Mission and Goals

The mission of the Bachelor of Arts program in Criminal Justice is to foster a comprehensive understanding of the nature of crime and the effectiveness and fairness of society’s efforts to prevent and control it. Students engage in a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of crime, offenders, and victims, as well as the agencies, goals, laws, policies, and processes of the criminal justice system. Emphasis is upon promoting critical thinking about the kinds of questions and problems that shape developments in research, practice, policy and reform, and the skills utilized by scholars and professionals in the field.

Majoring in criminal justice helps to prepare students for careers as practitioners, researchers, and academics in a variety of public and private sector professions in both adult and juvenile systems of justice, at the federal, state, and local levels of government. It also provides the core liberal arts foundations for students interested in alternative career paths or advanced education in law school and graduate programs in criminal justice, criminology, and related social-science fields.

 

Degrees and Programs of Study

Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice provides a comprehensive understanding of: the nature of crime, criminals and criminal law; the goals, organizations, occupations and rules that make up the criminal justice system; and the methods of learning that are utilized by scholars of crime and criminal justice. The Bachelor of Arts program will enable students to learn how different academic disciplines approach the study of crime and criminal justice and to understand the kinds of questions and problems that are shaping developments in research, practice, and reform.

Majoring in criminal justice helps to prepare students for careers as practitioners, researchers, and academics in a variety of public and private sector professions in both adult and juvenile systems of justice, at the federal, state, and local levels of government. It also provides the core liberal arts foundations for students interested in alternative career paths or advanced education in law school and graduate programs in criminal justice, criminology, and related social-science fields.

Learn more about the requirements for the BA in Criminal Justice.

Minor in Criminal Justice

Students declaring the Criminal Justice Minor are preparing themselves for a chance to work in several different areas of criminal justice and social services. The minor will provide them with the fundamental of criminal laws and the criminal justice system while also providing them the ability to choose from a variety of upper level electives that interest them.

Learn more about the requirements for the minor in Criminal Justice.

Temple University Undergraduate Admissions

Criminal Justice Honors Program

The Department has its own Honors Program in which majors who are also University Honors students may tailor their honors experience to include a criminal justice specialization. In addition to the honors-level elective courses offered, an invaluable part of the program is the opportunity for students to develop an honors thesis based upon an undergraduate research project individually mentored by a criminal justice professor.

Criminal Justice 4+1 BA/MA

High-achieving undergraduates will be invited by the faculty of the Criminal Justice Department to apply for the BA/MA 5 year program. Students admitted to this program begin taking graduate courses along with their undergraduate curriculum in their last three undergraduate semesters. They then complete the remaining requirements of a MA in Criminal Justice in the subsequent year. Up to 9 credits of graduate work may count for both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs; these are used as Criminal Justice major electives in the undergraduate degree. Eligible students have a minimum 3.5 overall GPA and will have completed 83 credits of their overall program by the time they are admitted to this program in the spring of their Junior year. Students must have completed the following courses to be considered for this program: CJ 1001, CJ 2401, CJ 2597 (formerly CJ 2601), and CJ 2602.

Eligible students will receive notification at the end of their Sophomore year, and applications will be accepted until October 7th of their Junior year.

Curriculum

A student majoring in Criminal Justice can expect to take courses that introduce them to the criminal justice system, criminology theory, criminal law, and the dynamics of organizational change. In addition, students take courses that provide them with training in research methods and statistical analysis. Topics courses and electives are offered covering a variety of subjects including juvenile justice, criminal courts, prisons, corrections, policing, crime prevention, terrorism, white collar crime, organized crime and computer crime.

Careers

  • Local/State Law Enforcement: Police Officer, State Trooper, Detective, Sheriff, Crime Analyst, Intelligence Analyst, Department of Public Safety Telecommunicator
  • Federal Law Enforcement: ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) Agent, Drug Enforcement Agency Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent, Secret Service Agent, Central Intelligence Agency Agent or Analyst, Department of Homeland Security Agent, US Postal Inspector, US Marshalls Service AgentTSA (Transportation Security Administrator or Officer), United States Park Ranger, Crime Analyst, Intelligence Analyst
  • Private SecuritySecurity Officer, Retail Loss Prevention Specialist, Private Investigator, Private Intelligence Analyst
  • Corrections: Adult/Juvenile Parole Officer, Correctional Officer, Case worker, Mental health counselor, Youth Counselor
    Human Services: Mental Health Technician, Child and Family Social Worker, Youth Advocate, Crisis Counselor, Victims Advocate, Therapist
    Legal/Courts: Prosecutor, Defense Attorney, Paralegal, Legal Assistant, Court Clerk, Adult Probation Officer, Juvenile Court Probation Officer, Court Administration
  • Other careers: Researcher, Analyst