Bachelor of Sciences 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 Ph.D. in Criminal Justice. You may also be interested in Tarleton’s Master of Public Administration degree program.
120 Credit Hours (4 years)
1Admission to the off-campus locations such as Fort Worth, Midlothian, Waco, and Online require a minimum of 30 transferable credit hours, a 2.0 GPA and that a student be TSI complete.
2Program in RELLIS – Bryan is pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).
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.
The department helps you find a field placement in the form of an internship with a criminal justice agency in your area of interest.
Undergraduate students majoring in criminal justice have had opportunities to collaborate with faculty and present research at regional and national conferences.
Program scholarships are available through the Office of Scholarships. Simply fill out the university’s general scholarship application to be considered. 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.
What Classes Will You Take as a Criminal Justice Major?
Designed in collaboration with criminal justice field experts, our broad curriculum encompasses a variety of components within the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, homeland security, criminal law and crime analysis. Explore topics in criminal justice supervision and management, community corrections, criminal justice statistics, criminal investigation, forensic science, homeland security, serial killers and more.
How Do You Get Started on Your Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration?
Take the next step toward earning your bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration. We have the resources to help you get started.
School of Criminology
Learn more about Tarleton’s bachelor’s in accounting School of Criminal Justice, Criminology and Strategic Studies offers five undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as a variety of complementary minors, through the departments of Leadership and Public Administration, Criminal Justice and Military Science.
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, and more.
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.
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.