Criminal Justice Overview & Goals

The Department of Social Work offers a major and minor in Criminal Justice.

The major in Criminal Justice is designed for those students interested in a career in a criminal justice setting (law enforcement, public policy, community safety, probation, corrections, diversion programs, court system, or security). Studying criminal justice in a liberal arts framework prepares graduates for supervisory positions and for formulating public policy, as well as for post-graduate study, including law school. Bethany’s program is specifically designed to offer both hands-on study with professionals working in the field and a social sciences training for research.


  1. To prepare students for entry level positions in criminal justice fields.
  2. To prepare students with a solid educational foundation for post-graduate education and/or continued professional growth and development.


  1. Students will explore social, policy, economic, and environment issues impacting the criminal justice system.
  2. Students will gain the skills needed for entry level positions.
  3. Students will be able to identify opportunities post graduation.
  4. Students will explore criminal justice in the context of liberal arts.

Criminal Justice (Major, Minor)

Careers in Criminal Justice

Pursuing Criminal Justice can pave the way to exciting career opportunities in the fields of law enforcement, advocacy, legal, psychology and social relations, and more.

Law Enforcement Officer/Analyst
Public Policy
Community Safety
Court Advocate
Parole Officer
Probation Officer
Computer Crimes Investigator
Conservation Warden
Correction Officer
Counter-terrorism Investigator
Homicide Detective
Police Officer
Secret Service Agent
U.S. Marshal
Correctional Treatment Staff
Criminal Psychologist
Juvenile Court Clinician
Residential and Transitional Program Coordinators
School Adjustment Counselor
Social Justice Grassroots Program Developer


Melanee W. Sinclair
Chair; Professor of Social Work and Coordinator of Field Placements
M.S.W., West Virginia University
B.A., West Virginia Wesleyan College

Kimberly Lawless
Assistant Professor of Social Work
M.S.W., West Virginia University
M.A., West Virginia University
B.A., Wittenberg University

Katherine Shelek-Furbee
Professor Emerita
M.S.W., West Virginia University
B.A., Alderson-Broaddus College


Students pursuing a major in Criminal Justice are required complete the following:

CRJU 147 Intro to Criminal Justice
CRJU 148 Law Enforcement
CRJU 149 Corrections
CRJU 201 Criminal Law & Procedures
CRJU 211 Criminology
CRJU 301 Criminal Investigation
CRJU 311 Juvenile Justice
CRJU 316 Community Corrections
CRJU 472 Senior Seminar WI
CRJU 490 Senior Project WI
PSYC 215 Behavior Modification
PSYC 325 Abnormal Psychology
SOWO 130 Addiction and Recovery
SOWO 340 or POLS 370 or PSYC 306 or ECON 222 Research Methods
PSYC 205 or MATH 281 Statistics in Psychology I or Statistical Methods

Electives (6 credits needed)
SOWO 125 Family and Child Welfare
SOWO 210 Human Diversity
SOSC 100 Service Learning (50 hours)
SOSC 101 Introduction to Law and the Use of Evidence
CRJU 321 Homeland Security
CRJU 260 Field Observation (50 hours)
CRJU 470 Internship (200 hours)
INTD 203 International Terrorism
INTD 241 Religious and Psychological Lenses on Social Justice
ENGL 220 Writing for Business and Industry
CHEM 108 Forensic Chemistry
PSYC 226 Social Psychology
PSYC 344 Forensic Psychology
POLS 110 Introduction to American Politics
POLS 220 So You Want to go to Law School
POLS 320 Legislative Process
POLS 322 Judicial Behavior
POLS 342 International Organizations
POLS 401 Constitutional Law
CPSC 240 Introduction to Computer Security

The minor in Criminal Justice is designed for those students interested in a career in a criminal justice setting, including probation programs, prisons, or the court system. Students complete the following required courses: CRJU 147, CRJU 148, CRJU 149, CRJU 201, CRJU 211, and two of the following elective courses: CRJU 301, CRJU 311, CRJU 321, INTD 203, CHEM 108, or PSYC 344.