Criminal Justice

The University of Dubuque Criminal Justice (CJ) major enables students to develop a foundation of basic principles relative to the field of criminal justice. Students will build a solid base of knowledge which will be used to guide them through their criminal justice careers. The CJ Program further refines oral and written communication skills while expanding upon the role of justice and the social issues prevalent in today's society.

What You Will Learn

  • Gain an understanding of the criminal justice system by taking courses that focus on the primary components of the criminal justice system:  police, courts, and corrections, as well as other basic principles important in working in the criminal justice field; 
  • Learn to think critically while analyzing situations from different perspectives in order to handle them in an efficient and ethical manner; 
  • Enhance written and oral communication skills needed to be successful in various career stages; and
  • Achieve practical experience by partaking in a variety of internships and courses that offer hands-on learning within the criminal justice field.

Program of Study

The Criminal Justice program helps provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the nature of crime and the personnel, institutions, and processes that prevent or respond to crime. Students are introduced to the theory, principles and practice of the criminal justice system with a focus on leadership, equity and justice. The curriculum covers crime and criminal behavior, law enforcement, courts, corrections, and investigation as well as emphasizes contemporary social issues, criminal behavior analysis, and legal and ethical principles.  Students will apply critical thinking to key issues, to case studies involving ethical dilemmas, and examine criminal data, associated procedural laws, and public policy.

The CJ program provides a solid foundation for further entry into a variety of professions such as policing, corrections, courts, and other related disciplines, as well as prepares students for graduate studies in fields such as criminal justice, sociology, social work and law. The University of Dubuque has a 3 + 3 agreement with the University of Iowa’s School of Law which enables students to earn their undergraduate degree and law degree in six years. The B.A. or B.S. is awarded from the University of Dubuque following the successful completion of the first year of law school at the University of Iowa.

Students in the CJ program are able to apply concepts and theories to a practicum experience, such as an internship, participation on mediation team and/or moot court, a research project, or other department-approved substitution. 


What Our Students Do

The University of Dubuque Criminal Justice Program allows students the opportunity to learn from professors that have the experience to teach you what you need to know to excel in the criminal justice course work. Professors will guide you in each area of criminal justice and allow you to learn from shared experiences within the classroom.

Where Our Graduates Go

A major or minor in Criminal Justice prepares graduates for effective participation in a variety of public and private sector careers in areas such as police, courts and corrections. They will also be prepared for jobs in community service, mental health services and human services. Students may also seek careers as researchers and/or university teachers by continuing study at a graduate level. The study of Criminal Justice provides an excellent background for graduate programs in law, criminal justice, social work and other related disciplines. 

News from the Department

There are a number of clubs, organizations or activities in which the student can become involved to enhance her/his learning experience. Organizations include the Justice Force, which focuses on hands-on police related activities; the Justice League, designed to assist the student in achieving at the University of Dubuque and advancing in the field of Criminal Justice; and, the Spartan Nation Liberation Foundation, which is designed to raise awareness about and prevent human trafficking. Additionally, the University of Dubuque is proud to have both moot court and mediation teams.

The University of Dubuque earned a national championship in the mediation category at the National Undergraduate Mediation Tournament in 2016.  UD received an invitation to the International Law School Mediation Tournament in Glasgow, Scotland.  Additionally, the University of Dubuque earned a bid to the national tournament for moot court held at Stetson School of Law in Gulfport, Florida, in 2016.  Additionally, the University of Dubuque had three of its four teams advance to the semifinals in the Upper Midwest Regional Tournament for moot court held at the University of Iowa School of Law.

Criminal Justice - Program of Study

The courses below are a program sample of what students may encounter. Students will meet with their advisers to develop a personal educational program to plan their elective course choices, internships, undergraduate research, and other educational opportunities and experiences.

Year One

Fall Semester
WVS 101: World View Seminar I (3)
ENG 101: Composition and Rhetoric (3)
COM 101: Speech Communication (3)
SOC 111 or SOC 112: Introduction to Sociology(3) or Social Problems (3)
SCJ 110: Introduction to Criminal Justice (3)
SCJ 120: Writing Proficiency in CJ (3) *

J-Term
Required

Spring Semester
COM 101: Speech Communication (3)
REL 110: Judeo-Christian Journeys (3) or other REL Course
UDHS 121: World Civilization I (3) or other Global Awareness A Course
SCJ 212: Criminal Procedure (3)
SCJ 210: Introduction to Law Enforcement (3)

* if required


Year Two

Fall Semester
ENG 112 or 260: Literature (3)
UDMA 112: Algebra (3) or PHL 114 Logical Reasoning (3)
RES 104: Introduction to Research Writing (3)
SCJ 211: Criminal Law (3)
SCJ 231: Criminology (3)
PRF 201: Career Development Strategies (1)

J-Term
Required

Spring Semester
BIO 110: Human Biology (4) or other Science w/lab course
ART 111: Survey of Western Art (3) or other Aesthetics B course
SCJ 225: Corrections (3)
Sociological Perspective (3): Choose one: SCJ 217, SOC 311, SOC 336 or SCJ 317
HWS 110: Physical Activity (1)


Year Three

Fall Semester
SCJ 212: Criminal Procedure (3)
SCJ 200+ Elective (3)
UDLS 111: Elementary Spanish I (3) or other Global Awareness B Course
BIO 125: Population, Resources and Environment (3) or other Stewardship course (3)
Electives

J-Term
Recommended

Spring Semester
SCJ 215: Court Systems and Judicial Process
SCJ 313: Constitutional Law
HWS 110: Physical Activity (1)
Electives


Year Four

Fall Semester
SCJ Practicum: SCJ 485 Internship or approved substitute (3)
SCJ 200+ Elective (3)
Electives

J-Term
Recommended

Spring Semester
SCJ 495: Senior Seminar: Ethical & Contemporary Issues in CJ (3)
SCJ 200+ Elective (3)
Electives

John Shook
John Shook
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology and Criminal Justice Department Head

MPA, Ohio State University
BS, Pennsylvania State University

Office Phone: 563.589.3452
E-mail: jshook@dbq.edu 
Office Location: Severance Hall
Biography - Click Here

A native Pennsylvanian, Mr. Shook received his Bachelor’s Degree from the Pennsylvania State University , and later received a Master of Public Administration from the Ohio State University.  After graduating from Ohio State, Mr. Shook began a career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a correctional officer.  During his 29 years with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, he held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility at nine different duty stations, with his last position being Associate Warden at the United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kansas.   During this time, Mr. Shook also instructed in an adjunct capacity at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point; Upper Iowa University, Wausau Center and Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas.

Mr. Shook held the position of Assistant Professor/Department Chair of Criminal Justice Administration at Waldorf College from August, 2011 to May, 2014.  He accepted the position of Assistant Professor at the University of Dubuque in August, 2014.


Ben Bartels
Ben Bartels
Assistant Professor

JD, Loyola University
BA, University of Iowa

Office Phone: 563.589.3562
E-mail: bbartels@dbq.edu 
Office Location: Severance Hall
Fax: 563.589.3416

Phil Baskerville
Phil Baskerville
Assistant Professor, Sociology and Criminal Justice

MA/Post-Secondary Education, University of Northern Iowa
BA, Upper Iowa University
AA, Hawkeye Institute of Technology

Office Phone: 563.589.3457
E-mail: pbaskerville@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 315 Severance Hall
Fax: 563.589.3576

Mark Dalsing
Mark Dalsing
Adjunct Instructor

MBA, University of Dubuque
Graduate FBI National Academy-Session 245
BS, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

E-mail: mdalsing@dbq.edu 


Leisa Graves
Leisa Graves
Adjunct Instructor

LMSW

E-mail: lgraves@dbq.edu 
Office Location: Blades

Kim Hilby
Kim Hilby
Assistant Professor of Sociology

BSW
LMSW

Office Phone: 563.589.3718
E-mail: khilby@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 320 Severance Hall
Fax: 563.589.3576

Steve Hodge
Steve Hodge
Adjunct Sociology Faculty


E-mail: shodge@dbq.edu 

Dr. Farris Muhammad
Dr. Farris Muhammad
Adjunct Professor

PhD, University of Georgia
MBA, Eastern Michigan University
BBA, Northwood University 



E-mail: fmuhammad@dbq.edu 

Alice Oleson
Alice Oleson
Associate Professor of Sociology

PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison
BA, University of Iowa

Office Phone: 563.589.3307
E-mail: aoleson@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 318 Severance Hall
Fax: 563.589.3576

Sandy Ragona
Sandy Ragona
Adjunct Instructor of Sociology

MSEd, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
BA, Central College

E-mail: srragona@dbq.edu 

Biography - Click Here

Retired School Counselor: 30 years at J.F.Kennedy School, Dubuque

Author: 5 books related to bullying, storytelling, and motivation to come to school National Workshop Presenter: Seattle, Chicago, Las Vegas, New Orleans


Caitlin  Vrotsos-Siemionko
Caitlin  Vrotsos-Siemionko
Adjunct Instructor

MS, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

E-mail: cvrotsos@dbq.edu 

Abby Wessel
Abby Wessel
Adjunct Instructor

JD, Roger Williams University
BS, Lewis University

E-mail: aswessel@dbq.edu 
Biography - Click Here

Practice of Law: Admitted, Iowa, 2010; Admitted, Florida, 2009

Rickert & Wessel Law Office, P.C., Partner, Reinbeck, Iowa

 Professional Associations and Memberships:

 Member Iowa State Bar Association

 Member Grundy County Bar Association

Vice-President, 2010-Present 

Member Florida State Bar Association 

Member American Bar Association 

Adjunct Professor at the University of Dubuque: Criminal Procedure, Criminology, Social Problems


Heidi Zull
Heidi Zull
Adjunct Instructor of Sociology

BA, University of Dubuque

E-mail: hzull@dbq.edu 

Careers in Criminal Justice

Many careers which stem from the Criminal Justice (CJ) Program include: police and corrections officers, lawyers, probation officers, and social workers. To meet these different needs, students are offered course choices and extra-curricular opportunities that allow them to narrow their focus to their specific desires. For example, students looking to enter law enforcement have the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular training programs and seminars on campus with local police officers. Likewise, students looking to experience other aspects of the legal field can compete on UD's mediation and moot court teams. Additionally, CJ students participate in student organizations like the Justice League, a group focused on social justice and helping students to achieve their career and higher education goals.

BA Opportunities

A criminal justice degree provides entry into the following careers and/or entry to the graduate study necessary to pursue the following careers:

Law Enforcement: police, sheriff, state police/state patrol, federal law enforcement, FBI, postal service, DEA, border patrol, Secret Service, Homeland Security, and US Marshal Service.

Judiciary: attorney, security, bailiff, investigator, judge; court officer

Corrections: city/county jail, state prison, federal prison, juvenile probation, juvenile correction/detention centers, adult parole/probation

Rehabilitation: counseling, mental health, advocacy, programming, administration

Private Security: industrial, financial, residential, loss prevention, health/safety compliance (OSHA)

Post-graduate Opportunities

Many students with sociology and criminal justice majors have gone on to graduate or law school to prepare for careers in social science fields such as anthropology, criminal justice, education, ethnic studies, history, international human rights, law, non-profit management, public policy, psychology, sociology, social justice, and social work.

Successful Outcomes

Anna Stoeffler BS, 2013 Criminal Justice

As a student in the Criminal Justice Program you will have the opportunity to learn from professors that have the experience to teach you what you need to know to excel in your course work.  The professors will be able to guide you in a wide variety of criminal justice areas.  By learning from the experiences shared in the classroom, I was better prepared for a career in criminal justice.