Justice Studies Dual Major

Justice Studies Dual Major
justice studies student

What is justice studies?

Whether you’re interested in working in law enforcement, the court system, as a U.S. Marshal or a victim’s advocate, our justice studies degree will give you a fundamental understanding of justice and legal systems in the U.S. and abroad. You’ll draw on disciplines such as social sciences, humanities and psychology while examining topics that range from racial justice and immigration law to juvenile delinquency, intimate partner violence, cybercrime and counterterrorism. Students with an interest in forensics may also consider the forensics minor. As a graduate of this program, you’ll be prepared for a career in the justice system or graduate study in law and related fields.

Why study justice studies at UNH?

As a justice studies major at UNH, you’ll have exceptional opportunities to take your learning beyond the classroom. The program offers internships in New England and Washington, D.C., as well as a study abroad program in Budapest, Hungary, through which students learn about European justice systems. A major public research university, UNH also encourages students to engage in research projects with faculty through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Additionally, you’ll have the chance to hone your debating skills through the UNH Mock Trial Program.

Potential careers

  • Community organizer
  • Criminal investigator
  • District attorney
  • Drug court director
  • Federal agent/officer (CIA, DEA, FBI)
  • Human rights advocate
  • Lawyer
  • Police officer
  • Private investigator
  • Probation officer
  • Profiler
  • Security personnel
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    Sociology and Justice Studies Majors
    Maybe it was because of COVID restrictions. Or maybe she would have come to the same conclusion anyway: Aashaya Rajbhandari ‘23 cites learning to make the most of the time she has as the most valuable lesson she’ll take away from UNH. It’s a lesson that she’s good at. Here’s proof: Rajbhandari is graduating after only three years. She  chose to study both sociology and justice…
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    Homeland Security and Justice Studies Majors
    Adam Kania ’23 came to UNH for its homeland security program. It is unique, he says, because students must add a dual major or two minors. So, Kania opted for a homeland security and justice studies dual major with a minor in forensics. His majors fall into the New England Regional Student Program, which afforded him reduced tuition as an out-of-state student. “There are so many…
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    Political Science and Justice Studies Majors
    I’m currently a senior, class of 2023, at the University of New Hampshire who is double majoring in political science and justice studies. I am working on my applications for law school right now, having taken the LSAT already. For students taking the LSAT, I have some recommendations for studying.
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    Political Science and Justice Studies Majors
    Many COLA students are appreciative that they can explore a variety of subjects as liberal arts majors. Riley Espat took that one step further and pursued three minors in addition to her dual major in political science and justice studies. “The (justice studies) professors were so passionate about their work and their students’ educations,” says Espat. “I have amazing professors who influenced…
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    Sociology and Justice Studies Majors
    Not every student arrives at COLA with a plan. Taylor Donnelly wasn’t sure she wanted to attend college; she decided to try UNH for a year, believing it would help her step outside her comfort zone and grow emotionally and academically. That self-motivation has helped make her stand out. Donnelly took classes in human development and family studies as well as courses in political…
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Curriculum & Requirements

The justice studies dual major is an interdisciplinary area that blends topics from humanities departments (e.g., philosophy), social science departments (e.g., psychology, sociology, women's and gender studies), departments that include both humanities and social science faculty (history, political science), and professionally oriented departments (education, family studies, social work). Topics studied include courts, family violence, rights, substance abuse, juvenile justice, school law, children as witnesses, hate crimes and community policing. Students will be required to choose a first major before they will be able to declare justice studies as a second major. The goal is to produce graduates who have a higher level of knowledge about law and justice in American society and in the world so that they will mature into more knowledgeable and effective citizens. The justice studies dual major is intended for students who are looking for careers in the justice system or who seek graduate training in law or social sciences and humanities related to the law.

Students are strongly encouraged to contact the Justice Studies Office and to declare the dual major as soon as they develop an interest in majoring. Once a student has been accepted to the JS dual major, they will be assigned an advisor.  

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: Yes, if primary major is a Bachelor of Arts
Declared Primary Major

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Justice Studies Dual Major Requirements

The dual major in justice studies requires students to take a minimum of eight courses (32 credits), each completed with a grade of a C- or better. Students are required to have a grade-point average of a 2.5 or better before they can be accepted into the program. The dual major cannot be declared until after a first major has been declared. Students can count no more than two courses for both the first major and dual major, and students are not allowed to take more than two courses from any one department (except for JUST). An unlimited number of dual major courses can be used to satisfy Discovery requirements.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.5.

Required Courses
JUST 401Introduction to Justice Studies4
JUST 501Research Methods4
JUST 601Internship (seniors only )4
JUST 701Senior Seminar (writing-intensive course) 14
Select one of the following:4
POLT 507
Politics of Crime and Justice
POLT 508
Supreme Court and the Constitution
SOC 515
Introductory Criminology
Elective Courses
Select three elective courses from the justice studies approved course list12
Total Credits32

 This course fulfills the program capstone requirement.

Elective Courses

This list is approved and published yearly by the Justice Studies Executive Committee.

Elective Courses
ACC 747Business Law4
ANTH 550Introduction to Forensic Anthropology4
ANTH 697Special Topics (must be approved by Justice Studies)4
BIOL 420Introduction to Forensic Sciences4
CMN 637Controversy and Reasoning in Law4
EDUC #767Students, Teachers, and the Law4
HDFS 776Children, Adolescents and the Law4
HDFS 794Families and the Law4
HIST 440AMartin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Racial Justice4
HIST 440DHonors/Citizens and Persons4
HIST 498Explorations of Historical Perspectives (must be approved by Justice Studies)4
HIST 509Law in American Life4
HIST 609Special Topics in American Legal History (must be approved by Justice Studies)4
HIST 797Colloquium (must be approved by Justice Studies )4
HLS 410Introduction to Homeland Security4
HLS 415Fundamentals of Corporate Security4
HLS 580Environmental and Human Security4
HLS 760Strategic Planning and Decision Making4
HMGT #625Hospitality and Employment Law (only HMGT majors allowed)4
HUMA 444EWhat is a Criminal?4
HUMA 525Humanities and the Law4
HUMA 550Budapest Spring Semester: Special Studies in Comparative Ideas4
HUMA 551Budapest Spring Semester: Field Studies in Art and Culture6
JUST 405Technology, Crime, and Society: A Forensic Exploration of High-Tech and Digital Crime4
JUST 410Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention (SHARPP) Peer Advocacy4
JUST 520Girls Gone Bad: Delinquent Girls in Cultural Context4
JUST 550
JUST 551
Mock Trial
and Mock Trial (must take 2 semesters to count as a JS elective)
JUST 591Forensic Psychology4
JUST 595Special Topics (no more than two courses) 24
JUST 650
JUST 651
Special Studies in Comparative Justice Systems
and Field Studies in the Hungarian Justice System
JUST 795Reading and Research (variable credit/permission required)1-4
LLC 540Film History (Terrorism(s) A Humanistic and Cinematic Outlook)4
LAW 460Sports Law & Current Controversies4
PHIL 420Introduction to Philosophy of Law and Justice4
PHIL 436Social and Political Philosophy4
PHIL 660Law, Medicine, and Ethics4
PHIL 701Topics in Value Theory4
POLT 440AHonors/Global Justice (Global Justice)4
POLT 444BCruel and Unusual in a Federal System4
POLT 507Politics of Crime and Justice4
POLT 508Supreme Court and the Constitution4
POLT 513Civil Rights and Liberties4
POLT #520Politics, Justice, and Morality4
POLT 548Drug Wars4
POLT 568International Security4
POLT #765Security Intelligence Study4
PSYC 755Psychology and Law4
PSYC 756Psychology of Crime and Justice4
POLT 798BSeminar in American Politics4
PSYC 791WSpecial Topics (Psychology of Delinquency)4
RMP 772Law and Public Policy in Leisure Services (must have junior/senior status)4
SOC #440AHonors/Drug Addiction in American Society4
SOC 515Introductory Criminology4
SOC 450Contemporary Social Problems (only when taught by Professor Abbott)4
SOC 525Juvenile Crime and Delinquency4
SOC 535Homicide4
SOC 620Drugs and Society4
SOC #656Terrorism4
or POLT #570 Counterterrorism: Nation states' responses to terrorist activity
SOC 697Special Topics (Social Psychology of Justice)4
SOC #715Criminological Theory4
SOC #720Sociology of Drug Use4
SW 525Social Welfare Policy: History of Social and Economic Justice4
SW 705Child and Adolescent Risks and Resiliency: Program, Policy and Practice4

Bill of Rights and Law & Society are allowed to count as the JS SOC/POLT requirement.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Students who are interested in a dual major in justice studies will need to officially declare in Webcat (my.unh.edu). Program offices are located in Hamilton Smith Hall and are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Molly Dorsey at (603) 862-0703, e-mail marion.girard.dorsey@unh.edu; or Deb Briand at (603) 862-1716, e-mail deborah.briand@unh.edu

  • Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental theoretical approaches and key disciplinary concepts of Justice Studies. 
  • Demonstrate understanding of justice studies methods of research design, data gathering, and analysis. 
  • Exhibit critical thinking skills in evaluating justice studies research, including the background assumptions, appropriateness of methods used and the strength of explanatory evidence. 
  • Communicate justice studies knowledge in appropriate oral, written and graphic forms. 
  • Experience justice studies either in the real world through an internship or in a research lab through a research internship.

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