Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

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
  • Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs
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 each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Register to vote and vote in Virginia.
  • Follow your local and state government representatives on social media.
  • Find and identify social, social justice, and government/political issues of interest.
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs.
  • Get involved through the VCU Student Government Association (SGA) or one of over 450 clubs and organizations on campus.  
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about your study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs website for programs, events, and resources.
  • Experience VCU’s richness of diversity by attending VCU’s annual Intercultural Festival.
  • Consider applying to a VCU Living-Learning Program like VCU Globe.
  • Join a cultural organization on campus.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers and job titles in your field.
  • Attend the SOVO fair during Welcome Week and pick one thing to get involved with. 
  • Build your LinkedIn profile with Career Services.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Complete STAT 210 for 3rd year CRJS classes.
  • Go to your professors’ “Office Hours” to discuss research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Join or create a club on campus about a particular issue you care about.  
  • Volunteer in the community to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA).
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities such as becoming a Resident Assistant, Orientation Leader, or Supplemental Instruction Leader.
  • Apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break, and other leadership and service events.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Embrace and maximize language learning in foreign language courses.
  • Enroll in service learning coursework within and outside of your major.
  • Understand how public policy issues affect cultural groups.
  • Attend workshops, forums, summits, presentations related to cultural engagement and intercultural dialogue.  
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs Social Justice Conference. 
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Create a draft of your resume and have it reviewed in drop-ins at VCU Career Services.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and events throughout the year to explore your interests.
  • 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
  • Identify at least three 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.
  • Conduct an informational interview or shadow someone in a field of career interest. 

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Complete CRJS 380 for 4th year CRJS classes.   
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss maximizing elective options.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Create a community-engaged research project. 
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
  • Participate in VCU Arts Qatar Day and apply for the Qatar Leadership Exchange.
  • Attend a Wellness Resource Center program.
  • Challenge yourself through a Group Exercise class or an Outdoor Adventure Program trip or activity.  
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Take on a leadership role in a cultural organization.
  • Take relevant elective coursework.
  • Consider becoming a diversity ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs Tunnel of Oppression.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships and externships.  
  • Consider participating in the Summer Basic Jailors Academy or the Virginia Capitol Semester Internship Programs.
  • Update your LinkedIn profile and connect to at least 10 people; check out the VCU alumni page.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to your academic advisor, faculty, and/or career services about whether graduate school or a job will be the best step for you after graduation.
  • 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
  • Seek out internship opportunities with an organization that supports issues you care about.
  • Serve in a leadership role or as a board member of a local community organization.
  • Consider jobs in the nonprofit sector.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Present at the Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Participate in the Building Inclusive Communities (BIC) student workshop training
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Continue to develop tangible skills through internships, Lynda, and training programs (CPR, first aid, or EMT), that you can demonstrate to employers.
  • Join Professional Associations in your field.
  • Participate in a mock interview at VCU Career Services.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 6 months before graduation.
  • Participate in on-campus recruiting through VCU Career Services and the Office of Student Success. 
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

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 each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Register to vote and vote in Virginia.
  • Follow your local and state government representatives on social media.
  • Find and identify social, social justice, and government/political issues of interest.
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs.
  • Get involved through the VCU Student Government Association (SGA) or one of over 450 clubs and organizations on campus.  
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists.
Experience Year 2
  • Complete STAT 210 for 3rd year CRJS classes.
  • Go to your professors’ “Office Hours” to discuss research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree.
  • Join or create a club on campus about a particular issue you care about.  
  • Volunteer in the community to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA).
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities such as becoming a Resident Assistant, Orientation Leader, or Supplemental Instruction Leader.
  • Apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break, and other leadership and service events.
  • Embrace and maximize language learning in foreign language courses.
  • Enroll in service learning coursework within and outside of your major.
  • Understand how public policy issues affect cultural groups.
  • Attend workshops, forums, summits, presentations related to cultural engagement and intercultural dialogue.  
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs Social Justice Conference. 
  • Identify at least three 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.
  • Conduct an informational interview or shadow someone in a field of career interest. 
Year 3
  • Complete CRJS 380 for 4th year CRJS classes.   
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss maximizing elective options.
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships and externships.  
  • Consider participating in the Summer Basic Jailors Academy or the Virginia Capitol Semester Internship Programs.
  • Update your LinkedIn profile and connect to at least 10 people; check out the VCU alumni page.
  • Talk to your academic advisor, faculty, and/or career services about whether graduate school or a job will be the best step for you after graduation.
  • 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.
  • Continue to develop tangible skills through internships, Lynda, and training programs (CPR, first aid, or EMT), that you can demonstrate to employers.
  • Join Professional Associations in your field.
  • Participate in a mock interview at VCU Career Services
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 6 months before graduation.
  • Participate in on-campus recruiting through VCU Career Services and the Office of Student Success.