Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies is a field that focuses on the study of criminal behavior and society’s response to it.

The field draws upon the insights of the social and behavioral sciences, the physical sciences, statistics, and the humanities to illuminate the issues of maintaining social order in a constitutional democracy committed to individual freedom, equality, and justice. The criminal justice system is composed of the police agencies, prosecutors, the legal profession, the courts, and correctional agencies, among others. The system is part of a larger social system which inevitably influences the effectiveness and fairness of criminal justice.  Courses analyze system responses to changes in social structure and cultural values, and the reciprocal relationship between social values and the judicial system.  The program in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies at UM-Dearborn is intended to prepare students for careers in public security, criminal justice administration, law and paralegal professions, public administration, policy analysis, and graduate study in those fields.

For further information about Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies, contact Professor Donald Shelton, Director, or 313-583-6404.

Program Information

  • More about Criminal Justice

    The Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies is one of the fastest growing and most popular degree programs at University of Michigan-Dearborn.  The program’s mission is to produce well-rounded, service oriented graduates with the analytical skills needed to meet the challenges of criminal justice professionals in the 21st century. The curriculum emphasizes understanding the structure, organization, and function of justice in American society.  Courses are taught by a dedicated and diverse group of nationally and regionally recognized faculty members, including many with vast experience in local, state, and federal agencies.

  • Degree Requirements

    Introduction to Criminal Justice (CRJ 200) is a required pre-major course. Thirty-three CRJ credits at the 300 level or above are required. 

    Most students majoring in CRJ will have room for additional electives.  When choosing your electives, consider taking courses to expand your knowledge base in areas related to Criminal Justice.  Please see a CASL Advisor (1039 CB) for a copy of the list.

    Learn more about CASL Degree Requirements.

Program Goals

  • Knowledge
    1. Knowledge of what motivates criminogenic behavior and Criminological Theory.
    2. Knowledge of formal and informal mechanisms of social control and Criminal Justice Theory.
    3. Knowledge of the function, organization, policies, and processes of the major components of the formal justice system.
    4. Knowledge of the law and the components of crime, including elements of felony and misdemeanor offenses, basic criminal law, and enforcement procedures.
    5. Knowledge of key historical, contemporary policy, and ethical issues pertaining to justice and enforcement in a democratic society.
    6. Knowledge of key research principles, Best Practices, and government programs that have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing crime.
  • Skills and Abilities
    1. Professional and persuasive communications, writing skills, and ability to report findings.
    2. Ability to locate, read, understand, and critically analyze publications and data to identify “what works” in criminal justice.
    3. Ability to make simple comparisons (before and after program implementation), compare two or three groups to identify differences using basic statistics.
    4. Ability to solve problems, create solutions and procedures that are consistent with theory and

Internships and Co-ops

The Criminology and Criminal Justice Internship is the Capstone course for Ciminology and Criminal Justice majors. The Internship is designed to synthesize the course of study in a real-world setting. Actual field experience will provide students with valuable tools to help them achieve their goal and produce humane leaders with the technical skills and social and ethical sensitivity needed to succeed in their chosen field.

Alternatives to Violent Force

The Current Policing Curriculum Series is new programming offered by the University of Michigan-Dearborn in support of continuing education for members of the public safety community. Learn more about the Alternatives to Violent Force (AVF) program.

Community Service Personnel Scholarships

The Criminology and Criminal justice program has established relationships with many local, state, and federal public safety agencies.  Employees of those agencies may obtain a scholarship to UM-Dearborn which is the equivalent of a 20% education in tuition and fees.  For more information about the scholarship, contact the Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies program at

Current Eligible Agencies

Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies

Social Sciences Building
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