Within criminal justice bachelor's degree programs, students examine criminal behavior in relation to society, law enforcement and the justice system. These 4-year bachelor's programs are sometimes offered in online formats. In addition to a high school diploma or the equivalent, applicants to some programs may also need to complete basic college coursework prior to admission.
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
Students in criminal justice programs learn to create solutions for problems involving ethics and the fair treatment of both victims and accused individuals. Course topics typically incorporate sociology and crime study. For those interested in becoming attorneys, criminal justice curricula can form the foundation for pre-law degrees. Bachelor's students may complete courses such as:
- Juvenile delinquency
- Criminal law
- Crime control
- Law enforcement
Popular Career Options
Graduates can seek opportunities as administrators or researchers within the justice system, law firms, law enforcement agencies or community groups. Additional opportunities are available within corporate security. Job titles available to graduates include:
- Federal marshal
- Probation officer
- Policy specialist
- Criminal investigators
- Victim advocate
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, criminal investigators and detectives could expect a 1% job decline from 2014-2024. The average annual wages for these workers were $79,620 in May 2015.
Graduates can participate in certificate programs in justice system administration, intelligence analysis, security and anti-counterfeiting to enhance their knowledge. Interested individuals can pursue master's degree programs in criminal justice or criminal justice administration or apply to law school.
A Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program can train students in the required law enforcement and criminal law background to qualify for careers in the field. However, graduates should be aware that some careers in law enforcement and criminal justice require completion of training academies or extensive on-the-job training. Graduates may consider pursuing graduate degrees or certificates.