More and more people are pursuing careers in criminal justice every year. Colleges and universities across the country offer many courses and degree programs to help these aspiring students start their career in law enforcement or related fields. One of the first classes a criminal justice student will be required to take is "Introduction to Criminal Justice". This course allows the student to get their feet wet, giving them a brief lesson on the background and philosophy of the criminal justice system. Introduction to Criminal Justice is only offered to undergraduate students. Introduction to Criminal Justice is a broad course which includes elements of political science, criminology, sociology, history, psychology, and law. Introduction to Criminal Justice sets out to analyze the process of creating public policies which are based on the democratic process. Students will learn about the history of the criminal justice system, its inner workings, how it is organized and what its responsibilities are. They will also learn about how the different criminal justice entities interact with one another including law enforcement agencies, courts, prosecutors, correctional institutions, and others. Introduction to Criminal Justice is mandatory first-year material for anyone who is pursuing a degree in criminal justice and later planning on entering law enforcement. Introduction to Criminal Justice is also a good course to take if a college student is not sure about studying criminal justice, but they still want to see what the field is about. Law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, state, and local levels will all be covered in extensive detail. The textbook for this course covers the contemporary practices of the judicial system and law enforcement agencies and how they function on a day to day basis. Students will also learn about why society needs a criminal justice system. Essentially, civilized life as we know it would not be able to exist if a system for administering justice to people who commit harmful acts against others were not in place. The most popular textbook for the course, published by Glencoe textbooks and in its eleventh edition, is also called "Introduction to Criminal Justice". The course will also focus on what specifically each law enforcement agency does, specific crimes and punishments, the development of justice and laws throughout history, and the enforcement of laws. Students will be provided with a well-rounded overview of the criminal justice field. Introduction to Criminal Justice is generally taken early on so that if a student decides that criminal justice is not the field for them, they will not have wasted valuable credit hours taking courses for a career path that they are not even certain that they desire. At the end of the semester students must take an exam to prove they clearly understand the Criminal Justice material. Taking thorough notes is essential to succeeding in any college-level class. Reviewing all Criminal Justice notes prior to taking the Introduction to Criminal Justice exam will ensure adequate preparedness.