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Youngstown State University offers two undergraduate programs in Criminal Justice:

  • a two-year program in Criminal Justice leading to the degree Associate of Applied Science
  • a four-year program leading to the degree Bachelor of Science in Applied Science with a major in Criminal Justice

The four-year degree is built upon a core-track concept with emphasis (track) areas in law enforcement, corrections, legal processes, and loss prevention/assets protection.

The department also offers eight (8) minors in several emphasis areas.

In each undergraduate area and certificate program, a grade of "C" or better must be received in each required Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences course.

A graduate program is also available leading to the Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice. Refer to the Graduate Catalog for details.

Learning Outcomes

The student learning outcomes for majors within the Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences Department  are  as follows:

  •  Students will identify the key aspects to the elements of law (Certificate in Basic Police Training and job preparation).
  •  Students will develop knowledge about criminological theories and public policy practices (legal, economic, and social) that influence the American Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences system (Associate of Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences).
  •  Students will communicate their knowledge about criminological theories and public policy practices (legal, economic, and social) that influence the institutions of the American Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences system through details of its subsystems-policing, courts, and corrections (Bachelor of Science in Applied Science in Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences).
  •  Students will understand the basic principles of the scientific disciplines (i.e. chemistry and biology) included in their curriculum. (Bachelor of Science in Applied Science in forensic science).

Admission Policy

Students wishing to transfer into the Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. Note: individuals with a felony, drug, and/or domestic violence conviction will experience difficulty gaining employment in the criminal justice and forensic sciences or forensic science field. Students with misdemeanor convictions should seek advice from an advisor in the Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences program. Students with juvenile sex offense convictions should also seek advice.

Retention Policy

The Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences expects its majors and students enrolled in its courses to engage in legal, ethical, professional, and civil behavior which respects the rights of all persons. Disruptive and inappropriate behavior (as defined in department, college, or University policy) may lead to removal from, or non-acceptance into, the department as a major or as an enrolled student in one of its courses. YSU requires a 2.0 overall GPA in order to graduate.

For more information,visit the Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences.

Forensic Science Program

Multidisciplinary program between the departments of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Sociology and Anthropology.
 
Youngstown State University offers an undergraduate degree, the Bachelor of Science in Applied Science, in Forensic Science. The program is housed in the Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences. Forensic science can be broadly defined as the application of science to law. This program is designed to give students both a theoretical and practical background in the scientific, legal, and investigative aspects of forensic science. Graduates of the program are prepared for continued education in graduate programs or for immediate employment in forensic science related facilities. Many careers in or related to forensic science require academic preparation beyond the undergraduate level. Students should be prepared to pursue advanced degrees within their discipline.

Admission Policy

Students wishing to transfer into the forensic science program must have and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. Note: individuals with a felony, drug, and/or domestic violence conviction will experience difficulty gaining employment in the fields of forensic science and/or criminal justice. Students with misdemeanor convictions or juvenile sex offense convictions should seek advice from an advisor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences.

Internships

YSU's forensic science program requires a six semester hour internship experience which will provide students with the opportunity to integrate academic studies with the daily operations of a forensic science related facility. Each semester hour requires approximately 45 on-site hours. Internships also foster the development of networking relationships with practitioners who can assist in procuring future employment. Certain criminal convictions may prohibit students from being eligible for an internship experience.

For more information, visit the Forensic Science Program.

Police Academy and Internships

YSU's Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences department now offers a full-service police academy, Basic Peace Officer Training Academy. Admission to the academy is open to all qualified applicants who meet admission standards of YSU and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission. All instructors in the Academy are certified by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission and meet all of the requirements to teach in the Basic Police Academy. YSU students who successfully complete the Academy will receive 16 semester hours of credit and a letter from the Ohio Peace Officers Training Commission that will qualify them for certification upon being commissioned. The new curriculum consists of a minimum 558 hours of training. Application packets can be picked up at the Academy Office, Cushwa Hall Room 2361.

YSU's Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences Department has an internship experience that provides students with an opportunity to integrate academic studies with the daily operation of a Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences agency. Internships also foster the development of networking relationships with practitioners who can assist in procuring future employment. Certain criminal convictions may prohibit students from being eligible for an internship experience. Student interns register for 3 to 12 semester credit hours. Each credit hour requires approximately 45 on-site hours. This program is for seniors. Students can enroll in the Police Academy or an internship, but not both.

Chair

Patricia Bergum Wagner, J.D., Chair


Professors

Christopher M. Bellas, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Susan Ann Clutter, M.F.S., Associate Professor

Gordon G. Frissora, Ph.D., Associate Professor

John M. Hazy, Ph.D., Professor

Tammy A. King, Ph.D., Professor

Monica Merrill, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Christian C. Onwudiwe, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Richard Lee Rogers, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Patricia Bergum Wagner, J.D., Associate Professor

Robert E. Wardle, M.S., Associate Professor

CJFS 1500    Introduction to Criminal Justice    3 s.h.

Overview of the American criminal justice process with emphasis on its constituent foundations, its constitutional limits, and the rights of the individual from arrest through sentencing and release.
Gen Ed: Social Science.

CJFS 1510    Survey of Forensic Sciences    3 s.h.

Overview of history, evolution, and current status. Discussion of training, education, certification, accreditation, and legal issues. Designed to be accessible to students without a science background and provide an introduction to forensic science for those considering further studies.

CJFS 2601    Policing    3 s.h.

The evolution, structure, and function of modern police organizations; the role of police in a democratic society; the impact of social, political, and economic influences; contemporary practices and controversies.
Prereq.: CJFS 1500.

CJFS 2602    Criminal Courts    3 s.h.

Structure and function of criminal courts in American society, perceptions of national commissions; organization, administration, and caseflow relationships with appropriate social agencies.
Prereq.: CJFS 1500 or permission of instructor.

CJFS 2603    Corrections    3 s.h.

Development and description of the American correctional systems' history and philosophy; the constitutional foundations of its control, and the rights of those within it. Overview of treatment approaches.
Prereq.: CJFS 1500.

CJFS 3700    Forensic Fire and Explosives Investigation    3 s.h.

Principles of fire science including fire detection, suppression, and investigation of both fire and explosion scenes. Special emphasis on concepts of fire progression, cause and origin determinations, arson investigation, and bombings.
Prereq.: CJFS 1500 or CJFS 1510.

CJFS 3702    Correctional Strategies    4 s.h.

Contemporary theory, practice, and research findings in the administration of juvenile and adult corrections. Community-based programs, including probation/parole/post-release control; institutional resources examined within the perspectives of prevention, control, and rehabilitation of the criminal offender. Must be a Criminal Justice major or have permission of chairperson.
Prereq.: CJFS 2603.
Concurrent with: CJFS 3702L.

CJFS 3702L    Correctional Strategies Laboratory    2 s.h.

Contact, observation, and on-site examination and comparison of community programs and institutional facilities. On-site 6 hours per week for 7 weeks (students are divided into two groups). Must be a Criminal Justice major or have permission of chairperson.
Prereq.: CJFS 2603.
Concurrent with: CJFS 3702.

CJFS 3710    Social Statistics    3 s.h.

Measurement and interpretation of social data by use of descriptive techniques.
Prereq.: CJFS 1500.
Cross-listed: SOC 3701.

CJFS 3712    Criminal Justice Research    3 s.h.

Analysis of the major components of social research, including research design, sampling, measurement, data collection, analysis, and interpretation of findings.
Prereq.: CJFS 3710 or STAT 2601 or equivalent.

CJFS 3714    Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation    2 s.h.

An introduction to the legal and practical aspects of crime scene investigation. Emphasis on the value of physical evidence and the skills and tools needed to recognize, collect and preserve physical evidence found at a crime scene.
Prereq.: CJFS 1510 and sophomore standing.
Concurrent with: CJFS 3714L.

CJFS 3714L    Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation Laboratory    1 s.h.

Laboratory section designed to teach the practical skills employed by criminalists collecting evidence at a crime scene. Students will gain experience using tools, techniques and procedures required to recognize and collect evidence by completing practical exercises.
Prereq.: CJFS 1510 and sophomore standing.
Concurrent with: CJFS 3714.

CJFS 3715    Criminal Justice Management Concepts    3 s.h.

Modern criminal justice management theory; organizational behavior, organizational development, personnel management, executive decision making, supervision problems. Must be a Criminal Justice major or have permission of chairperson.
Prereq.: CJFS 2601 or CJFS 2602 or CJFS 2603.

CJFS 3716    Forensic Science Evidence Analysis    2 s.h.

Serves as an introduction to the techniques, instrumentation and procedures used in the examination and analysis of physical evidence in a forensic laboratory setting and the legal aspects regarding the use of laboratory reports in the investigation process.
Prereq.: CJFS 3714, CJFS 3714L.
Concurrent with: CJFS 3716L.

CJFS 3716L    Forensic Science Evidence Analysis Laboratory    1 s.h.

Laboratory section designed to familiarize students with instrumentation that is commonly used in the examination and analysis of physical evidence. Students will gain experience with the tools, techniques and procedures used for examining physical evidence through practical exercises.
Prereq.: CJFS 3714, CJFS 3714L.
Concurrent with: CJFS 3716.

CJFS 3718    Family Law    3 s.h.

Fundamental elements of family law, including premarital contracts, traditional and nontraditional marriages and families, procreation rights, legitimacy and paternity, adoption, divorce and separation, property division and support, custody and termination of parental rights, juvenile law, intra-family tort liability and domestic violence.
Prereq.: SOC 1500.
Cross-listed: CHFM 3718.

CJFS 3719    Criminal Law    3 s.h.

Development, theories, and purposes of criminal law; elements of a crime, parties to a crime.
Prereq.: CJFS 2602.

CJFS 3720    Legal Research    3 s.h.

In-depth study and legal research of case law, statutes, rules and regulations at the federal and state levels. Emphasis on how to find and use primary and secondary authority, how to conduct legal research, in-depth legal writing in areas such as torts, contracts, real estate, and criminal law.
Prereq.: CJFS 2602 or permission.

CJFS 3721    Evidence    3 s.h.

Admissibility of evidence, the hearsay rule and its exceptions, opinion evidence, circumstantial evidence, documentary evidence, presumptions, corpus delicti, and evidentiary privileges. Must be a Criminal Justice or Forensic Science major.
Prereq.: CJFS 2602.

CJFS 3735    Crime and Delinquency    3 s.h.

Study of the social context of crime in society, including a review of historical theories offered in explanation of criminal behavior. Review of social and psychological factors underlying delinquency, touching on treatment and preventive measures.
Prereq.: PSYC 1560 or SOC 1500 or CJFS 3736.

CJFS 3736    Criminal Victimization    3 s.h.

Dynamics of the victim-offender relationships within the Criminal Justice System. Review of advocacy programs including information on victim compensation/assistance programs. Examination of society's attitudes towards victims. Review of current laws advocation for compensation of crime victims.
Prereq.: PSYC 1560 or SOC 1500 or CJFS 1500.

CJFS 3740    Criminal Justice Information Systems    3 s.h.

Information theory and practice applied to criminal justice agencies; automated systems in policing, courts, and corrections at the federal, state, and local levels; problems and constitutional constraints. Microcomputer and Internet assignments.
Prereq.: CJFS 1500.

CJFS 3751    Prevention Strategies    3 s.h.

Concepts and strategies of crime prevention, the protection of assets in the public and private sectors. Must be CJFS major, or have permission of chairperson.
Prereq.: CJFS 2601.

CJFS 3752    Race, Ethnicity and Crime in America    3 s.h.

A critical analysis of current research and theories of racial and ethnic discrimination within the American criminal justice system. The discussion will center on issues relating to: patterns of criminal behavior and victimization, police practices, court processing and sentencing, the death penalty, and correctional programs.
Prereq.: CJFS 1500, SOC 1500, or PSYC 1560.

CJFS 3765    Human Relations    3 s.h.

Methods of coping with conflicts arising from law violation intervention; programs for improving interpersonal relations between police and the community.
Prereq.: SOC 1500 and PSYC 1560 plus 9 s.h. in CJFS.

CJFS 3777    Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training    16 s.h.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office, Peace Officer Training Academy's requirements for peace/police officers are taught in the academy. The training academy at YSU consists of approximately 585 classroom hours (5 days a week, 8 hours a day for 15 weeks, plus a minimum of three weekends). Upon completion, students receive eligibility from the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission for certification if they successfully pass the physical, skills, and written exams.
Prereq.: Senior standing and permission from the Academy Coordinator.

CJFS 3799    Directed Individual Study    1-5 s.h.

Individual study or field research of a special topic related to the criminal justice field. Application must be made to the department prior to registration. May be repeated once for a maximum of 6 s.h.
Prereq.: Senior standing and 15 s.h. of CJFS and approval of instructor.

CJFS 4800    Senior Seminar    3 s.h.

Overview of the criminal justice system in the United States. Review of constitutional issues, discussion of contemporary issues. Serves as the criminal justice generalist track senior capstone course. Portfolios and resumes prepared, assessment exam. Must be a Criminal Justice major or have permission of chairperson.
Prereq.: Senior standing.

CJFS 4803    Correctional Case Management and Treatment    3 s.h.

Theory and techniques of counseling and interviewing the correctional client including case management. Simulated field and clinical situations to provide experience in interviewing and report writing. Serves as the corrections track senior capstone course. Portfolios are resumes prepared, assessment exam. Must be a Criminal Justice major or have permission of chairperson.
Prereq.: CJFS 3702.

CJFS 4807    Criminal Justice Internship    3-12 s.h.

Field experiences in an appropriate criminal justice agency under the direction of qualified and experienced professionals. Grading is CR/NC. May be repeated once for a maximum of 12 s.h.
Prereq.: Senior standing in CJFS and specific emphasis area courses per department guidelines.

CJFS 4848    Loss Prevention and Assets Protection Administration    3 s.h.

Security standards, policy, and regulations at the state and federal levels as they impact on the security operations. Administrative decisions regarding security program. Plant protection, safety and security; credit and insurance investigative procedures. Serves as the loss prevention/assets protection track capstone course. Portfolios and resumes prepared, assessment exam.
Prereq.: CJFS 3751 and senior standing in criminal justice or permission of chairperson.
Gen Ed: Capstone.

CJFS 4850    Special Topics in Criminal Justice    3-5 s.h.

Contemporary issues in criminal justice. Topics are announced prior to enrollment.
Prereq.: Senior standing or permission of instructor.

CJFS 4851    Women and Justice    3 s.h.

Examines the historical development and current women's issues as they related to the justice system. Women's roles in the legal system, prisons (as staff and offenders), victims and perpetrators of violence, policing society and organized crime. Female juvenile delinquency and controversial topics such as abortion and capital punishment.
Prereq.: Senior standing or permission of the chair.

CJFS 4870    Law Enforcement Administration    3 s.h.

Detailed examination of the administration of line and staff services of law enforcement agencies and the role of technology in administration. Serves as the law enforcement track senior capstone course. Portfolios and resumes prepared, assessment exam. Must be a Criminal Justice major or have permission of chairperson.
Prereq.: CJFS 3715 and senior standing.

CJFS 4890    Judicial Administration    3 s.h.

Court management examined in light of structure, judicial responsibility, and inherent power of courts. Case flow, case management, automation, and judicial staffing. Serves as the legal processes track senior capstone course. Portfolios and resumes prepared, assessment exam.
Prereq.: CJFS 3715 and CJFS 3719 and senior standing in criminal justice or permission of chairperson.

CJFS 5802    Corrections Law and Liability    3 s.h.

Analysis and examination of legal mandates and restrictions affecting the field of corrections. History of the development of offender rights, current issues surrounding offender rights, and future concerns in this area. Jail and prison standards, accreditation standards, case law, and liability concerns.
Prereq.: CJFS 3702 or approval of instructor.

CJFS 5814    Practice and Ethics in Forensic Science    3 s.h.

Overview of the forensic science discipline as it relates to the criminal justice system including discussion of legal aspects, constitutional considerations, expert testimony, the role of the expert witness, and ethical standards and dilemmas. Also includes discussion of current events and the evolution and future of the forensic sciences.
Prereq.: CJFS 3714 and CJFS 3714L.
Gen Ed: Capstone.

CJFS 5820    Advanced Legal Research    3 s.h.

Advanced techniques in conducting legal research using standard reference tools as well as automated on-line services and the Internet. Analysis of findings of legal issues related to criminal justice, report and memoranda writing utilizing the Harvard University System of Citations, legal forms and terminology.
Prereq.: CJFS 3720 or approval of instructor.

CJFS 5825    Criminal Procedures and Constitutional Issues    3 s.h.

Constitutional foundations of the American criminal justice process with special emphasis on recent Supreme Court decisions. Legal and practical applications of the laws of arrest, criminal procedure, search and seizure, court structures, and federal civil rights.
Prereq.: CJFS 3719 and must be a criminal justice major or have permission of chairperson.

CJFS 5831    Violence in America    3 s.h.

Analysis of violence in America including official and unofficial statistics, types and levels of violence, research findings, and profiles of offenders. Case analysis of domestic violence, juvenile violence, gangs, and other forms of violence.
Prereq.: CJFS 3735.

CJFS 5865    Gathering and Using Information in Criminal Justice    3 s.h.

Specialized communication skills to prepare criminal justice practitioners in information-gathering techniques, written presentation techniques, verbal and nonverbal communication skills within constitutional guidelines.
Prereq.: CJFS 3712 or CJFS 3765.

CJFS 5875    Juvenile Justice System    3 s.h.

In-depth analysis of the specialized agencies and procedures developed to deal with problems of juveniles from a historical and philosophical perspective. Consideration of the juvenile court, community-based programs, institutionalization.
Prereq.: Senior standing.

CJFS 5892    Comparative and International Criminal Justice Systems    3 s.h.

An examination of how countries' criminal justice systems are shaped and molded by elements of culture, religion, and political ideology of the area. Emphasis will be placed on comparing and contrasting the selected countries' criminal justice systems with those found in the United States of America.
Prereq.: Senior standing or permission of the chair.