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School of Humanities, Education, Justice & Social Sciences

Criminal Justice Major

Student Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Major at Lasell

The major in Criminal Justice bachelor's degree program explores why society considers some actions to be criminal and how those definitions are influenced by social, economic, political, and psychological forces.

Students prepare for careers in areas such as law, law enforcement and public safety, crime prevention, domestic violence, gang interventions, adult and juvenile probation and corrections, parole, drug and alcohol abuse and prevention, and diversion programs for first-time offenders as well as law and graduate programs.

Lasell offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice through the Double Laser Program providing students the opportunity to earn an accelerated Master's degree in as little as one year after graduation.

Lasell also has majors in Law & Public Affairs, Legal Studies, and Forensic Science.

Program Features

  • In the Forensic Science I (CJ205) class, students learn the modern methods of detection, investigation, and solution of crimes, and get hands-on analysis of evidence such as fingerprints and other impressions, ballistics, glass, hair, handwriting and document examination, and drug analysis. Students also conduct DNA and blood testing and tour crime labs.
  • A senior year yearlong Capstone Experience includes both a full year Justice Studies internship and a full year Senior Capstone class. Students have internships in courts, police agencies, corrections, governmental agencies, and youth service organizations.
  • The Criminal Justice program is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education under the Guidelines for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Academic Programs.
  • Lasell has established the Theta Ro Chapter of the National Criminal Justice Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Phi, and the Beccaria Society, a club for majors.

Hear what makes Lasell's Criminal Justice program unique. Hear how students connect their learning to real-world experiences in the community.

What You'll Learn

From your first day, you’ll take courses in your major and advance towards graduation with a yearly plan. Not sure what classes to take? We’ll help you create the perfect plan. 

Learning Outcomes

    • Understand the criminal justice system, its role in society, and how it can be applied morally and ethically
    • Understand how criminal justice and the law relates to one’s own civic and social responsibility
    • Have exposure to various career options within the field of criminal justice and become familiar with working within it in a professional role
    • Use critical and quantitative reasoning skills to be able to interpret the law and how it is used
    • Develop strong writing, speaking, and technology skills to be able to be effective in a professional role

    For a complete list of courses and Learrning outcomes, view the Academic Catalog >>

    Lasell's Masters in Criminal Justice Program Recognized by U.S. News & World Report 

    Learn more about the M.S. in Criminal Justice Program and
    our Accelerated Master's Programs

    Career Success with a Criminal Justice Degree

    Lasell’s degree in Criminal Justice prepares students for careers in law, law enforcement and public safety, and probation and corrections as well as law and graduate programs.

    Our students have interned with:

    • US Marshall's Office
    • Drug Enforcement Agency
    • Massachusetts State Police, including Fire Marshall's Office and State Police Crime Lab
    • Local police departments
    • REACH Beyond Domestic Violence
    • District Attorney offices, including victim witness advocacy

    Our alumni work for:

    • State and Federal law enforcement
    • District Attorneys’ offices
    • Private Investigators for insurance companies and security firms
    • Probation officers
    • Client services for human service agencies
    • Attend law or graduate school


    Request more information about the Criminal Justice major:


    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 criminal justice as the backdrop. The purpose of this course is to provide the background that will help the student to read, understand, and critique data and studies in the field. Students will acquire a working knowledge of programs like excel to collect and also analyze federal and other statistical studies. 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. 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.

    SOC101 - Sociological Imagination (KP)

    In this course we explore the connection between our personal troubles and public issues. How are our lives shaped by our social positions in society – our social class, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and more? How do the members of different groups view each other and interact with each other? Why do inequalities exist and how do these affect us? How does culture shape our behavior, and why do religions, schools, families, and other institutions remain stable but also change over time?