Human Services - Criminal Justice Concentration

Composite Major

Department Chair: Dr. Anthony Dutton,, (701) 845-7107
Faculty Contact: Dr. Emily Fenster,, (701) 845-7313
Department Office: 315 McFarland Hall, (701) 845-7310
Schedule a Visit:, (701) 845-7101 or (800) 532-8641, ext. 7101


The Human Services major prepares you to meet the growing demand for human service workers, whose occupations encompass a broad range of helping professions. The program combines courses from the disciplines of communications, sociology, and psychology to provide an overall understanding of the field. The curriculum is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of human behavior and to develop the skills necessary to function as a human services professional.

The Criminal Justice concentration in the Human Services major prepares graduates to find gainful employment in a variety of state and federal law enforcement fields. The major combines courses from various social science disciplines to provide an understanding of human behavior and the political, organizational, social, and behavior aspects of its various components. The Criminal Justice concentration focuses on the sources of criminal behaviors, including perspectives and contributions from criminal justice, political science, psychology, and sociology. The curriculum is designed to develop critical thinking, analytical and research skills to enable students to identify and assess the often conflicting objectives of criminal justice and investigate basic issues and practical problems in criminology and the administration of criminal justice.

Recent graduates have found employment as probation officers, parole officers, case managers, directors of residential facilities, and personnel specialists at local agencies such as James River Correctional Center, Barnes County Juvenile Court, N.D. State Hospital, and Barnes County Sheriff’s Department.  Other career opportunities include youth worker, social services liaison, family support worker, residential counselor, life skills instructor, group activities aide, neighborhood worker, client advocate, intake interviewer, community organizer, home health aide, social work assistant, and social work (with completion of a master’s degree in social work).

Explore Human Services

Practical Experience

Completion of an internship is required. Majors who have a cumulative GPA of 2.50 are eligible to apply for semester-long internships, for which students earn 3-12 credit hours. The internship provides supervised training in various regional agencies and service organizations. Students have completed their internships in various places, such as Barnes County Juvenile Court, ND State Highway Patrol, James River Correctional Center, and the Barnes County Sheriff’s Department.

“The Human Services program at VCSU has provided me with not only experience inside the classroom, but outside as well. I was able to take the skills I learned from my classes and apply them to my internship working with a Human Services organization. Throughout this experience, I was able to build up my resume to prepare myself for future endeavors.”  —Malik Jackson, Las Vegas, Nev.

“The Human Services program is full of passionate people who keep the experience interesting and serve as a great support system. VCSU’s close connection with the community creates unique opportunities for everyone.” —Trinity Potts, LaMoure, N.D.

General Education Requirements

English Composition
Select one of the following:6
College Composition I
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition III: Persuasive Writing
Speech Communication
Select one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Interpersonal Communication
Intercultural Communication
Select one of the following:3
College Algebra
Finite Mathematics
Calculus I
Elementary Statistics
Lab Science
Select two of the following:8
Concepts of Biology
General Biology I
General Biology II
General Zoology
Introductory Chemistry
Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry II
Introduction to Earth Science
The Earth Through Time
Concepts of Physics
Introductory Astronomy
College Physics I
College Physics II
University Physics I
University Physics II
Cognition and Brain Science
Technology, Engineering, and Design
Select one of the following:2
Concepts of Fitness and Wellness
Introduction to Stress Management
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Computer Information Systems
Introduction to Programming in Java
Introduction to Structured Programming I
Discovering Computing
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Film
ENGL 232Mythology3
World Literature I
World Literature II
American Literature I
American Literature II
Civilization, Thought, and Literary Heritage
Ethics and Philosophy of Science
1st Year Spanish I
1st Year Spanish II
2nd Year Spanish I
2nd Year Spanish II
Introduction to Theatre Arts
Acting One
Art and Music
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to the Visual Arts
Fine Arts and Aesthetics
Music Appreciation
Music Fundamentals
World Music
History of Rock and Roll
Social Science
Select two of the following:6
Understanding Media and Social Change
Human Communication
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Human Geography
United States to 1877
United States to Present
World Civilizations to 1500
World Civilizations since 1500
Environmental History
Native American Studies
American National Government
State and Local Government
Introduction to Psychology 1
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Anthropology
Additional Humanities or Social Science
Select one additional course from Humanities or Social Science or select from the following:2
Drawing I
Ceramics I
Survey of Geography
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Concert Choir
Athletic Band
Concert Band
Planetarium Science
Theatre Practicum
Total Credits42

Major Requirement

Required Courses
COMM 311Communication and Interviewing3
COMM 483Organizational Communication3
MGMT 330Principles of Management3
PSYC 250Developmental Psychology3
PSYC 310Behavior Modification3
PSYC 360Group Dynamics3
PSYC 470Counseling Theory and Practice3
SOC 110Introduction to Sociology 13
SOC 130Introduction to Human Services3
SOC 220The Family3
or SOC 300 Race, Ethnic, and Gender Relations
SOC 330Understanding Statistics3
SOC 340Research Methods3
SOC 422Social Science Theory3
SOC 491Capstone1
SOC 497Internship3-12
Total Credits43-52

Criminal Justice Concentration

COMM 216Intercultural Communication3
or COMM 314 Public Relations
CJ 252Introduction to the Social and Criminal Justice System3
CJ 390Criminology and Delinquency3
CJ 416Corrections: Institutional and Community3
POLS 115American National Government3
or POLS 116 State and Local Government
POLS 376U.S. Constitution: Civil Liberties3
PSYC 370Abnormal Psychology3
Total Credits21

Total General Education 39 Hrs
Total Major Requirement 43-52 Hrs

Total Concentration Requirement 21 Hrs
Total Credits Needed to Graduate 120 Hrs

For degree and graduation requirements, visit degree requirements and graduation requirements.


Plan of Study

First Year
English Composition (Gen Ed)3Art and Music (Gen Ed)3
MATH 210 (Gen Ed)3English Composition (Gen Ed)3
SOC 1103Lab Science (Gen Ed)4
Speech Communicaiton (Gen Ed)3PSYC 111 (Gen Ed)3
Technology (Gen Ed)3Wellness (Gen Ed)2
UNIV 1501 
 16 15
Second Year
Additional Humanities or Social Science (Gen Ed)2Additional Electives3
CJ 2523COMM 3143
Lab Science (Gen Ed)4PSYC 2503
Literacies (Gen Ed)3SOC 1303
Social Science (Gen Ed)3SOC 2203
 15 15
Third Year
Additional Electives3COMM 4833
MGMT 3303CJ 3903
POLS 1153SOC 3403
PSYC 3703SOC 4973
SOC 3303Additional Course (if only taking 3 credit internship)3
 15 15
Fourth Year
Additional Electives3Addition Electives3
COMM 3113Additional Electives3
SOC 4223CJ 4163
SOC 4911PSYC 3103
POLS 3763PSYC 4703
PSYC 3603 
 16 15
Total Credits 122

Please note:  This plan is intended for general information only.  Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor each semester before registration.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Knowledge of Society & the Field: Students will accumulate an understanding of the interaction between individual and societal forces, and why knowledge of social and historical context, norms, institutions, and inequalities are important to the field of human services. Further, students will become more knowledgeable of the field of human services, how it continues to evolve, and where they fit into it as emerging professionals.
  2. Confidence in Assessment, Critical Evaluation, & Theory: Human services students will understand the utility of theory and research in the field of human services and for improving quality of care. Further, students will develop their skills in theory application, conducting research, and critical evaluation of current research.
  3. Application of Knowledge, Skills, & Values in Applied Settings: Students will be able to demonstrate their proficiencies as emerging professionals in real world experiences and applied settings.