The Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJS) Honors Program is a unique opportunity for undergraduate CCJS majors to challenge themselves academically. The Honors program involves small, interactive and rigorous courses taught by a tenured/tenure-track faculty member. CCJS Departmental Honors courses are structured to enhance a student’s analytical skills, research capability, critical thinking, and writing ability.
Students who participate in our Honors Program have the opportunity to experience smaller, more challenging classes and interact with departmental faculty in a one-on-one environment. Additionally, CCJS Honors students graduate with departmental honors and stand out among applicants when applying to graduate school, law school, internships and/or full-time employment.
The Director of the CCJS Honors Program is Dr. Bianca Bersani.
Honors Program Structure:
The Honors Program is a three-semester (9 required credit hours) sequence beginning in the fall semester of the junior year. The three honors courses may count toward completion of the CCJS Course of Choice major curriculum requirement. CCJS 388H, the first course in the sequence, will provide an in-depth understanding of various contemporary criminological issues and the production of criminological research. CCJS 388H will only be offered in the fall semester. Students will have the spring semester of their junior year off to pursue outside interest such as internships, study abroad, independent study, etc. In the fall semester of the senior year, students will solidify their honors thesis topic and begin preliminary research in CCJS 389H. In the spring semester of the senior year, students will complete CCJS 489H, a writing intensive course, during which an honors thesis will be completed. At the end of the semester, each student will orally defend their honors thesis. The honors student with the best overall thesis will be awarded the Dr. Laure Brooks Honors Thesis Award. The recipient of this award gives the student address at the departments spring commencement ceremony.
Only declared CCJS majors will be admitted to the CCJS Honors Program. Additional admissions requirements for the CCJS Honors Program include:
- A cumulative GPA of at least a 3.25
- A minimum 3.40 GPA in all CCJS major coursework
- Satisfactory completion of CCJS 100, CCJS 105, and CCJS 200 (or approved advanced statistics course)
- Evidence of satisfactory writing
- A minimum of 4 semesters remaining as of Fall 2021
- Students should be rising Juniors
Meeting all requirements does not guarantee admission. Only the top applicants, as determined by the Honors Director, will be admitted into the CCJS Honors Program.
How to Apply:
The application deadline for the Fall 2021 cohort is 4:00 PM on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.
Applicants must complete and submit the following materials:
- The Honors Program Application
- An unofficial transcript
- A one page statement explaining:
- Why you are a suitable candidate for the CCJS Honors Program (e.g. prior research, passion, ability to conduct research)
- Why you would like to participate in the CCJS Honors Program and how participation will help you reach your career goals
- The area of Criminology & Criminal Justice in which you are most interested
- A writing sample that is approximately 3-5 pages in length. The writing sample can be a portion of a larger paper or a paper on its own
- If a student completed either CCJS 200 or CCJS 300 pass/fail Spring 2020 - Spring 2021, they must have their instructor complete the Statement of Proficiency
All application materials should be submitted to the CCJS Undergraduate Advising Office. Applications must be submitted via email to ccjsadvising [at] umd.edu.