Criminal justice is the system of practices and institutions of governments directed at upholding social control, deterring and mitigating crime, and sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation efforts. Criminal Justice is an interdisciplinary field of study. Included are the contributions and approaches of many of the social and behavioral sciences, as well as areas of study such as law and ethics, as they relate to the phenomenon of crime.
Description of the Field
Students will receive a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree. Students are required to obtain 120 credit hours for the undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree. A minor is NOT required, but is recommended in Psychology, Sociology, or Human Services Management & Leadership (HSML). To obtain a minor, 18 credit hours are required.
Possible Job Titles
- Seek courses or training in topics such as victimology, social problems, diversity issues, or grieving.
- Consider learning a second language.
- Maintain a blemish-free driving and criminal record.
- Gain firearms and self-defense training.
- Consider a double major or minor in the social sciences such as psychology, anthropology, sociology, business, or political science.
- Develop strong research, computer, and writing skills.
- Maintain a high grade point average to gain admittance to law school.
- Obtain related training or certifications such as CPR, first aid, or EMT.
- Complete an internship in a crime laboratory to gain experience in the forensic application of science.
- Consider earning a master's degree in Forensic Science or related discipline.
- Most entry-level positions for criminal justice majors reside with law enforcement and social service organizations. Obtain a double major in criminal justice and a hard science (biology, chemistry, or biochemistry) if interested in a career in forensics.
- Obtain experience through volunteer, practicum, or internship opportunities.
- Depending upon one's career goals, earn a master's degree in disciplines such as criminal justice, forensic science, social work, counseling, or business to obtain positions involving therapy, higher levels of administration, forensics, or research.
- Earn the doctorate degree for university teaching positions.
- Conduct informational interviews with professionals in fields of interest to learn more about opportunities.
- Earn a graduate degree for post-secondary teaching opportunities.
- Get a teaching certificate for elementary or secondary education. Gain a dual certification for increased opportunities.
Social Services Careers- www.socialservice.com
CJ Career Info- http://www.criminaljusticeusa.com/
Criminal Justice Profiles- http://www.criminaljusticeprofiles.org/
Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (Employment and Links)- http://www.calea.org/
Law Enforcement Recruiting Directory- http://www.officer.com/recruiting/index.htm
Official Directory of State Patrol & State Police- http://www.statetroopersdirectory.com/
American Bar Association Career Corner- http://www.abanet.org/lsd/networking/home.html
LawInfo Career Center- http://jobs.lawinfo.com/
U.S. Courts- http://www.uscourts.gov/Careers.aspx
Federal Bureau of Prisons- http://www.bop.gov/
International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training- http://www.iadlest.org/
International Association of Crime Analysts- http://www.iaca.net/JobOps.asp
American Bar Association- http://www.abanet.org
National Bar Association- http://www.nationalbar.org/
Association of Corporate Counsel- http://jobs.acca.com/search/browse/
American Correctional Association- http://www.aca.org/
American Academy of Forensic Sciences- http://www.aafs.org/
American Society of Criminology- http://www.asc41.com/
National Association of Hispanics in Criminal Justice- http://www.nohcj.org/
National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice– http://www.nabcj.org/