Stephen F. Austin State University

Criminal Justice

The Department of Criminal Justice is designed to prepare the student to become a practitioner in the field of justice administration, which includes, but is not limited to, law enforcement, corrections (probation, prison and parole), legal assistant, court administration and juvenile justice.

The departmental goal is to provide both pre-service and in-service students with an extended knowledge of the institutions and processes of the criminal justice system. It seeks to provide the analytical tools and techniques necessary for deeper insight into those institutions and processes, including the problems of administration and of securing organizational change.

Majors & Minors

A major in criminal justice prepares the student for one of the several professional options in the field of criminal justice:

The Law Enforcement sequence makes possible a career in public law enforcement (federal, state or community) as well as private and industrial security.

The Corrections emphasis prepares the criminal justice major to become a practitioner in institutional corrections, community-based correctional settings or juvenile justice administration.

The Legal Assistant emphasis enables the student to prepare for occupations in ancillary aspects of the legal profession such as legal assistant, paralegal research and court administration.

All majors are advised to select courses depending upon specific career interests in the field of justice administration. The criminal justice major requires 33 to 34 semester hours of course work. In addition, there are several required collateral courses for each curricular sequence from other specific academic areas. Criminal justice majors also must complete a minor in another academic area (18-21 hours) or a second major in another academic area (24 hours). The recommended areas are business, English, political science, sociology, psychology or a foreign language; however, each major may select an area of their own choice from the university curriculum.

Criminal Justice Organizations

Alpha Phi Sigma is the national honor society for criminal justice. The society recognizes scholastic excellence by undergraduate and graduate students in the criminal justice sciences. Membership is an academic accomplishment recgonized by the majority of criminal justice agencies.

The Criminal Justice Association provides students interested in careers within the Criminal Justice system with a source of information on career placement, training programs, and insight on the state of the criminal justice system. Membership is open to all Criminal Justice majors and minors currently enroll at SFA, and dues are $10.00 per semester.

For more information, contact the Department of Government at or 936.468.3903.