Academic Programs

Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice Major at Lasell has a professional focus, rooted in Connected Learning, that seeks to educate students by promoting self-expression, academic exploration and critical thinking in academic, civic, and career-relevant areas.

  • The Criminal Justice Major explores why society considers some actions to be criminal and how those definitions are influenced by social, economic, political, and psychological forces.
  • The Criminal Justice program at Lasell is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education under the Guidelines for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Academic Programs.
  • Lasell's distinguished faculty supports the success of students by linking academic expertise with professional experience.
  • The Justice Studies Department offers a Fifth Year option to students to graduate with a Master's degree in Criminal Justice in their fifth year.

Request more information about the Criminal Justice Major:

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Undergraduate admission applications may be completed and submitted online at, Apply NOW, or via Lasell's membership with the Common Application.

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Print and complete a PDF of the Lasell College Undergraduate Application and return to:

Office of Admission
Lasell College
1844 Commonwealth Avenue
Newton, MA 02466

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I wanted to attend a school that was going to become my second home and immediately felt that when I toured the school.

Law & Public Affairs, 2020

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CJ101 - Introduction to Criminal Justice (KP)

This course is an overview of the history, philosophy, ethics, and legal issues related to the criminal justice system. The course provides an overview of the criminal justice system, focusing on critical decisions with an emphasis on contemporary issues, controversies, and trends.

CJ201 - Criminology

In this course, contemporary criminological theories are analyzed and evaluated with an emphasis on the social construction of crime, criminal offending, and victimization. Theories of crime are distinguished from theories of criminality. Assessments of theoretical advances, including theory integration and general theories of crime are examined. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: CJ 101, LS 101, PSYC 101, or SOC 101

CJ213 - Ethics in Criminal Justice

The field of criminal justice operates most effectively when it relies on a core of ethical principles to guide discretionary actions. If criminal justice professionals are to maintain our personal integrity in light of organizational and social demands can be difficult. As criminal justice professionals our choices and policies emanate from our personal beliefs and values. In principle we intend to come to an understanding of what various ethical considerations can assist us to make the right decision when exercising our discretion. Prerequisite: CJ101 or LS101 & ENG102

CJ312 - Corrections

Corrections is the vast collection of persons, agencies, and organizations that manage convicted criminals. This course examines theories of punishment, the history of corrections, classification and sentencing schemes, prisons, probation and parole, and alternative sanctions. It also explores corrections-related personnel issues, legal issues, and specific concerns dealing with race, age, and gender. Prerequisite: CJ101 or LS101 & Sophomore standing

CJ313 - Police & Society

This course examines policing from a variety of perspectives. The philosophical foundations of social control in relation to policing, as well as the emergence, organization, and structure of police systems are examined. There is also an examination of the relationship between the police and the public in different historical, political, and economic contexts. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

CJ316 - Criminal Procedure

Criminal procedure refers to the process whereby the criminal law is enforced. Major topics to be covered in this course include: the exclusionary rule, search and seizure, identification, interrogation, trial rights, sentencing, and due process. Special emphasis is placed upon how the rules of procedure affect the components of the criminal justice system. Prerequisite: CJ 101 or LS 101.

CJ323 - Justice, Class, Race & Gender

This course explores issues unique to individuals of different classes, gender, and/or races or ethnic groups. The course focuses on these issues specifically in the context of the American criminal justice and legal systems. Issues of diversity relevant to all aspects of the criminal justice system are examined. Prerequisites: CJ 101, LS 101, PSYC 101 or SOC 101, Sophomore standing.

CJ331 - Research Methods in Criminal Justice

"The course is an introduction to quantitative and qualitative research using the field of criminaljustice as the backdrop. The purpose of this course is to provide the background that will help thestudent to read, understand, and critique data and studies in the field. Students will acquire aworking knowledge of programs like excel to collect and also analyze federal and other statisticalstudies. Required for all CJ majors.Prerequisite: MATH 208

CJ441 - Topics in Crime & Public Policy I

This course is the first portion of the Capstone course offered in the fall semester to introduce seniors to a general understanding of policy studies. Students examine what policy analysis consists of, stages of policy analysis, and assessment of policy change. The class examines current policy issues in Criminal Justice such as community policing, sentencing, and minority overrepresentation in prison populations. The course examines various research strategies, design and methods and addresses research problem definition and how to produce a state of the art policy paper and literature review. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisites: PSYC 331,CJ331 or SOC 331.

CJ442 - Topics in Crime & Public Policy II

In this part of the Capstone course offered in the spring semester, the student can use the field internship placement as the target for the individual policy analysis paper. The student can acquire data available at the agency or use generally available data from different sources to answer a policy question that can be applied to the agency the student works in or to similar agencies. The student is required to submit a detailed policy analysis and produce a paper and project to be presented at the Connected Learning Symposium. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisites: CJ 441, SR Standing & CJ331X or SOC331.

CJ443 - Justice Studies Internship & Seminar I

This course provides an opportunity for participants to be in an individually arranged, college-supervised internship for 120 hours during the fall semester in a professional work setting related to the student’s interest. Each student is monitored throughout the internship by the faculty advisor and attends a corresponding classroom seminar each week. Prerequisite: Dept Chair approval.

CJ444 - Justice Studies Internship & Seminar II

This course provides an opportunity for participants to be in an individually arranged, college-supervised internship for 120 hours during the spring semester in a professional work setting related to the student’s interest. Each student is monitored throughout the internship by the faculty advisor and attends a corresponding classroom seminar each week. Prerequisites: CJ/LS 443, Senior standing and Dept Chair approval.

LS204 - Criminal Law

This course examines the history and contemporary practice of criminal law. Topics include the purposes of the law, categories and general features of crime, elements of criminal offenses for prosecution, and categories of defenses. Prerequisite: LS 101 or CJ 101.

LS311 - The American Court System

This course provides students with a working knowledge of the major structures and basic legal concepts that underlie the criminal courts. In addition, the course explores the rules of criminal procedure, including their underlying assumptions, how they evolved, and the goals they hope to achieve. Students learn how the dynamics of the courtroom and the criminal justice system itself affect the actual application of the law. Prerequisite: POLS 101 or LS101

MATH208 - Statistics

This is an introductory course in descriptive and inferential statistics with an emphasis on applications in business and the social and biological sciences. Topics include: data analysis, and graphical methods of describing data, measures of central tendency and variability, probability, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, correlation, and regression analysis. Prerequisites: MATH 106 with a grade of C or better or demonstrated competency through placement testing and ENG 102.

POLS201 - State & Local Government

This course begins with the constitutional and legal basis for state and local government. The functions of the executive and legislative branches are examined. Governmental bureaucracy and budgetary processes are studied as well as political parties, interest groups, public opinion, and political reporting in the press.

POLS210 - Political Theory

In this course, central questions in political theory are addressed. What is justice? What is freedom? What is the state? What makes a government legitimate? Is there any general obligation to obey the state? The course also focuses on theories of modernity and communities, the evolution of liberalism and individualism, and the relationship between politics and economics. Readings range from the Greeks to modern thinkers. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

PSYC101 - Psychological Perspectives (KP)

In this course, students learn to think like psychologists as they study classic and contemporary topics in human behavior, feeling, and thought. Students learn to apply psychological perspectives of thought, including biological, cognitive, sociocultural, humanistic, psychodynamic, and behaviorist, to better understand the human experience. Students will learn to use these perspectives to explore how individual behavior is influenced by and influences one’s biology, family, community and society. Topics may include human development, personality, psychopathology, human relationships, language, memory, perceptual processes, and intelligence, among others.

SOC101 - Sociological Imagination (KP)

This course is designed to help students develop their ability to think critically about the world around them using the framework of sociology. Students explore the relationship between individual and society – how personal experience is shaped by social forces, but also how society is created and changed through individual interaction. The focus is on the interrelationships of groups, social organization, and social institutions such as education, religion, family, and the economic and political order.