Honors Opportunities in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice is honored to partner with Barrett, The Honors College at ASU, to provide a range of opportunities for Barrett students majoring or minoring in criminology and criminal justice.
For more information, contact Dr. Alyssa Chamberlain the Faculty Honors Advisor (FHA) for the School.
Honors Only Courses
CRJ 100: Introduction to Criminal Justice
During most fall semesters, the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers a section of CRJ 100 (Introduction to Criminal Justice) that is open only to Barrett Honors students. The goal of this course is to expose incoming students to the discipline in a cohort-based model. Thereafter, students may register for a variety of Criminology and Criminal Justice courses that are open only to Barrett Honors students.
Fall Semester Honors-Only Courses
- CRJ 100: Introduction to Criminal Justice
- CRJ 302: Research Methods (periodically)
- CRJ 309: Criminology (periodically)
Spring Semester Honors-Only Courses
- CRJ 303: Statistical Analysis (periodically)
- One upper-division, honors-only elective course (varies each year)
The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice encourages its top tier performing students to participate in undergraduate research. Our faculty is listed number three in the nation for productivity. Together, this outstanding group of professors and scholars has written more than 40 books, including best-selling texts in policing, corrections, courts, criminal law, criminal procedure, and a variety of specialty areas including mental illness and crime; sex, sexuality, law, and justice; gangs; and victimology. The faculty includes award winning teachers, scholars, and mentors. Our faculty consistently works on a variety of research areas including, but not limited to, criminal law and procedure, gangs, drug use, court processes, prisoner reentry and reintegration, immigration, crime and social justice, and many others. As a high performing student, you could work side-by-side conducting research with one of our nationally ranked faculty member as an undergraduate!
4+1: Joint Bachelors and Master’s Degree
Have you thought about getting your master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice while working on your bachelors? Barrett Honors students who are nearing their senior year, who earn a 3.4 or higher GPA, and achieve high grades in their CRJ courses may be eligible for our joint bachelors to master’s program. This program allows students to take 9 credit hours of graduate level coursework and have it apply toward both their bachelors and master’s degrees. Doing this could result in finishing a master’s degree in one extra year beyond completion of the bachelor’s degree—saving both time and money. For more information, visit this link.
Students in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice are highly encouraged to participate in internships. We partner with community businesses and criminal justice organizations to provide undergraduate internships in corrections, courts, federal agencies, human services, and law enforcement. We have a dedicated internship coordinator who is available to assist students in locating internships in their area of interest, as well as act as a liaison between the student and the internship provider once the internship has begun. By participating in an internship, you could earn college credit, gain professional work experience, and network with professionals in their field. For more information, visit this link.
The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers Barrett students the opportunity to earn honors credit for participating in a variety of study abroad experiences. For more information, visit the Global Education Office page for CCJ.
The Honors Thesis/Creative Project
The Honors Thesis/Creative Project is an opportunity for Barrett students to work closely with Criminology and Criminal Justice faculty. Students conduct research in an area of interest with greater intensity than is possible in a single course. The thesis/creative project should be on a topic about which students are passionate.
Types of Theses/Creative Projects
The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice is open to a wide range of thesis and creative projects for Barrett students. They may involve quantitative, qualitative, or legal research projects that result in a traditional scholarly paper that may be suitable for presentation at academic conferences and even for publication in scholarly journals. Alternatively, honors theses/creative projects may involve nontraditional forms of scholarly inquiry, such as working in a justice-related community service setting that allows the student to write a participant-observation research paper; creating something that a justice-related agency or organization might use to disseminate important information; or even participating in some performance of scholarly value like a mock trial or community service that draws upon the student’s knowledge and expertise. Honors theses/creative projects may be researched and written as individual ventures or may be created with other Barrett students as part of a group project.
Thesis/Creative Project Supervision
The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice requires two-person committees who supervises honors theses/create projects, one of whom serves as the Chairperson/Director of the Thesis Committee and the other whom serves as a secondary member. Secondary committee members can be anyone who possesses expertise in the thesis topic. They may be ASU employees or they may work elsewhere in a relevant field. By contrast, chairs/directors of Criminology and Criminal Justice thesis committees must be full-time members of the School’s tenured/tenure-track faculty (i.e., people who hold the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Foundation Professor, President’s Professor, or Regents Professor) or members of School’s full-time, nontenure-track faculty (i.e., people who hold the rank of Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Principal Lecturer, Clinical Assistant Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Professor, Assistant Research Professor, Associate Research Professor, Research Professor, or Professor of Practice). Conversely, faculty members who hold the rank of Instructor or Faculty Associate usually may not serve as the chair/director of an honors thesis/creative project committee, although select long-term instructors who hold terminal degrees are authorized to act in that that capacity. Contact the School's FHA for more information.
Academic Preparation for Theses/Creative Projects
To successfully complete a thesis in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, students should have completed all of the following courses:
- CRJ 100: Introduction to Criminal Justice
- CRJ 201: Crime Control Policies
- CRJ 302: Research Methods
- CRJ 303: Statistical Analysis
- CRJ 309: Criminology
- At least one course that deals with the subject matter of the proposed thesis/create project.
Thus, for example, someone wishing to complete a thesis/creative project concerning some aspect of policing should take CRJ 230 (Introduction to Policing) and would be even better served by then taking some upper-division electives relevant to policing, such as CRJ 315 (Police Organization and Management) or CRJ 409 (Police Accountability). Similarly, someone interested in completing a thesis/creative project in corrections should take CRJ 240 (Introduction to Corrections) and would be even better served by then taking some upper-division electives relevant to corrections, such as CRJ 317 (Inside/Out Prison Exchange), CRJ 443 (Community Corrections), CRJ 444 (Institutional Corrections), or CRJ 445 (Tools for Engaging Correctional Populations). And someone interested in completing a thesis/creative project having to do with the legal aspects of criminal justice should take CRJ 203 (Courts and Sentencing) and CRJ 260 (Substantive Criminal Law) and would be even better served by then taking an upper-division electives relevant to the intersection of law and criminal justice such as CRJ 350 (Law and Social Control), CRJ 410 (Procedural Criminal Law), or CRJ 411 (Legal Issues in Corrections).
Students interested specialty areas should take at least one elective course in that specialty area before embarking on a thesis. Thus, students interested in completing a thesis/creative project in sex crimes should take CRJ 406 (Sex Crimes); students interested in completing a thesis/creative project in something related to drugs and criminal justice should take CRJ 408 (Drugs and Crimes) or CRJ 434 (Drug of Abuse); students interested in completing a thesis/creative project in something related to terrorism should take CRJ 412 (International Terrorism), CRJ 417 (Cyber-Terrorism), or CRJ 419 (Domestic Terrorism). This list is not exhaustive. Students should consult the full list of our courses in the Course Catalog and take whatever courses they can that are related to the area in which they intend to complete an honors thesis or creative project.
Students should meet with the School’s FHA at the end of their sophomore year or the start of their junior year (i.e., no later than four semesters in advance of the intended graduate date).
During the fall semester of the junior year, Barrett students majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice should enroll in the honors-only section of CRJ 302 (Research Methods). This course will help students formulate a thesis plan. Then, in the spring semester of the junior year, honors students should enroll in the honors-only section of CRJ 303 (Statistical Analysis). Students should be taking other electives relevant to their intended thesis/creative project area in preparation for assembling a thesis committee during the junior year.
Assuming a traditional four-year path to degree completion, the students should prepare a thesis prospectus and have it approved by the members of the thesis committee no later than the second semester of the student’s junior year. Then, students should take CRJ 492 (Honors Directed Study) in the first semester of the senior year and CRJ 493 (Honors Thesis) in the second semester of the senior year.