Criminal Justice and Corrections Degrees

Careers in Criminal Justice and Corrections

What is a Criminal Justice and Corrections Degree?

 As a kid, were you a cop or a robber in the game ""Cops and Robbers?"" Did you enjoy being the mischievous one or were you the kid to bring justice to the neighborhood? If so, a degree in Criminal Justice may be your calling!

Enrolling in a Criminal Justice degree program will teach you the scientific study and application of law enforcement. Criminal Justice is a social science that studies, identifies, and explains patterns in criminal behavior, as well as analyzing society's ability to control and prevent crime.  Criminal Justice programs focus on the definitions, causes, and prevention of crimes while providing basic knowledge of social and behavioral sciences. 

Criminal Justice professionals apprehend criminal offenders through the application of law enforcement.  The other areas of criminal justice include the judiciary, corrections, and probation fields in which criminal justice professionals prosecute, defend, sentence, incarcerate, and supervise suspects and criminals.  As a Criminal Justice student, you will learn to approach crime and injustice through a detailed, systematic manner to ensure that justice is upheld.

Earning a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice will prepare you to work in a plethora of specialty areas, including:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Corrections
  • Probation
  • Immigration
  • Security Service
  • Homeland Security
  • Forensics and more!

How can I get a Criminal Justice and Corrections Degree?

Students enrolled in Criminal Justice programs learn about the legal and corrections system in the United States, the philosophy of punishment and avoidance of crimes, and the ethical code of behavior. Typical coursework for a Criminal Justice degree includes the study of crime, criminals, and the criminal justice system through a blend of legal studies, sociology, political science, psychology, forensic science, public administration, urban studies, and philosophy.

Although some Criminal Justice students expand on their degree by applying for Law School or graduate school, other graduates use their Criminal Justice degree to embark on careers in sociology-based fields, such as Victim Services or Court Administration.  For students who are interested in entering the law enforcement field, such as police officers, it is mandatory to have a clean legal record and be in good physical condition to be considered for a position.

Job opportunities for Criminal Justice degree holders are expected to rise as the United States maintains increased national security.  Criminal Justice positions at the State and Federal level are highly competitive and individuals who meet the psychological, personal, and physical qualifications will be favored.  Salaries in the Criminal Justice fields vary from $26,000 annually to over $100,00 and are dependent on the professional's longevity, sector (local, State, Federal), and position.  It should be noted that many Criminal Justice jobs are considered high-risk and dangerous.

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