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Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice

Bachelor of Arts/Science

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Criminal Justice Degree Program Overview

Embark on a study of crime and victimization, the criminal justice system and other responses to crime! As a student in Purdue University Northwest’s criminal justice program, you will study the nature, extent, causes and consequences of crime, as well as the criminal justice system: law enforcement, the courts and corrections. You will also gain an understanding of other responses to crime, such as reform and victim advocacy.

Department of Behavioral Sciences

  • Our faculty have first-hand experience with criminal justice and wrongful conviction. We are home to the Center for Justice and Post-Exoneration Assistance, a center focused on identifying and eradicating miscarriages of justice and providing support to those who have suffered from a wrongful conviction.
  • You will become equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for careers in criminal justice and related fields.
  • Our program includes courses on a wide variety of subjects including those from psychology, political science and forensic science.
  • Degree options include a B.A. (requiring 12 hours of modern language) or B.S. (requiring 12 hours of science, math and reasoning).

Criminal Justice Degree Program Curriculum

As a criminal justice student, you’ll take a balance of general education courses, College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences core courses and behavioral sciences courses. You’ll also complete a field experience in your final year of study.

You’ll take foundational courses on the criminal justice system and then upper division courses such as criminology, victimology and a variety of elective courses.

Begin with a first-year experience course specifically for behavioral science majors and receive an overview of the criminal justice system.

Criminal Justice Course of Study (B.A.)

Criminal Justice Course of Study (B.S.)

Sample Courses

  • BHS 10300 – First-Year Experience in Behavioral Sciences
  • CRJU 15000 – Introduction to the Criminal Justice System

Explore the fields of law enforcement, courts and corrections, as well as the discipline of criminology.

Criminal Justice Course of Study (B.A.)

Criminal Justice Course of Study (B.S.)

Sample Courses

  • CRJU 23000 – Introduction to Law Enforcement
  • CRJU 24000 – Introduction to Corrections
  • SOC 32400 – Criminology

Complete your 3000-level sociology requirements and expand your knowledge through victimology, an upper-level justice system course plus elective courses.

Criminal Justice Course of Study (B.A.)

Criminal Justice Course of Study (B.S.)

Sample Courses

  • CRJU 30700 – Victimology
  • SOC 33100 – Inequality & Crime
  • CRJU 31800 – Wrongful Convictions

Complete the field experience and ethics courses, as well as any remaining electives or requirements to complete your degree.

Criminal Justice Course of Study (B.A.)

Criminal Justice Course of Study (B.S.)

Sample Courses

  • CRJU 44300 – Field Experience in Criminal Justice
  • SOC 42100 – Juvenile Delinquency
  • CRJU 38500 – Ethics in Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Degree Program Highlights

Our criminal justice field experience course lets you complete an internship at an agency site, building valuable hands-on skills! Throughout your course of study, you will interact with professionals who can later serve as references as you explore career options and learn position requirements.

Explore The Course

PNW Lion Statue with a brick wall in the background Two students pose in commencement regalia in front of the Nils Building

Criminal Justice Degree Program Outcomes

The criminal justice program at PNW will prepare you to be a transformative leader in your community. Graduates will be equipped with knowledge and skills to impact the world positively through personal, professional and civic engagement.

Criminal Justice Degree Program Career Paths

A criminal justice degree from PNW prepares you for a number of careers in the field, including:

  • Criminal Justice System
  • Social Services
  • Graduate or Law School

Criminal Justice Degree Program Beyond The Classroom

You’ll have many opportunities to get involved in on- and off-campus activities, including:

  • Criminal Justice Club
  • Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society
  • Midwestern Criminal Justice Association

See All Student Organizations

Criminal Justice Degree Program Employers

Graduates of this program are employed in organizations and companies like:

  • Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Social Service Agencies
  • Correctional Agencies

Criminal Justice Degree Program Scholarships

In addition to the scholarships available to all PNW applicants, students seeking a criminal justice degree may also apply for program-specific scholarship awards, such as:

  • Michael and Geraldine Macenski Behavioral Scholarship

See All CHESS Scholarships

Alondra Diaz

I wanted to go on a route of helping people. I want to address problems in society...That’s what inspired me to go into Criminal Justice.

Meet the Faculty

Nicky Jackson

Nicky Ali Jackson, Ph.D.

Professor of Criminal Justice

Nicky Jackson serves as coordinator of the criminal justice program and is a professor of criminal justice. She serves as Executive Director for the Center for Justice and Post-Exoneration Assistance (CJPA) at Purdue Northwest.

Lee Michael Johnson, Ph.D.

Department Chair, Behavioral Sciences

Mike Johnson is chair of the department of Behavioral Sciences. His scholarly expertise is in criminology and criminal justice. He joined PNW in 2019.

IlichiOmeed headshot

Omeed S. Ilchi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

Omeed Ilchi is an assistant professor of criminal justice in the Department of Behavioral Sciences. His primary research and teaching interests are policing, corrections and criminological theory.

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Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice at PNW

Purdue University Northwest’s criminal justice degree program is tailored to fit your career goals by offering pathways to either a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts degree.

To see how a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from PNW opens doors, from corporate boardrooms to non-profit leadership, take the next step today!

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