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Estimated Completion

120 Credit Hours (4 years)

Application Process

Cost

Locations Available

College

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Through academic knowledge with applied experience, our traditional, four-year bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice prepares you for a new career, job promotion, federal service or graduate school.

Our student-focused degree program develops your knowledge and skills for an impactful career in your chosen field. With small class sizes, program faculty integrate textbook material with professional practice for valuable insight into the criminal justice system that is rarely found in colleges with criminal justice.

Classes are available in online, hybrid, face-to-face and accelerated formats for flexible options that fit your schedule and goals. You can also earn a professional certificate in crime analysis.

If you’re ready to take a chance for yourself — and your future — get started in our bachelor’s in criminal justice degree program at Tarleton.

What is Criminal Justice?

Criminal justice studies the system that identifies, apprehends, judges and punishes crimes and criminals, including law enforcement, prosecution and defense lawyers, courts and corrections. It also explores how and why people commit crimes and the availability and effectiveness of services for both offenders and victims, including rehabilitation, prevention and support. Undergraduate students explore opportunities for a variety of careers in criminal justice, from government employment to private sector security jobs.

What Can You Do With Your Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice?

A criminal justice bachelor’s degree gets you started on a path to job security and career opportunities in a variety of fields, such as social services, the judicial system and law, law enforcement, business and education.
Our criminal justice majors graduate with practical knowledge and skills in problem solving, evidence-based decision making, writing, professional presentations, managing people and projects, leadership, ethics, research methods, technology and more. They are prepared for entry-level jobs for criminal justice majors, such as:

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Correctional Officer
  • Private or Corporate Security Officer
  • FBI Agent
  • Private Investigator

Many of our graduates also continue their education with graduate studies or law school. The Department of Criminal Justice offers a seamless and direct pathway to a successful, long-term career in criminal justice with its Master of Criminal Justice degree and PhD in Criminal Justice. You may also be interested in Tarleton’s Master of Public Administration degree program.


How Much Do Criminal Justice Graduates Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals in criminal justice jobs earned the following mean annual incomes in 2019:

  • Police Officer or Sheriff's Deputy: $67,600
  • Fish and Game Wardens: $57,960
  • Jailers or Correctional Officers: $50,210
  • Probation Officers: $59,910
  • Private Detective or Investigator: $57,000

Why Major in Criminal Justice?

We offer a well-rounded, relevant and high-quality education for students majoring in criminal justice.

student talking to a professor

Gain practical work experience in your field

The department helps you find a field placement in the form of an internship with a criminal justice agency in your area of interest.

professor standing with student in front of a whiteboard

Engage in undergraduate research with faculty

Undergraduate students majoring in criminal justice have had opportunities to collaborate with faculty and present research at regional and national conferences.

male student holding up a sign for scholarship applications

Get help paying for college with scholarships and financial aid

Program scholarships are available. To be considered, fill out the university’s general scholarship application through the Office of Scholarships. The criminal justice school also accepts Texas Peace Officer Tuition Exemption.

 

Learn from highly experienced faculty with diverse expertise

We blend industry and innovation with theory and knowledge in various components of the criminal justice system to help our students succeed. Our teaching personnel include police officers, correctional staff and professionals with years of practice in criminal law. We have diverse areas of expertise, including family violence, human trafficking, cybersecurity, crime analysis, racial profiling, comparative criminal justice, criminal law and juvenile justice.

student working with a professor

What Classes Will You Take as a Criminal Justice Major?

Our broad curriculum is professionally designed in collaboration with criminal justice field experts to encompass a variety of components, including law enforcement, criminal law, crime analysis and homeland security. Study topics such as criminal investigation, homeland security, forensic science, serial killers, crime analysis and more.

View all required classes for the criminal justice bachelor’s degree.

Accreditations

How Do You Get Started on Your Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice?

Take the next step toward earning your bachelor's degree in criminal justice. We have the resources to help you get started.

School of Criminology

The departments of Criminal Justice, Military Science and Leadership and Strategic Studies comprise Tarleton’s School of Criminal Justice, Criminology and Strategic Studies. In addition to five undergraduate and graduate degree programs and a variety of complementary minors, the School houses four institutes dedicated to fields in the criminal justice system.

Tarleton ROTC

Student Activities

Join other criminal justice majors in student and professional organizations for educational opportunities, social events and professional development. For example, you can get involved with Alpha Phi Sigma, Tarleton Criminal Justice Association, Pre-Law Association, Texan Corp of Cadets and more.

students in a group

Living Learning Communities

Students majoring in criminal justice can join a supportive, immersive cohort of approximately 30 students to participate in experiences in and outside the classroom. LLCs are designed to help you succeed while sharing common passions, interests and goals with classmates.

student abroad student group

Explore Criminal Justice with a Global Perspective

Study abroad allows you to gain first-hand knowledge of a variety of criminal justice systems and issues. This experience offers greater insight into the American criminal justice system by comparison. Most recently, students majoring in criminal justice have traveled to Prague and Scotland. You can also travel within the United States through study away trips to destinations such as Atlanta and San Francisco.

What Bachelor's Degrees are Related to Criminal Justice?

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