School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

The Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice (BCCJ) degree requires the completion of 120 credit hours with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0. The curriculum for this degree is divided into two segments — the pre-criminology and criminal justice curriculum (PCCJ) and the upper division criminology and criminal justice program (CRCJ). Students who declare criminology and criminal justice as their major must complete the PCCJ requirements with no grade lower than “C-” in their criminology and criminal justice courses, and apply for admittance into the CRCJ program. Upon acceptance into the CRCJ program, students will qualify to register for 3000/4000 level criminology and criminal justice courses and complete any remaining course requirements for the BCCJ degree.

The PCCJ curriculum consists of 45 credit hours as follows:

  • ENGL 1150 or 1154, and 1160 or 1164 (6 hours)
  • MATH 1310 or higher (3 hours)
  • CRCJ 1010 (3 hours)
  • CRCJ 2510 (3 hours)
  • Minimum of six hours in the following: CRCJ 2030, 2110, or 2210

Students are encouraged to fulfill the remaining 24 hours with course work from their general education requirements.

Students seeking entrance into the upper division CRCJ program must apply to the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Students may apply with fewer than 45 hours if they are enrolled for the remaining hours during the semester in which they make application. In such cases, students may be granted admission contingent upon completion of the remaining hours with no grade lower than a “C-” in their criminology and criminal justice courses.

Application forms may be obtained at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Transferring to Criminology and Criminal Justice

Students wishing to transfer from another institution or department within the University of Nebraska must have a 2.5 cumulative grade point average. They also must complete required courses stipulated above and apply for admission to the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice before being admitted to the upper division CRCJ program. Students may transfer without having PCCJ requirements completed and will be admitted to the PCCJ curriculum. Students wishing to transfer are encouraged to contact the school for more details on the transfer policy.

Students must fulfill program requirements in effect during the academic year they are admitted to the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

The policies set out above are intended to apply to all students who seek admission to the upper division CRCJ program. For good cause shown, the Admissions Committee has the discretion to make exceptions to the admission policy.

The BCCJ degree requires the completion of 120 semester credit hours. A minimum of 30 of the last 36 hours must be earned by the student in residence in the University of Nebraska System. Summer independent study courses are not considered in residence.

At least 21 hours of criminal justice must be taken at the University of Nebraska, on either the Omaha or Lincoln campus.

A minimum of 33 credit hours must be earned in upper division (3000/4000-level) courses. At least 21 of these upper division hours must be taken in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice courses, and 12 hours of 3000/4000 level courses are required in a concentration/minor (see course requirements section).

A maximum of 25 credit hours from nontraditional or non-classroom courses (correspondence, independent study, Internet mediated) may be applied toward the BCCJ degree.

A maximum of 12 credit hours of departmental independent study or internship courses may be applied toward the BCCJ degree. Of these, no more than six hours from one department and no more than six hours from another institution.

A maximum of 30 hours from any one department may be applied toward the BCCJ degree.

A maximum of 24 hours may be taken pass/no pass and none of the 39 hours required for the criminology and criminal justice major may be taken pass/no pass (excluding CRCJ 3970 internship).

Six hours of credit for basic military training may be applied to the BCCJ degree. Credit from an institution that is not regionally accredited cannot be applied to the BCCJ degree.

Criminal justice course work is offered on both the Omaha and Lincoln campuses of the University of Nebraska. The BCCJ degree can be earned in its entirety on the Lincoln campus; however, the degree is conferred by the University of Nebraska at Omaha. All of the departmental policies and requirements applicable to students seeking the BCCJ degree are the same on both campuses.

Course Requirements - BCCJ Degree

UNO General Education Requirements

Students in Criminology & Criminal Justice must complete the UNO General Education curriculum.  For more information and approved courses, please visit the General Education section of this catalog or the General Education website at:

Fundamental Academic Skills (15 hours)

  • English and Writing (9 hours)
  • Mathematics (3 hours)
  • Public Speaking (3 hours)

Distribution Requirements (26 hours)

  • Humanities/Fine Arts (9 hours)
  • Social Sciences (9 hours)
  • Natural & Physical Sciences (8 hours)

Diversity (6 hours)*

  • Global Diversity (3 hours)
  • US Diversity (3 hours)

* Some cultural diversity courses also count toward Humanities/Fine Arts, Social Sciences, Natural & Physical Science or Criminology & Criminal Justice major requirements.

Additional Criminology & Criminal Justice General Education Requirements 

  • Social Science (3 hours)
  • Natural & Physical Science (1 hour)
  • Electives (15 hours)

Criminology & Criminal Justice Major Requirements

Criminology & Criminal Justice (min. 39 hours)

All students must complete CRCJ 1010 - Survey of Criminal Justice, CRCJ 2510 - Research Methods, and select six to nine hours from CRCJ 2030 - Police and Society, CRCJ 2110 - Criminal Court System, and CRCJ 2210 - Survey of Corrections. After admission to the upper division CRCJ program, students must complete a minimum of 21 hours of upper division (3000/4000) courses including CRCJ 3350 - Criminology and CRCJ 3510 - Criminal Procedure.

A minimum grade of “C-” is required in courses used as part of the 39 hour CRCJ major requirement.

Students are not required to complete an internship (CRCJ 3970); however, up to six hours of internship credit may be included in the program of study. Participation in the internship requires admission into upper division CRCJ program, 75 credit hours completed, GPA of 2.5 and permission of instructor. Students seeking an internship must complete the internship application, which may be obtained from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

The following sociology courses may be substituted for equivalent criminal justice courses and applied toward the 39 hour major: SOC 2510 for CRCJ 2510 and SOC 4130 for CRCJ 4130. Credit toward the degree will not be allowed for both courses which are considered equivalent.

Statistics (min. 3 hours)

Each student must complete one three-hour course in basic statistics; CRCJ 3000 – CJ Statistics may be used to satisfy this requirement but does not apply toward the 39 hours of required criminal justice courses.  Statistics courses from statistics, mathematics, public administration, social work, psychology or sociology may also apply.

Area of Concentration or Minor (min. 18 hours)

The area of concentration must contain at least 12 credit hours of 3000/4000-level work chosen in consultation with the CRCJ academic adviser. In certain instances, a minor can fulfill the area of concentration requirement. Please meet with a CRCJ academic adviser for specific guidelines.

Senior Assessment, CRCJ 4999 (0 hours)

During the semester in which students plan to graduate, they must register for and complete the senior assessment, CRCJ 4999. This instrument is designed to assess student learning, monitor school performance and identify changes needed.