Top 15 Most Useful Criminal Justice Major Full Guide Requirements Salary Jobs Internship Colleges

Criminal Justice Career Guides Criminal Justice Degree Criminal Justice Journal

Top 15 Most Useful Criminal Justice Majors Full Guide Requirements, Salary, Jobs, Internship, Top Colleges.

Every society needs set of rules and regulations to ensure the safety of their public and property. What goes in police department?  How the judiciary system works?  What are punishable crimes?  Which crime can be punished to which extent?whether Drug addicts should be treated in police department or in drug rehabilitation programs?  How law enforcement agencies work?  What are laws? Students go through all of these questions in criminal justice degree.
We can say they study law,  each and every aspect of law and judiciary system,  how this system works and everything related to sociology, psychology, law, people management and administration. The main question every student has in his mind which Criminal Justice Major need to choose so we will try to answer this question and will leave you with some great options for criminal justice majors.

What is criminal justice degree? 

In criminal justice students explore about crime,  law and judiciary system.
Before majoring in criminal justice, one should take introductory classes in it.  These classes will not only prepare you for next high level education but also you will get to know how well you can go through this degree. You cover little bit of every major topic in criminal justice .
Criminal justice is not only about law,  it covers the dimensions of human behavior and the need to change that. Criminal justice degree offers to understand the connection between law, its need and its implications and the psychology behind it. And knowing the policing styles, probation,  court system and parolees.
If you have interest to know law or why people behave different from society rules than you should go for criminal justice degree.
Major in criminal justice is recommended only if you are ok with introductory classes first and feel like having more knowledge or to explore the field more. Know your interest and get a degree in criminal justice.

Top 15 Most Useful Criminal Justice Major:

Students who wants to major in justice system, are encouraged to pursue degree in criminal justice.
But which major to choose can be difficult. There are so many fields that this degree offers. Students sometimes get confused with which side to go.
Criminal justice is such a diverse degree within law enforcement that students need to be clear about what to choose. Future planning seems tough and overwhelming at the same time. It is an emotional phase for students and they need to choose wisely as their whole future depends on this.
Criminal justice offers major in

1-Law enforcement 

How the law works? and how to make sure the applicability of law? is studied in law enforcement. A person who further want to join police,  sheriff,  detective , probation officer, DEA agent or want to work in law enforcement agencies they need to get a degree in law enforcement.


 A time always come where you need to apply the law. And to apply the law “law fully ” one must know about where and how to make sure that law is applied and followed properly? There are people who don’t abide by the laws. Criminology deals with this.
In criminology one study about why crimes takes place?  And all the social and physiological issues behind it.
What are the social pressures or psychological motivations that derives some one to become a criminal? What are the possible charges that can be pressed against suspect?  Why someone chose to become criminal?  And studying possible reasons and punishments for deviant behaviors. All this is covered in criminology.


Rehabilitation do not only help people to improve their personality and become decent members of society but it also helps to prevent crime before they even take place. Students who do major in rehabilitation get to work with many careers within the justice field. It also gives you satisfaction as it has aspect of social benefit in it.


Corrections is a part of larger criminal justice system. In this law enforcement agencies and other law institutions deal with punishment,  jurisdiction and supervision of people convicted of different crimes. Correction officers also has a career as a probation officer or police.

5.Social Work

For becoming a social worker, a person needs a degree in criminal justice followed by social work in the field. Social worker deals with adoption of children,  foster cares and elders or children who suffer from substance abuse. Social workers will find employment through federal,  state or private institutions.

6.Research Methods 

People who are good with numbers are encouraged to apply for research methods. In research methods one must be good with statistics. A degree in criminal justice with major in research method will promise you a good career.


After obtaining an associate degree, one can major in paralegal as early as one year.
Law needs to be followed in certain way and major in paralegal provides with all the necessary knowledge to deal with law proceedings.


A person who obtains major degree in law after criminal justice will pursue the career of lawyer. Bachelor degree in law is enough to become lawyer but higher degrees can help achieving career as a professional attorney.


Psychology is important when talking about why crimes happen and how to control them?  A person can have exciting career in psychology if he has degree in criminal justice.
A person with major in psychology can work with probation and rehabilitation also.

10.Information Technology

 No one can deny importance of information technology in modern era. Information technology has brought great revolutions in crime and justice field. It helps with investigations and preventing crime. IT also helps a lot in forensics and has given new dimensions to investigations. People with degree in criminal justice and major in IT can have very promising career.

11.Counter Terrorism

In this program students learn about how to prevent terrorist activities not only in US but also all over the world.
In this program students will know about terrorist operations,  how intelligence works and how to stop any possible terrorist threat before it can effect the society.
Students have to get a four years bachelor degree in counter terrorism.

12.Emergency Management

In this degree students will learn about crisis management.
People holding this degree will deal with management issue needed in natural disasters like disease,  hurricane , floods,  tornado or pollution.

13.Forensic Accounting

You must have heard about white- collar crimes. Forensic accounting teach people to deal with the investigations of these white collar crimes. Students will learn to deal with fraud investigations and possible aspects of fraud. Usually these investigations includes banking system to look for possible frauds, illegal money transferring , money laundering etc

14.Crime Scene Technician Certificate

Handling a crime scene is not an easy job.  Carefully looking for evidences and preserving them for court and further investigations is a job of crime scene technicians. They collect  and preserve the evidence for further investigation. Crime scene technician certificate can take from 6 to 18 months.

15.Criminal Justice Administration 

This degree help people to get administrative jobs in law enforcement institutions. It prepare graduates for law enforcement,  correctional facility, judicial processes, court, and police.

Want To Learn More About Criminal Justice Degree?


Criminal Justice Major Requirements:

A degree in criminal justice is usually a bachelor’s or masters degree. But there are many associate degrees also available. Associate degree is first two years of bachelor. After completing full four years you get a bachelor degree in criminal justice.
You need 120-128 credit hours to get a bachelor degree in criminal justice. Some people start with associate degree and than decide later to pursue bachelor degree in criminal justice. A criminal justice major degree can earn you a wide choice of careers.
To get a criminal justice major whether in science or arts, students need to learn some general courses also. These general courses take 40 to 60 credit hours of bachelor degree. Some schools make sure to take general courses first and than go for criminal justice majors.
If you want to do bachelor in arts in criminal justice,  you will learn general courses like Algebra, English composition , history,  English literature , language etc
And if you are going for a bachelor degree in science in criminal justice you will learn general subjects like statistic,  economics,  geology and management etc.

After getting degree in Criminal Justice Major what jobs student will get based on different majors? 

Criminal justice degree offers a wide range of exciting and promising careers.
Unlike other studies,  criminal justice is more practical and real world field. Students can always get a job that suits their skills and personality within criminal justice.
Here is list of top ten jobs that students can get based on different majors is criminal justice.

1.Law Enforcement 

Students after getting their bachelor’s degree can have a promising career in law enforcement. You can start your career as police, detectives, sheriff or state trooper.
Every state and town has its own municipal police offices to operate. So you have an advantage of getting located near your home from where you can return back everyday. But with this degree, people can also move to far states or cities for better salaries. As salary in New York or Chicago are comparatively higher than rural south places.
More over,  many law-enforcement institutions prefer their own employees with higher degrees while considering for promotion or higher level jobs. Their internal employees with bachelor degree will get benefit over high school diploma holder while considering for higher ranks. For example in police department a degree in criminal justice major can promote you to become lieutenant or sergeant.

2.Teacher or Trainer

Degree in criminal justice can earn you credentials  for becoming a teacher or trainer in this field. Criminal justice offers a wide range of courses that can help you to become a good teacher.
Many law enforcement institutions hire individuals who can train and teach criminal justice students.
Criminal justice is not only learning about how law institutions works. It also enhance your abilities as a learner,  observer, your decision making skills and your ability to work in diversity. All this can become a very good package for becoming a teacher.
Adult learning is also very much in demand in both public and private sectors. And a bachelor degree can promise you a very exciting career as a trainer.

3.Correction Or Probation Officer

To understand and deal with deviant behavior of people is duty of correction officer.
Correction is an umbrella term used for punishment of criminals. Different law enforcement agencies deal with jurisdictions and punishment of criminals providing you an opportunity to join as correction or probation officer.
Due to increase in number of jails,  job opportunities for probation officers are also getting high.

4.State And Federal Courts

People with degree in criminal justice have opportunity to work in court and help different people.The available roles and duties for students with major in criminal justice available are bailiff,  courtroom assistant, criminal law supervisor,  court clerk,  court manager,  case administrator, court operation specialist,  pretrial services officer and family law mediator.
Sometimes a court need to take quick action on the demand of a citizen or people may need assistance and help from court urgently. Students with criminal justice degree can help these people who need it on the moment.


Forensics are very important and active field in criminal justice. It is a mix of science, arts and technology. No investigation is possible with out learning about crime scene or evidences and forensic helps us in that.
People with degree in criminal justice can seek career in forensic as
  • Ballistics specialist
  • Blood spatter analyst
  • Crime scene investigator
  • Criminologist
  • Forensic technician
  • DNA analyst
  • Fiber technologist
  • Forensic odontologist
  • Homicide detective
  • Psychological profiler

6.Private Security 

Need for private security is growing in recent years. People hire people to protect and guard them or their property. Private security plays an important role in sensitive areas or institutions. A private security guard can come up with variety of duties. Most businessmen and rich people trust on their private security. A private guard handle body guarding, dealing with suspicious activity or person,  checking the parcels before being opened or delivery of sensitive documents on the behalf of their owners. Private security people are like rented cops and their job is no less risky than policemen. Infact they are more in field and ready to face the circumstances. 
With major in criminal justice one can go for private security jobs. 

7.Social Work

In Criminal justice,  students learn about the psychology of crime and and how it can be prevented. Moreover , how can we help the people affected by different crimes. Here comes the job of a social worker.
Students with degree in criminal justice can earn career as social worker,  guidance counselor,  rehabilitation,  human services assistant,  family law mediator and child custody recommending counselor. 

8.Human resource Generalist

Law enforcement is a sensitive career and you need to handle things carefully. Human resource generalist is responsible for hiring,  firing,  promotions or maintaining discipline .
A person with degree in criminal justice is very well aware of how law enforcement institutions work and can effectively allocate right people to matching jobs. Human resource generalists are also responsible for job descriptions,  interview forms and plays a vital role in company policy making. 

9.Compliance Manager

Saving millions from fines or litigation costs is a duty of compliance manager. They act as balance between company and state. Compliance manager also helps a company in cutting down extra costs caused by unnecessary operations or actions that do not meet state or federal standards and can lead to legal fines. 

10.Paralegal Assistant 

A paralegal assistant helps in courts to handle documents, perform legal research, maintain files and assist clients with routine paperwork. Those who want to save time from law schools can start working a a paralegal assistant. Students with degree in criminal justice can have a promising opportunity in law firm as paralegal assistant

After Criminal Justice Major Average Salary For Jobs Mentioned Above 

Along with job satisfaction,  you can always choose your desired job on the basis of financial outcome. Here is an approximate list of salaries that you can get after major in criminal justice.

Law Enforcement 

Statistics show that law enforcement people can earn up to$58000 annually. And if you move to metropolitan cities it can raise from $60,000 to $88,000.

Teacher OR Trainer

A teacher or trainer earn from $63,000 to $78,000 annually.

Correction Officer

Salary range is $40,000 and raise according to experience.

State And Federal Courts

Salaries in state and federal courts range from $38,000 to $1,00,000 annually.

Security Guard

Security guard has salary of $14 per hour and can range according to client that hires private security.

Paralegal Assistant 

These people can earn up to $50,000 annually.

Compliance Manager

Compliance manager can earn from $37,000 to $90,000 annually with a median salary of $67,000.

Human Resource Generalist

Human resource generalist can earn up to $100,000 annually.

What Classes Are Required For Criminal Justice Degree

For a degree in criminal justice,  students need to learn a mix of core courses and advance courses. There are variety of courses that a student can take for criminal justice degree depending on their field of interest. The courses covered teach student about how the whole law system works. They also study about how law enforcement institutions work and how the correction and jurisdiction system follow certain protocols.
The courses include different law,  psychological,  science and information technology subjects.
These courses are aligned under different groups. Following are the groups of courses covered under criminal justice degree

Core courses

Socio-political context of crime

Bio psychological- social analysis of crime

Criminal justice research 

Criminology electives

 Criminal Justice Major Internship 

Internships are always beneficial for students who have career oriented studies. Internships are like real world scenarios and add a valuable experience to your learning before joining the real field.
Internship do not only serves as an experience but as a training before performing on actual grounds.
Internships are necessary for students who seriously want to pursue career in criminology. It also provides you with  sound knowledge of field in which you want to pursue career.
Internship also give you a close view of daily life of people working in criminology field.
You experience first hand life of these professional and become well aware of risk and challenges that your field may require.
It is always fruitful to apply your book based knowledge in real world. And internship in criminology provides student to explore their analytical and communication skills along with decision making power . Putting your efforts in real life scenarios is always a different experience from what you study theoretically.
Students do not only experience working in real scenarios but also gain learning from other professionals working in the field.
Internships in criminal justice can be paid or unpaid but they add credits to your resume. And earn you valuable experience.
It is important for students to communicate with their college counselors about their internships. They can sort out some better choices with their help. Some of the internships include

Law enforcement agencies

Internship in local, county or state law enforcement agencies help students to work in positions like police officer or detectives. Students can apply their skills in real field work and can earn a great experience.

Law offices

Law offices have great opportunities for criminology students. They get to know about jurisdiction system more closely. This type of experience is very much relevant for correction officer career or as a law attorney.

Federal government agencies 

These provide with very fruitful internship experience. Working directly on federal level is very satisfying and boost your learning and understanding of field very much. But it is not easy to get internship in federal agency and students may need to apply early .

Youth based centers 

Criminology Students who want to work with youth or are more interested in social work type field, should go for internship in youth based centers.

Top 20 colleges based on ranking for criminal justice

Here is a list of top 20 colleges based on ranking for criminal justice Degree.

CUNY John Jay College Of Criminal Justice

Liberty University

University of California

Keuka college


Florida State University

North-Eastern University

Penn State

University of Miami


Texas Christian University

La Sierra University

University Of Florida

Citadel Military College Of South Carolina

University Of Mary land

American University

College Of The Ozarks

St. Mary’s University – Texas

Monroe College – Bronx

Rutgers University – New Brunswick

Temple University

Howard University



  • American Bar Association: All about the benefits of ABA membership for paralegals.
  • Free Criminal Justice and Law Lectures: Our Free Criminal Justice Lectures resource provides video and audio lectures from 15+ criminal justice and law-related college courses that are available to watch or listen to online for free, taught by professors from top US universities like Harvard, Yale, New York University, and UC Berkeley.
  • National Federation of Paralegals: Education, news, certification, and other information for prospective and current paralegals.
  • NALA: National Association of Legal Assistants: A nationwide paralegal organization offering professional development programs and continuing education for paralegals.
  • NALS: The Association for Legal Assistants: An education and certification resource for paralegals and legal assistants.
  • National Paralegal Certification: Learn about the different paralegal certification options available and the requirements for earning certification.
  • The American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc.: A membership-driven professional resource for paralegals.
  • Top Paralegal Blogs: Criminal Justice Degree Schools has published a list of the Top Paralegal Blogs from thought-leading bloggers to provide insights and career advice for aspiring paralegals who are interested in acquiring a degree and beginning a successful career in this field.
  • Top Criminal Law Blogs: Learn about the criminal area of the legal field by viewing our top criminal legal blogs.
  • Top Divorce Law Blogs: Read about divorce law on our top divorce law blogs list.
  • US Directory of Paralegal Associations: Our comprehensive directory features over 140 US paralegal associations organized by state. Joining a  association can help you network and advance your career. Find the associations near you.

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Paralegals and Legal Assistants:
2. 2018 NALA National Utilization and Compensation Report:
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants:

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