FAQs

Admission Questions

Does the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice have specific admission requirements?

Students that are admitted to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln may declare Criminology and Criminal Justice (CRCJ) as their major and are not subject to additional high school entrance requirements.  Students that are transferring from another college must have a 2.5 cumulative GPA to enter the CRCJ program.

Will I need to take a foreign language?

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice does not have a foreign language requirement, however, students must meet the minimum UNL admission requirement of two years of the same language in high school to avoid an admission deficiency.  If a student is admitted with an admission deficiency, they must complete a language through the second semester level (usually numbered 102) course.

Can sign language be used to remove a foreign language deficiency?

Yes

Transfer Questions


How do I transfer from a different UNL College to the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice?
To declare a major in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (SCCJ) from another UNL College, you are required to have a 2.5 GPA and may meet with a SCCJ academic advisor to learn more about the Criminology and Criminal Justice program.  Visit your current college advising office or advisor to initiate the college/major change.

Can I take courses at another institution?
Yes, however, a  maximum 64 credit hours from a 2-year institution may be transferred and grades must be C- or above to apply to the BCCJ degree if taken outside of the University of Nebraska (UNL, UNO, UNK).  If you are in your senior year, a minimum of 30 of the last 36 credit hours must be earned in residence within the University of Nebraska system.

How do I get my courses from another institution transferred to UNL?
To transfer course credit from another institution you will need to have your official transcript sent to UNL Admissions. If the course is a direct equivalent it will automatically be placed on your Degree Audit. If the course is not a direct equivalent, see your advisor to determine if and how the course will apply to the BCCJ degree.

Can I retake a course at another institution and have it replace a UNL course grade?
To replace a grade for GPA purposes in a course you took at UNL you must repeat the course within the NU system, these include UNL, UNO, UNK.  Grades do not average into your NU GPA from any other institutions, so it is not possible to transfer an equivalent course for grade removal purposes outside of the University of Nebraska system.  Please review the UNL Policy for course repeats.


Requirement Questions


What is the Pre-Criminology and Criminal Justice (PCCJ) Curriculum?
Criminology and criminal justice majors initially complete prerequisite courses defined as the pre-criminology and criminal justice (PCCJ) curriculum. The PCCJ curriculum consists of a minimum of 45 semester hours and must include the following courses:

      • ENGL 150, 151, 250, 252, 254, 258 (6 hours)
      • MATH 100A or 101 (3 hours)
      • CRIM 101 (3 hours)
      • CRIM 251 (3 hours)
      • CRIM 203, 211, 221 (6-9 hours)

These prerequisites are completed prior to enrolling in upper division (300/400 level) criminology and criminal justice courses.

Once I complete the PCCJ Curriculum, how do I get admitted to the Upper -division Criminology and Criminal Justice Program?
Students seeking admission to the Upper-division Criminology and Criminal Justice Program MUST APPLY by completing the Application for Admission to Upper-division form which can be obtained at 310 Nebraska Hall.  Students should apply early in the semester in which the final PCCJ courses are being completed.

Is there a recommended sequence for my coursework?
Yes, however, there is flexibility with many of the courses.  See your advisor especially if you have transfer credit hours.  See our sample 4 Year Plan in the Undergraduate Catalog but there are many other variations.  Your advisor will assist you with planning the sequence of your coursework.

Minors/Concentrations

How can I declare criminology and criminal justice as my minor?
Go to your current college advising office or advisor to declare the minor.   Your advisor can explain how a criminology and criminal justice minor will fit within your degree program. 

As a CRCJ major, how can I add or change my concentration/minor area?
To add/delete/change your concentration/minor, make an appointment in Canvas's MyPlan to meet with your academic advisor in the CCJ Office (NH 310). The advisor will help you add or change your concentration/minor.  See the available minors by searching the majors listed in the UNL Catalog for the year you began your CRCJ program.

Should I consider one or more minors?
Adding a minor, although not required, allows you to explore other areas in depth. At the same time, a minor(s) could help you to stand out from other job candidates, making you more marketable. With early and careful schedule planning you may be able to obtain two minors without completing additional credit hours beyond the 120 hours required for the CRCJ degree.

General Education (Achievement Center Education)


What are ACE courses?
All UNL students complete Achievement Centered Education (ACE) courses which are outcome based courses designed to enhance the undergraduate experience by providing broad exposure to multiple disciplines, complementing the major, and helping students develop important reasoning, inquiry, and civic capacities.  Students should discuss options with their advisor to select ACE courses that will best meet other BCCJ degree requirements. There are 10 ACE outcomes and students must select at least one course from each of the ACE requirements.

      • ACE 1: Written Communication
      • ACE 2: Oral Communication Skills
      • ACE 3: Mathematics
      • ACE 4: Study of Scientific Methods and Knowledge of the Natural and Physical World
      • ACE 5: Study of Humanities
      • ACE 6: Study of Human Behavior
      • ACE 7: Study of the Arts to Understand Their Context and Significance
      • ACE 8: Study of Ethics
      • ACE 9: Global Awareness or Knowledge of Human Diversity
      •  ACE 10: Capstone


Can I use one ACE course to satisfy two requirements?
All ACE requirements fit within the 120 hour requirement for the Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, however, the same course cannot be used to fulfill more than one ACE requirement.  You should meet with an advisor each semester to determine which ACE courses will best fulfill the CRCJ degree requirements.  

Internship Questions

Is an internship required for the BCCJ degree?
CRIM 397 – Criminal Justice Internship is highly recommended and completes the ACE 10 requirement.  These valuable opportunities can provide a student with experience in their future career choice and enhance their likelihood for employment.  Students that do not complete CRIM 397 must still complete the ACE 10 requirement with another course (generally CRIM 496).

How do I find an internship?
The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice has established internships with nearly 50 criminal justice agencies in the Lincoln area that offer internships each semester and summer.  Review opportunities http://www.unl.edu/crimjust/internship.shtml and apply through CCJ.  You can also find your own internship but it must be related to the Criminal Justice field and be approved by the CCJ Internship Coordinator.  If you wish, Career Services may help you prepare for your internship interview.  They will review resumes and cover letters, conduct mock interviews, and provide strategy advice.

How do I get credit for my internship?
Once your internship is approved you will receive a permission number from the CCJ Internship Coordinator so that you can enroll in CRIM 397 Internship in Criminal Justice which is 3 credit hours which can apply in the CRCJ major area.  If you need to add the course after late registration has ended, go to NH 310 or 107 Canfield Administration Building South for a Schedule Adjustment Form. 



Degree Audit Questions


What is My Degree Audit?  
Your Degree Audit is a computer generated document outlining your undergraduate academic progress. The audit uses your UNL coursework, transfer coursework, and courses in progress in order to determine progress toward the completion of your degree. You can run your degree audit through your MyRed account.

I have completed a course at another institution that is not showing as fulfilling a specific requirement on my Degree Audit.  Why not?
Although Degree Audit has the ability to recognize courses from schools with whom we have direct equivalencies not all courses have been reviewed so it is best to contact your advisor to determine if and how the transfer course(s) may apply toward your degree.

Why are hours for my second minor showing up in electives?
Your Degree Audit will show a section for the second minor, but these hours can also be used to fulfill other requirements or electives.  If you have completed more courses than are needed for the degree, they will show up in excess electives and be hours beyond the 120 hours required for the CRCJ degree.

Where does my minor show up on Degree Audit?
If you have formally declared a minor it will appear right after the Concentration area on your Degree Audit. You will see that most or all of the courses used for the minor also appear in the concentration area.

What does 'Excess Electives' mean?
Excess electives generally indicates that you have taken more than the required 120 hours.  The courses may be needed to meet requirements, especially if you have a minor or dual degree. They may also be courses that only met elective requirements and you have more than the required electives needed for the degree. See your advisor with questions regarding excess electives.

Common Advising Questions

How many hours a week should I study?
This really depends on the skill level, time management abilities and other personal factors such as employment and other obligations of each student.  For time management purposes, the general guideline is approximately two hours of study, homework and test preparation for every one credit hour enrolled.  For a student taking an average load of fifteen credit hours this would mean scheduling 30 or more hours per week study time outside the classroom.  In this example, a serious student enrolled in fifteen credit hours should plan approximately 45 total hours per week dedicated to college level academics.

How do I drop a class?
Talk to your ADVISOR! You drop courses through MyRed but it is in your best interest to talk to an advisor beforehand to make sure it is okay to drop. IF YOU DROP A COURSE THAT IS REQUIRED FOR YOUR DEGREE, YOU WILL HAVE TO RETAKE IT.  If you drop a class and are no longer a full-time student, i.e., 12 credit hours during the Fall or Spring term for undergraduate students, you may lose scholarship or financial aid monies so be sure to talk to the UNL Scholarship and Financial Aid Office.

What does a W on my transcript mean?
You may withdraw from individual classes or from all classes for the Semester, regardless of the circumstances, before the 3/4 point of the term but a grade of "W" will automatically be noted on the transcript for these courses if it is past the early drop/add period.  See the Academic Calendar for the cut off dates and amount of tuition refundable, if any. It does not state why you withdrew (grade, interest, changed major, etc).  It is NOT replaceable. Any drops or withdrawals after the 3/4 point of the term are only granted for extraordinary circumstances by petition.  Undergraduate students should contact our office at 310 Nebraska Hall to obtain the "Petition for Late Withdrawal" form.

How do I change a course to/from Pass/No Pass?
Talk to an ADVISOR! You may change your grade option through MyRed, but it is in your best interest to talk to an advisor beforehand to make sure it will count for your degree.  Most courses for the CRCJ Major requirements must be taken for a grade. Courses for a minor depend on that department’s policy.  SCCJ students are allowed to take a maximum of 24 credit hours P/N.  Please note that the grade required to receive a Pass may be as high as a “C”, you need to talk to the instructor or check the syllabus to understand the requirements to PASS.

Do I have to retake a course that I receive a grade of "C-"?
No, not unless requirements specifically states that a C or better is required. For example: The National Security Studies Minor requires a grade of “B-” or above.  There are other minors that require a “C” or above.  Talk with your CRCJ advisor about the option of dropping the minor and using the course towards just a concentration instead.

Can I receive a "D-" or "D" in a course and have it apply toward my degree?
Yes, if the degree requirement to which you are applying the course does NOT specifically state that you must receive a higher grade, or is NOT required for you to advance to the next level.  However, you should meet with your advisor to determine if repeating the course would be in your best interest.  Note:  D grades cannot apply in your 39 hour CRCJ major area.

Do I have to have a 2.5 GPA to remain in CCJ?
You must have a 2.5 GPA to transfer into CCJ and to qualify for an internship.  CCJ expects its students to maintain a 2.5 GPA; however, we are committed to the success of our majors and should your GPA fall below a 2.5 you can remain in CCJ. We will work with you to assist you in raising your GPA.

How can I raise my GPA?
The fastest way to raise your GPA is to repeat courses you have received a D or below in. After you have completed the course for the second time, the new grade you receive in the course will average into your GPA and the old grade is removed from your cumulative GPA.  You must retake the course at the University of Nebraska (UNL, UNO, UNK)

What constitutes an elective course?
An elective course can be any course accepted by UNL that does not already fulfill another degree requirement.

What is a co-requisite?
A co-requisite refers to a recitation, quiz and/or laboratory class that is taken in conjunction with the course lecture. You must enroll concurrently in the lecture and co-requisite in a course that requires a co-requisite.

What is a course prerequisite?
A course prerequisite refers to a specific course that must be completed prior to enrolling in a course. Course prerequisites provide a foundation for the student to master the material in the course that requires it.  See the course description in the online Undergraduate Catalog to determine if there are any course prerequisites.  

How many hours do I need before I am considered a Sophmore, Junior or Senior standing?
Class Standing: Based on credits earned 0-26 for freshmen; 27-52 for sophomores; 53-88 for juniors; 89 or more for seniors.  Refer to the Undergraduate Catalog's Academic Policies for this and much more.

How do I know if I am on the Dean's List?
You will receive a letter from the Dean’s office.  Students must complete a minimum of 12 graded classroom hours for that semester (P/N hours do not apply) and carry a minimum of 3.5 semester GPA.

How can I contact my professor?
See the list of faculty including their email address, office number and phone number on the school website under the About Us tab at http://www.unl.edu/criminal-justice/   You can also call the administrative office at 402-472-3677 or visit with your professors during their Office Hours which are stated on their course syllabi.

Graduation, Jobs & Graduate School Questions

What is the Senior Assessment?
The CRIM 499 Senior Assessment is designed to assess student learning, monitor School performance and identify possible curriculum changes needed.  CRCJ majors enroll in the CRIM 499 (0 credit) course in their final semester.  The assessment includes an exam based on required criminal justice course work but there is no class attendance or preparation for the assessment which is completed online.

How will I know if I will be graduating on time?
Check your Degree Audit online through your MyRed account each semester. All Areas should be marked with an "OK" or "IP". We encourage you to see your advisor in SCCJ NH 310 every semester as a minimum and especially if there are any areas marked "NO" that you have questions about. Just prior to the start of the semester you intent to graduate, run a final Degree Audit to be sure you have enrolled in all courses needed for graduation.  Don’t forget to enroll in CRIM 499 Senior Assessment (0 credits) in your final semester.  At the top of your Degree Audit, it should state "All degree requirements are complete --- In progress courses included". This indicates that you are on track to graduate at the end of the semester.  If the Degree Audit states "At least one requirement has not been satisfied", then you will need to see an adviser as soon as possible to identify the problem.

Will the courses I need to graduate be available?
Not all courses are available every semester but required CRCJ courses are offered every Fall and Spring semester and there is a wide variety of other courses to choose from for your major.  This may not be true for your concentration or minor courses so check with that department advisor.  Plan AHEAD in scheduling at least the last three semesters of course work to ensure you have met all prerequisites for your upper level classes and to ensure a timely graduation.  It is beneficial to meet with your advisor 2-3 weeks prior to priority registration each semester.

When do I apply for graduation?
For May graduates the application deadline is the last Friday in January; for August graduates the application deadline is the last Friday in June; and for December graduates the application deadline is the last Friday in September each year.  Failure to meet the published deadline will delay a graduation one full term.  The Graduation Services Office is located in Canfield 109.

What do I need to know about the graduation ceremony?
Be sure you have applied for graduation by the deadline so that you are noted as a candidate for graduation.  Watch for e-mails from Graduation Services and review graduation information:

http://registrar.unl.edu/undergraduate-ceremony

Will I graduate with Distinction?
You will receive confirmation from the SCCJ if you meet the requirements towards the end of the semester in which you are graduating.  If you think you qualify and do not receive the notice, please contact Karen Fulton, Assistant Director, CPACS in NH 310, 402-472-3677.

How do I apply for Graduate School?
You can find out more about the programs offered and the application process by logging onto the UNL Office of Graduate Studies and/or the UNO Graduate Studies website.  Check here for UNO’s graduate programs and application deadlines.  The SCCJ advisors located in NH 310 are also a great resource for students considering a Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice (M.S. or M.A.).

 What can I do to help me obtain a job?

    •  Attend Criminal Justice Student Association (CJSA) meetings throughout your college career.  The CJSA sponsors numerous speakers each semester from a wide variety of criminal justice agencies.  These professionals in the criminal justice field can provide you with a wealth of knowledge about careers and job opportunities in criminal justice.  
    •  Seek part time volunteer or job opportunities that are related to your career interests while in school.

    • Complete one or two criminal justice internships to make contacts and obtain references within the criminal justice system. 

    • Take advantage of career fairs sponsored by UNL's Career Services.  Career Services provides many job listings and the opportunity to sign up for Husker Hire Link.  They also sponsor many career events and can provide assistance with your resume and interviewing skills. 

    • Visit your advisor for list of criminal justice agency websites.  Criminal Justice agencies typically list job opportunities and information on how to apply on their websites.

    • Some criminal justice agencies occasionally send us job announcements specifically soliciting our students which we post on our bulletin boards and/or Facebook page.