Criminal Justice

The criminal justice program offers undergraduate students an opportunity to pursue studies leading to law school, graduate school or a career in the administration of justice. The program is structured around a core of criminal justice courses on such topics as law enforcement, the judicial process, juvenile justice, corrections and criminal law. Since any criminal justice system reflects the structure, ideas and concerns of the society within which it operates, the criminal justice curriculum also includes required courses in sociology, political science, psychology and history.

Although many criminal justice graduates attend law school, an increasing number are choosing other areas of graduate work as well. Students with a degree in criminal justice often elect to do their graduate work in criminal or public administration. However, they can also pursue graduate degrees in any behavioral or social science including political science, sociology, or psychology. Those who seek employment after completing their degree requirements have generally good prospects in such areas as correctional counseling, court administration, law enforcement and private security. In addition, many public and private agencies will have criminal justice related job openings for planners, researchers, data analysts and others who have sharpened their skills in statistics and computer science.


Bachelor's Degree/Entry Level
police officer
probation officer
airline security representative
foreign service officer
animal treatment investigator
Further Education/Experience Often Required
district attorney
public defender
child welfare caseworker
court administrator
counter intelligence agent

(Check the Dictionary of Occupational Titles under section 110 for additional related careers.)


  • state/federal government
  • publishing industry
  • private businesses
  • banks
  • hospitals
  • newspapers
  • military
  • airport
  • public interest advocacy


Salaries range greatly from one occupation, position, and work setting to another. According to the Summer 2008 NACE national salary survey for Bachelor's Degree Candidates in Criminal Justice, the average salary was $45,106.


Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) -

American Society of Criminology -

Copnet for Criminal Justice Careers -


Government Jobs Database of Criminal Justice Employment Opportunities -

Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division - -

National Association of Legal Assistants -

National Sheriffs Association - -

The Corrections Connection -

The Police Guide -