About the Major
Are you interested in a career in forensic science, law enforcement or corrections? With a criminology focus and an emphasis on hands-on experience, our Criminal Justice major will prepare you for a variety of careers and further study.
We are among the 50 “Best Criminal Justice Programs” in the country, according to Intelligent.com, an online career-planning resource that evaluated 311 Criminal Justice programs based on flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost and reputation.
Designed to prepare you for employment and/or further study in criminal justice occupations, SUNY Oneonta’s Criminal Justice program has a “criminological” focus, concentrating on the causes and consequences of crime, community relations and the analysis of criminal justice policy. Recent graduates of the program are pursuing careers or further study in fields such as law enforcement, corrections and crime policy.
The program is under the Sociology Department umbrella, so if you are unsure of your career plans, you have the flexibility to switch to a track of the Sociology major if your goals change. For example, you may decide to go to law school (liberal arts track) or become a prison counselor (human services track). Occupational training, such as firearms use and self-defense courses, is not part of the program and does not generally transfer into the major from other schools.
Department of Sociology
Course Topics Include
Below are some of the courses available to Criminal Justice majors. View the full list of Criminal Justice courses.
- Juvenile Delinquency
- Introduction to Sociology
- Social Research Methods
- Sociological Theory
- Sociology of Gender
- Gender and Crime
- Race, Crime and Gender
- Criminal Justice Club
- Pre-Law Society
- Mock Trial Club
- Setting Humanitarian Initiatives for Tomorrow
- Sociology Club
- Alpha Phi Sigma criminal justice honor society
All Criminal Justice majors are required to complete a capstone experience. This could be a designated culminating course, a senior thesis or an internship. The department encourages students to do an internship, even if they choose a different option for fulfilling their capstone requirement. Internships are an important way to test-drive the career you are considering and get résumé-worthy experience. Many students do their internships in the local area, and some go further afield, for example, in the New York City area or Washington, D.C.
Students interested in a career in law enforcement may sign up for LEAP (Law Enforcement Academy Preparation). LEAP is designed to prepare students for the challenges of a New York law enforcement academy. In addition to physical conditioning and training in defensive tactics, students take a selection of relevant courses and are placed in a law enforcement internship, which may include participation in a certified law enforcement academy. One possibility is the Otsego County Law Enforcement Academy, which is local and available during the school year. Students receive college credit for participating in these experiences, which also serve as a senior capstone.