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Department of Justice Studies - Frequently Asked Questions

 


 
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Justice Studies - Frequently Asked Questions

WHEN SHOULD I APPLY TO THE JUSTICE STUDIES MAJOR?

We advise that you apply for the Justice Studies major either in your freshman year or during the first semester of your sophomore year. We strongly advise against applying for the major once you have entered your junior year because it will be very difficult to get the courses you need to graduate on time.  You should meet with the Justice Studies Academic Advisor before applying in order to receive important information and resources. 

MAY I APPLY TO MORE THAN ONE TRACK IN THE JUSTICE STUDIES MAJOR?

Yes, but you need to submit separate applications for each track, and, if accepted into more than one track,  you will have to choose a track. We require that you pick a track so that as many students as possible may be admitted into the Justice Studies major. 

MAY I CHANGE TRACKS IN THE JUSTICE STUDIES MAJOR?

You should carefully research before choosing your track.  JUST 200: Introduction to Justice Studies explores all of the tracks, and gives you a good foundation in and understanding of each track.  Space permitting, you may be able to change the track you are in after becoming a Justice Studies major.  Be aware that the requirements for each track are different, so you might end up needing to complete additional courses to fulfill the requirements for the new track if you do change. 

CAN I FINISH THE MAJOR IN ONE OR TWO YEARS?

No.  Transfer students and JMU second-semester Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors who are considering changing majors should especially take this into consideration.  Because of the way students progress through the major, it takes at least five semesters to complete the requirements.  Only declared Justice Studies majors can enroll in JUST 200.  Students must take JUST 200 first; this is the only course students are allowed to take during the first semester in the major.  The semester following successful completeion of JUST 200, students may take the 200-level foundation courses.  During the third semester in the major, students may begin taking 300-level Justice Studies courses.  Also be aware that Math 220 is a prerequisite for JUST 399: Research Methods, which is in turn a prerequisite for JUST 400: Senior Semester.  Students should also consider GPA requirements for graduation, space availability in courses, and other factors as they consider timelines for graduation.

WHAT ARE THE PREREQUISITES IN THE MAJOR?

EFFECTIVE FOR STUDENTS DECLARING THE MAJOR IN THE SUMMER OF 2011 AND BEYOND

JUST 200 is a prerequisite for all JUST courses (and only declared Justice Studies majors can enroll in JUST 200)
JUST 200 may NOT be taken during the same semester as any other JUST designated course.
You may enroll in a 200 level JUST foundation course(s) for the following semester while you are enrolled in JUST 200.
JUST 200 and a track foundation course are requirements for all 300 level courses.
All majors must complete 6 elective courses designated for their track.
Only two of these electives may be non-JUST designated courses.
DOES NOT APPLY TO MAJORS WHO DECLARED BEFORE SUMMER 2011

MAY I DOUBLE MAJOR?

Yes. Your degree requirement is determined by your first major. That is, if your first major is a BA degree and your second major is a BS degree you do not need to fulfill the requirements for a BS degree. Your first major is the major that will appear on your diploma. You may declare Justice Studies as either the first or second major.

MAY I PICK MY OWN ADVISOR?

The department will assign you an advisor. You may request a specific faculty member. Your request will be granted if 1) the faculty member agrees to be your advisor and 2) the department head determines that the resources exist to make this change.  You may also contact the department's academic advisor, Daisy Breneman, with questions about the academic advising, internships, careers, civic engagement, and more. 

AM I PERMITTED TO TAKE COURSES OUTSIDE OF MY TRACK IN THE JUSTICE STUDIES MAJOR?

Yes, you may take courses from any track, but courses outside your track will count as university electives, not toward the major. You must meet the requirements for your track in order to fulfill graduation requirements.  Please see the Registration information posted to the website and emailed to majors for more information regarding which courses count for which track.  Keep in mind that JUST 301: Special Topics in Justice Studies varies by semester.  Students MUST make sure that the specific section they have enrolled in counts for their track in order to count it as a requirement for the major.  No exceptions will be made. 

MAY I MAJOR IN JUSTICE STUDIES AND MINOR IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE?

Yes. Students should remember that the two programs are different in focus and content and that minimal double counting between them will be permitted.

SHOULD I MAJOR IN JUSTICE STUDIES IF I AM INTERESTED IN LAW SCHOOL?

Justice Studies is one of many possible majors for students interested in law school.  However, it's important to keep in mind there there is no one set path to law school.  Based on your interests and academic and career goals, you can choose from a wide variety of majors.  JMU offers Pre-law as a pre-professional program, which gives students access to many helpful resources, including a network of advisors.  Students should consider working with the Pre-Law advisors, as well as the Career and Academic Planning Office, to explore options. 

MAY I TAKE COURSES IN THE JUSTICE STUDIES MAJOR AT ANOTHER SCHOOL AND TRANSFER THE CREDITS TO JMU?

Yes. Permission should be obtained in advance from the department head. In addition if the course is taught offered by another department at JMU (i.e. Math, Political Science, Social Work) the permission of that department must also be obtained. Forms are available at the Registrar's Office. Permission to accept credits from another school is made on a case-by-case basis and is not automatic.
A maximum of two is allowed.