Criminology and Justice Studies

Major: Criminology and Justice Studies
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science (BS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits: 182.0
Co-op Options: One Co-op (Four years); No Co-op (Four years)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 45.0401
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 11-9199

Justice Informatics Concentration

With its thematic concentration in Justice Informatics (JI), Drexel University has transformed the traditional criminal justice degree program to produce graduates who possess knowledge and skills that are highly valued by criminal justice agencies in the 21st century. Namely, the program draws from criminology and criminal justice and computing and informatics to produce globally aware and technology proficient graduates who bring an analytical and information-led approach to solving the problems crime creates for society.

Each exposure to the criminal justice system represents a data collection point, which becomes part of a massive and disparate array of data held by the government. Students will learn how to collect, manage, visualize, and analyze large sources of information so that they can bring their expertise into the crime and justice occupational arena and/or graduate school. In addition to learning to work with "big" data in the public justice arena, students will learn how to identify, collect, manage, and use data from the expansive—and rapidly growing—private system of justice and security to create innovative solutions for identifying, solving, and preventing crime.

Graduates of Drexel's Justice Informatics concentration will be ideally suited to meet the demands of the growing job market for crime analysts among criminal justice, defense, and intelligence agencies and in the private-sector security community. Crime analysts have become an essential part of the modern criminal justice agency. They have become vital to, for example, the large police department looking to deploy resources in a manner that matches crime trends, the intelligence agency working to prevent terrorist events, and the financial services firm hoping to identify the fraudulent use of a credit card. JI graduates can also play an integral role on teams that build future information technology solutions for intelligence and defense, and criminal justice agencies from the public and private sectors.

Given the global nature of crime and justice issues, JI requires one course on international justice systems; and it encourages all students to participate in at least one faculty-led study abroad program during which students will explore various justice-related themes (examples of recent trips: The Legacy of Nazi Policing and Cold War Justice in Munich and Prague; and Crime and Justice in Scandinavia. Please visit the Study Abroad Program webpage to view the location and itinerary of the study abroad tour). The emphasis on comparative justice and study abroad reside at the leading edge of Drexel’s core value of global citizenship. 

The Justice Informatics thematic concentration reserves 27.0 credits of free electives so that students can earn a minor outside the Program in Criminology and Justice Studies. Students interested in intelligence/security-related careers should consider minoring in a language. Visit Drexel's Modern Languages Program webpage for a list of language minors.

Additional Information

For more information about the Justice Informatics concentration, please contact:

Robert D'Ovidio, PhD
Associate Professor of Criminology and Justice Studies
College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Requirements (Justice Informatics Concentration)

General Degree Requirements
ANTH 101Introduction to Cultural Diversity3.0
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
COM 150Mass Media and Society3.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development *1.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
or ENGL 111 English Composition I
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
or ENGL 112 English Composition II
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
or ENGL 113 English Composition III
PHIL 101Introduction to Western Philosophy3.0
PSCI 100Introduction to Political Science4.0
PSY 101General Psychology I3.0
SOC 101Introduction to Sociology3.0
UNIV H101The Drexel Experience1.0
UNIV H201Looking Forward: Academics and Careers1.0
English Elective (any ENGL course over 200 level)3.0
Fine Arts Elective (any 100-400 level course in ARTH, DANC, FMST, MUSC, PHTO, THTR)3.0
History Elective (any HIST course 100-400 level)4.0
Math Sequences
Take any two MATH courses6.0-8.0
Science Sequences
Take any two Science courses with a lab from any combination of BIO, CHEM, and PHYS8.0
Program in Criminology and Justice Studies Core Requirements
CJS 100Freshman Seminar in Crime and Justice3.0
CJS 101Introduction to Criminal Justice3.0
CJS 200Criminology3.0
CJS 210Race, Crime, and Justice 3.0
CJS 220Crime and the City3.0
CJS 260Justice in Our Community4.0
CJS 261Prison, Society and You 3.0
CJS 290Crime and Public Policy3.0
CJS 320Comparative Justice Systems3.0
CJS 376Sentencing3.0
Methods and Analytics Sequence
CJS 250Research Methods & Analytics I3.0
CJS 300Research Methods and Analytics II3.0
CJS 301Methods and Analytics III4.0
CJS 330Crime Mapping I Using Geographic Information Systems4.0
CJS 331Crime Mapping II Using Geographic Information Systems4.0
Justice Informatics Thematic Concentration
CJS 240Seminar in Justice Informatics3.0
CJS 267Introduction to Security Studies3.0
CJS 270Crime Analysis Using Open Data3.0
CJS 273Surveillance, Technology, and the Law3.0
CJS 276Introduction to Computer Crime3.0
CJS 310Crime Prediction Using Open Data3.0
CJS 365Computer Investigations and the Law3.0
CJS 405Data-Driven Investigations and Crime3.0
In addition to the above, students will take two of the following three courses:6.0
Introduction to Computing and Security Technology
Information Technology Security I
Computer Forensics I: Fundamentals
Free Electives45.0
Total Credits180.0-182.0

Students not participating in co-op will take one additional credit of free elective instead of COOP 101.

Co-op cycles may vary. Students are assigned a co-op cycle (fall/winter, spring/summer, summer-only) based on their co-op program (4-year, 5-year) and major. 

COOP 101 registration is determined by the co-op cycle assigned and may be scheduled in a different term. Select students may be eligible to take COOP 001 in place of COOP 101.

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

Justice Informatics Concentration

Professional Experiences

Students will complete one co-op (i.e., professional placement), typically during the spring and summer quarters of their Junior year. This way, when they return for the start of their senior year, they can immediately begin their (impending) post-graduation job search with their co-op experience still recent on their resume. Some placements are paid (usually in the private sector) and others are unpaid (primarily in the public sector).  The placements earn students academic credit while providing professional socialization and learning with crime and justice professionals. The networking aspects of these placements are invaluable for future career development. In addition to the learning experiences, past students have received excellent letters of recommendation for future employment agencies and for graduate and law school admissions.

In recent years, students have been placed in local agencies such as the District Attorney’s Office, the Institutional Law Project, the Juvenile Law Center, the Defendants Association of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia and Bucks County Prison Systems and the Pennsylvania Prison Society, Pennsylvania and New Jersey State Police. Several students have co-op'd and later worked full time at the Eastern State Penitentiary Historical Site and Museum. On the state level, co-op students have worked with the Board of Probation & Parole and other agencies. At the federal level, The US Customs Service had an agreement to accept cooperative education placements after having been screened by faculty. The faculty in Criminology and Justice Studies has been working over the past few years to expand its list of research co-ops (primarily for students working toward graduate school) and international co-ops.

Criminology and Justice Studies Faculty

Robert D'Ovidio, PhD (Temple University). Associate Professor. The intersection of computer technology, crime, and the criminal justice system; criminological theory; surveillance; and digital forensics.
Ashley Dickinson, PhD, MPH (Indiana University of Pennsylvania). Associate Teaching Professor. Offender rehabilitation; capital punishment; LGBTQ+ community (criminal behavior and victimization); crime and health.
Jordan Hyatt, PhD, JD (University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University School of Law). Associate Professor. Community corrections; drug treatment; homelessness; probation/parole; re-entry; risk assessment; sentencing.
Shannon K. Jacobsen, PhD (Rutgers University). Assistant Professor. Gender, crime and victimization; fear of crime and perceptions of risk; campus crime; public safety; communities and crime; social inequalities; mixed methods research
Robert J. Kane, PhD (Temple University) Department Head. Professor. Police authority and accountability; urban ecology and sociology; violence and public health; police strategies and practices.
Kathleen Powell, PhD (Rutgers University). Post-Doctoral Fellow. Crime, punishment, and the life course; the intersection of health and justice system involvement; legal financial obligations; correctional interventions.
Cyndi Rickards, EdD (Drexel University). Associate Teaching Professor. Director of Justice Studies. Issues of mass incarceration, community-engaged scholarship, intersection of mental health and the CJ system, the criminal justice system and the lived experience.
Kristene Unsworth, PhD (University of Washington). Assistant Teaching Professor. Information science, policy and ethics, critical discourse analysis and qualitative methodology.
  • Schedule of Classes
  • All Course Descriptions
  • Co-op
  • Academic Advising
  • Admissions
  • Tuition & Fees