International and Comparative Criminal Justice Degree Program Info

Many schools offer bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice that provide courses in international criminal justice. Upon completion, students can pursue a graduate degree in international criminal justice.

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Essential Information

There are both undergraduate and graduate degree options for students who want to study international and comparative justice. These programs might appeal to students who are interested in learning about international law and crime. Graduate programs that focus solely on international criminal justice are more common and can prepare graduates for careers as justice professionals in international agencies or intergovernmental organizations.


Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Some Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) programs focus specifically on international criminal justice. In these programs, students learn about international and transnational crimes, as well as how these crimes fit into the larger context of globalization, human rights and international law. Specific types of crime covered in these programs include genocide, war crimes, drug and human trafficking, terrorism and money laundering. All B.A. programs in this field are interdisciplinary and may draw upon topics in law, political science, sociology, economics and anthropology. Some programs also have foreign language and region studies components. Core topics may examine:

  • International relations and terrorist acts
  • Human rights
  • Globalization and inequality
  • Police and correctional systems
  • Transnational crime
  • History of terrorism

Master's Degree Programs in International Criminal Justice

Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Arts (M.A.) programs may offer the option to focus on global perspectives on criminal justice and typically incorporate a study abroad component. Some programs may require applicants to have completed undergraduate coursework in the political and social sciences, statistics and economics. Master's degree programs in this field expand upon undergraduate topics in criminology theory, law, economics and politics, while incorporating new training in research. They typically culminate in a thesis or capstone project. Common core topics include:

  • Legal processes
  • Advanced criminology theory
  • International law and order
  • Global cultures and identities
  • International economics
  • Institutional corrections

Popular Career Options

International criminal justice B.A. programs prepare students for careers in law enforcement and international relations, while students with a master's degree in criminal justice are prepared for careers with justice agencies and private companies. Possible job titles for graduates of both programs include:

  • Interpol agent
  • Customs agent
  • United Nations intern
  • Intelligence analyst
  • Security manager
  • Victims advocate

Continuing Education Info

After obtaining a master's degree, students may choose to continue their studies through a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in criminal justice. Ph.D. programs are especially suited for students interested in conducting further research and then eventually pursuing careers in academia.

Students who are interested in international criminal justice can get a brief introduction to the field by taking a few courses as part of a B.A. program; from there, they can enroll in master's degree programs that allow them to focus their studies in the field. Related master's programs include courses on global cultures, international economics, international corrections, and other similar topics.

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