Oct 02, 2023  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Criminal Justice Studies Program

Sandy McKeown, Program Coordinator
Dakota Hall, Room 117
(605) 658-6755



Associate Professor:

Sandy McKeown, Juvenile Justice; Ethics in Criminal Justice; Writing and Research in Criminal Justice; Mock Trial; Criminal Prosecution and Defense

Assistant Professor:

Jenna Borseth, Corrections, Community-based Corrections  
April Carrillo, Queer Criminology, Trans issues in Criminal Justice, Qualitative Methods
Thomas Mrozla, Police Accountability; Rural Policing

Senior Lecturer:

Josh Houy, American Politics; Constitutional Law; Criminal Justice Policy

Professor Emeritus:

Michael P. Roche, Criminal Law; Criminal Procedure; Law and Society; Justice and Compassion


Criminal Justice Studies, B.A., B.S.


Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice Studies program is an interdisciplinary study of crime and justice in our society. Criminal Justice Studies emphasizes the key components of police, courts, corrections, and juvenile justice in the criminal justice processes of our local, state, and federal governments. Beyond the basic required courses, students can pursue advanced courses in many areas, including the historical, international, social science, and legal facets of criminal justice studies.

As a unit within the College of Arts and Sciences, the Criminal Justice Studies program at the University of South Dakota has a primary objective to provide instruction that will foster liberal arts and sciences education. Within this context, the program realizes four major objectives:

  1. To provide qualified personnel for all segments of the criminal justice system, as well as many related agencies of government;

  2. To improve the competencies and professional status of current criminal justice personnel, as well as provide research and educational assistance to criminal justice agencies;

  3. To build a foundation for responsible citizenship by creating a better public understanding of the criminal justice system wherein the great questions of the relationship of the individual to the state are most intensely presented; and,

  4. To provide a sound basic education in criminal justice for graduates who choose to pursue masters, doctoral, or law degrees after graduation. 


The Farber Fund provides over $140,000 available annually for Criminal Justice majors to attend conferences, participate in faculty-led programs and departmental trips, complete internships, travel abroad, and carry out research.

Please contact the department for additional information about available scholarships and awards. Also see College of Arts & Sciences  for college/school level scholarships.

Our department prides itself on the number and quality of awards given out each year to qualified students:

  • Alan L. & Mary L. Clem Scholarship
  • Blair Tremere Political Science
  • Brian & Kelly Wirt Scholarship/Fellowship
  • Clarence E. & Sophia F. Fowler Scholarship
  • Clarence Eide Endowment-Sue Eide Kimball Criminal Justice Scholarship
  • Clyde Saukerson Honors Program Scholarship
  • Daniel M.&L’Nora L. Bylander Political Science Scholarship
  • Dee Jones Noordermeer Memorial Scholarship
  • Diane Jones Meier Award
  • Donald D. Fowler Scholarship-Political Science
  • Dorothy C. Schieffer Scholarship
  • Dr. Samuel C. & Suzanne L. Patterson Political Science Scholarship
  • Francis J. Dillon Political Science
  • Frank L. “Jeff” Scott Memorial Scholarship
  • Fraternal Order of Police Scholarship
  • Gene Kimmel Award
  • Gene Mahan Memorial Scholarship in Good Government
  • George & Bette Glover Scholarship
  • Hall Scholarship
  • Heartland Political Science Scholarship Fund
  • Jody M. Endres Scholarship 
  • Joel & Kari Portice Family Political Science Scholarship
  • Joel Rosenthal Award
  • John H. Wicks Political Science Scholarship
  • Larry Pressler Scholarship
  • Loren M. Carlson Memorial Scholarship
  • MacDonald Political Science Scholarship
  • Mary B. Edelen Student Internship Award
  • Mary Pat Bierle Scholarship
  • Oneta H. Card Memorial Scholarship
  • Philip T. Roche Service to Others Award
  • Robert D. Falk Award
  • South Dakota Sheriff’s Association Scholarship
  • Stephen R. & Mary Lynn Myers Scholarship
  • Thomas J. Whorley Political Science Scholarship
  • William J. Janklow Public Service Scholarship
  • William O. Farber Scholarship

Student Learning Outcomes for Criminal Justice Studies (B.A., B.S.)

  1. Criminal Behavior: Students will understand the origins of criminal behavior, its consequences for society, and society’s responses to crime. 
  2. Core Criminal Justice Institutions: Students will understand the history, role and functions of the core criminal justice institutions: law enforcement, corrections, and courts. 
  3. Inequality in Criminal Justice: Students will understand and analyze inequalities within the criminal justice system, including disparities in race, gender, class, ability and sexuality. 
  4. Causes of Injustice: Students will analyze how social and economic disadvantage, privilege and discrimination contribute to inequalities and injustices in the criminal justice system. 
  5. Area of Specialization: Students will gain basic factual information and understanding within an area of specialization: criminology, corrections, constitution and criminal law, law enforcement, or victimology. 
  6. Collection and Analysis of Evidence: Students will systematically explore issues, objects or works through the collection and analysis of evidence. 
  7. Locate, Assess and Synthesize Scholarship: Students will demonstrate the ability to locate, assess and synthesize scholarly writing on criminology, corrections, constitutional and criminal law, law enforcement, and victimology. 
  8. Information: Students will learn to identify, locate, evaluate and use effectively and responsibly information to understand problems of criminal justice. 
  9. Work in Teams: Students will interact with other students and evaluate the effort put into team tasks, interactions with others, and the quantity and quality made to team discussions. 
  10. Values, Ethics and Morals: Students will demonstrate the ability to evaluate their own value systems, ethics, and morals within the context of criminal justice thought generally and specifically in their career choices. 
  11. Information Literacy: Students will recognize when there is a need for information and identify, evaluate and effectively and responsibly use and convey that information to address the need or problem at hand. 
  12. Teamwork: Students will interact with other students and evaluate the effort put into team tasks, interactions with others, and the quantity and quality made to team discussions. 
  13. Problem-Solving: Students will design, evaluate, and implement a strategy to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal. 
  14. Ethical Reasoning: Students will be able to assess their own ethical values and the social context of problems, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, think about how different ethical perspectives might be applied to the ethical dilemmas and consider the ramifications of alternative actions. 
  15. Inquiry and Analysis: Students will be able to systematically explore issues, objects or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgments, and break down complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them.