We advise that you apply for the Justice Studies major either in your freshman year or during the first semester of your sophomore year (well BEFORE Registration). 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 contact the Justice Studies Academic Advisor before applying in order to receive important information and resources.

No, you may only complete one track in the major.  While you're welcome to take courses outside your track, they will not count toward your major requirements.

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.

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 completion 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 Seminar.  Students should also consider GPA requirements for graduation, space availability in courses, and other factors as they consider timelines for graduation.

  • Due to the prerequisite structure of the major, it takes at least five semesters to complete the major
  • 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. It is the prerequiste for all other Justice Studies courses
  • 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 at least one of the three required track foundation course are requirements for all 300 level courses
  • MATH 220 is a prerequisite for JUST 399
  • JUST 399 is a prerequisite for JUST 400
  • All majors must complete 6 elective courses designated for their track. Only two of these electives may be non-JUST designated courses.

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.

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.

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: Advanced 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.

Starting Fall 2020, it is no longer recommended that students major in Justice Studies and minor in Criminal Justice.  Students might consider a major/minor combination that will broaden and diverstify the skills, knowledge, and credentials they are gaining.

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.

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 on the Registrar's website. 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. Please note that given the unique nature of the Justice Studies major, opportunities to take courses at other insitutions may be limited.

Back to Top