What is a criminal justice degree?

Looking to get a criminal justice degree? Learn more about this growing field.

What is criminal justice?

When thinking about the field of criminal justice, what comes to mind? True crime? Law TV shows? No matter what made you interested in the field, it’s important to understand that there is a lot more than what you see on the screen.

Traditionally speaking, criminal justice is the system within the government that focuses on all legal proceedings related to criminal law, ranging from law enforcement and the court system to corrections and rehabilitation. It can also include criminology, which is the study of crime and its causes.

It’s not all CSI

Many people think of CSI when hearing about criminal justice. Although a job in a crime lab is one option for a graduate with a degree in criminal justice, it’s far from the only one. In fact, the criminal justice field is among the most diverse career paths available and it’s largely about helping people. Graduates with a criminal justice degree may find work in police departments, courts, airports, military bases, correctional facilities, or even research institutions! Overall, career opportunities in the criminal justice field are broad and inclusive.

Requires a variety of skills

Criminal justice students don’t just learn about laws. In fact, they learn a variety of skills needed to be successful such as:

  • Public Speaking
  • Analytical writing skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Ethical decision-making

Unlike other specialized fields, a criminal justice degree doesn’t have a single standardized test or explicit skill set. At its best, it equips you to solve problems and be able to step back and understand the way the pieces fit together.

Path to education in criminal justice

Having a bachelor’s degree in the field allows you to gain the skills needed to be successful. Concordia University offers a Bachelor of Public Service with a concentration in criminal justice management for students to do just that. Having a degree in public service gives students the opportunity to have a broader understanding of public service as a whole, as well as courses specifically focused on criminal justice.

Ready to start?

Want to make an impact in the community? Visit us here for more information. No matter where you are in your journey, we are ready to help you figure out your next move.

This blog was originally published on 09/13/2021. It has been updated to reflect current information.

— Maddie Schueller is the Content Marketing Lead for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. In her free time, she enjoys listening to podcasts, anything music-related, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.

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