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Undergraduate Bulletin 2008-2009
Bulletin Homepage |School of Criminal Justice | Bulletin Information

School of Criminal Justice


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

Distinguished Professors
 David H. Bayley, Ph.D.
  Princeton University
 Hans H. Toch, Ph.D.
  Princeton University

Distinguished Teaching Professors
 James R. Acker, Ph.D.
  University at Albany
 Graeme R. Newman, Ph.D.
  University of Pennsylvania

Professors 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

 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
 Shawn Bushway, Ph.D.
  Carnegie Mellon University
 Greg Pogarsky, Ph.D.
  Carnegie Mellon University
 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
 Robert Apel, Ph.D.
  University of Maryland
 Megan Kurlycheck, Ph.D.
  Pennsylvania State University
 Dana Peterson, Ph.D.
  University of Nebraska at Omaha 
 Janet Stamatel, Ph.D.
  University of Chicago

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 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 students’ capacities to think critically, communicate effectively, and engage in reasoned problem-solving. 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.

Guaranteed Admission to the Criminal Justice Major
Students who meet the following qualifications are guaranteed admission into the criminal justice major.

  • Achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher following completion of at least 56 credits (of which 30 credit hours must be taken at the University at Albany).
  • Earned a grade of B or better in two of the following courses - RCRJ 201, 202 or 203 or equivalents.
  • Completed the statistics and research methods classes required of majors (RCRJ 281 and 282, or equivalents) 
    with a grade of B or better.

Even those students who qualify for guaranteed admission must complete an application.

Application into the Criminal Justice Major
Students who do not meet the conditions for guaranteed admission into the major can still apply for admission. However, it is important to note that 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 RCRJ 201, RCRJ 202, or RCRJ 203 (or ASOC 203).

Some of the factors considered during application review include:

  • 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.
  • Student's Written Statement of reason for seeking to undertake a criminal justice major.

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:

  • RCRJ 201 — Introduction to Criminal Justice;
  • RCRJ 202 — Introduction to Law and Criminal Justice;
  • RCRJ 203 (or ASOC 203) — Criminology;
  • 3 credits of statistics, either RCRJ 281, ASOC 221, APSY 210, or  AMAT 108;
  • 3 credits in research methods, either RCRJ 282, ASOC 220, or  APSY 211;
  • One 400-level, writing-intensive senior Capstone Seminar, either RCRJ 4**Z, RCRJ 4**W, or RCRJ 4**V;
  • 16 — 18 additional credits from any 300- or 400-level criminal justice courses and/or ASOC 283

Students are also advised that only one of R Crj 203 and A Soc 203 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 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 may be admitted to the combined degree program at the beginning of their junior year, or after the successful completion of 56 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.