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

Majors Overview March 4, 2015

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

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

The focus of Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in Criminal Justice Administration may primarily be on correctional institutions, the court systems in the U.S., and community police work. Students gain the skills they would need in order to obtain proper evidence, file legal documentation, and supervise criminals. Many also learn how to talk with potential witnesses, comforting victims, and working in tandem with community members. Graduates learn how to analyze evidence, follow potential leads, and solve crimes.

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


Interdisciplinary coursework within Criminal Justice Administration B.S. programs covers various subject areas, such as security, technology, communication, policing strategies, and civil service. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Juvenile delinquency
•Deviant behavior sociology
•Criminal procedures
•Criminal law
•Criminal justice systems
•Correctional systems

Career Choices

Those who successfully graduate from the program may develop the skills they would need to work with federal and state agencies. They can also seek administrative jobs in courtrooms as well as private security careers with employers in the private sector. They may choose from possible job titles such as:

•Private detective
•Probation officer
•FBI agent
•Police officer

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 5% has been predicted for police officers, including FBI agents, over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the same decade, probation officers are expected to see a 1% decline in job growth.

In January 2014, FBI agents brought home an average annual wage of $65,743. During the same year, private detectives banked $45,740, while police officers’ grossed $55,270 and probation officers earned $48,190 on average (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

While many organizations in the law enforcement field employ bachelor’s degree graduates, various positions may require candidates with additional training, such as federal law enforcement or police academy training. Employers for jobs in the field also expect law enforcement professionals to pursue further education training over the whole duration of their careers.

Continuing education may be available in topic areas such as new law enforcement technologies, firearms, prisoner containment, self-defense, and crowd control. Bachelor’s degree program graduates may also choose to earn a master’s degree in criminal justice. Coursework in these programs may include victimology, research methods, and criminology, in addition to elective options in forensic analysis and terrorism. Commonly, a master’s thesis marks the culmination of these programs.

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