Why Study Criminal Justice?

Criminal Justice involves the study of crime from a systems perspective. Far from being a narrowly defined law enforcement or correctional program, our program is an interdisciplinary and professionally-oriented academic discipline concentrating on many aspects of crime and the concepts that impact on our system of justice.

To prepare students for the various positions within criminal justice, as well as for graduate education, the program seeks to develop a broad foundation of knowledge pertaining to crime and its ancillary issues.

Consider these key features of this program:

  • The curriculum is interdisciplinary in nature and includes courses that will provide students with research and analytical skills.
  • Undergraduate (bachelor’s degree) and graduate (master’s degree) programs in criminal justice are available.
  • Required and elective courses in the program cover a range of contemporary criminal justice issues, allowing students to gain a broad understanding of the criminal justice system, while also acquiring specialized knowledge about topics of interest.
  • Students in criminal justice courses often have the opportunity to interact with members of the professional community, whether as guest speakers, on field trips, or as part of class projects; some courses also include student research collaborations with local criminal justice agencies
  • Internship opportunities are available at a variety of criminal justice agencies.
  • Three criminal justice organizations are available, which sponsor criminal justice related events such as field trips, opportunities to interact with criminal justice practitioners and more.
  • Our department sponsors a variety of programs for students, including a criminal justice-themed career fair, guest speakers and presentations, and an annual banquet.
  • A criminal justice travel study course to Washington, D.C. is available in the summer term, and study abroad opportunities are available.
  • An interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in forensic studies is available, which provides background in criminal investigation, criminal evidence and criminalistics.
  • An accelerated master’s degree program is available for students who meet admission requirements and wish to complete both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years.
  • Faculty members are accomplished in both their academic and professional communities. Our faculty have been recognized for excellence in teaching, research and university service.  In addition, they publish books and articles, make presentations at national conferences, provide expert testimony and collaborate with the local criminal justice community.

Career Options

Graduates of our program will find career opportunities in a variety of areas, some of these may require additional education. Typical criminal justice careers may include:

  • Law Enforcement. Graduates are employed as patrol officers, investigators, forensic experts, security officers, and crime and intelligence analysts. A criminal justice degree is also useful for those seeking advancement in these areas.
  • Corrections. Graduates are employed as juvenile and adult probation and parole officers, correctional officers and correctional caseworkers. A criminal justice degree is also useful for those seeking advancement in these areas.
  • Business. Graduates work in the areas of private security, consulting, investigations, global intelligence, internet security and loss prevention.
  • Social Services. Graduates function as victim advocates, as well as serve in organizations that provide assistance to victims, and facilitate programs that seek to prevent and reduce crime. 
  • Judiciary and Law. Graduates are involved in court reporting, legal assistance, legal research and administration.  After attending law school, they may become an attorney.
  • Teaching and Research. Graduates work for public agencies and participate in a variety of research activities, including the collection and analysis of data about the extent and nature of crime and the effectiveness of crime control strategies. After attending graduate school, criminal justice majors teach in colleges and universities.

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