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Bachelor of Science (BS): Justice Studies Degree Overview

Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies programs allows students to investigate crime in society and ways to work towards social change while examining the court system and criminal law.

Essential Information

Many programs in this justice studies include field experiences or internship opportunities. Graduates may qualify to pursue a graduate or professional degree, or they can enter the workforce in entry-level positions. A high school diploma or its equivalent will be required for applicants to be considered for admission. Candidates should have an interest in the legal system and possess strong research and writing skills. Aspiring students may be able to transfer credits from associate's degree programs.


Bachelor of Science Degree in Justice Studies

A bachelor's degree program in justice studies generally takes four years to complete. Students must fulfill general education requirements in subjects such as English, history, math, and science. Upper-division coursework generally consists of classes within the major. Course topics could include:

  • Society and drugs
  • Research methods in criminal justice
  • Serial killers
  • Youth and delinquency
  • Justice management and ethics
  • Family and workplace violence

Popular Career Options

Students who earn a justice studies degree can be eligible to work in government positions, particularly those that deal with criminal law or the justice system. Possible job titles include:

  • Corrections facility officer
  • U.S. Marshal
  • Probation officer
  • Court administrative worker
  • Juvenile detention personnel

Employment Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for correctional officers are anticipated to increase by four percent from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Police and detectives are projected to see a similar growth, as are correctional treatment specialists. In May 2015, the BLS reported that the annual median salary for correctional officers was $40,530. Police and sheriff's patrol officers earned a median salary of $58,320 and probation officers received a median salary of $49,360.

Continuing Education

A Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies may be considered the first step on the way to a more advanced justice-related career. This degree program can be a precursor to law school, or graduates can pursue a master's degree in justice studies and criminal justice.

Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies degree programs examine various angles of the criminal justice system and related societal issues, preparing students to enter related programs at the graduate level or seek entry-level employment in the field.


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