Department of Social Work and Criminal Justice


  • Jill Fuller Ph.D., M.S.S.W., Chair
  • April Carrasco, M.S.S.W.
  • Dana Cooley, J.D.
  • Jeana Culbert, Ph.D., M.S.S.W.
  • Jennifer Dabbs, Ph.D.
  • Tony Parnell, M.S.S.W.
  • Jim Shewan, J.D.

Criminal Justice

The purpose of a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice is to prepare students to deal with the challenges of law enforcement in a changing society. The criminal justice program will instill a comprehensive knowledge of the criminal justice system while educating students to be critical thinkers who can communicate their thoughts effectively in oral and written form. The curriculum will familiarize students with facts and concepts, but will also teach students to use ethical behavior in applying this knowledge to related problems and changing situations. Graduates from this program will be members of professional organizations dedicated to selfless public service and will be vital in maintaining peace and curtailing lawlessness in our society. Criminal justice graduates find gainful employment in law enforcement, security, the courts, and correctional facilities. Graduates with a degree in criminal justice may find employment in juvenile and adult probation, municipal and county law enforcement, private security, hospital security, investigations, and warrant offices. Minimum employment requirements in law enforcement generally include the following:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have no convictions for Class A misdemeanor or felony offense
  • Have no convictions for Class B misdemeanor offense in the past 10 years
  • Possess good mental and physical health
  • Meet varying eyesight standards
  • Have good moral character
  • Possess a valid Texas driver’s license with minimum violations

The criminal justice degree is designed to meet the standards established by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). ACJS encourages baccalaureate programs to reflect a balanced presentation of a broad scope of criminal justice studies. The criminal justice degree focuses specifically on the five core areas identified by ACJS:

  • Criminal justice and juvenile justice processes–law, crime, and administration of justice
  • Criminology–causes of crime, typologies, offenders, and victims
  • Law enforcement–police organization, discretion, subculture, and legal constraints
  • Law adjudication–criminal law, prosecution, defense, and court procedures and decision-making
  • Corrections—incarceration, community-based corrections, and treatment of offenders

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

A.  University Core (45 hours)

  • BIB1310  Introduction to the Old Testament
  • BIB1320  Introduction to the New Testament
  • BIB3305  Christian Heritage
  • BIB3310  Christian Life
  • COM2340  Communication for the Professional
  • ENG1301  Composition Studies
  • ENG1302  Composition and Literature
  • PSY1300  General Psychology
  • HIS2301  History of the United States I
  • HIS2302  History of the United States II
  • ESS1200  Personal Fitness and Wellness
  • MAT1311  College Algebra
  • 3 hours from BIO, CHE, NRC, or PHY
  • ENG3308  Technical Writing
  • UNI1170  University Seminar
  • 3 hours from
    • GOV     2301  National Government
    • GOV     2302  Texas State and Local Government
  • UNI2000  University Skills

B.  Major (36 hours)

  • CRJ     2301  Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CRJ     2302  Fundamentals of Texas Criminal Law
  • CRJ     2303  Criminal Investigation
  • CRJ     2304  Legal Aspects of Law Enforcement
  • CRJ     2305  Courts and Criminal Procedure
  • CRJ     3301  Criminology
  • CRJ     3302  Juvenile Delinquency
  • CRJ     3312  Violent Offenders
  • CRJ     3322  Social Deviance
  • CRJ     3324  Corrections, Probation and Parole
  • CRJ     4326  Terrorism and Homeland Security
  • CRJ     4333  Professionalism and Ethics in Criminal Justice

C.  Supporting Courses (21 hours)

  • SOC      1300 General Sociology
  • 18 hours from
    • CRJ3311  White Collar Crime
    • CRJ3321  Understanding Sexual Offending
    • CRJ4324  Crime Analysis and Crime Mapping
    • CRJ4325  Forensic Computer Examination
    • CRJ4327  Cyber Crimes
    • CRJ4328  Death Penalty
    • CRJ4329  Gangs
    • GOV4305  Constitutional Law
    • PSY3326  Crisis Intervention
    • PSY4321  Forensic Psychology
    • PSY4322  Drugs, Alcohol, and Society
    • SWK3310  Statistics
    • SWK3314  Family and Community Violence
    • SWK3320  Social Research Methods

D.  Electives (18 hours)

E.  Total (120 hours)

Social Work

The Council on Social Work Education accredits the baccalaureate social work program at the university. Therefore, social work graduates are eligible to sit for the social work licensing exam to become Licensed Bachelor Social Workers. Graduates find employment in home health care agencies, schools, children’s homes, hospitals, nursing homes, MHMR, Children’s Protective Services, residential treatment facilities, criminal justice settings, agencies working with people with disabilities, and various other agencies. Graduates who wish to further their education are experiencing a high rate of success being admitted to Masters of Social Work programs throughout the United States. Most of those admitted are granted advanced standing that shortens the length of the master’s program to around 40-50 hours.


  • To prepare students for beginning generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations of diverse social and cultural backgrounds.
  • To prepare students for effective service, based on the values of the social work profession and the mission of the university.
  • To prepare students for graduate social work education.


Graduates of the university social work program will be able to do the following.

  • Apply critical thinking skills within the context of professional social work practice.
  • Understand the value base of the profession and its ethical standards and principles and practice accordingly.
  • Practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge, and skills related to client age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.
  • Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and apply strategies of advocacy and social change that advance social and economic justice.
  • Understand and interpret the history of the social work profession and its contemporary structures and issues.
  • Apply the knowledge and skills of generalist social work practice with systems of all sizes.
  • Use theoretical frameworks supported by empirical evidence to understand individual development and behavior across the life span and the interactions among individuals and between individuals and families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Analyze, formulate, and influence social policies.
  • Evaluate research studies, apply research findings to practice, and evaluate their own practice interventions.
  • Use communication skills differentially across client populations, colleagues, and communities.
  • Use supervision and consultation appropriate to social work practice.
  • Function within the structure of organizations and service delivery systems and seek necessary organizational change.

Admission to the Program

Students interested in the Social Work major must see the Social Work faculty for academic and career advising. Any student may enroll in the pre-professional course, SWK 2300, however, only students admitted to the Social Work program are permitted to enroll in SWK 3301, 3302, 3303, 4610 or 4620. Once SWK 2300 is complete, Social Work majors must apply to be admitted to the program. In order to be admitted, students must have the following.

  • An overall GPA of 2.25
  • Completed ENG 1301 and ENG 1302 earning a grade of C or better in each course
  • Successfully completed SWK 2300
  • Completed a written application for admission
  • Provided a reference from a non-social work faculty member
  • Provided a personal reference

When the above requirements are met, the Social Work faculty consider the application and grant or deny admission to the Social Work Program. Students will be informed of the decision in writing. When applicants are denied admission, justification will be provided. Applicants refused admission may appeal, in writing. Students appealing a faculty decision must appear before the faculty for further consideration. At that time, applicants present additional information to support their application. Students may reapply for admission to the program.

Once admitted to the Social Work Program, students are evaluated once more before admission to SWK 4610 and SWK 4620. In the semester before admission to SWK 4610 and SWK 4620, students must demonstrate that the following are accomplished.

  • Completion of the Field Placement application
  • Overall GPA of 2.25
  • 2.5 GPA in all social work major courses
  • 2.5 average in SWK 3301, 3302, 3303
  • Evaluated favorably by the Social Work faculty in professional ethics and values, in agreement with the NASW Code of Ethics
  • Successful completion of UNI2000
  • Oral interview with the Director of Field Education

The 2.5 average in the social work practice courses, SWK 3301, 3302, and 3303, will serve as a measure for determining a student potential to engage in effective social work practice. The practice courses provide opportunities for students to demonstrate practice skills, and therefore, if students have at least an average of 2.5, it is assumed they have demonstrated the potential to engage in effective social work practice. Within these practice courses, and other social work major courses, social work faculty evaluate student ability to recognize and demonstrate social work ethics and behavior. Ethics assignments required throughout the social work curriculum are used as the primary measure for evaluating student knowledge and demonstration of social work values and ethics. In addition to the outlined criteria, students are required to meet with the Director of Field Education to discuss guidelines for field and to identify field placement sites, prior to enrolling in SWK 4610 or SWK 4620. Students will either be approved or denied admission into SWK 4610 and SWK 4620, based upon the above criteria and procedures. Students will be notified in writing of the faculty decision. Students may appeal the decision using the original application process.

Criminal Record Implications

Many social service agencies do not allow volunteers and/or employees with criminal backgrounds. Therefore, it may be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to locate an agency where students with criminal backgrounds can complete their field practicum. In which case, it becomes the primary responsibility of a student with a criminal background to secure an approved field placement in accordance with the social work degree plan. The State of Texas reserves the right to deny a license to any person entering the field of Social Work with a criminal history. Therefore, upon their graduation students having a criminal background may be denied licensure by the State of Texas for this or any other reason the State deems relevant. Licensure eligibility is the sole decision of the State of Texas.

Weekend Program

The social work weekend degree completion program is designed for nontraditional students who are working or for students living outside the immediate Lubbock area who must commute to complete their degree. The program is designed for students who have completed an associate degree in a related field or who have completed approximately 60 hours of college course work from a regionally accredited college or university. Students who have all the required prerequisite courses can complete their bachelor's degree in social work in approximately 21 months.  However, if students need to complete prerequisites for entry to the program, a social work advisor will meet with prospective students throughout the year to help them select appropriate prerequisite courses. Each course taught in the weekend format will include 4 weekends with the following schedule–Friday 7:00 -10:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 .p.m. Each course will have 45 hours of face-to-face contact with the instructor. A student may take 2 weekend courses each semester, requiring 8 weekends on campus. The online courses will be taught using Moodle and will include online lectures, assigned readings, discussion groups, assigned videos, written assignments, and exams. The curriculum will include all the same courses taught in the traditional manner on campus.

Bachelor of Social Work

The social work program does not give academic credit for life experience or previous work experience.

A.  University Core (45 hours)

  • BIB1310  Introduction to the Old Testament
  • BIB1320  Introduction to the New Testament
  • BIB3305  Christian Heritage
  • BIB3310  Christian Life
  • COM2340  Communication for the Professional
  • ENG1301  Composition Studies
  • ENG1302  Composition and Literature
  • PSY1300  General Psychology
  • HIS2302  History of the United States II
  • ESS1200  Personal Fitness and Wellness
  • MAT1311  College Algebra
  • BIO1300  Human Biology
  • ENG3308  Technical Writing
  • 3 hours from
    • GOV    2301  National Government
    • GOV    2302  Texas State and Local Government
  • 3 hours upper level ENG
  • UNI     1170  University Seminar
  • UNI     2000  University Skills

B.  Major (42 hours)

  • SWK     2300  Introduction to Social Work
  • SWK     2340  Diversity
  • SWK     3301  Generalist Practice with Individuals and Families
  • SWK     3302  Generalist Practice with Communities and Organizations
  • SWK     3303  Generalist Practice with Groups
  • SWK     3304  Social Welfare Policy
  • SWK     3306  Social Work Ethics and Professional Behavior 
  • SWK     3310  Statistics
  • SWK     3311  Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • SWK     3320  Social Research Methods
  • SWK     4610  Field I
  • SWK     4620  Field II

C.  Supporting Courses (18-20 hours)

  • SOC1300  General Sociology
  • SWK     2320  Social Justice
  • SWK     3330  Maladaptive Functioning
  • 3 hours from
    • SWK     3313  Interventions with Older Adults
    • SWK     3314  Family and Community Violence
    • SWK     3315  Social Work in Criminal Justice Settings
    • SWK     3316  International Social Work
    • SWK     4352  Special Topics in Social Work
  • 6-8 hours of foreign language and/or multicultural studies

D.  Electives (13-15 hours)

E.  Total (120 hours)

Minor in Criminal Justice

(18 hours)

  • CRJ2301  Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CRJ2305  Courts and Criminal Procedure
  • CRJ3301  Criminology
  • 9 hours from
    • CRJ3302  Juvenile Delinquency
    • CRJ3312  Violent Offenders
    • CRJ3322  Social Deviance
    • CRJ3324  Corrections, Probation, and Parole
    • CRJ4325  Forensic Computer Examination
    • CRJ4326  Terrorism and Homeland Security
    • CRJ4333  Professionalism and Ethics in Criminal Justice
    • PSY4321  Forensic Psychology