General Course Information for CJA470: Supervised CJ Senior Project

Course: CJA470 - Supervised CJ Senior Project
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Description:

The supervised senior project is undertaken by students of criminal justice once they have completed all core courses in the program. The project is chaired and coordinated by the instructor of record. Each student will select a viable topic in criminal justice to research. Students meet as a class once a week for two months. Upon completion of the project, students present the project to the instructor, other faculty, and peers in an open forum. Grading is H, S, or U only. Accelerated study is not permitted with CJA 470. CJA 470 is two months in length. Students who do not complete the Senior Project within the two-month period are eligible, at the discretion of the instructor, to receive a grade of (IP). This allows the student up to one year to complete the project (from the start date of the class). Students who do not complete the project within one calendar year from the start date of the class will need to retake CJA 470. No grade of (I) can be given for this course. Grading is H, S, or U only. Course is eligible for In Progress (IP) grade.

Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Develop a research question.
  • Formulate a testable research hypothesis.
  • Conduct a literature review.
  • Describe an appropriate research methodology to answer the research question.
  • Collect and analyze data.
  • Draw conclusions and make recommendations based on the available data.
  • Make an oral presentation of research findings.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical issues surrounding the collecting and reporting of research data.
  • Understand the role research plays in the development of criminal justice and criminology.
  • Describe how diversity issues may influence the choice of research topics, research methodology, and the application of research findings to the justice system.
Course Requirements:

Each student must complete a research project that conforms to the requirements described in the handout CJ 470 Supervised Criminal Justice Research Project Requirements. Students are not required to do original research: that is, students may either collect their own data, or conduct secondary data analysis. The research project will utilize a methodology appropriate for the research topic. Each project should be organized into a four-chapter format on a topic related to the field of criminal justice, preferable drawn from the core required courses. Each student must also make an oral presentation of the results of the research. Students are required to submit one chapter at a time to the course instructor after the chapter has been reviewed by their respective reader. Students are graded on the combination of their written project and their oral presentation Grades include H (Honors: B or better for projects that conduct original research), S (Satisfactory: C or average), and U (Unsatisfactory: less than satisfactory, no credit is given). Students will be required to submit an electronic copy of the completed project to the course instructor. Students have two months to complete the written project and oral presentation. If the written project is not completed at the end of the two-month period, a grade of IP will be assigned indicating that the work is still in progress. However, students who have not completed at least the first three chapters are not eligible for a grade of IP and will be given a U.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures