Apr 14, 2024  
2013-2014 CU Denver Catalog 
2013-2014 CU Denver Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Criminal Justice BA

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: School of Public Affairs

Program Director: Angela Gover, PhD
Prospective Students: 303-315-2228
Current Students and Advising: 303-315-0021




Mary Dodge, PhD, University of California, Irvine

Angela Gover, PhD, University of Maryland

Mark Pogrebin, PhD, University of Iowa

Eric Poole, PhD, Washington State University

Paul Stretesky, PhD, Florida State University

Associate Professors:
Callie Rennison, PhD, University of Houston

Assistant Professor:

Lonnie Schaible, PhD, Washington State University



Lucy Dwight, PhD, Pennsylvania State University


 The School of Public Affairs’ bachelor of arts program in criminal justice is an interdisciplinary program that combines specific course work in criminal justice with a liberal arts focus. The criminal justice degree offers training for specific occupations within criminal justice agencies and provides students with the critical thinking, writing and presentation skills necessary for career advancement and graduate study. The course work explores the complex nature of crime causation, criminal justice organizations and the implications of public policies that allow graduates to adapt to the evolving nature of the field.

As with all undergraduate degrees, students are required to complete the requirements of the CU Denver core curriculum, providing an education that draws heavily on social and natural sciences as well as liberal arts. The program will not only provide a direct line to employment in the growing field of criminal justice, but will also facilitate the movement of outstanding students into SPA’s MCJ and PhD graduate programs. Students will be well prepared to pursue additional advanced degrees in fields where critical thinking and analytical skills are required.

Admissions Requirements

Entering freshmen, current CU Denver students and transfer students are eligible for admission to the program. All students must meet the admission requirements described in the Information for Undergraduate Students  chapter of this catalog.

Transfer Students

Students who have attended another college or university are expected to meet general requirements for admission of transfer students as described in the Information for Undergraduate Students  chapter.  A maximum of 15 semester credits of criminal justice course work can be accepted and applied to the criminal justice major.  The BACJ program director has the final discretionary authority to accept or reject criminal justice transfer credits.   

Advising and Student Services

Upon matriculation into the criminal justice program, students will receive advising from the undergraduate academic advisor. The academic advisor will assist students with registration, clarify university and department policy and facilitate the graduation checkout.  Advising will ensure that students take appropriate courses in the core curriculum to provide a foundation for their course work in the program.  Students will also be assigned a faculty advisor who will assist them with questions about their majors, concentrations and career directions.

Grading and Policies

Dean’s List Criteria

CU Denver will use a fixed criterion across all colleges for determining eligibility for the Dean’s List. This policy applies to undergraduate students.

For fall and spring semesters, students must successfully complete 9 hours in the semester upon which to determine grade point. These courses can be both within and outside of the School of Public Affairs. MSCD Pooled courses will not be included in the calculation nor will they count towards the 9 hours required for consideration. The GPA set for inclusion in the Dean’s List is 3.75. In the summer semesters, students must complete 6 hours as a basis for inclusion in the Dean’s List. Course inclusion will be the same as in fall and spring semesters. The GPA for Dean’s List in summer will also be 3.75 Colleges will collect data each semester on the number of students making the Dean’s List and report the number and percentage of total students in the college. Students who make the Dean’s List for both fall and spring semesters may be eligible of a Dean’s List scholarship award. Dean’s List Scholarship awards vary in amount each semester depending on funding and the number of BACJ students who achieve Dean’s List status. The Registrar’s Office will calculate the semester GPAs for all students two weeks prior to the due date for semester grades. Those GPAs will be the basis for determining the Dean’s List. Incompletes will not be considered in the calculation of minimum number of hours. The Dean’s List will not be recalculated to include completed incompletes.

Academic Probation and Suspension

Students at the university are expected to maintain progress in their degree program, as defined by being in “good academic standing.” Good academic standing requires minimally a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 on all University of Colorado course work.

Academic Probation

  • Academic Probation is a warning to students that they are not progressing toward completion of their degree in a satisfactory manner.
  • Students are placed on Academic Probation when their cumulative CU GPA falls below a 2.0 at the end of any academic term.
  • Students are informed in writing (via university-assigned email and postal letter) of their academic probation status.
  • Students on Academic Probation will be required to complete the Academic Success Plan during their first semester on Academic Probation.
  • Students will be required to schedule an appointment and meet with their academic advisor to discuss the completed Academic Success Plan before they will be allowed to register for the subsequent term.
  • Students on Academic Probation will be required to schedule an appointment and meet with their academic advisor every semester that they are on Academic Probation before they will be allowed to register.
  • Academic Probation requires that students achieve a minimum 2.3 semester GPA each subsequent term until their cumulative CU GPA is at least a 2.0 to return to good academic standing. Students must achieve a minimum 2.0 cumulative CU GPA to meet graduation requirements.
  • Students who fail to earn the 2.3 semester GPA during any semester of Academic Probation will be placed on Restricted Academic Probation.
  • Students have five semesters or 30 credits (whichever happens sooner) to raise their cumulative GPA to above a 2.0, or they will be placed on Academic Suspension.
  • Once a student has raised his/her cumulative CU GPA to at least a 2.0, s/he will be removed from Academic Probation and notified via University-assigned email that s/he is in Academic Good Standing.

Restricted Academic Probation

  • Students who fail to earn the 2.3 semester GPA during any semester of Academic Probation will be placed on Restricted Academic Probation.
  • Students are informed in writing (via University-assigned email and postal letter) of Restricted Academic Probation status.
  • Students on Restricted Academic Probation will be allowed to enroll for a maximum of 6 credits/2 classes per semester (whichever is more). A course and its attached lab are considered to be one course in this case.
  • Students on Restricted Academic Probation will be required to schedule an appointment and meet with their academic advisor in order to register for courses.
  • Students on Restricted Academic Probation will not be able to register online; they will need to register for courses using a Schedule Adjustment Form, which must be submitted to the Service Center (North Classroom #1003) for processing.  
  • Restricted Academic Probation requires that students achieve a minimum 2.3 semester GPA each subsequent term until their cumulative CU GPA is at least a 2.0. Students must achieve a minimum 2.0 cumulative CU GPA to return to good academic standing and to meet graduation requirements.
  • Students on Restricted Academic Probation who do not meet the 2.3 minimum semester GPA will be placed on Academic Suspension.
  • Students who fail to raise their cumulative GPA to 2.0 or above in five semesters or 30 credit hours on Academic Probation and Restricted Academic Probation will be placed on Academic Suspension.

Academic Suspension

  • Students on Restricted Academic Probation who do not meet the 2.3 minimum semester GPA will be placed on Academic Suspension.
  • Students are informed in writing via certified/registered letter of their Academic Suspension status.
  • The minimum duration of Academic Suspension is for a period of one year (three semesters, including summer term). Students placed on Academic Suspension will be unable to take courses from any CU campus during this time.
  • Should a student be placed on Academic Suspension while registered for the next semester, s/he will be administratively dropped from their courses by the University.
  • A student’s Academic Suspension status is permanently indicated on his/her official University of Colorado transcript. During the one-year Academic Suspension period, students who wish to return to the University should consider one (or both) of the following actions:
    • Attend another regionally-accredited college/university.
      Students who choose to attend another institution while on Academic Suspension can take as many or as few credits as they choose, but must earn a 2.75 cumulative GPA in all transferable course work. Students should consult their academic advisor to discuss appropriate course work.
    • Use the time off to directly address and resolve the factors that contributed to the academic difficulty.
  • After the one-year suspension period has elapsed, students must petition the appellate committee (of the school or college they wish to enter) for readmission and meet and document at least one of the following criteria:
    • Attendance at another regionally accredited college/university where they earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 in transferable credit.
    • Explanation of their previous academic difficulty, demonstration of what has changed, and how this will allow them to now achieve and maintain Good Academic Standing (including a semester GPA of at least 2.3 and a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.0).
  • Students who choose to petition the School of Public Affairs appellate committee for readmission must submit their petitions by the following deadlines:
    • For fall admission: June 1
    • For spring admission: December 1
    • For Maymester/summer admission: April 1
  • If a student is granted readmission and his/her CU GPA is below a 2.0, s/he will be readmitted on Restricted Academic Probation. These students must meet the condition of Restricted Academic Probation every semester until their cumulative CU GPA is at least a 2.0.

Second Suspension

  • Students who are readmitted after their first Academic Suspension and fail to meet the conditions of Restricted Academic Probation for a second time are placed on a second suspension for an indefinite period of time.
  • Students on a second suspension may be readmitted to the University only by petition to the college’s appellate committee.
  • Students will not be considered for readmission unless they have demonstrated significant improvement in academic performance at the college/university level, and/or considerable and positive change in personal circumstances.

Grade Policy

The University of Colorado grading system is based on a 4.0 absolute scale.

Retaking Courses

A student may not retake any course more than twice during the course of the degree program, regardless of whether the need for a retake results from a low grade, an incomplete, or a course withdrawal.  A student who receives a letter grade for a course that is too low to qualify for credit (below a C- for major or minor courses) may retake the course once.  Both grades will be used to calculate the student’s overall GPA.  To retake a course, the student must re-enroll and pay tuition and fees again.


An Incomplete may be granted when the student has successfully completed 75 percent or more of the course and is prevented from completing the class by circumstances beyond their control.  The course instructor has discretion as to whether to grant an Incomplete, and students should be aware that not all faculty will grant Incompletes.  In addition, students in online courses should be aware that they will not have access to the course shell after the ending date of the course, and so Incompletes are not available for work that must be completed using the course shell.  If the instructor agrees to grant an Incomplete, the student must make arrangements to complete the remaining coursework with the original instructor within one year.  The student may not sit in on the class in subsequent semesters.  Once the coursework is completed, the instructor will change the grade to a letter grade.  The Incomplete notation will appear along with the final grade on the student’s transcript.  If the coursework is not completed within a year, the Incomplete will automatically change to an F unless the student and the instructor have agreed in writing to an extension. 

Pass/Fail Grades

Core knowledge area and general electives are the only courses that can be completed pass/fail. A grade of “D-” or better is translated by the Records Office to a P (pass) grade. P grades do not affect students’ GPA; F grades do affect students’ GPA. Students interested in completing a course as pass/fail must submit a Schedule Adjustment Form during the add/drop period during the respective semester to the BACJ Academic Advisor. Students need to consult the academic calendar posted on the Office of the Registrar’s webpage for add/drop dates. Up to 16 credits may be completed as pass/fail and credited toward the bachelor degree. Students can complete a maximum of 6 credits as pass/fail in any one semester.

The Internship Program

Undergraduate students without experience in the field must complete an internship course for credit under the direction of a faculty sponsor and the Experiential Learning Center. Internships are helpful for career exploration early in a student’s academic career or for job experience after developing academic content in the major. Students must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA, a minimum of 15 semester hours completed at CU Denver, and must have successfully completed CRJU 1000 and CRJU 2041 before registering for the internship. A maximum of 3 semester hours of internship per semester and 6 semester hours total may be counted toward the 120 semester hours necessary for graduation.  Undergraduate students should contact the Experiential Learning Center for details on internship placements, paperwork and requirements.

Program Requirements

Students completing a BA in criminal justice at CU Denver will complete a minimum of 120 semester hours including:

  • minimum 45 semester hours of upper-division course work (3000 and above)
  • minimum 30 hours of resident credit; 21 out of the last 30 hours in resident course work
  • 37-38 general education core curriculum semester hours
  • 21 undergraduate criminal justice semester hours, including 18 upper-division semester hours
  • 15 elective semester hours in criminal justice and ancillary fields for the selected area of concentration (including an internship)
  • 46-48 elective semester hours, an optional College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or language minor (15-21 hours), optional electives or internship
  • students without experience in the field of criminal justice must complete a 3-semester-hour internship

Students must receive a minimum of a C- in each undergraduate course applied to satisfy major or minor degree requirements.

Required Criminal Justice Courses

Total: 21

Total: 9 hours

Total: 6 hours

**Students must comply with departmental prerequisites.

Examples for Areas of Concentration

The  BACJ major does not have formal areas of concentration that will appear as such on student transcripts; however, students may choose to create their own informal concentrations.  Some examples of areas of informal concentration are listed below.  For other options, consult with the academic advisor.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: School of Public Affairs