• CJA majors can choose either Homeland Security
    or
    Law Enforcement
  • Tennessee Department of Corrections is one of many potential employers
  • Criminal Justice Class members
    get
    deputized before working a mock crime scene
  • Trying on a jacket is one way to get a feel for working for the agency

Criminal Justice

Living in an orderly society is possible because we have laws and a justice system. MTSU's degree in Criminal Justice Administration offers preparation for entering and advancing among the ranks of the industry's professionals. Graduates are found in professions such as attorneys, police officers, and corrections officials. At the undergraduate level, students may obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration. Students majoring in CJA may choose concentrations in Law Enforcement or Homeland Security as well. The department’s extensive internship program for seniors and those pursuing graduate study provides invaluable opportunities for experience. As a convenience for the mid-state area, MTSU now offers all courses required for the program, including the concentrations, on the Southeast Campus of Nashville State Community College in Antioch, as well as on the main campus in Murfreesboro.

On-the-job training

On-the-job training

MTSU places interns with more than 30 criminal justice agencies including district attorney and public defender offices; police and sheriff departments; probation and parole offices; circuit, juvenile, and drug courts; and several state and federal agencies. Students not only experience the pragmatic operations of the criminal justice system, but they also get to see how to apply theories learned in the classroom to the profession.

Program prepares student for road ahead

Program prepares student for road ahead

Savannah Hill, who came to MTSU from Columbia, Tenn., is a senior with a double major: Criminal Justice and Psychology. She was accepted to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Criminal Justice Academy this past summer and is excited to share her experiences: “While attending the TBI academy, I learned many things about polygraphs, crime scene equipment, judgmental shooting, and so much more that will help me become successful in this field.” Hill says her long term goal is to join the Federal Bureau of Investigations and become an agent working in the human trafficking division. She plans to apply to the Secret Service this year and also to continue her education. Summing up her experience, Hill says, “Here at MTSU, the Criminal Justice Department has helped me see the road I wish to take and has greatly prepared me for the person I am to become. I cannot thank the university enough for hiring such astounding professors/mentors.”

The Criminal Justice industry offers a rich array of career options for anyone interested in fighting crime and lessening its effects on the innocent.

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Brentwood Police Department
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
  • Chattanooga Police Department
  • Clarksville Police Department
  • Davidson County Community Corrections
  • Davidson County District Attorney’s Office
  • Davidson County Juvenile Court
  • Davidson County Sheriff’s Department
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Federal Probation and Parole
  • Lavergne Police Department
  • Memphis Police Department
  • Murfreesboro Police Department
  • Nashville Metro Police Department
  • Providence Probation Services
  • Public Defender of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County
  • Rutherford County District Attorney’s Office
  • Rutherford County Juvenile Court
  • Rutherford County Public Defender’s Office
  • Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department
  • Smyrna Police Department
  • Spartan Probation Services (Warren County)
  • State of Tennessee, Board of Probation and Parole
  • Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
  • Tennessee Department of Children’s Services
  • Tennessee Department of Corrections
  • Tennessee Department of Homeland Security
  • Tennessee Highway Patrol
  • Tractor Supply Co.
  • U.S. Border Patrol
  • U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
  • U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement
  • U.S. Marshals
  • U.S. Secret Service

A student in the Criminal Justice Administration program may pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree, with concentrations available in either Law Enforcement or Homeland Security. (Minors in Criminal Justice Administration and Homeland Security are offered for non-CJA majors.) The department is one of the participants in Forensic Science, an interdisciplinary major leading to a B.S. The Criminal Justice (B.S.) Degree can be obtained by taking online courses.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.

At the graduate level, students may obtain a Master of Criminal Justice degree (offered as a joint program between MTSU and Tennessee State University).

Minors in Criminal Justice Administration and Homeland Security are also available.

Criminal Justice Administration Homeland Security Law Enforcement


Criminal Justice Administration, B.S.

Department of Criminal Justice Administration 
615-898-2630
Lance Selva, interim chair
Lance.Selva@mtsu.edu

Courses in the Department of Criminal Justice Administration provide students with a well-rounded curriculum designed to meet the academic needs of those seeking careers in law enforcement, courts, corrections, and homeland security as well as those already employed in the criminal justice system and related agencies.

Academic Map

Following is a printable, suggested four-year schedule of courses:

Criminal Justice Administration, B.S., Academic Map  

Degree Requirements

General Education (41 hours)

General Education requirements include courses in Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences categories.

Major Requirements (48 hours)

Criminal Justice Administration Core (18 hours)

In order to graduate, all Criminal Justice majors must earn a grade of at least a C (2.00) in all of the following core CJA courses:

  • CJA 1100 - Introduction to Criminal Justice Administration

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the criminal justice system; philosophy and history of criminal justice agencies; analysis of the problems and needs of agencies involved in the criminal justice process; survey of professional career opportunities.

  • CJA 2200 - Prevention and Control of Crime

    3 credit hours

    The police function; an analysis of crime prevention and control; major problems and needs of the law enforcement segment of the criminal justice system.

  • CJA 2400 - The Judicial Process

    3 credit hours

    (Same as FSCJ 2400.) The structure and function of the judicial system; the major problems and needs of the judicial segment of the criminal justice system; major emphasis on the basic concepts of criminal law and administration.

  • CJA 2600 - Corrections  3 credit hours  

    CJA 2600 - Corrections

    3 credit hours

    History of the development of corrections in Europe and America; survey of current prison conditions and operations, including pre-release, probation, and parole.

  • CJA 3200 - Research Methods with Computer Technology

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: CJA 1100  CJA 2200, CJA 2400, and CJA 2600 or permission of instructor; junior or senior standing. Overview of scientific research methods in criminal justice with emphasis on computer technology to conduct research and interpretation and analysis on various statistical data.

  • CJA 3400 - Constitutional Issues and Criminal Justice

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: CJA 1100  CJA 2200, CJA 2400, and CJA 2600 or permission of instructor; junior or senior standing. Development of Constitutional and procedural controls of the administration of criminal justice. Constitutional limits on law enforcement agencies including the laws of arrest, search and seizure, admissions and confessions, and eavesdropping; on pre-trial and trial procedures, on past conviction processes. Emphasis on current U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

Remaining Major Courses (30 hours)

  • Criminal Justice Administration courses as advised

Minor (15-18 hours)

Electives (13-16 hours)

Total hours in program: 120

 

Curriculum: Criminal Justice Administration

Curricular listings include General Education requirements in Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences categories.

Following is a suggested pattern of study; however, consultation with the assigned advisor is necessary before each registration.

Freshman

 

  • ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing  3 credit hours  (Comm) 

    ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing

    3 credit hours

    The first General Education English course. Emphasis on learning to adapt composing processes to a variety of expository and analytic writing assignments. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • ENGL 1020 - Research and Argumentative Writing

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ENGL 1010. The second General Education English course. Emphasis on analytic and argumentative writing and on locating, organizing, and using library resource materials in the writing. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • CJA 1100 - Introduction to Criminal Justice Administration

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the criminal justice system; philosophy and history of criminal justice agencies; analysis of the problems and needs of agencies involved in the criminal justice process; survey of professional career opportunities.

  • CJA 2200 - Prevention and Control of Crime

    3 credit hours

    The police function; an analysis of crime prevention and control; major problems and needs of the law enforcement segment of the criminal justice system.

  • Social/Behavioral Sciences 3 credit hours
  • Humanities and/or Fine Arts 6 credit hours
  • Mathematics (Math) 3 credit hours

Choose 6 hours from:

  • HIST 2010 - Survey of United States History I

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2020 - Survey of United States History II

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2030 - Tennessee History

    3 credit hours

    The role of the state in the development of the nation. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement.

Subtotal: 30 Hours

 

Sophomore

 

  • CJA 2400 - The Judicial Process

    3 credit hours

    (Same as FSCJ 2400.) The structure and function of the judicial system; the major problems and needs of the judicial segment of the criminal justice system; major emphasis on the basic concepts of criminal law and administration.

  • CJA 2600 - Corrections  3 credit hours  

    CJA 2600 - Corrections

    3 credit hours

    History of the development of corrections in Europe and America; survey of current prison conditions and operations, including pre-release, probation, and parole.

  • COMM 2200 - Fundamentals of Communication  3 credit hours  (Comm) 

    COMM 2200 - Fundamentals of Communication

    3 credit hours

    Principles and processes of effective public oral communication including researching, critical thinking, organizing, presenting, listening, and using appropriate language. Emphasis on informative, persuasive, special occasion, and extemporaneous (impromptu) speaking. Counts as part of the General Education Communication requirement.

  • Natural Sciences (2 prefixes) 8 credit hours
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences 3 credit hours
  • CJA electives 6 credit hours
  • Minor course 3 credit hours
  • ENGL 2020 - Themes in Literature and Culture  3 credit hours  (Hum/FA)  OR 

    ENGL 2020 - Themes in Literature and Culture

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. Traces a specific theme or idea through a number of literary texts that reflect different historical and cultural contexts. Subject will vary.

  • ENGL 2030 - The Experience of Literature  3 credit hours  (Hum/FA)  OR 

    ENGL 2030 - The Experience of Literature

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. The reading of a variety of literary types which illuminate themes and experiences common to human existence.

  • HUM 2610 - Foreign Literature in Translation  3 credit hours  (Hum/FA) 

    HUM 2610 - Foreign Literature in Translation

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. Representative works of French, German, and Hispanic authors in English translation. No foreign-language proficiency required. Carries General Education credit.

Subtotal: 32 Hours

 

Junior

 

  • CJA 3400 - Constitutional Issues and Criminal Justice

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: CJA 1100  CJA 2200, CJA 2400, and CJA 2600 or permission of instructor; junior or senior standing. Development of Constitutional and procedural controls of the administration of criminal justice. Constitutional limits on law enforcement agencies including the laws of arrest, search and seizure, admissions and confessions, and eavesdropping; on pre-trial and trial procedures, on past conviction processes. Emphasis on current U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

  • Minor courses 12 credit hours
  • CJA electives 15 credit hours

Subtotal: 30 Hours

 

Senior

 

  • CJA 3200 - Research Methods with Computer Technology

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: CJA 1100  CJA 2200, CJA 2400, and CJA 2600 or permission of instructor; junior or senior standing. Overview of scientific research methods in criminal justice with emphasis on computer technology to conduct research and interpretation and analysis on various statistical data.

  • Minor course 3 credit hours
  • CJA electives 9 credit hours
  • General guided electives 13 credit hours

Subtotal: 28 Hours

 

NOTE:

*Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing and successful completion (at least a C) of the first core courses: CJA 1100, CJA 2200, CJA 2400, and CJA 2600.