Department of Criminal Justice Studies

Senior Thesis Preparation

Preparing for your senior thesis

Our senior thesis capstone course (CJS 490) requires the student to develop and defend a research paper, to write and communicate research findings effectively. 

Get ready and plan ahead

Planning is important because course prerequisites are enforced. The following three courses cannot be taken at the same time and must be taken in sequential order. Students can plan on a minimum of three semesters to complete the sequence. 

  • 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 490 Senior Thesis (formerly CJS 488) 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 who meet the prerequisites for CJS 490 will enroll in the section of their choice as they would for any other course. Understand that CJS 490 sections may be capped at the seat count listed. Listed instructors may request a research proposal from each student prior to registration.  

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