B.S. in Criminal Justice
Offered face to face and fully online.
The criminal justice system is an institution that is at the crux of societal concerns. When individuals are asked to define major social problems, the fear of and response to crime are found at the top of the list. People not only want to have a better understanding of these problems; many also want to become a part of the solution.
The bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice program provides a platform for you to learn about the legal and correctional systems in the country, the philosophy of punishment and deterrence of crimes, and ethical codes of behavior. You will learn about interpersonal communication skills, multicultural issues, leadership and management, moral and ethical considerations, and technology.
Some graduates with degrees in criminal justice go on to enjoy careers in law enforcement, court administration, victim services, private security or corrections. Others use a criminal justice degree as a first step toward law school or other graduate programs.
If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree, we recommend that you explore our Double Owl Pathways. We have established Double Owl Pathways from a BS in Criminal Justice to multiple graduate programs. These established pathways allow you to take graduate courses to fulfill some of your undergraduate BS in Criminal Justice degree requirements and earn graduate credits at the same time. Please click on each of the Double Owl Pathways for more information:
Why should I study criminal justice?
Are you looking for an exciting yet impactful profession? Have you been searching for a career path that will allow you to leave a positive mark on the world? If so, a degree in criminal justice is your ticket to achieving unique experiences, intellectual stimulation and amazing opportunities.
Criminal justice has a variety of branches you can choose from. Whether you prefer to investigate behind a desk or get out into the field, the possibilities are endless. Jobs in the criminal justice field are stable. Most graduates with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice are hired by the public sector (rather than the private sector), so they are not as likely to be affected by the ups and downs of the economy.
You can find jobs at all levels of government – local, county, state and federal – as well as with private companies. You can work in a variety of settings, including judiciary and law, juvenile justice, customs and border protection, social services, teaching and research, drug enforcement, private and personal security, and corrections.
What do people with a degree in criminal justice do?
- Enforce laws to defend and protect people in their community
- Carry out investigations, examine crime scenes, and interview witnesses to gather evidence
- Manage offenders under correctional supervision in the community and secure facilities
- Assist in emergency management coordination
- Investigate and address threats to national security such as terrorism and human trafficking
- Provide resources and support to victims of crime
- Supervise criminal justice practitioners working in the criminal justice system
- Provide private security and asset protection for commercial and retail establishments
- Administer programs to prevent and reduce crime
How do I know if a degree in criminal justice is for me?
- Do you like to help others?
- Are you an observant person who pays attention to details?
- Do you enjoy solving puzzles?
- Do you like to build relationships?
- Are you looking for a stable job?
- Do you enjoy intellectual challenges that require reasoning and critical thinking to find the solution?
Then a degree in criminal justice is for you!
Why should I choose KSU for a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice?
The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program at KSU prepares students to understand and deal with diversity, justice, modernization and social change. Our graduates have the skills and knowledge to enter careers that require abilities in technology, communication, data gathering and analysis, applied research, community awareness and involvement, problem-solving, critical thinking, professional writing, and an understanding of the structure and functioning of groups and organizations.
As a criminal justice major at KSU, you will receive:
- An in-depth study of the criminal justice system including police, courts, and corrections
- An overview of criminology, which examines the cause of crime
- Exposure to key issues in criminal justice such as technology, criminal investigations, juvenile justice, victimology, and terrorism.
- Training on common ethical dilemmas that occur within law enforcement, the court system and the correctional system
- A structured off-campus experience that is related to your major and career interests, so you have the experience necessary for success in your job search
Our faculty bring both workplace best practices and academic expertise to your criminal justice studies classes at KSU. You can expect coursework that combines current theory with real-world applications.
Does KSU offer an online version for the bachelor’s degree in criminal justice?The bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice program can be completed on-campus or fully online. The program offers classes in multiple different formats including face-to-face, fully online, and hybrid (a combination of face-to-face meeting and online work). The criminal justice program offers all required courses and most electives online so majors can complete their degree fully online from anywhere in the world. Each semester, students are welcome to enroll in any course format that best meets their preferences, lives, and schedules. This means that students can take courses fully online for their entire degree, or for just some semesters or courses.
What kind of job can I get with a degree in criminal justice?
- Local, state and federal law enforcement officer
- Criminal investigator
- Community correctional officer
- Victim advocate
- Corrections manager
- Emergency management coordinator
- Forensic accountant
- Private investigator
- Fraud investigator
- Loss prevention officer
- Courtroom Manager
Do you help with job placement?To assist students in finding a job, KSU hosts a Student Career Portal offering a list of positions students getting a degree in criminal justice can consider.
What classes will I take?
Following are the courses you will take to get your degree in criminal justice, including options to customize your criminal justice studies to what interests you. See the KSU Undergraduate Catalog for full information on courses and the credit hours necessary to graduate.
- CRJU 1101: Foundations of Criminal Justice. Students learn about the American criminal justice system including law enforcement, the court system and the correctional system.
- CRJU 2201: Crimes and Defences. Students learn and explore the types and elements of felony and misdemeanor criminal offenses, defences to crimes, and lower and appellate case law interpretations of crimes and defences.
- SOCI 1101: Introduction to Sociology. This class provides an overview of sociology, which emphasizes the social nature of human behavior.
- CRJU 3300: Criminal Courts. Students learn and examine the history, development, structure, operation and organization of criminal court systems in federal and state courts in the U.S.
- CRJU 3301: Research Methods in Criminal Justice. Students learn the background of the scientific method and the concepts and techniques of social science research.
- CRJU 3315: Criminal Procedure. Students examine the requirements and interpretation of constitutional amendments by the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal and state courts during the various stages of a criminal case.
- CRJU 3332: Corrections. Students learn the history and philosophy of the American correctional system.
- CRJU 4100: Ethics in Criminal Justice. This class provides an overview of ethical decision-making and behavior within the context of the criminal justice system.
- CRJU 4499: Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice. Students take part in a capstone project designed for senior-level criminal justice majors to apply learning from previous criminal justice courses.
- SOCI 4432: Criminology. Students examine the nature and extent of crime and the causes and correlates of criminal behavior.
- CRJU 3310: Police in America. Students learn about American law enforcement including the role and purposes of police in society, the major functions and responsibilities of police, and police subculture.
- CRJU 3311: Police Administration. Students learn about police administration in the U.S. and examine the social, legal and political factors that influence police management.
- CRJU 3396: Cooperative Study. Students take part in a supervised work experience program for a minimum of two academic semesters at a previously approved site in business, industry, government, or a private agency related to the criminal justice field.
- CRJU 3398: Internship. Students take up a structured off-campus experience in a supervised setting that is related to the student’s major and career interests, under the guidance of both a field supervisor and an academic internship coordinator.
- SA 4490: Upper-division Study Abroad. This experience varies with discipline and the subject chosen by the student. This is an upper division study abroad course denoting junior or senior level work.
OTHER CRIMINAL JUSTICE ELECTIVE CLASSES (Choose three)
- ACCT 2101: Principles of Accounting. This class is an introduction to the language of business and focuses on financial statements and their use in decision-making.
- HS 2100: Overview of Human Services. This class provides an overview of helping professions. Topics include philosophy of human services, characteristics of human service workers and careers in human services.
- ICT 2101: Information and Communications Technology. Students learn to be creative problem-solvers capable of using and envisioning the potential of digital technologies.
- SPAN 2034: Spanish for Criminal Justice. Students focus on Spanish language and culture appropriate for working in the field of criminal justice with Hispanics.
- GEOG 1130: World Regional Geography. Students learn about world regions through the context of human geography.
- SOCI 2251: Social Problems. Students learn about current social problems facing American society with a focus on analysis and solutions.
- COM 2240: Communication, Law, Ethics, and Diversity. This course provides an overview of law, ethics, and diversity in mass media.
- LDRS 2100: Leadership and Historical Social Movements. This course focuses on the examination of the leadership process and the historical, social, political, and cultural context of select social movements.
- POLS 2212: State and Local Government. This course is a general survey of state and local government including recent and current trends.
- FL 1001: Introduction to Foreign Language and Culture I. Students learn a foreign language and culture, stressing progressive acquisition of effective communication skills in both the written and spoken language.
- SPAN 1001: Introduction to Spanish Language and Culture I. Students learn Spanish language and culture, stressing progressive acquisition of effective communication skills in both the written and spoken language.
CULTURAL DIVERSITY (Choose one)
- CRJU 3355: Race, Crime, and Justice. This course provides an in-depth examination into racial and ethnic issues related to crime and justice in America.
- ANTH 3307: Cultural Anthropology. Students learn and explore human cultures and societies through use of cross-cultural analysis of human behavior and case studies.
- ANTH 3310: Cultural Diversity in the U.S. Students explore interrelated issues of culture, race, ethnicity, identity, gender and social stratification in American society.
- SOCI 3314: Race and Ethnicity. Students learn about the social construction of racial and ethnic categories and inequalities between various groups.
- SOCI 3350: Intersections of Race, Class and Gender. This class aims to make students understand how race, class, and gender intersect to fundamentally shape social interaction, conditions and institutions in American society.
ELECTIVES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE (Choose four)
- CRJU 3305: Technology and Criminal Justice. This class involves an in-depth study of technology as it relates to crime and the criminal justice system.
- CRJU 3310: Police in America. Students learn about American law enforcement including the role and purposes of police in society, the major functions and responsibilities of police, and police subculture.
- CRJU 3311: Police Administration. This class provides an overview of police administration in the U.S. and examines the social, legal, and political factors that influence police management.
- CRJU 3312: State and Federal Law Enforcement Initiatives. Students examine various state and federal law enforcement initiatives.
- CRJU 3320: Criminal Investigation. This class examines the historical, theoretical, and technological aspects of the investigation of crime.
- CRJU 3340: Legal Analysis. This class involves students in the process of reasoning objectively and arguing persuasively within a socio-legal framework.
- CRJU 3352: Juvenile Justice. This class focuses on the juvenile justice system including the processing of juvenile offenders from the delinquent act through disposition and discharge.
- CRJU 3365: Profile of the Serial Offender. Students examine theories and research that explain how serial offenders evolve across their life- course from childhood to adulthood.
- CRJU 3398: Internship. This is a structured off-campus experience in a supervised setting that is related to the student’s major and career interests.
- CRJU 3400: Ideological/Group Violence and Law Enforcement. Students examine law enforcement’s response to domestic and international terrorism and the roles and responsibilities of enforcement agencies in responding to terrorism.
- CRJU 4300: Organized Crime. This class examines the origins, histories, and activities of various major organized crime groups in the United States and throughout the world, and the methods used by law enforcement to combat them.
- CRJU 4305: Technology and Cybercrime. Students are provided with an overview of cyber-crime and computer-related crime issues facing the American criminal justice system, particularly law enforcement
- CRJU 4400: Directed Study in Criminal Justice. Working with a faculty advisor, students will learn about a special topic external to regular course offerings.
- CRJU 4410: Criminal Profiling and Analysis. This class centers on the deductive criminal profiling method, the analysis process of forensic evidence, and the development of offender characteristics from behavioral evidence analysis.
- CRJU 4430: Victimology. This class involves an examination of theories of victimization, research on the scope and impact of specific types of victimization, and efforts to prevent victimization.
- CRJU 4490: Special Topics in Criminal Justice. This class addresses special topics in criminal justice that are of interest to faculty and students.
- SOCI 3360: Sociology of Violence. Students examine the root cause and consequence of violent behavior exhibited by individuals in our society.
- SOCI 4200: Drugs, Alcohol, and Society. Students study drug use and abuse, including how different drugs affect the body, theories of drug use, the sociological context of drug use, and the extent of drug use in our society and globally.
- SOCI 4442: Deviance and Social Control. This course presents a survey of the nature, causes, and consequences of deviant behavior.
Will courses I’ve taken at a different college transfer into the criminal justice program?
Many courses taken at an accredited college or university can be transferred toward a degree in criminal justice. For information on transferability of credits, please check our Transfer Articulation Search Engine.
Transcripts should be submitted to KSU directly from the institution you attended. Allow ample time for receipt and processing of all documents. Processing time varies based on the number of applicants and the time of year.
Find out more information on transferring to KSU at KSU Admissions.
How much does it cost to attend and is financial aid available?
Kennesaw State University is an affordable school and gives you a quality education at a tuition rate that is lower than the average college in Georgia and in the United States. Learn more about current tuition rates.
Financial aid for a degree in criminal justice is available through a variety of grants, scholarships, loans and a work study program. Applying for financial aid isn't as complex as you might imagine. For step-by-step resources, visit the Office of Financial Aid website. Start the process by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available October 1st for the following fall term. (You do not have to wait until you are admitted to file a FAFSA.)
Contact KSU's Office of Financial Aid at (770) 423-6074 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions on financial aid options.
Will I complete an internship?
The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice provides all students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with an opportunity to earn internship class credit. A criminal justice internship is a valuable form of “learning by doing.” Internships can help you in many important ways.
What are the benefits of an internship?
- Explore a career area before graduation
- Apply technical criminal justice knowledge learned in the classroom to workplace situations
- Network with professionals in criminal justice as contacts for future job seeking
- Bolster your academic learning with professional workplace experience
- Enrich your resume
Students have had criminal justice internships in the past at sites such as:
- Local Police Departments and Sheriff’s Offices
- Georgia Bureau of Investigation
- Federal Law Enforcement Agencies such the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
- Local District Attorney’s Offices
- Georgia Department of Community Supervision
- Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection
- Local Defense Attorney’s Offices
- Private Security Firms
What kind of groups or clubs are available?Students in the criminal justice program can join Alpha Phi Sigma, the Criminal Justice Honor Society which is open to all criminal justice majors. They can also take advantage of the over 400 student clubs, covering a wide range of interests and activities that exist at KSU. Find one that interests you at Owl Life.
Will there be opportunities for me to conduct research?
Many of the classes in the Criminal Justice program will introduce you to research in criminal justice and criminology. Students will learn first-hand how research is conducted in the field during the required course, CRJU 3301: Research Methods in Criminal Justice.
Students may also pursue independent research under the supervision of a faculty member that can be used to help prepare students for careers in criminal justice or further education in graduate and/or law school. Independent research with faculty may also be used for upper-division course credit (CRJU 4400: Directed Study in Criminal Justice).
There are also opportunities to engage in undergraduate research through Alpha Phi Sigma, the Criminal Justice Honor Society and present research at local and national criminal justice conferences.
How and when do I apply to KSU?
We are delighted that you are considering applying to the criminal justice program at Kennesaw State! You can apply easily online. If you have any questions, please contact admissions via phone at (770) 423-6300 or email at KSUadmit@kennesaw.edu, and they’ll be happy to help.
- Fall Semester: June 1
- Spring Semester: December 1
- Summer Semester: June 1
When will I know if I've been accepted?You will receive a decision notification via email. (Ask admissions) During peak application periods, it may take longer than expected to receive a decision notification. After submitting your application, you can click here to check your status online.
Can I visit the campus?Yes! We’d love to have you visit. Tours are available in person for individuals and groups, and we offer virtual visits. Find out more about tours or take a virtual tour at visit.kennesaw.edu.
Who do I contact for further information?We are happy to answer any further questions you have about getting your criminal justice degree. Contact the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at email@example.com or (470) 578-6739.