B.A. in Criminal Justice
National Louis University’s Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, with majors in Criminal Justice Administration or Forensic Social Justice, prepares students to work in fields addressing the effects of criminality on individuals, communities, and society. The degree equips graduates to serve in the law enforcement, courts, or corrections systems, or to work in related private industries.
Consider getting your Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree at NLU if you:
- Want to make a positive difference through public service
- Are intrigued by the root causes of criminal behavior and its role in society
- Want to learn from faculty practitioners in law enforcement, courts, corrections, and the security industry
- Value a degree combining psychology, sociology, public policy, and organizational management that will give you the broadest set of professional opportunities
- Want to major in Criminal Justice Administration (managing organizations) or Forensic Social Justice (the psychology of criminality and its applications)
- Want the flexibility of completing your degree online or on campus
Why NLU for a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice
For more than a century National Louis University has specialized in education and the social and behavioral science disciplines that underlay the practice of criminal justice. Our new criminal justice degree curriculum was developed in consultation with leaders in the law enforcement, security, and corrections fields so that graduates will be prepared to address the expectations of hiring managers today.
Directed by a former homicide detective who became an educator later in his career, NLU’s criminal justice degree program includes guest lectures, class trips and case studies that engage you with the newest developments in the field. Special topics will include terrorism response, homeland security, criminal investigation, transportation security and forensics. You will be guided to pursue special certifications and training to enhance your professional preparation.
What You Will Learn
- How to understand and apply theories about why people commit crimes, the effects of criminal behavior on society, and how crime is being addressed and ameliorated in communities today
- Methods in criminal investigation and analysis
- How the criminal law and justice system works, and the key policy trends affecting the justice system in the United States
- The role and functioning of the corrections system, including approaches to the rehabilitation of offenders
- The role of human services, sociological and psychological conditions and family dynamics in diagnosis and intervention (For forensic mental health concentrators)
- How the main criminal justice agencies operate, are funded, and deliver their services (for criminal justice administration concentrators)
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs appropriate to those with criminal justice degrees, such as police officers and detectives, are expected to grow nearly 10% between 2008 and 2018, while probation officer and correctional treatment specialist jobs are expected to grow 19% during the same time frame.
Criminal justice degree graduates can be found in a number of roles, including*:
- Police officers
- Forensic scientists
- Security specialists in business settings
- Juvenile justice caseworkers
- Correctional officers
- Probation officers
- Private investigators
*These careers may require fulfillment of additional federal, state, county or municipal requirements.
Earn Your Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice Completely Online
NLU offers online criminal justice degree options. A completely online course of study is available for students who major in Criminal Justice Administration, while students majoring in Forensic Social Justice may take a blended format of online and on-campus classes in the Chicago area.
Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree Program Requirements
The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree requires 180 quarter hours, including 60 quarter hours of general education, for completion. Working with an academic advisor, students will begin the program at a point that reflects their preparation and readiness. In addition to college courses, students may complete general education requirements through Credit by Portfolio, Credit by Examination or Credit by Proficiency.
Students entering the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree must select a major in either Criminal Justice Administration or Forensic Social Justice. The general education and core requirements are identical, but major course requirements vary for each.
Criminal Justice Minor
NLU offers a Criminal Justice Minor through our Applied Behavioral Sciences program. The program studies the nature of humans, their conduct in society, and the institutions established to address antisocial behavior in the pursuit of the common good. This minor would be useful for those engaged in any professions like counseling, education, health care, law and law enforcement. Please see the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavior Sciences Program for details.
Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree Admission Requirements
All applicants must meet NLU's general admission requirements as well as additional requirements specific to this program. Refer to the appropriate application checklist available online at nl.edu/applyonline.
Get more information today about enrolling at NLU. Connect with an Enrollment Specialist.