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Criminal Justice

Bachelor of
Arts in
Criminal Justice

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African american detective reading and discussing criminal case file

Criminal justice is the study of crime and criminal legal systems and their impact on individuals and society. The criminal justice system encompasses policies, laws, institutions, and personnel from the time of an offense through the court and correctional systems and community reentry, as well as victim support and advocacy.

Two overarching themes of Georgian Court’s criminal justice degree are the rights of victims and offenders, and that criminal conduct must be addressed fairly and justly.

Our B.A. in Criminal Justice is a multidisciplinary social science program immersed in the liberal arts that prepares you for a variety of careers. Primary learning outcomes help you develop the ability to think analytically and critically about social systems and to act with exceptional integrity, sensitivity, and professionalism.

You can also minor in criminal justice.

"The criminal justice degree is designed with social justice and the development of concrete and translatable skills in mind. Such skills include the ability to communicate effectively; apply ethical decision-making across social theory, research, and practice; and evaluate the impact of diversity on criminal justice systems. Our dynamic faculty are passionate about their areas of expertise and bring professional experiences to the classroom, guiding students to careers in a wide array of public interest positions and offering student–faculty research opportunities."
Marny Requa
Marny Requa
Associate Professor
Juris Doctorate

Why Study Criminal Justice at GCU?

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What Students Might Be Interested in Criminal Justice?

A criminal justice degree may be a good fit if you’re motivated to discover more about the criminal justice system, global justice, and social systems and wish to make a difference in addressing social justice and human rights issues. Ethical leadership skills and a strong moral compass are integral to this field, as well as a desire to serve the public and those in need.

Investigator working at criminal case

What Can I do with a Criminal Justice Degree?

Due to its multidisciplinary nature and solid foundation in the liberal arts, GCU’s criminal justice degree prepares you for a wide range of jobs within many different fields. These include careers in social service, such as victim advocacy casework, corrections, and community reentry; law enforcement, including policing and investigation; civil service and nonprofit organizations; judiciary and law; business; teaching; research; international agencies; and more. You’ll also be prepared for graduate studies in criminal justice and related areas. A sample of careers and median annual salaries from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are below. Note: Jobs that may require a double major, minor, and/or an advanced degree and additional certifications and licensures are marked with an asterisk.

  • Corrections officer - $49,610
  • Paralegal* - $59,200
  • Private investigator - $52,120
  • Substance abuse social workers* - $51,240
  • Legal support workers - $62,340
  • FBI agent - $68,760
  • Police officer - $69,160
  • Prison warden - $89,450
  • Detective - $86,280
  • Lawyer* - $135,740

B.A. in Criminal Justice Program Information

You’ll need to successfully complete at least 120 credits, including General Education requirements. A minimum of 42 core credits in the criminal justice major, plus courses in related areas, are required. Students who have no applied experience in a work or voluntary capacity within a criminal justice agency or related organization must complete an additional 3-credit internship.

To earn this degree, students must successfully complete at least 120 credits, including General Education requirements and the major requirements below.

Major Sequence

A minimum of 42 core credits, plus courses in related areas, is required for the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. Students who have no applied experience in the field must also complete an additional 3-credit internship. It is strongly recommended that students take MA103 Introduction to Statistical Thinking to satisfy the General Education Quantitative Analysis requirement.

Core Requirements
CJ111The Criminal Justice System3.0
CJ167Race, Ethnicity & Criminal Justice3.0
or AN112 Cultural Anthropology
CJ/SO200Theories of Crime3.0
CJ210Introduction to Law Enforcement3.0
or CJ212 Introduction to Corrections
CJ213Criminal Law & Practice3.0
CJ320Special Populations in the CJ System 33.0
CJ325Gender & Crime3.0
CJ331Research Methods in Criminal Justice3.0
CJ435Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice3.0
CJ495Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice3.0
SO101Principles of Sociology3.0
SO/PO201Social Statistics3.0
2 CJ electives. PS320 and PS321 may be used as CJ electives6.0
Additional Course 1
CJ333
Internship in Criminal Justice
General Education Course 2
World Language 23.0
Total Credits45.0
1

Students who have no applied experience in a work or voluntary capacity in a criminal justice agency or related organization will also be required to complete a 15th course, CJ333 Internship in Criminal Justice.

2

World Language is required; Spanish is strongly recommended. Another language may be substituted with the approval of the student’s advisor.

3

CJ majors are expected to take CJ320. However, PS320 can be used to satisfy the CJ320 requirement. PS320 cannot be counted as a substitute for CJ320 and as a CJ Elective.

Concentrations in Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice majors who would like to focus on courses specific to their career or academic interests may elect to do a concentration in one of three areas: Cyber Crime, Global Justice and Society, or Law Enforcement and Corrections. Students wanting to add a concentration take courses as listed in the groups below or other concentration courses not listed that are offered on a rotating basis as designated by the department chair each semester.  Two of the courses in the concentration may count toward the electives required for the major. Concentrations are an elective part of their major. Students may request to take alternate courses (e.g., in other departments) relevant to the concentration upon department chair and advisor approval. 

Cyber Crime

CJ301Cyber Security & GIS3.0
CJ302Cyber Crime3.0
CS123Computer Programming I4.0
IS320Management Information Systems3.0
IS422Enterprise Cybersecurity3.0
Total Credits16.0

Global Justice & Society

Select four of the following:12.0
CJ/PO313
Constitutional Law
CJ351
Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
CJ353
Victimology
CJ/PO355
Political Crimes & Terrorism
CJ365
International Human Rights Law
CJ375
Global Justice & Law
CJ398
Selected Topics in Criminal Justice (dependent on semester, and when designated as concentration course by dept. chair)
CJ410
Independent Research in Criminal Justice (dependent on research topic; dept. chair approval required)
SO304
Globalization & Sustainability
PO211
American National Government
PO233
Modern Political Thought
PO350
Comparative Politics
SW253
Human Rights & Social Justice
Total Credits12.0

Law Enforcement & Corrections

Select four of the following:12.0
CJ167
Race, Ethnicity & Criminal Justice (if also taking AN112 as a core CJ requirement)
CJ210
Introduction to Law Enforcement (if also taking CJ212 as a core CJ requirement)
CJ231
Juvenile Justice
CJ301
Cyber Security & GIS
CJ302
Cyber Crime
CJ343
Criminal Investigation
CJ353
Victimology
CJ398
Selected Topics in Criminal Justice (dependent on semester, and when designated as concentration course by dept. chair)
CJ401
Sex Crimes
CJ410
Independent Research in Criminal Justice (dependent on research topic; dept. chair approval required)
IH335
Integrative Stress Management & Health
PO211
American National Government
PO221
State & Local Government in America
PS320
Forensic Psychology
PS321
Criminal Profiling
Total Credits12.0



For more information on program requirements, consult the Undergraduate Catalog.

"My time at GCU molded me into a better version of myself. I stepped outside my comfort zone from public speaking as a resident assistant and president of the Criminal Justice Club to networking at leadership conferences across the country. At GCU, I learned to adapt and soar for more, never settling for less."
Christine Hedgebeth
Christine Hedgebeth ’16
Parole Officer
New Jersey State Parole Board

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