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Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
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2021-2022

Criminal Justice

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

Concentration(s):
Forensic Crime Scene Investigation, Justice      
Program description

The L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs is a creative, interdisciplinary grouping of programs in the social sciences and professional arenas that provides students with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for success in public service. The Wilder School brings together faculty from multiple disciplines that share a common interest in public affairs.


The major objective of this degree program is to prepare students for effective professional careers in criminal justice, forensic crime scene investigation, public service and other helping professions, and/or prepare them to pursue studies in law and other related graduate programs. Career opportunities are available in federal, state, local and private justice-related endeavors. These careers include law enforcement, crime scene investigation, juvenile justice, corrections and the courts.


This program also prepares students to enter law school or to pursue graduate studies in criminal justice or in several of the human services fields, usually related to justice. This program offers and encourages in-service justice employees and others to enhance their professional career development through higher education.

Career opportunities

Criminal justice students study the causes of crime, treatment of offenders and management of the criminal justice system, with a focus on balancing social justice and individual rights. Wilder School graduates typically pursue careers in public service and work in law enforcement, the court system, corrections or public policy. Students will learn under faculty experts in criminal justice, criminology, law, juvenile justice, organized crime, law enforcement, corrections, and transnational crime.

Change of major requirements

Students must first attend a mandatory meeting/advising appointment with a Wilder School advisor to discuss remaining requirements, time to graduation, and potential future plans. Students may make this appointment by using Navigate, by calling (804) 827-0790, or by emailing wsadvisor@vcu.edu to request a change of major/minor appointment.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Child Protection Agents
  • Child, Family, and School Social Workers
  • Correctional Officer and Jailers
  • Court Clerks
  • Crime Scene Analyst
  • Criminal Investigators and Special Agents
  • Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Police Detectives
  • Police, Fire and Ambulance Dispatchers
  • Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
  • Retail Loss Prevention Specialist
  • Security Manager
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Attorney
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Government Agency Administrator
  • Mental Health Counselor
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 131
  • STAT 208
Science required
  • Natural Sciences requirement only
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0+ cumulative GPA, 2.0+ major GPA
Department name:
Department of Criminal Justice
Building/room location:
923 West Franklin Street, Scherer Hall, Richmond, VA 23284
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-2292
Email:
wilderschool@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Embrace and maximize language learning in foreign language courses.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Complete STAT 210 for 3rd year CRJS classes.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Understand how public policy issues affect cultural groups.
  • Attend workshops, forums, summits, presentations related to cultural engagement and intercultural dialogue.  
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Explore internships, part-time jobs, and study abroad programs that connect to your interests, review the application requirements, and apply.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Identify at least 3 career areas within your field of interest that you may want to pursue (e.g., law enforcement, social services, law, etc.), and create an action plan.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Complete CRJS 380 for 4th year CRJS classes.   
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Take on a leadership role in a cultural organization.
  • Take relevant elective coursework.
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs Tunnel of Oppression.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and VCU Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Make a list of your skills and prepare to articulate them to employers on a resume and in an interview. 

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
  • Continue to develop tangible skills through internships, LinkedIn Learning, and training programs (CPR, first aid, or EMT), that you can demonstrate to employers.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Criminal Justice

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

Concentration(s):
Forensic Crime Scene Investigation, Justice      
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Embrace and maximize language learning in foreign language courses.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Complete STAT 210 for 3rd year CRJS classes.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Understand how public policy issues affect cultural groups.
  • Attend workshops, forums, summits, presentations related to cultural engagement and intercultural dialogue.  
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Explore internships, part-time jobs, and study abroad programs that connect to your interests, review the application requirements, and apply.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Identify at least 3 career areas within your field of interest that you may want to pursue (e.g., law enforcement, social services, law, etc.), and create an action plan.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Complete CRJS 380 for 4th year CRJS classes.   
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Take on a leadership role in a cultural organization.
  • Take relevant elective coursework.
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs Tunnel of Oppression.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and VCU Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Make a list of your skills and prepare to articulate them to employers on a resume and in an interview. 
ExcelYear 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
  • Continue to develop tangible skills through internships, LinkedIn Learning, and training programs (CPR, first aid, or EMT), that you can demonstrate to employers.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
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