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Master’s in Criminal Justice Course Descriptions

The online Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Saint Joseph’s University combines a comprehensive Criminal Justice leadership curriculum with your choice of career-building specializations designed to give you maximum flexibility and opportunity in the marketplace. The 30-credit-hour online program includes four core Criminal Justice courses, four or five classes in your chosen specialization, and a variety of remaining electives to further customize your education to your needs and career goals.

Core Courses:
CRJ 550 Research Methods and Analysis
CRJ 560 Criminological Theory
CRJ 565 Ethics and Criminal Justice
CRJ 570 Professional Writing for Law Enforcement

Behavior Analysis Specialization:
CRJ 622 Basic Principles of Behavior Analysis*
CRJ 623 Applied Behavior Analysis*
CRJ 624 Behavior Analysis and Consultation*
CRJ 625 Behavioral Development*
CRJ 626 Clinical Behavior Analysis*
CRJ 657 Ethics in Behavior Analysis*

Federal Law Enforcement Specialization:
CRJ 633 Federal Criminal Justice
CRJ 634 Federal Criminal Law and Prosecution

Homeland Security Specialization:
CRJ 640 Terrorism: Threats and Strategy
CRJ 641 Homeland Security
CRJ 645 Sociology of Disasters
CRJ 646 Risk Assessment

Intelligence and Crime Analysis Specialization:
CRJ 642 Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysis
CRJ 643 Law Enforcement Intelligence: Policy and Process

Elective Options:
CRJ 607 Multiculturalism and Diversity in Criminal Justice
CRJ 616 Juvenile Justice and Delinquency: Issues and Responses
CRJ 637 Forensic Financial Analysis
CRJ 656 The Criminal Justice System

Four (4) Core Courses Required for All Students Seeking a Master’s in Criminal Justice

CRJ 550 Research Methods and Analysis (3 credits)
This course is a function of concepts, hypotheses, and theories for an empirical discipline; the operationalization of theoretical variables; the principles of research design; and the problems of inference. The association between criminological theories and research methods used to study crime is explored through the utilization of a variety of related data sources. Also covered are basic quantitative techniques, relevant statistics, data interpretation, and an overview of SPSS.

CRJ 560 Criminological Theory (3 credits)
A systemic and critical analysis of the major theories of criminality, including an examination of both traditional and contemporary theories. Consideration will be given to conceptualizations of crime, the relationship of criminological theories to crime on the streets, and specific aspects of criminal behavior.

CRJ 565 Ethics and Criminal Justice (3 credits)
This course will address ethical issues in the criminal justice system at both the theoretical and applied levels. Typical theoretical issues addressed might include the following: the relationship between law and morality; theories of punishment; notions of procedural justice. Typical applied ethics issues might include the following: search and seizure rules; the insanity defense and the “guilty but mentally ill” verdict; plea bargaining; capital punishment; civil disobedience; limits on the use of deadly force.

CRJ 570 Professional Writing for Law Enforcement (3 credits)
The course is designed to develop the cognitive and technical skills of effective writing for law enforcement. Primary emphasis will be given to the "craft of writing", thus, learning the techniques and skills of effective communication in the law enforcement workplace. Class assignments will enhance students' use of computer technology in the writing process. These tools are then applied to a variety of topics, including correspondence, memos, investigative reports, and presentations.

Behavior Analysis Specialization

CRJ 622 Basic Principles of Behavior Analysis (3 credits)*
Learning serves as the basis for behavior change. In the field of criminal justice, programs often attempt to rehabilitate delinquents and offenders. This is an advanced course on the principles of learning and will cover studies of principles of learning from relatively simple animal studies to more complex issues such as the acquisition of human language. We will outline from a behavior analytic perspective on such issues as thinking, feeling, and imagining. We will follow the structure of Catania's text including an overview of learning processes, learning without words in an evolutionary context, and with words examining memory.

CRJ 623 Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)*
To function effectively as a behavior manager/analyst, Criminal Justice Personnel need to grasp the basic concepts of human behavior and how it can change. This course covers the practical aspects of being an applied behavior analyst working in the criminal justice system, school system and the community setting. The topics will cover: basic principles of applied behavior analysis; the application of these principles to children ADHD, ODD, and CD8; writing behavioral objectives; training parents and paraprofessionals to execute operant and respondent based treatments; working as a behavior analyst in a CASSP system; and legal and ethical issues in the treatment of children in a diverse society.

CRJ 624 Behavior Analysis and Consultation (3 credits)*
Professionals in the fields of criminal justice often serve as consultants. This course focuses on behavioral consultation in the juvenile justice system, school system, workplace, and community settings. The topics covered are best practices in behavioral consultation, the verbal behavior of the consultant and the consultee, building a consulting relationship, problem identification interviewing, direct observation methodology, skills and functional behavioral assessment methodology, functional analysis, positive behavioral support and developing a competing behaviors model, treatment plan design and implementation, and treatment evaluation using single subject designs and graphical analysis of the data.

CRJ 625 Behavioral Development (3 credits)*
Many people in the justice system today are there because of emotional and behavioral disorders. This course focuses on basic principles in Behavior Analysis and how they shape the development of normal and developmentally challenged children. The role of these principles in normal development and developmental problems such as language delays, motor developmental delays, conduct and oppositional defiant disorder, childhood depression and autism are explored. The course reviews field applications including observations, functional behavioral assessment, curriculum-based measures and intervention strategies that involve both the school and the family.

CRJ 626 Clinical Behavior Analysis (3 credits)*
This course observes behavior analysis as it enters into child clinical, adult clinical, supervisory level and organizational behavior. The primary goal of the course is to provide an overview and skills for behavior analysts in criminal justice to function as parole and probation officers with both adults and children, as well as organizational and system level change experts.

CRJ 657 Ethics in Behavior Analysis (3 credits)*
The course will focus on the ethical application of behavior analytic services. The first half of the course will detail the Guidelines for Responsible Conduct of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board as well as relevant literature on the topic of ethical behavior in the field. The second half of the course will focus on providing “context” to these Guidelines, highlighting principles of behavior and potential applications of these principles. Case studies that are drawn from personal experience will be reviewed throughout the course and will examine some of the issues practicing behavior analysts encounter on the job. At the conclusion of the course, students will be expected to present a case study drawn from their own personal or professional experience.

Federal Law Enforcement Specialization

CRJ 633 Federal Criminal Justice (3 credits)
This course will examine criminal justice at the federal level. The main areas include the role of each branch of government; how agencies are funded; major investigation, prosecution, probation, and correction elements; and individual investigative agencies including Inspector General. The course will cover the mission of and interrelationships among individual agencies, as well as relevant case law, procedures, and court rules.

CRJ 634 Federal Criminal Law and Prosecution (3 credits)
This covers federal criminal law and its enforcement. Major areas include an overview of federal crimes, elements of the United States Code, origin and scope of federal criminal law, and the role of federal agents in the support of prosecutions. Specific topics include mail and wire fraud, the Hobbs Act, organizational crime, drug enforcement, money laundering, criminal civil rights violations and remedies, federal versus state prosecution, sentencing guidelines, and asset forfeiture.

Homeland Security Specialization

CRJ 640 Terrorism: Threats and Strategy (3 credits)
This course is designed to give the student an understanding of the concepts of terrorism, both domestic and international. Lecturer will address the causes and effects of terrorism as they relate to political structures from both religious and historical perspectives; noting its impact on the world today.

CRJ 641 Homeland Security (3 credits)
This course focuses on the consolidation of responsibilities and functions across agencies at various jurisdictional levels that have the charge of mitigating hostilities, threats, hazards, and consequences. This course is designed to develop analytical skills that will prepare students to identify, evaluate and resolve complex policy issues and initiate practical actions. Though the range of relevant issues extends from local matters to national security, this course will concentrate on preparedness strategies for state, urban and local areas.

CRJ 645 Sociology of Disasters (3 credits)
This course is designed to provide the graduate student advanced knowledge and understanding of the sociological issues and concerns related to both man-made and natural disasters. The purpose is to present the current research pertaining to community resilience and the effects on individuals who witness, become victimized, or are otherwise affected by disasters. Each student will be expected to increase their capacity in both oral and written communication through their individual and group participation. 

CRJ 646 Risk Assessment (3 credits)
This course is designed to provide the graduate student advanced knowledge and understanding in the area of risk assessment and management. The focus is on the recognition of real and perceived threats, sharing information between communities and agencies, the collaboration of resources, and the management of risk. Students will examine the concepts of risk assessment, risk analysis, and the impacts of actual and suspected threats.

Intelligence and Crime Analysis Specialization

CRJ 642 Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysis (3 credits)
This course pursues the deliberative and cognitive activities and methodologies that surround the production of intelligence information, in support of decision-making at the strategic, tactical, and operational levels of law enforcement. Also examined are the structure and supervision of the intelligence analysis unit at various levels of law enforcement, and the role of the analyst.

CRJ 643 Law Enforcement Intelligence: Policy and Process (3 credits)
This course provides insights into the contemporary functions of law enforcement strategic, tactical, and operational intelligence and its influence upon crime prevention policy. The discussion will include the intelligence process in the context of intelligence unit structure and supervision, operating procedures, and resources. The course will examine how law enforcement intelligence relates to organizational relationships, planning, and decision-making.

Elective Options

CRJ 607 Multiculturalism and Diversity in Criminal Justice (3 credits)
The purpose of this course is to present a conceptual framework to provide understanding of the special conditions of minorities in the context of the criminal justice system and encourage the development of culturally and gender specific compatible skills and practical approaches to more adequately meet the challenges presented by working with minority population concerns, problems and needs.

CRJ 616 Juvenile Justice and Delinquency: Issues and Responses (3 credits)
This course provides a contemporary overview of theoretical and programmatic issues and concerns in juvenile delinquency and the juvenile justice system, including a review of recent research. The course also focuses on a critical review of the trends in problem solving and delivery of services to this population.

CRJ 637 Forensic Financial Analysis (3 credits)
This course covers the detection of illegal financial transactions. Major topics include money laundering, fraud, embezzlement, and illicit accounting practices. Students will learn data gathering and analysis techniques for financial transactions, records, legitimate businesses, illegal organizations, and individuals. The course will include preparation for trial.

CRJ 656 The Criminal Justice System (3 credits)
Provides a foundation and overview of the criminal justice system and process. The major components are discussed including crime, law, criminology, law enforcement, adjudication by the courts, corrections, juvenile justice, current issues and policies. This course is designed for students with only limited prior study in American criminal justice and little or no professional Criminal Justice experience in the United States.

*NOTE: These courses can only be taking by students enrolled in the Behavior Analysis Specialization unless approved by the Director.

To learn more about the online Master of Science in Criminal Justice curriculum from Saint Joseph’s University and what it can do for your career, call (866) 758-7670 to speak with an admissions representative right away or request more information.

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