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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Majors Overview March 5, 2015

Criminology and criminal justice programs teach students about deviant and criminal behavior along with the government’s reactions to such behavior. Careers in security, human services, and law enforcement are available to those that graduate from these programs.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Students enrolled in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice complete coursework built around social sciences, and the focus of such curricula usually revolves around ways of maintaining an orderly society as well as the criminal justice system’s components. Students may learn laws, practice, policies, and theories related to criminal behavior.

Students may become experts in various related fields, such as court systems, frauds, and policing, among other programs aimed at introducing students to numerous ways of controlling deviant behavior that agencies employ, in addition to legal norms.

Schools usually give students the opportunity to obtain skills in communication, research, problem solving, and critical analysis while completing coursework that gives them a strong grasp of issues at the social, community, and individual levels.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to meeting the minimum GPA requirement.

Coursework

Coursework is devised to impart knowledge in areas pertinent to the control, causes, and prevention of deviant or criminal behavior. Students enrolled in most schools are introduced to controversial issues in criminal justice. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Drugs
•Corrections
•Criminal procedure
•Punishment
•White-collar crime
•Juvenile delinquency
•American courts
•Court systems
•Control strategies
•Crime by women

Career Choices

Those who successfully graduate from the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice program may seek employment in numerous areas, including security, investigation, human services, corrections, and local and federal law enforcement. They can aim for positions such as:

•Juvenile correctional officers
•Police officers
•Social workers
•Correctional treatment specialists

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 19% has been predicted for social workers over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the same period, correctional officers and police officers are expected to see a 5% rise in job growth, while correctional treatment specialists are expected to experience a decline of 1% in job growth.

In 2012, family, child, and school social workers brought home an average annual wage of $45,300, while correctional treatment specialists and police officers earned $52,380 and $57,770, respectively, on average.

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete the program may seek continuing education by earning advanced degrees in areas related to criminal justice and criminology. Individuals can choose from several graduate degree options:

•Public administration
•Law
•Social work
•Urban planning

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