Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice Program at the University of South Carolina Upstate is designed to provide present and future criminal justice professionals with the educational background necessary to be successful in a criminal justice career, graduate school, or law school. Criminal justice majors complete a course of study that includes the study of crime, criminals, courts, policing, corrections, and victims. The program is concerned with both theory and practice.

Mission

In conjunction with the mission of the University of South Carolina Upstate, the Criminal Justice program is based on the philosophy of a liberal arts education with a curriculum grounded in the social sciences. This orientation will allow students to develop critical thinking skills, oral communication ability, and writing proficiency in subjects related to crime and criminal justice. Through this interdisciplinary foundation, students will be prepared to serve the South Carolina Upstate region and beyond as future criminal justice professionals, scholars, and informed citizens. Graduates of the USC Upstate Criminal Justice program will have the conceptual knowledge and analytical skills to perform effectively and ethically in the field of criminal justice. The faculty is committed to continued professional development in order to provide the students with the most contemporary pedagogical approaches and substantive understandings in the criminal justice arena.

Criminal Justice Degree Requirements

Criminal Justice degree requirements for previous academic years may be found in previous academic catalogs.


Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students who complete the Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from USC Upstate will have developed a comprehensive understanding of the structure and operation of the criminal justice system and the three main components of police, courts, and corrections.

1.1 Demonstrate familiarity with the components of the criminal justice system.

1.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the issues involved in the administration of justice.

1.3 Relate current issues to the evolution of functions, programs, and values of the criminal justice system.


2. Students who complete the Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from USC Upstate will have an awareness, appreciation, and understanding of ethical issues, questions, and behavior in the criminal justice field.

2.1 Demonstrate an awareness of the ethical issues involved in criminal justice research.

2.2 Identify contemporary ethical issues and problems in the main components of the criminal justice system.


3. Students who complete the Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from USC Upstate will have an understanding of and ability to apply criminological theories to contemporary social justice, public policy, crime, and the criminal justice process.

3.1  Recognize the dominant assumptions for each theoretical perspective and how these assumptions explain the cause of criminal behavior.

3.2  Demonstrate understanding of biological, psychological, and social influence on criminal behavior.


4. Students who complete the Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from USC Upstate will have an ability to ask relevant questions as well as understand, analyze, and critique basic empirical research in criminal justice and the social sciences.

4.1 Develop an understanding of the meaning of research terminology commonly used in reports and professional articles.

4.2 Demonstrate knowledge of the scientific method of both qualitative and quantitative research as well as specific research designs.


5. Students who complete the Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from USC Upstate will have effective oral and written communications skills.

5.1 Demonstrate the ability to establish a clear purpose and an appropriate awareness of audience in both written and oral formats.

5.2  Demonstrate effective arrangement of content, unity, and coherence, all in the appropriate support of purpose using both written and oral delivery methods.

5.3 Demonstrate correct and effective use of sources with clear attribution and accurate documentation in a style conventionally accepted by the social sciences.

5.4 Demonstrate the ability to make appropriate stylistic choices in vocabulary, grammar, syntax and punctuation.


6. Students who complete the Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from USC Upstate will have developed an understanding of the impact of race/ethnicity, class, religion and gender on criminal behavior, public policy, and societal responses to crime.

6.1 Identify a variety of crime patterns and trends and describe their relationship to such variables as culture, gender, age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

6.2 Describe specific problems facing marginalized groups in the various components of the criminal justice system.