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

Majors Overview March 5, 2015

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

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Justice Studies

Students enrolled in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in Justice Studies learn about the fundamentals of law and public policy. Courses involve investigation of the causes and effects of crime in society and ways of effecting social change. Students hone their research skills that can be applied to administering justice.

They can use the research as a base for the presentation of ideas about ways of re-mediating social harms. Graduates can expect to gain a good grasp of the court system and criminal law, in addition to the latest theories in justice and crime.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Students seeking admission are expected to have an aptitude for the legal system and strong writing and research skills. The transfer of credits from associate’s degree programs may be allowed.


Students take four years to complete a bachelor’s degree program in justice studies. Coursework includes general education courses in subject areas such as science, math, history, and English. Courses in the major comprise upper-division coursework and may include topic areas such as the following:

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

Career Choices

Those who complete the justice studies degree program can seek employment in government positions, specifically in jobs that involve dealing with the justice system or criminal law. They may seek job titles such as:

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

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 5% has been predicted for correctional officers over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). During that period, police and detectives are expected to see a growth rate of 5%, while probation officers, including correctional treatment specialists, are unlikely to see any significant change in job growth rates.

In May 2012, correctional officers brought home an average annual wage of $38,970, while police officers and sheriff’s patrol officers grossed $56,980 and probation officers earned $48,190 on average.

Continuing Education Choices

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Justice Studies may pave the way for continuing education leading to a more advanced career in justice-related fields. Those who complete a bachelor’s program may seek continuing education by pursuing a master’s degree program in justice studies and criminal justice; alternatively, they may decide to enroll in law school.

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