Criminal Justice is the scientific study of crime, delinquent and criminal behavior, and society's response. This includes within its scope the process of making laws, breaking laws, and society's reaction toward the breaking of laws. Society's response to the problem of crime takes place mostly within the criminal justice system.
The criminal justice system has three major components: law enforcement, the courts and prisons. Thus, the scope of the discipline also includes the scientific study of these major components and their auxiliary systems. The objective of the discipline is the development of a body of general and verified principles and of other types of knowledge regarding this process of law, crime, and treatment or prevention. Crime is explained not only in terms of the offender but also in terms of social, political, legal and economic problems. Thus Criminal justice is a discipline that is composed of the accumulated and synthesized knowledge of many other disciplines.
The criminal justice major offers students a focused interdisciplinary exposure to all aspects of crime and criminal justice. Courses in the program deal with crime and delinquency and the responses to these problems by police, courts, corrections and other organizations. The examination of institutional responses to crime entails an engagement with contemporary criminal justice issues, ethical concerns and research. Students are introduced to a variety of theoretical perspectives and competing viewpoints throughout the curriculum and are equipped with the analytical and research tools for understanding and exploring issues in crime and justice. The program is designed to provide students majoring in criminal justice with excellent preparation for further study in graduate or professional schools as well as for careers in criminal justice.