The Program on Domestic Violence is a formal concentration within the School of Public Affairs Masters of Criminal Justice (MCJ) Program. The following describes how the concentration is implemented within the SPA structure. The MCJ Program is not available online.
The program is designed to be a minimum of 36 credit hours. The course requirements will be as follows:
a. Core Required MCJ Courses:
(12 semester credit hours) of the following core MCJ course requirements:
CJ 5000 Law and Social Control
Provides an overview of the theory and application of criminal law in the context of social control. The course reviews various theoretical perspectives on law and society, focusing on the relationship between law and the structure and function of other social institutions. The course also examines aspects of the criminal law in action, assessing how legal definitions and sanctions are differentially interpreted and applied. Cross-listed with CJ 7000.
CJ 5100 Administration of Criminal Justice
Analyzes the policies and practices of agencies involved in the criminal justice process, from the detection of crime and arrest of suspects through prosecution, adjudication, sentencing and imprisonment, to release. The patterns of decisions and practices are reviewed in the context of a systems approach. Cross-listed with CJ 7100.
CJ 5120 Nature and Causes of Crime
Analyzes the social origins of criminal behavior and the impact of crime on society. Various categories of deviant, delinquent and criminal behaviors are examined and attempts to control such behavior are assessed. Connections between social institutions, social problems and illegal activities and the response of the public to the threat of crime are examined. Cross-listed with CJ 7120.
CJ 5321 Research and Causes of Crime
Provides an assessment of research strategies in criminal justice through an examination of applied research designs and analytical models. The logic and rationale of these various strategies are contrasted and their relative merits are critiqued. Selected research problems in the criminal justice system are utilized to illustrate the application and interpretation of alternative strategies. Cross-listed with CJ 7321.
*For more information please see the
SPA courses page and
UCD Catalog .
b. Required Concentration Courses:
Students are required to complete 4 courses specific to the Program on Domestic Violence concentration (12 semester credit hours). All of these courses will be in the intensive/cohort format. The courses include:
PAD 5910: Women and Violence: a Sociological Perspective
This course is on violence against women, but includes violence against girls, and will also make comparisons regarding violence against men and boys. The ideological approach in the course is feminist. That is, the course lectures and reading materials will attempt to address the issue of violence against women (and girls) in terms of how gender inequality is related to the violence against women (and girls). The feminist approach the professor takes is to incorporate the intersection of sexism and other forms of oppression, such as racism, classism and heterosexism. The topics covered will focus on sexual assault (including incest) and battering, but will also include sexual coercion, sexual harassment and stalking.
PAD 5920: Psychology of Violence Against Women
This class addresses the contributions and the limitations of current empirical and clinical psychological literatures about domestic violence. Domestic violence workers will become more able to distinguish among mental health professionals in regard to their readiness to work effectively with DV clients. Mental health professionals will obtain an understanding of the needs of domestic violence agencies and their clients. This class focuses primarily on the effects of domestic violence on women and children and on their psychological needs. The class is not appropriate for students whose primary interests concern perpetrator treatment. The class begins with a brief introduction to the necessary concepts of developmental psychopathology and empirical research. Initially, contemporary research about DV perpetrators is addressed to identify implications for assisting victims. Regarding the central focus on women and child victims, topics include theories about the effects of violence, psychological assessment, crisis and open-ended interventions.
PAD 5930: Battered Women and the Legal System
Battered women intersect with the legal system in many different arenas. The class is geared toward those who will provide legal advocacy for battered women. This course will analyze a variety of issues surrounding battered women and their experiences in the legal system, including legislative trends and the responses of the criminal and civil court system to domestic violence (law enforcement agents, prosecutors and judges). The course will also explore battered women as defendants and women convicted of killing their abusers. This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of (a) the major developments in statutory and case law; (b) the role and responses of law enforcement agents; (c) the function of the courtroom work group; (d) the role and process of victim advocacy.
PAD 5940: Domestic Violence Advocacy and Social Change
This course shall provide students with an understanding of different models of social change and the various strategies of public address, including social movements and campaigns that accomplish social change. We will specifically explore the rhetorical strategies, tactics, strengths and weaknesses of contemporary movements such as the civil rights movement, the black power movement, the women's movement, the gay and lesbian liberation movements, public health campaigns and the battered women's movement. We will then ask how might the battered women's movement develop successful public discourses that advocates their cause, transform public policy, and build or reform public institutions such as the justice system? Skills provided: understanding of successful modes of public address and tactics of activism that produce changes in public policy and reform institutional practices.
Twelve (12) Hours of Elective Courses: With the assistance and approval of their faculty advisor, students choose twelve (12) hours of criminal justice electives. The course should support the students academic and/or career goals.
c. Cohort Sessions
To strengthen the educational experience for program participants, build leadership skill, enhance knowledge and integrate domestic violence and management learning, all students are required to participate in cohort sessions equivalent to 10-15 hours of training per semester throughout their two year program of study. In the cohort sessions students build upon their course work by developing analytic skills, recognizing and adapting to power imbalances in public policy debates, identifying and transforming social and cultural practices that legitimate and recreate issues of power and privilege that makes domestic violence possible, and producing programs for clients.
d. Other Requirements
(One of the following):
a.Comprehensive Exam - The comprehensive exam covers the entire field of criminal justice, including the system components of police, courts, and corrections. The exam questions will be derived in general from the literature included in the MCJ core classes, plus literature in two criminal justice elective courses taken in the program. Thus, a total of six mandatory, essay-based questionsfour covering each of the core courses and two covering elective coursescomprise the exam.
b.Advanced Seminar/ Capstone - In the Capstone course students conduct an independent client-based project or research project. They work with a client in a public or nonprofit agency to identify a problem and then, using the knowledge and skills they have gained in the program, develop a paper to address the problem. Projects take many different forms including business plans, marketing plans, surveys and interviews, salary studies, etc. Currently this option is only available to students on the Colorado Springs campus.
c. Thesis - The MCJ program offers a thesis option for students meeting certain eligibility criteria. Students must receive the approval of both their faculty advisor and the MCJ Director to pursue a thesis in lieu of the comprehensive exam or Capstone. Thesis hours vary from 1-6 credit hours.
e. Internship Requirements
Those students who do not have sufficient work experience (at least one year in a criminal justice position and one year of domestic violence related work) will be required to complete an internship. Internships consist of a semester long work experience (no less than 300 hours) at a work site. The work site should be a place where the student gets an inside view of domestic violence/criminal justice development. This may include: a police department, district attorneys office, non-profit providing legal services to victims, etc.