Expand AU Menu

Department of Justice, Law & Criminology


  • SPA Justice,Law / Criminology
    Fax: 202-885-2907
    Ward, Room 270

    Anna Castro,
    Administrative Assistant

    Eric Fleddermann,
    Assistant to the Chair

Mailing Address
  • RSS
  • Print

BA in Justice and Law

The BA in Justice and Law, with concentrations in criminal justice or criminology, analyzes the foundations, functions, policies, and procedures of justice. Crime and deviance are serious public policy concerns in American Society, and systems of justice are the main public policy responses for dealing with these problems. Cross-cultural and international perspectives are brought to bear when they shed light on the nature of crime and deviance in America or on the workings of American systems of justice.

Admission to the Program

New freshman and transfer students are admitted through the Office of Admissions. Current students who wish to transfer into the department or develop a double major should have a grade point average of 2.50 or higher and the approval of the undergraduate academic advisor.

University Requirements

•A total of 120 credit hours

•6 credit hours of college writing 

•3 credit hours of college mathematics or the equivalent by examination

General Education Requirements

  • A total of ten courses, consisting of two courses from each of the five foundational areas
  • At least one course from Area Five: The Natural and Mathematical Sciences must include a laboratory science component
  • No more than two courses maybe taken in the same discipline

Major Requirements

• 51 credit hours with grades of C or better

Course Requirements

• JLC-103 Critical Issues in Justice (3)

• JLC-104 Introduction to Systems of Justice (3)

• JLC-205 Introduction to Criminology (3)

• JLC-280 Introduction to Justice Research (3)

• JLC-307 Justice, Law, and the Constitution (3)

• JLC-309 Justice and Public Policy (3)

• JLC-402 Comparative Systems of Law and Justice

• 3 credit hours from the Law and Society cluster:  

  • JLC-101 Introduction to Law (3)
  • JLC-110 Western Legal Tradition 2:1 (3)
  • JLC-202 History of International Thought and Law (3)
  • JLC-203 Law and Social Theory (3) 
  • JLC-225 American Legal Culture 2:2 (3) 
  • JLC-308 Justice, Morality and Law (3) 
  • JLC-352 Psychiatry and Law (3)
• 15 credit hours with 12 credit hours in one of following concentrations, Criminal Justice or Criminology, and 3 credit hours from the other concentration:

Criminal Justice Concentration

  • JLC-200 Deprivation of Liberty 4:2 (3)
  • JLC-210 Policing in America (3)
  • JLC-211 Contemporary Issues in American Law Enforcement (3)
  • JLC-230 Corrections in America (3)
  • JLC-311 Introduction to Forensic Science (3)
  • JLC-332 Corrections and the Constitution (3)
  • JLC-342 Judicial Administration (3)
  • JLC-431 The Prison Community (3)
  • JLC-444 Topics in Criminal Justice (3)
  • JLC-530 Concepts of Punishment (3)
Criminology Concentration
  • JLC-206 Justice and Deviant Behavior (3)
  • JLC-215 Violence and Institutions 4:2 (3)
  • JLC-245 Cities and Crime 4:2 (3)
  • JLC-253 Juvenile Delinquency Causes, Prevention and Treatment (3)
  • JLC-303 Drugs, Alcohol and Society (3)
  • JLC-313 Organized Crime (3)
  • JLC-315 White Collar and Commercial Crime (3)
  • JLC-401 Criminal Behavior: A Psychosocial Analysis (3)
  • JLC-445 Topics in Criminology (3)
  • JLC-458 The Juvenile and the Law (3)
  • JLC-454 Violence in America (3)
  • JLC-517 Victimology (3)
  • JLC-526 Domestic Violence (3)
  • JLC-550 Drugs, Crime, and Public Policy (3)


• 12 additional credit hours selected from other offerings in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology

University Honors Program

To graduate with University Honors, students must be admitted to the University Honors Program, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50, and receive grades of B or better in all University Honors course work. There are three levels of University Honors requirements: 

  1. Level I (100-200-level);
  2. Level II (300-level and above) and
  3. Level III (Honors Capstone Project). 

The department Honors coordinator advises students in the University Honors Program regarding requirements for graduating with University Honors in the major.

Combined BA and MS in Justice, Law and Criminology

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its accelerated bachelor's/master's programs. Undergraduate students may complete up to 3 credits for every 9 credits required for the graduate degree that may be applied to the requirements for both degree programs. The department that oversees the graduate program the student enters will determine if the courses the undergraduate student completes will satisfy master's degree requirements. Bachelor's/master's students must complete at least 24 in-residence credit hours at the graduate level after the bachelor's degree is earned and maintain continuous, sequential enrollment in the two programs.

This program allows students to complete the BA in Justice and Law or BA in Law and Society and the MS in Justice, Law and Criminology.


  • Undergraduate students with majors in Justice and Law, Law and Society, or related disciplines apply to this program through formal application no later than the last undergraduate semester. Admissions decisions are based on the normal MS standards and procedures of the school.
  • All requirements for the BA in Justice and Law or BA in Law and Society

Undergraduate students may apply up to 9 credit hours of approved graduate-level course work to satisfy the requirements for both degrees.

  • All requirements for the MS in Justice, Law and Criminology, including a minimum of 24 credit hours completed in residence in graduate status after the undergraduate degree has been awarded. Students must finish the master's degree requirements within three years from the date of first enrollment in the master's program.