Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

Criminal Justice

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

Concentration(s):
Forensic Crime Scene Investigation Justice      
Program description

The L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs is a creative, interdisciplinary grouping of programs in the social sciences and professional arenas that provides students with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for success in public service.   The Wilder School brings together faculty from multiple disciplines that share a common interest in public affairs. The major objective of this degree program is to prepare students for effective professional careers in criminal justice, forensic crime scene investigation, public service and other helping professions, and/or prepare them to pursue studies in law and other related graduate programs. Career opportunities are available in federal, state, local and private justice-related endeavors. These careers include law enforcement, crime scene investigation, juvenile justice, corrections and the courts.

This program also prepares students to enter law school or to pursue graduate studies in criminal justice or in several of the human services fields, usually related to justice. This program offers and encourages in-service justice employees and others to enhance their professional career development through higher education.


Career opportunities

Criminal justice students study the causes of crime, treatment of offenders and management of the criminal justice system, with a focus on balancing social justice and individual rights.  The Wilder School graduates typically pursue careers in public service and work in law enforcement, the court system, corrections or public policy.  As a student, you’ll work with faculty experts in criminal justice, criminology, law, juvenile justice, organized crime, law enforcement, corrections and transnational crime. 

Change of major requirements

Students must first attend a mandatory meeting/advising appointment with a Wilder School Advisor to discuss remaining requirements, time to graduation, and potential future plans. Students may make this appointment by using SSC, calling (804) 827-0790, or by emailing wsadvisor@vcu.edu and requesting a Change of Major/Minor appointment.



Bachelor-level job titles
  • Child Protection Agents
  • Child, Family, and School Social Workers
  • Correctional Officer and Jailers
  • Court Clerks
  • Crime Scene Analyst
  • Criminal Investigators and Special Agents
  • Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Police Detectives
  • Police, Fire and Ambulance Dispatchers
  • Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
  • Retail Loss Prevention Specialist
  • Security Manager
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Attorney
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Government Agency Administrator
  • Mental Health Counselor
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • STAT 210
Science required
  • Core only
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0
Department name:
Wilder School Undergraduate Advising
Building/room location:
Raleigh Building (1001 W. Franklin Street), 1st Floor 
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
804-827-0790
Email:
wsadvising@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Embrace and maximize language learning in foreign language courses.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Complete STAT 210 for 3rd year CRJS classes.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural or identity-related organization.
  • Understand how public policy issues affect cultural groups.
  • Attend workshops, forums, summits, presentations related to cultural engagement and intercultural dialogue.  
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Explore internships, part-time jobs, and study abroad programs that connect to your interests, review the application requirements, and apply.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Identify at least 3 career areas within your field of interest that you may want to pursue (e.g., law enforcement, social services, law, etc.), and create an action plan.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Complete CRJS 380 for 4th year CRJS classes.   
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Make a list of your skills and prepare to articulate them to employers on a resume and in an interview. 

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Continue to develop tangible skills through internships, LinkedIn Learning, and training programs (CPR, first aid, or EMT), that you can demonstrate to employers.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

Criminal Justice

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

Concentration(s):
Forensic Crime Scene Investigation Justice      
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
Experience Year 2
  • Embrace and maximize language learning in foreign language courses.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Complete STAT 210 for 3rd year CRJS classes.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural or identity-related organization.
  • Understand how public policy issues affect cultural groups.
  • Attend workshops, forums, summits, presentations related to cultural engagement and intercultural dialogue.  
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Explore internships, part-time jobs, and study abroad programs that connect to your interests, review the application requirements, and apply.
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Identify at least 3 career areas within your field of interest that you may want to pursue (e.g., law enforcement, social services, law, etc.), and create an action plan.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Complete CRJS 380 for 4th year CRJS classes.   
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Make a list of your skills and prepare to articulate them to employers on a resume and in an interview. 
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Continue to develop tangible skills through internships, LinkedIn Learning, and training programs (CPR, first aid, or EMT), that you can demonstrate to employers.
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.