Most jobs in criminal justice require working with victims and/or offenders who may be very different from you and come from very diverse backgrounds. Do you enjoy working with people and are you able to work with people who come from a variety of different backgrounds?
YES – This major may be a good fit for you.
NO – You may want to reconsider choosing this major.
Are you interested in working in forensics (crime investigation similar to those shown on CSI programs)?
YES – This is not the major for you. Most of these jobs, which are limited, require a chemistry background; however, criminal justice may be a good second major or minor.
NO – Most criminal justice programs, including ours, do not have a forensics component. These jobs are somewhat limited and often require a chemistry background.
Are you interested in thinking about how laws are created, defined, and enforced? Are you interested in understanding how the criminal justice system works to respond to victims and offenders? Can you think abstractly about concepts such as criminality and victimization?
YES – This major challenges students to think about crime from a very broad perspective including topics like corporate misconduct, interpersonal violence, and street crime. It does not teach you how to “be” a cop, for example, though it will expose you to a variety of issues associated with policing and the police profession. The same is true for corrections and victim related jobs.
NO – The program does not provide training. Police academies and other types of on the job training will prepare you specifically for your occupation of choice. It does, however, provide you with the conceptual and applied skills to make you competitive in the field.
Are you interested in taking a foreign language?
YES – People who can speak Spanish with any degree of proficiency are in high demand in the criminal justice field.
NO – The major does not require a foreign language, although people who can speak Spanish with any degree of proficiency are in high demand in the criminal justice field.
Do you want to go to law school or continue your formal education?
YES – If you know you want to go to law school, other majors such as Legal Assistant Studies, Political Science, or a traditional liberal arts major (e.g. English, foreign language, history) may better prepare you for law school. If you know you are interested in criminal law, criminal justice would be a good minor or second major. The criminal justice program also has a master’s degree and our undergraduate program prepares you to do advanced graduate level work.
NO – The major is not designed as a pre-law program. The criminal justice program has a master’s degree and our undergraduate program prepares you to do advanced graduate level work if you decide you are interested as your education progresses.
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