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Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Paralegal Option

Advance your knowledge of the criminal justice system and gain highly marketable research, critical thinking and communication skills with this flexible and affordable bachelor's degree.

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The Scales of Justice

Build In-Demand Capabilities and Propel Your Legal Career

With UMass Lowell's Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Paralegal Option program, you will build analytical skills, gain experience in legal research and writing, and develop critical insight into the legal processes and operations of the American legal system. Designed for individuals who are interested in pursuing a rewarding career in the legal profession, this program provides a strong foundational knowledge of the origins and development of criminal law and the corrections system, practices and procedures involved in the litigation process, legal ethics, the analysis of criminal justice/criminology data, and contemporary decisions and statutes.

Through the program's challenging and relevant curriculum, you'll have the opportunity to learn about a number of different legal areas such as real estate law, litigation, business law, personal injury, international law, estate planning, criminal law, intellectual property, environmental law, bankruptcy, and immigration or family law.


Best Bachelors US News and World Report Award Ranked as One of the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in the Nation by U.S. News & World Report
Best Online Bachelor's Program for Veterans in the Nation by U.S. News & World Report Ranked One of the Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans in the Nation by U.S. News & World Report

By earning a bachelor's degree in criminal justice with a paralegal option from UMass Lowell, you will deepen your professional knowledge of a diverse range of relevant topics including:

  • Legal issues that influence and intersect with modern business practices
  • Criminal statistics, crime mapping and theories of crime causation
  • The application of new technological advances in the criminal justice system
  • Constitutional law, contracts and intellectual property law
Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 10 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Formally trained paralegals with strong computer and database management skills should have the best job prospects.
—U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2021

Take On Emerging Issues Confronting the Criminal Justice System

This program is offered by UMass Lowell's School of Criminology & Justice Studies, which boasts highly ranked online and on-campus undergraduate and graduate programs focused on emerging issues confronting the criminal justice system. Graduates of the School of Criminology & Justice Studies not only understand the facts and concepts of criminal justice but more importantly, they also know how to apply this knowledge to related social problems and changing situations.

SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH UMASS LOWELL'S BS TO MA PROGRAM

UMass Lowell's BS to MA Criminal Justice program makes graduate education more affordable and attainable for students interested in pursuing advanced studies. Students enrolled in the B.S. in Criminal Justice: Paralegal Option program have the opportunity to complete both their bachelor's and master's degrees at an accelerated pace. As part of the program, two graduate classes can be counted towards both the 120 credits required for the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and the 33 credits required for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice. For more information, contact your Criminal Justice advisor.

One Success Leads to Another

Apply credits from lower credentials to higher ones. Our programs are designed to build upon themselves:

Curriculum Outline

- 40 Courses / 120 Credits Minimum

Note: A 2.2 cumulative average overall and a 2.5 average in the major are necessary for graduation.

University Core Curriculum Requirements (12 Courses / 36-38cr)

UMass Lowell's Breadth of Knowledge required courses are designed to provide students with a foundation that prepares them for continued work within their major and minor fields, as well as endowing them with intellectual habits that will enable them to become lifelong learners. For a list of approved Breadth of Knowledge courses, visit UMass Lowell's core curriculum website.

Required Criminal Justice Core (6 Courses / 18cr)

Paralegal Option Required Courses (6 Courses / 18cr)

Research Skills Required Courses (4 Courses / 12cr)

Criminal Justice / Social Science / Legal Studies Electives or Minor Area of Study - (6 Courses / 18cr)

The Paralegal Option allows students without a minor to take up to four Legal Studies electives (two lower-level and two upper-level), in addition to either Criminal Justice or Social Science electives.

Free Electives - (6 Courses / 18cr)

Students must select seven free elective courses for their remaining credits to achieve the total 120 credits required by the University for a bachelor's degree.

Program Requirements

Students majoring in Criminal Justice must maintain at least a 2.200 grade point average (GPA) overall and at least a 2.500 GPA in their Criminal Justice courses. Students must present a minimum of 120 semester hours, fulfill the University's residency requirements, conform to the general regulations and requirements of the University, satisfy the regulations and academic standards of the colleges which exercise jurisdiction over the degrees for which they are matriculating, satisfy the curriculum requirements established by the departments or programs in their major, and complete the University's Core Curriculum requirements, which are listed within the program's curriculum outline. For additional information regarding the University's general policies and procedures, transfer credit information and residency requirements; please refer to our Academic Policies & Procedures.

Course Descriptions

This course presents a brief history of the Criminal Justice System and an analysis of its structure and function. This course required of all CJ majors and is a prerequisite for all other courses in criminal justice. Meets Core Curriculum Essential Learning Outcome for Diversity and Cultural Awareness (DCA). 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
This course will encompass the study and relationship between those entities and institutions necessary for the protection of the United States. Course instructional material will examine the components of Federal, State and Local Police Agencies, as well as the role of Private Security and Emergency Responders needed to facilitate the implementation of the Homeland Security Act. Particular attention will be focused on Policy, Plans and Procedures at governmental and community levels. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
This course provides an examination of the historical development of police work with special emphasis on the conflicting role expectations facing police officer. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
This course provides an overview of the American correction system including the history of corrections, probation, incarceration, community corrections, the prison experience and release. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
This course is designed to introduce students to the latest innovations in the applications of new technological advances in the criminal justice system. Topic areas include an examination of the new technology of crime commission, and the corresponding new technology of crime control strategies. Our focus will be on the application of both "hard" technology (e.g. equipment, hardware, devices, etc.) and "soft" technology (e.g. computer software programs, information systems, classification devices, and other problem-solving applications) in each of the following areas: crime prevention, police, courts, institutional corrections, community corrections and the private sector. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the various ways in which a corporation and local municipality can plan for a disaster before it occurs. Topics covered include risk identification and assessment of multi-hazards whether natural and man-made, violence in the workplace, development of crisis and disaster incident management programs, and business/agency continuation planning. 3 credits.
The definition and nature of crime, criminal statistics, and theories of crime causation are included. Required of all CJ majors. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
The historical origins and development of criminal law from the early common law to contemporary decisions and statutes. Constitutional and statutory factors as they pertain to criminal responsibility, capacity, crimes against persons and property, defenses to criminal charges and sentences. Sections of the Massachusetts Criminal Code and other statutes will be covered where applicable. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
This laboratory course will cover basic procedures in arrest, search and seizure, and the gathering and evaluation of evidence as to admissibility, weight, and competence. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
This course is a continuation of Criminalistics I. It is intended to familiarize the student with various types of physical evidence that can be found at the more violent crime scenes. Methods of identification, preservation, collection and analysis of physical evidence relating to specific criminal activities shall be stressed. Topics shall include Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, DNA Typing, Crime Scene Reconstruction, Point of Origin Determination and evidence associated with Death Investigations, Sexual Assaults, Bombings, Arsons, Motor Vehicle Homicides, Robberies and Burglaries. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
This course acquaints the Criminal Justice student with the concept of terrorism at both the international and domestic levels. Topics include the history of terrorism, terrorism today and terrorism in the future. Counter measures taken to respond to terrorist threats are also examined. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
An examination of causative factors in the development of youthful offenders and the development and philosophy behind treatment and rehabilitative practices. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Addresses the basic interdisciplinary principles of security management including planning, budgeting, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. This course will also cover marketing security services to management, risk management, civil and criminal liability, and labor relations. Each aspect of the course is designed to prepare security managers to face the new challenges as broader and more cost-effective protection is required with fewer resources. The course will also bring about greater awareness and understanding of the various options available in security and loss control. It will identify a number of risk areas and outline various deterrent and preventative methods. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
This course examines prejudice as a motivation for criminal behavior. The criminological theory for hate crime is reviewed, as well as historical perspectives of this crime category. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
This course provides students with an in-depth analysis of the courses, context, and control of a wide range of violent crimes. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

CRIM 1010 or CRIM 2210 Pre-req

This course provides an introduction to international perspectives on crime and crime control policy in Western countries. International developments and cross-national research on crime and victimization, criminal justice, and crime prevention policy, and current issues will be examined. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

44.101 pre-req

This course provides an overview of the development and character of the many types of offenders who become criminal psychopaths. The course explores the various methods used in classifying and predicting criminal behavior derived form the field of Criminology, Psychology and Forensic Science. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

CRIM majors only

This course is concerned with contemporary efforts to change police agencies, particularly in the United States. Contemporary reform revolves mainly around what we now know as "community policing" and this course will dwell at some length on these initiatives. Other innovations, some of which may complement community policing, and all of which are narrower in scope, are also considered. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

44.141 pre-req

This course will examine the scientific and technological details of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons; the proliferation of these weapons and international CBRN prevention efforts (like the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Biological Weapons Convention); and the threat of terrorist groups seeking to acquire and use CBRN weapons, and explore ways to improve our response to this complex threat. 3 credits.
A comprehensive review of community-based sanctions and community-based, early-release mechanisms. In addition to traditional probation and parole reviews, "new" intermediate sanctions such as electronic monitoring, intensive supervision, boot camps, day fines, day reporting centers, and community service sentences. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

44.151 pre-req, CJ majors only

This course examines gender and racial implications of criminal laws, criminal justice practices and programs will be examined. The position of women and racial/ethnic minorities will be assessed from the different perspectives of victims, offenders, and criminal justice practitioners. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
This course provides an introduction to the principles of administration, including planning, budgeting, grantsmanship, and evaluation as they relate to the criminal justice manager. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

CRIM.1010.

Specific analysis of the management of contemporary police forces, including staffing, scheduling, training, collective bargaining, community relations, and other related issues. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

CRIM 1010, CRIM 1410 pre-req

An advanced course of study and examination of a variety of current issues and topics in criminal justice. Students without a sufficient background in criminal justice courses should not attempt this course. Subject matter to be announced in advance. Visit the current semester schedule on the Continuing Studies website for more details. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

44.221 and CJ majors pre-req

This course will explore the psychological dimensions of criminal thinking and behavior. The course will cover the psychological origins and types of crime, the multidimensional influences on criminal behavior, developmental criminal pathways, diagnoses, assessment and treatment approaches and a description of the continuum of psychopathic behavior. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

CRIM 1010 or CRIM 2210 Pre-req

An introduction to research methods for the criminal justice professional including terminology, standard methodologies, and elementary statistics. Meets Core Curriculum Essential Learning Outcome for Information Literacy (IL). 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
This course is an extension of concepts learned in 44.390 (Introduction to Criminal Justice Research Methods). Statistics will be utilized as a mathematical language for interpreting the interrelation of social forces impacting criminality and deviance. The course will focus on how various statistics are calculated, but more importantly, the meaning of these figures for criminal justice scholars and practitioners will be discussed. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

CJ Junior/Seniors Only

This course examines the use of new technologies to analyze crime patterns and develop crime prevention strategies. Students study theories that explain the geographic distribution of crime and learn how to use Geographic Information Systems to study crime in ways that draw upon theory as well as how to apply GIS techniques in the law enforcement and corrections fields. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

CRIM 3900 or PSYC 2690 pre-req

The student is introduced to computer software packages (i.e. SPSS) used to analyze large quantitative data sets common in criminal justice/criminology. This course is seen as the capstone to the research methods/technology component of the major, and is intended for upper level students, especially those preparing for graduate study. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

CRIM.3950 Pre-req

Covers the problems posed by substance use/abuse and examines the role and impact of the legal, criminal justice, and public health systems, as well as current treatment/intervention approaches. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

CRIM 1010 or CRIM 2210 Pre-req

This course examines the patterns of victimization, the characteristics and lifestyles of crime victims, and the impact of their victimizations. The treatment of victims by the criminal justice system will be examined along with possible reforms in these approaches. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

CRIM 1010 or CRIM 2210 Pre-req

This course examines the causes and consequences of domestic violence and the latest research regarding the responses of the criminal justice system. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

Junior or Senior Standing Only

This course introduces students to empirical findings and theoretical perspectives concerned with the maltreatment of Children and youth. One of the major course goals is to balance the view of children and youth in the criminal justice system by focusing of their victimization instead of exclusively on their offending behavior. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
This course is designed to provide criminal justice majors with a capstone experience emphasizing integration of knowledge acquired in previous courses on the causes of criminal behavior and responses to it, particularly the institutions, policies and practices of the criminal justice system. Students engage in the development and production of a senior level research paper grounded in relevant criminology and criminal justice literature. 3 credits. Pre-req: CRIM.1010 Criminal Justice System, CRIM.2210 Criminology l, CRIM.3900 CJ Research Methods and Senior-level standing.
Prerequisites:

CRIM.1010 Criminal Justice System, CRIM.2210 Criminology l, CRIM.3900 CJ Research Methods and Senior-level standing.

Specific practice in the definition, design, and execution of a research project, and an analysis of the impact of contemporary criminal justice research on policy development. 3 credits. For permission numbers and questions regarding the Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, please email Christopher_Harris@uml.edu
Prerequisites:

Junior or Senior Status

A workshop course that thoroughly explores the writing process from pre-writing to revision, with an emphasis on critical thinking, sound essay structure, mechanics, and academic integrity. Students will read, conduct rhetorical analyses, and practice the skills required for participation in academic discourse. Students will write expository essays throughout the semester, producing a minimum of four formal essays. 3 credits.
A workshop course that thoroughly explores the academic research writing process with an emphasis on entering into academic conversation. Building on the skills acquired in College Writing I, students will learn to write extensively with source material. Key skills addressed include finding,assessing, and integrating primary and secondary sources, and using proper documentation to ensure academic integrity. Students will produce analytical writing throughout the semester, including a minimum of four formal, researched essays. 3 credits.
This course familiarizes students with the role of paralegals in both the public and private sector. Other topics include principles of jurisprudence and basic legal concepts and terminology. 3 credits.
This course serves as an introductory legal course. It is a survey of many specific topics, such as constitutional law, contracts, intellectual property law, and current legal topics of interest. More importantly, the course emphasizes critical legal thinking, legal ethics, and human values. 3 credits. BS
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of business law. The main emphasis is on key aspects of contract law, including the agreement, consideration, writings, third-party rights, illegality, performance, breach, defenses, and remedies The course also covers agency law, employment law, sections of the Uniform Commercial Code, and a variety of other legal issues and topics that influence and intersect with modern business practices. This course is highly recommended for pre-law students, CPA students, and paralegal students. 3 credits. BS, Collateral CJ
This course trains students to produce effective legal work product as drafters of client letters, memoranda of law, pleadings, briefs, and other legal documents. 3 credits.
This course examines the impact of ethical viewpoints on the structure of legal doctrines. It stresses the fact that the study of law is a study of ethics as well as logic. 3 credits.
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of legal research and writing. Students will gain hands-on experience in legal research and in the reporting of such research in written assignments, case briefs, and memoranda. 3 credits.
This course examines the practices and procedures involved in the litigation process. Topics may include: legal research, courts and jurisdictions, evidence and discovery, pleadings, motions, depositions, trials and appeals, and federal rules of procedure. 3 credits.
An introduction to descriptive statistics, graphing and data analysis, probability laws, discrete and continuous probability distributions, correlation and regression, inferential statistics. No credit in Sciences (except Biology and EEAS) or Engineering. Meets Core Curriculum Essential Learning Outcome for Quantitative Literacy (QL). 3 credits. MATH.1115 or equivalent; MA; Previously 92.183

Tuition & Fees

At UMass Lowell, we believe that students should have as much information as possible up front so they can make informed decisions before enrolling in a degree program or signing up for a course.

Tuition for all undergraduate courses offered through the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition for all online graduate courses is also the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition is priced per credit. To calculate the tuition for a course, simply multiply the per-credit tuition by the total number of credits per course. Exception: If the total number of course contact hours is greater than the total number of credits, the per-credit tuition is instead multiplied by the total number of contact hours.

Spring 2022 Tuition

Per Credit / Contact Hour
Undergraduate Face-to-Face Courses $340.00
Undergraduate Online Courses
(Except Undergraduate Online Business* Courses)
$380.00
Undergraduate Online Business* Courses $385.00

*Applies to courses with the following prefixes: ACCT, BUSI, ENTR, FINA, MGMT, MKTG, MIST, POMS offered through the Manning School of Business

**Applies to courses with the following prefixes: CHEN, CIVE, EECE, ENGN, MECH, PLAS offered through the Francis College of Engineering. Applies also to MSIT courses in the Master's in Information Technology, Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity and the Graduate Certificate in Systems Models and Management.

The cost to audit a course will be charged the rates listed above.

Additional Fees

Registration Fee per Term $30.00
Late Fee for Nonpayment $50.00
Fee for Undergraduate Degree Application $60.00

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Registration

Current students can register using SiS Self-Service. New students who have not already applied and been accepted to a program must use the Non-Degree Registration Form.

You can take courses without being officially enrolled in a certificate or degree program, but you must meet course prerequisites. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Class size is limited. We recommend that you register early to reserve your place in class.

For more information, please visit our Registration Page.

New Students

If you have not already applied and been accepted to a program.

Current Students

If you have applied, been accepted to and are currently enrolled in a program.

Questions?

Email our Advising Center for assistance, or call 800-480-3190 to speak with an advisor.


Please Note: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented within this website, the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies reserves the right to implement new rules and regulations and to make changes of any nature in its program, calendar, locations, tuition and fees. Whenever possible, appropriate notice of such changes will be given before they become effective. In registering for courses, each student assumes full responsibility for knowledge of and compliance with the definitions, regulations, and procedures for the University as set forth in our Academic Policies & Procedures and on the main UMass Lowell website.

Career Outlook

To help you make an informed decision about continuing your education, we access real-time labor market data to provide up-to-the-minute employment information including:

  • Job postings for the occupations this program will prepare you to pursue
  • Demand for specific positions within the industry
  • Salary information (nationwide and by region)
  • Expected career growth rate over the next 10 years vs. total labor market growth rate

With this information, you'll have a clear understanding of the return on investment you can expect from this program and which skills can help you to further increase your earning power.

Information provided by Burning Glass Technologies

Applying into an Undergraduate Degree Program

Complete the Online Undergraduate Degree Application Form (preferred), or print, complete and submit the Undergraduate Degree Application .pdf form. Please note: Your application will be processed once we have received your $60 application fee. Return your completed application along with your application fee to:

University of Massachusetts Lowell
Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies
GPS Admissions
839 Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01854

Questions? See our helpful Step-by-Step Guide to the Application Process.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for acceptance into a bachelor's degree program offered through the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies, students must hold a high school diploma or have passed either the GED® or HiSET®. Graduate, Online & Professional Studies operates on a rolling admissions basis and each application is reviewed when the student's file is complete. Students must be admitted to a degree or certificate program in order to be eligible for most financial aid.

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Questions Regarding Your Undergraduate Application?

Email OCE_Admissions@uml.edu or call 978-934-2474.

For General Assistance:

Call the Advising Center at 978-934-2474 or 800-480-3190. Our academic advisors are here to help!

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