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What Can You Do with a Criminal Justice Degree?

A polished gavel sits on a white table

The criminal justice sector is more than your local police department and court system. Students interested in criminal justice learn that there are plenty of opportunities for prestigious careers at the local, regional, state, and national levels. Earning a criminal justice degree at St. Thomas University opens many doors for students who have a strong desire to help others while upholding the very rights and liberties that we all hold dear. 

Undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice learn about the structure and integrated relationships that connect the police, correctional systems, and courts. 

Students learn about the managerial aspects of criminal justice as well as the common issues seen in today’s world. Coursework involves crime control strategies and plenty of resources involving how to help both criminals and victims get the help that they need. 

Keep reading to learn more about what you can do with a criminal justice degree from St. Thomas University.

Criminal Justice Coursework

STU offers criminal justice degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In many cases, undergraduate students can fast track their way to a graduate degree to help jumpstart their careers. 

Undergraduate Courses

Students working towards a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice learn a wide range of skills that provide a solid foundation in the field. Intellectual tools learned in class, as well as internships in the field, help prepare students for a promising career. This degree program consists of 120 total credits.

General Education Requirements: 42 credits

  • Emphasis on basic college-level courses
  • Social science and history classes geared towards the criminal justice field

Major Requirements: 39 credits

  • These classes make up the majority of the coursework by introducing students to this exciting field of study.
  • Every class is specifically designed to help students in their future careers and learn more about understanding the sociology involved.
  • Speech
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Law Enforcement Systems
  • Courts and the Criminal Justice System
  • Human Resource Management
  • Corrections
  • Police Organization and Management
  • Principles of Sociology
  • Criminology
  • 12 credits in higher-level Criminal Justice courses

General Electives: 36-51 credits

  • Work with your advisor on choosing classes of interest that will help further your criminal justice career

Graduate Courses

Expand your career with a graduate-level criminal justice degree from St. Thomas University. Our 36 credit program is geared towards those working in the criminal justice field as well as those hoping to finish their undergraduate and graduate coursework subsequently. This graduate program is open to those students with undergraduate degrees in Criminal Justice and those with a degree in sociology, psychology, political science, and criminology. 

Earn Two Degrees at the Same Time

St. Thomas University offers two unique joint degree paths for those students who are serious about a career in criminal justice. 

Joint BA/MA Degree in Criminal Justice

Students who love this field can earn a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s degree in criminal justice all at once. Earn this express-paced degree in five years and have two college degrees when entering the field.

Joint JD/MA Degree in Criminal Justice 

If you already have your undergraduate degree, consider earning both your Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ) and your Juris Doctor (JD) degree at the same time. This degree focuses on criminal law and those students wanting to enter the field as police, judges, defense attorneys, and correctional officers. This 102 credit program only takes three years to complete. 

Criminal Justice Careers

There are plenty of career options within the criminal justice field. With a criminal justice degree from St. Thomas University, the sky’s the limit depending on what interests you and how you want to help.

Federal Bureau of Investigations Officer

An FBI agent looking at information on their laptop

Working for the FBI is a dream for many, but it is within reach with a criminal justice degree from STU. Our degrees offer a solid foundation for entry-level positions at the FBI. There are other requirements for landing a career at this prestigious institution and strong government agency. However, our coursework and internships help prepare you for a long career in the FBI. The average salary of an FBI officer is around $75,000 per year with room for advancement.

Criminal Investigator at the Department of Justice

A criminal investigator questioning a suspect

The Department of Justice (DOJ) offers many opportunities for students with a criminal justice degree. An exciting example includes a career as a criminal investigator. The STU coursework involving sociology, psychology, and criminology prepares students for work in the field to help solve crimes and bring justice to victims. Criminal Investigators average about $100,000 per year.

Drug Enforcement Officer with the DEA

The use of illegal drugs negatively affects individuals, families, and communities. Working as a Drug Enforcement Officer with the DEA allows students to help combat this underground system of addiction. DEA officers have a responsibility to help not only those dealing drugs but also help everyone who is affected by the growing drug problem. DEA officers can earn well over $100,000 in this field.

Secret Service Agent

While the Secret Service has many opportunities on the ground and in the field of criminal justice, they also offer behind-the-scenes careers. Secret service agents make an average salary of around $140,000 due to their upper-level graduate degrees. Earning a MACJ or JD from St. Thomas University prepares students for this specialized career field.

Earning this degree opens up a world of exciting job opportunities. Not only does the STU coursework prepare students for a long career in criminal justice, but it also helps expand knowledge about why criminals commit crimes in the first place. Our unique ability to offer joint degrees in criminal justice helps students earn their degree quickly so that they can begin their career.

Visit our criminal justice program page to learn more about both our Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and our Masters of Arts degree that can be combined with a Juris Doctor degree as well. At St. Thomas University, we are proud of our dedication to educating the criminal justice professionals that will work to keep us safe in the future.

Michelle Tulande

Author Michelle Tulande

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