Supervised CJ Senior Project

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.

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.


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.


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