Department of Criminal Justice Studies

Senior Thesis Preparation

Our senior thesis capstone course requires the student to develop and defend a research paper, to write and communicate research findings effectively. The following course sequence is required.

Getting ready

Planning is important because course prerequisites are enforced.

  • CJS 486, Theories of Crime and Justice, introduces the student to crime theoretical frameworks. 
  • CJS 487, Research in Criminal Justice, instructs students on how to develop a research proposal and produce a working draft. 
  • CJS 488, Senior Thesis, is the undergraduate culminating project for students declaring CJS as a major. This course requires students to develop, prepare and defend an undergraduate research paper and is intended for seniors in their last semester. Students must submit a proposal based on the following semester schedule to be admitted to the course (see below). 


Senior thesis proposals are due at the Criminal Justice Graduate Advising Center, in Stewart Hall Room 222, by these deadlines:

  • Fall semesters will be due by 4 p.m. the last Friday in January.
  • Spring semesters will be due by 4 p.m. the last Friday in September.