Criminal Justice

Earning a Criminal Justice Degree

You can complete the entire general education and course requirements for the BS in criminal justice degree at IU Columbus. 

The Indiana University Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice degree will provide you with a broad and layered understanding of the history, operations, and implications of criminal justice in America.

The U.S. criminal justice system is designed to enforce defined standards of conduct designed to protect the rights of individual citizens and groups of citizens. The term “criminal justice” is used to describe the policies, procedures, and practices that federal, state, and municipal governments use to uphold legal codes and laws, ensure public safety, deter and mitigate crime, penalize those who violate laws, and rehabilitate offenders. It also aims to reduce crime, deliver justice to victims of crimes, and maintain public confidence that the system protects law-abiding citizens.

As a criminal justice student, you will study, explore, and research important societal needs related to law enforcement, the judicial system, corrections, and national security. You will complete classes on research methods, criminological theory and policy, criminal law, courts, corrections, and policing. You may also study cutting-edge topics related to homicide, terrorism, juvenile justice, and cybercrime.

Find the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice course requirements below.

Core Communication (2 courses; 6 cr.)

  • ENG W131 Reading, Writing and Inquiry
  • COMM R110 Public Speaking

Mathmatics/Analytical Reasoning (2 courses; 6 cr.)

  • At least one must be college level math

Life and Physical Sciences (2 courses; 6 cr.)

  • One must include a lab

Cultural Understanding (1 course; 3 cr.)

Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences (3 courses; 9 cr.)

  • One Social Science course
  • One Arts & Humanities course
  • One Social Science or Arts & Humanities course

UCOL-U 110 or DLA-L 110 First Year Experience (waived for transfer students with 18 or more credits)

ENG-W 231 Professional Writing Skills or ENG-W 270 Argumentative Writing Skills (grade of C or higher)

Computer Proficiency/Logic (If computer proficiency is already proven or waived, then a Logic course is required)

Arts & Humanities 100 or 200 level courese not in your first major field of study

Social Science 100 or 200 level course not in your first major field of study 

World Language and Culture (All criminal justice students are required to complete first-year competency in a world language)

CJUS-P 100 Introduction to Criminal Justice
CJUS-P 199 Careers in Criminal Justice 
CJUS-P 200 Theories of Crime and Deviance (P:CJUS-P 100) 
CJUS-P 275 Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice (P:CJUS-P 100)
CJUS-P 295 Criminal Justice Data, Methods, and Research (P:CJUS-P 100) 
CJUS-K 300 Techniques of Data Analysis (or equivalent) 
CJUS-P 301 Police in Contemporary Society (P:CJUS-P 100) 
CJUS-P 302 Courts and Criminal Justice (P:CJUS-P 100)
CJUS-P 303 Corrections and Criminal Justice (P:CJUS-P 100)
CJUS-P 370 Criminal Law (P:CJUS-P 100)
CJUS-P 470* Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice (P: P:CJUS-P100, P200, P295, K300) 
*May substitute CJUS-P481 Field Experience in Criminal Justice or CJUS-P496 Research Internship

CJUS-P___ Criminal Justice Elective 3 cr.
CJUS-P___ Criminal Justice Elective 3 cr.
CJUS-P-___ Criminal Justice Elective 3 cr.

Additional courses to total 120 credit hours (not required to be CJUS courses, but could be)

Credit for law enforcement training
Sworn full-time police officers who have graduated from any of the five Indiana law enforcement academies can earn 13 undergraduate credit hours
from CJUS. You can apply these credits to any of our undergraduate degree programs.To be eligible, you must be admitted to IU Columbus and must have
completed at least 12 IU Columbus credits with a 2.0 GPA.

Career Options

Upon graduation from this program, you will be prepared to pursue careers such as:

  • Federal law enforcement (FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Marshal)
  • Police officer or detective
  • Juvenile or adult probation officer
  • Court or law office administrator
  • Private investigator or security officer
  • Crime scene or lab technician
  • Victim’s advocate
  • Parole officer

Criminal Justice Minor

A Criminal Justice minor is a detailed examination of the American criminal justice system.  Great for students in social work, education, business, sociology, psychology and political science.

The Criminal Justice minor requires 15 credit hours of Criminal Justice course work (minimum GPA of 2.0 required in courses taken specifically for the minor).

CJUS-P 100 Introduction to Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Core Courses (2 courses, 6 credit hours), selected from the following:

  • CJUS-P 295 Criminal Justice Data, Methods, and Resources
  • CJUS-P 370 Criminal Law
  • CJUS-P 200 Theories of Crime and Deviance
  • CJUS-P 302 Courts and Criminal Justice
  • CJUS-P 301 Police in Contemporary Society
  • CJUS-P 303 Corrections and Criminal Justice
  • CJUS-P 275 Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice

Elective Courses (2 courses, 6 credit hours minimum): Take two other criminal justice courses (‘P” prefix). These may be drawn from the courses in the above list not used to fulfill that requirement. At least one of these two courses must be at the 300 or 400 level.

To declare a minor in Criminal Justice, please review the course requirements and:

  • Contact Maggie Evans for an application form.
  • The completed application should be submitted when you are enrolled in your final Criminal Justice class but before you graduate. 

Cadet Officer Program

The Cadet Officer Program allows full-time Indiana University students to work in the criminal justice system and with a law enforcement agency while pursuing their degree. Students join the IUPD at IU Columbus and receive pay, training, basic uniforms and equipment, and assist full-time officers with patrol operations at IU Columbus. In the summer, cadets attend the Indiana University Police Academy and return to IU Columbus a fully sworn police officer.  

Completion of the Cadet Officer Program, which includes the Indiana University Police Academy, provides comprehensive and unique law enforcement training which, coupled with the university's educational programs, produces a highly qualified, experienced, and educated law enforcement professional. If you are seeking a career in public safety, this is the program for you! 

Lt. Kyle Young is the Cadet Officer Program Coordinator for IU Columbus. Email him to discuss the program or with questions at Find more information at​ 

Criminal Justice Advising

If you are a future or current criminal justice student, your advisor is Maggie Evans. She will help you select and register for classes that will apply toward your degree program. Contact her at:

Maggie Evans
Office: CC Room 156R
Phone: 812.348.7309