Criminal Justice, B.A.

This tool should only be used as a guide — remember to meet with your academic adviser, Career Services and/or faculty to determine appropriate career options.

Earn a criminal justice degree that prepares you for the careers of the 21st century.

There’s a lot more to a criminal justice career than what you see on Law & Order. Criminal justice majors at Oakland University get a big-picture education that covers the full spectrum of criminal justice careers. You’ll learn about policing, homeland security, cybersecurity, corrections, data analysis, and other branches of criminal justice. Our criminal justice degree also addresses social factors that influence crime and law enforcement, including race, ethnicity, and religion. Agencies actively recruit our criminal justice majors for internships because our students are mature and well-prepared. With optional concentrations in homeland security and IT security, Oakland University’s criminal justice degree provides you with an excellent foundation for a successful criminal justice career.

Criminal Justice Degree: The Oakland University Advantage

Our reputation as one of the region’s best colleges for criminal justice rests on several factors. First, our criminal justice degree’s cyber security component is so strong that the U.S. defense department designated us a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. More broadly, we have a holistic perspective that equips criminal justice majors to think at a systemic level, with the ability to address crime’s underlying causes and long-range effects.

You’ll benefit from our criminal justice program’s:

  • One-of-a-kind internships. We offer extraordinary internship opportunities that immerse criminal justice majors in the profession. You’ll complete a mandatory internship as part of the criminal justice degree, with the chance to work in settings such as substance abuse centers, correctional facilities, probation offices, police departments, juvenile detention centers, and corporate IT security operations. You’ll acquire hundreds of hours of experience that can vault you to the top of the job applicant pool.
  • Interdisciplinary structure. You’ll fulfill some of the criminal justice degree‘s requirements with one or more courses in information technology, business, public administration, international studies, or other disciplines. This unusual breadth increases your ability to connect crime to underlying societal factors, while widening your range of criminal justice career options.
  • Practical, results-oriented skills. Our criminal justice degree equips you with a broad base of skills that are in high demand. You’ll learn to write effectively, conduct research, analyze data, think critically, and collaborate across jurisdictions and professional disciplines. The program culminates in a capstone project that ties it all together and showcases your skills.
  • Career specializations. Homeland security and cybersecurity are two of the fastest-growing criminal justice careers. Our criminal justice degree offers optional concentrations in both areas that enable you to work with pioneering faculty, advanced technology, and real-world partners.
  • Flexibility. Whether or not you choose a specialization in information security or homeland security, our criminal justice degree includes an extremely broad range of electives. Through your selection of courses, you can personalize the criminal justice major to fit your academic and career objectives.

Criminal Justice Careers

Social trends, technological advances, and other factors have led to the rise of new criminal justice career niches. Entire law enforcement agencies such as TSA and ICE have come into being fairly recently, and modern surveillance and data tools have transformed the way criminal justice professionals operate.

Our criminal justice degree has modernized to a level that reflects the new generation of criminal justice careers. You can find opportunities in areas such as:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Corrections
  • Parole and probation
  • Border security
  • Computer forensics
  • Customs enforcement
  • Natural resource protection
  • Intellectual property theft
  • Fraud investigation
  • Juvenile corrections
  • Policing
  • Private security
  • Victim advocacy
  • Case management
  • Policy analysis
  • Law

Criminal Justice Degree: What You’ll Study

The criminal justice degree begins with core coursework in criminology, law, research, and statistics.  You’ll then choose electives from very broad range of areas that include (but are not limited to):

  • Substance abuse
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Cybercrime
  • White collar crime
  • Threat assessment
  • Terrorism and homeland security
  • Information privacy
  • International politics
  • Civil rights
  • Constitutional law
  • Religion, politics, and culture
  • Middle Eastern culture and politics

The criminal justice major concludes with a professional internship and a senior capstone project.

  • My future career:

    Child Welfare Case Worker

  • My future career:

    Correctional Facility Warden

  • My future career:

    Correctional Treatment Specialist

  • My future career:


  • My future career:


  • My future career:

    Probation Officer

    • Career & Salary Information
    • Possible Career Options
    • Median Salary*
    • Education Needed
    • For More Information**

    * Median salary for the state of Michigan

    ** These professional organizations provide an excellent starting point for your research. There are many more resources available online.

    Additional Considerations

    Some careers may require additional education. See your academic adviser for more information.

    • Bailiff
    • Corrections Officer
    • Court Reporter
    • Detective
    • Labor Relations Specialist
    • Legal Clerk
    • Private Investigator
    • Warden