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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Corrections

Majors Overview March 4, 2015

Get information about a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Corrections and its coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Corrections

Students enrolled in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in Corrections are prepared to seek entry-level occupations that would require them to oversee criminals or individuals awaiting trial. Students gain skills in numerous areas, including general security procedures, regulations, and institutional policies.

The program may also focus on the disarming of weapon-bearing prisoners, forced cell moves, hostage negotiation, riot and crowd control, social disturbance management, and inmate protection. Schools often offer corrections as a track or concentration within a criminal justice degree program.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.


Internship programs augment core coursework, whereby students can gain real-time experience by working in the field. Schools may offer some courses through distance learning options. Courses may be taken in various fields, such as sociology, psychology, and government, in addition to topic areas such as the following:

•Juvenile corrections
•Criminal investigations
•Administrative techniques in corrections
•Legal issues in corrections
•Criminal law
•Probation, parole, and corrections
•Criminal procedure
•Defensive tactics
•Correctional institutions
•Delinquency and crime prevention

Career Choices

Those who graduate from the program can seek jobs with a variety of employers within the law enforcement field. They may choose from possible career titles such as:

•Case manager
•Youth correctional case worker
•Correctional counselor
•Correctional treatment specialist
•Probation officer

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, 5% job growth rates have been predicted for correctional officers and jailers as well as for law enforcement workers in general. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists are expected to see negative growths of 1% during the same period (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, correctional officers brought home an average annual wage of $38,970, while probation officers and correctional treatment specialists earned $48,190 on average.

Continuing Education Choices

While an associate’s degree may be sufficient for employment as correctional officers, many employers insist on candidates that have completed a bachelor’s degree program or higher, especially when they hire correctional treatment specialists and probation or parole officers.

Some bachelor’s degree program graduates may also pursue continuing education by earning master’s degrees in psychology, criminal justice, or social work, which would allow them to seek advancement within the field.

Seminars and training sessions are part of continuing education required by those in the law enforcement and corrections field as these professionals are expected to stay abreast of new legal techniques and laws.

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