Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice Program is housed in the Department of Justice, Law and Public Safety Studies. This bachelor of arts degree educates future professionals in the fields of law enforcement, corrections, probation, parole, federal agency and private security and provides an opportunity for advancement and promotion for the sworn professional.

The degree programs in Criminal Justice are offered at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels. The coursework integrates the social sciences, the behavioral sciences, and the humanities with professional courses dealing with such matters as legal issues and overcrowding in both courts and prisons. The curriculum emphasizes the foundations and the workings of those institutions in society charged with the responsibility of developing and implementing systematic responses to social problems. Similarly, the curriculum is a study of the manner in which such institutions both provide justice and satisfy the needs of society.

Transfer students to Lewis University who major in Criminal Justice should examine major course requirements in the appropriate track. A course title might have significantly different meaning and content at another college or university. Most transfer students with an associate’s degree can complete the major in two years at Lewis.

Department counselors are available each semester to ensure students’ progress through the program. The Criminal Justice degree consists of 128 credit hours of study, with 39 of those hours in the major.  Two formats are offered: an onsite traditional version of 16 weeks and an online accelerated version of 8 weeks for sworn officers and adults. A minor in Criminal Justice is offered as well. The minor consists of 21 hours of required coursework.  A 4+1 Program option (from Bachelor's to Master's) is available.

In the Criminal Justice major, sworn officers currently working in the field may receive a maximum of 9 credit hours toward the major for prior learning assessment (PLA). For sworn officers who have successfully completed a professionally accredited Training Academy Program, 9 semester hours may be awarded for academy experience. When the training academy program is recorded as academic credit on an official transcript from an accredited college or university, the credit hours listed on the transcript will be accepted. Students may not receive academic credit for training from both a training academy and a college or university.