Criminal Justice undergraduate majors may gain research experience by working with a faculty member on a three-credit independent study. The department also offers research internship opportunities to selected undergraduate students. Students gain first-hand qualitative and/or quantitative research experience by working with the internship coordinator. Law enforcement agencies at various levels, courts, corrections, probation, and parole offices in the area offer opportunities for applied research for students.
Individual faculty members may also extend research opportunities to selected undergraduate majors. Undergraduates have in the past worked on projects involving such topics as cultural competency assessment, immigrants' adaptation to the American criminal justice system, nature of culture among juvenile delinquents, gangs and organized crime, and resident responses to community policing.
At the graduate level, all of its majors have an option of taking the comprehensive examination or writing a master's paper as part of their degree program. In addition, the department encourages graduate students to take CRJ 590 Independent Study, CRJ 690, Master's Project and/or CRJ 710 Research Project, to be actively involved in research before they graduate. Graduate students have written exit papers on such topics as effects of computerization on police officers, the relations between particular kinds of crime and use of particular illicit drugs, effects of rehabilitation efforts, as well as on the nature, structure and effects of organized crime in China.