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University at Albany Undergraduate Bulletin - 2004-2005

School of Criminal Justice

Julie Horney, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego


Distinguished Professors

David H. Bayley, Ph.D.
Princeton University

Terence P. Thornberry, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania

Hans H. Toch, Ph.D.
Princeton University

Distinguished Teaching Professor

Graeme R. Newman, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania

Professor Emeritae/i

Fred Cohen, LL.M.
Yale University

Robert H. Hardt, Ph.D.
Syracuse University

Vincent O'Leary, M.A.
University of Washington

Marguerite Q. Warren, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley


James R. Acker, J.D.
Duke University;
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.
Northwestern University

Associate Professors

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

Assistant Professors

Dana Peterson, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Greg Pogarsky, Ph.D.
Carnegie Mellon University
J.D. University of Pittsburgh

Piyusha Singh, Ph.D.
Carnegie Mellon University

Adjuncts (estimated): 7
Teaching Assistants (estimated): 9

Even as crime declines from the high levels of the 1970ís and 1980ís, 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 their 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 studentsí 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 Schoolís graduates go on to graduate or professional education, or directly into positions with criminal justice or related agencies.

Admission Requirements

Criminal justice is a restricted major with limited enrollment. Applications for admission to the criminal justice major are reviewed by the Schoolís 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), R Crj 201 or R Crj 202. Transfer applicants must have completed the equivalent of R Crj 200, or 201 or 202 with a grade of B or better.

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.

Application Dates:

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, 300, or 400 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, A Soc 221; A Psy 210, or A Mat 108; and 3 credits in research methods, either R Crj 282, A Soc 220 , or A Psy 211.

9 credits, including at least 6 at or above the 300 level, in an approved concentration area, either American Government, Law, Psychology, Sociology, African/Afro-American Studies, Latin American/Caribbean Studies, Anthropology, History, Philosophy, or Womenís Studies. Please see department for list of approved courses.

Students are also advised that only one of R Crj 200 and A Soc 381 may be taken for credit.

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 masterís 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 (but does not guarantee admission). Students will be admitted upon the recommendation of the Graduate Admissions Committee of the School.

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