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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Criminal Justice

Majors Overview March 2, 2015

Get information about a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program in Criminal Justice and its coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Programs in Criminal Justice

Students enrolled in criminal justice bachelor’s degree programs delve into criminal behavior in relation to the justice system, law enforcement, and society. Students assess the effects of crime on communities before designing programs aimed at promoting lawful behavior and safety.

Methods of crime prevention and awareness are evaluated by students, who are taught to resolve problems that involve ethics and the fair treatment of both accused individuals and victims. Students use research in developing an understanding of crimes across age, ethnic, social, and economic demographics.

Students are typically offered training in justice administration and court proceedings. They gain proficiency in legal terminology and documentation. Schools offer this four-year program online. Admission criteria require incoming students to complete basic college courses, in addition to holding a GED certificate or a high school diploma.


Crime study and sociology are typically available in topic areas covered by the program coursework. The criminal justice curriculum is devised to suit the needs of individuals interested in pursuing careers as attorneys.
Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Criminal law
•Law enforcement
•Juvenile delinquency
•Crime control

Career Choices

Those who complete the program can seek entry-level careers as researchers or administrators within community groups, law enforcement agencies, law firms, and the justice system. They can also seek employment within the field of corporate security. They can choose from title options such as:

•Policy specialist
•Victim advocate
•Probation officer
•Federal marshal
•Criminal investigators

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 11% has been predicted for criminal investigators and detectives over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $45,740 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who graduate from the program can seek continuing education by earning master’s degrees in criminal justice administration or criminal justice or applying to law school. They may also seek participation in certificate programs in anti-counterfeiting, security, intelligence analysis, and justice system administration, thereby enhancing their knowledge and skills.

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