also for the individual whose concern is to be an informed citizen dealing effectively with the problems which policing in America does raise. Policing is seen from three perspectives: the police -officer-citizen interaction, the agency-community relationship, and the legal and ethical questions of policing in a democratic society. Considers the background of policing, the problems it must meet in the future, the police task, the major kinds of police work, and the system relationships that tie the police to the community and the criminal justice system. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing.
R Crj 353 (=R Pos 363) American Criminal Courts (3)
Examines the organization and operations of state and local criminal court systems from the perspective of social science research and public policy analysis. Major issues include: the role of courts in American society; bail and pre-trial procedures; the roles and decisions of prosecutors, judges and the defense bar; selection and operation of grand juries and trial juries; sentencing of criminal defendants; and others. The operations of juvenile and adult courts are compared, and efforts directed toward court reform are assessed. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing.
R Crj 399 Seminar in Criminal Justice (3)
Covers a variety of topics in the criminal justice system. Content varies with each offering.
R Crj 401 Crime Deviation and Conformity (3)
Crime and criminal behavior is viewed as one of the many forms of deviation from political, moral and conduct norms of the majority culture. Studies the parallel genesis of crime and other parallel forms of deviance, and the relationship between some forms of deviance (such as mental illness and political extremism) and some forms of criminality. Studies the forces that produce conformity and indirectly promote deviation. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 200.
R Crj 404 Crime and the Mass Media (3)
This course examines the interrelationships between crime, criminal justice, and the mass media. It explores the history of these linkages, the research, and the current issues. The possible impact of media images of crime and criminal justice on individuals, groups, and public policy is examined. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 200 or 201; junior or senior class standing or permission of instructor.
R Crj 405 Drugs, Crime and Criminal Justice (3)
This course examines the extent of illicit drug use and drug dealing in the United States; the impact of illicit drugs on individuals, communities, and the criminal justice system; correlates of and influences on illicit drug use; and the connections between illicit drug use and other forms of criminal behavior. Efforts to reduce the supply of and demand for illicit drugs, including street-level law enforcement, military intervention, education, treatment, and drug testing are reviewed. Legal issues in drug policy, including the drug legalization debate, are considered. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 200 or 201 or permission of instructor or junior or senior class standing.
R Crj 408 Ideology and Crime (3)
The nature of ideology; the relevance of a wide range of political theories to the exploration of crime; the comparative influence of various ideologies upon criminological research; the paradigmatic view of science in relation to research in criminal justice; the problem of objectivity; the problem of progress; the role of the criminologist as researcher and practitioner; an introduction to the ideology of law. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 200.
R Crj 411 The Community and Corrections (3)
Examines the relationship between the community and the correctional system, focusing on the relationships between prisons and the community as well as community-based alternatives to incarceration. The historical development of major correctional programs based in the community is examined, as is the current philosophy of community corrections. Questions about the effectiveness of community-based correctional alternatives are also considered. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 201 or 302.May be offered during 2000-2001.
R Crj 412Z Incarceration (4)
general education: WI
Provides an analysis of the historical development, organization and administration of correctional institutions. Social control processes within prisons are considered, as are policy dilemmas posed by "special category" inmates who require innovative and specialized intervention. Examines current topics such as overcrowding and its effects on institutional functioning, prison construction, disturbances and others. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 201 or R Crj 302. May not be offered during 2000-2001.
R Crj 413 Victims of Crime (3)
Examination of the multifaceted problem of crime victimization. Focuses on the incidence of criminal victimization, social characteristics of crime victims, the treatment of the victim in the criminal justice system, and efforts designed to alleviate the consequences of criminal victimization and provide support to victims. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 200.
R Crj 414Z Order and Disorder in Society (4)
general education: WI
An examination of problems of social control in different cultural settings and historical epochs. Students gain insight into the variety of solutions that have been devised for the problems of crime and disorder and thereby begin to understand the potentialities as well as the constraints in social ordering. Key questions addressed are: what kinds of disorder problems did a particular society face?, and what was the preferred solution adopted? Reading will be historical, literary and social scientific. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing. May not be offered during 2000-2001.
R Crj 416Z Current Issues in Delinquency (4)
general education: WI
This course examines a number of current issues in the field of juvenile delinquency research including causes of delinquency, the nature of delinquent careers and the effectiveness of efforts to prevent and treat delinquency. Emphasis is placed on analyzing recent developments in the area and, since it is a writing intensive course, presenting written critiques of the research. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 200 and 201. May not be offered during 2000-2001.
R Crj 423 Student Legal Services Internship Seminar (4)
Interns work in the Legal Service Office on campus under the supervision of a practicing attorney gaining valuable first-hand experience with the legal process. Interns must take R Crj 424 or 425 during the fall semester. During the spring semester participation in a weekly seminar covering various areas of substantive law is required in addition to office hours. Internships are open only to qualified juniors and seniors who have an overall grade point average of 2.50 or higher. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 424 or 425 and permission of instructor.
R Crj 424 Introduction to Substantive Criminal Law (4)
The general principles of substantive criminal law studied through analysis of judicial opinions, text and, where appropriate, social science research. Principles such as mens rea, causation, harm, and actus reus are of recurring importance. They are considered both in the context of the definition of substantive criminal offenses, such as murder, assault and conspiracy, and with respect to such defenses as insanity, duress, self defense, mistake of fact or law and others. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing.
R Crj 425 Introduction to the Law of Criminal Procedure (4)
The study of judicial opinions provides the opportunity for students to become familiar with fundamental principles and rules of constitutional criminal procedure, and their application within specific factual settings. Where relevant, textual materials and social science research bearing on the legal issues are considered. Anticipated topics include: the functioning of the adversarial system of proof, including the respective obligations and duties of prosecuting attorneys and criminal defense lawyers; the fifth amendment and compulsory self-incrimination issues; the fourth amendment and the law of search and seizure; issues in capital punishment; and other, related matters. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing.
R Crj 428 Contemporary Legal Issues in Criminal Justice (3)
Select legal topics involving a variety of criminal justice issues are explored through consideration of judicial decisions and related readings. Illustrative issues to be examined include capital punishment, substantive due process (e.g., the criminalization of homosexual sodomy, abortion, physical-assisted suicide), the law of rape, drug-testing, mental health law, the rights of children, and the rights of prisoners. Specific topics considered may vary in light of contemporary legal developments. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing.
R Crj 450Z Street-Level Bureaucracy (4)
general education: WI
Criminal justice agencies, welfare agencies, schools, and some other public agencies constitute a class of organizations known as street-level bureaucracies. This course examines the work performed by street-level bureaucrats, the structural properties that street-level bureaucracies have in common, and the administrative problems in which these properties result. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 201. May not be offered during 2000-2001.
R Crj 495 Special Topics in Criminal Justice (2-3)
This variable credit (2-3) course examines specialized topics in criminal justice. Topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated when subject matter differs. Differential credit is awarded according to requirements defined by instructor. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 200 or 201 and junior or senior class standing; or permission of instructor.
R Crj 496Z Special Topics in Criminal Justice (4)
general education: WI
Intensive examination of specialized topics in criminal justice. Topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated when subject matter differs. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 200 or 201 or permission of instructor or junior or senior class standing
R Crj 497 Special Topics in Criminal Justice (3)
Intensive examination of specialized topics in criminal justice. Topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated when subject matter differs. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 200 or 201 or permission of instructor or junior or senior class standing.
R Crj 498 Independent Study in Criminal Justice (1-3)
Independent study or research on selected topics in criminal justice under the direction of a faculty member. The student is responsible for locating a faculty member who is willing to direct the independent study. May be repeated for credit but no more than 3 credits may be accumulated. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor and undergraduate program director, and junior or senior class standing. S/U graded.
R Crj 499 Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice (3)
Covers a variety of topics in the criminal justice system. Content varies with each offering. May be repeated for up to 9 credits when topic differs. Prerequisite(s): R Crj 200 or 201 or permission of instructor. S/U graded.