Did you know a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is the most relevant and sought after by employers? Yes, having a bachelor’s in criminal justice would make you eligible to apply for almost all jobs in the criminal justice system, be it law enforcement, courts, or corrections. 

Also, you need not worry about promotions, or salary hikes, for you have a 4-years degree in your hand. You’ll leap above the competition from the associate or no degree holders. This assures job security, stability, and satisfaction.  

So, in this article, we will explore the course curricula, the time required for completion, who should choose this degree option and the benefits of a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and more. 

Let’s begin:  

Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree 

Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice 

The most popular and relevant degree option in Criminal Justice is a bachelor’s degree that makes you eligible for all types of careers in – law enforcement, courts, and corrections.

The bachelor’s degrees typically cover everything that a career in law enforcement, the courts, or corrections demands. Also, you will develop essential soft skills like – critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.

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Admission requirements 

The admission requirements may differ depending on the institution. So, it is better to check the notification of the college or university before applying. 

  • High school or GED transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation (wherever applicable)
  • Personal statement on education and career goals (wherever applicable)
  • ACT/SAT scores (wherever applicable)

Course curricula 

The course curricula may differ depending on the institution you enroll, but the topics below are standard offerings: 

  • Introduction to the criminal justice system
  • Criminology
  • Forensic science
  • Criminal law
  • Criminal psychology
  • Corrections
  • Ethics in criminal justice
  • Security and policy administration
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Research Methodology

Course Duration – 4 years

Course credits – 120

Other Degree Programs: 

-> Criminal Justice Associate Degree

-> Criminal Justice Master’s Degree

Who should choose Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree? 

When you choose a bachelor’s degree option, it opens up endless career opportunities. But, it is important to research and self-assess if your career goal demands a bachelor’s or not. Let’s understand, for whom a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, is most suited: 

  • If you have a strong interest in the field of criminal justice then a Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree is most suitable for you. You can then opt for jobs or further education and become an SME – Subject Matter Expert.  
  • If you are of the kind that is curious to develop a deeper understanding of the various aspects of the issues concerning the U.S. criminal justice system and local communities, a bachelor’s degree perfectly suits you.
  • If your career goal is to work in federal law enforcement, a bachelor’s degree is your only hope. However, having a degree alone won’t guarantee a job; you should acquire the knowledge and hone the skills required to be a federal agent.  
  • Do you want to be in a position where you can just leap above the competition? A bachelor is what you need. Many don’t prefer a 4-year degree program, and it could work as an advantage for you. But it is your skills, hard work, and dedication; that decide your promotions or salary hikes.  
  • Are you targeting higher-level jobs? A bachelor is what you should get. You become eligible for almost all the jobs in the system, from junior levels to the higher ones.
  • Lastly, if you are looking for post-job stability, satisfaction, security, and a healthy annual average salary of around $66,020, get your bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. 

P.S. – Get it online for more affordability, convenience, and flexibility. 

-> Online Criminal Justice Degree

Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree Benefits

How long is Criminal Justice Degree

A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice equips you with all the knowledge and skills required to protect and serve your people. Apart from that, you become eligible for almost all kinds of jobs besides criminal justice as well. But there is more to it.

Here are the benefits of a bachelor’s degree:  

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Advanced Learning 

A bachelor’s degree makes you equipped with advanced investigation techniques, developing theories, an understanding of the procedures of the court, conflict management or problem-solving best practices, and the loopholes of the criminal justice system. By developing advanced knowledge and understanding you can work on crime prevention and protect the people.  

Widely applicable skills 

You will develop widely applicable skills that will help you in the field besides criminal justice. The skills like – critical thinking, communication, Problem-Solving, Cultural Awareness, Ethical Conduct, Adaptability, Technology Proficiency, and Crisis or Conflict Management Skills, will help you in almost every other field.

Diverse Career Opportunities 

Isn’t it great to know that you qualify for any and every open job in the market? This fact alone should encourage one to get a bachelor’s degree.

The maximum requirement for most of the jobs is a 4-year degree, and by getting it you are open to the diverse career opportunities it offers.

Advance Career Opportunities 

There are job roles that the high school or associate degree holder doesn’t qualify for their advanced nature. A bachelor’s degree holder is what employers are looking for in that role, and you being one, are eligible. 

To edge over the competition try getting internships, volunteer opportunities, or any sort of experience that you can get. Also, try maintaining that GPA of yours.  

The career advancement opportunity bachelors provide in the criminal justice system is unparalleled. It provides you with opportunities given your work, skills, and experience are up to the mark.

Sense of Purpose and Responsibility 

The sense of purpose and responsibility one gets while working in the field of criminal justice is unmatchable. You work for a common cause – protect and serve the people. For that your bachelor’s have you covered with the knowledge, techniques, and skillset to prevent crime, or protect and provide security to the people. 

Competitive Salaries 

By getting a bachelor’s degree you unlock the potential for competitive salaries. You can expect anywhere around $66,020 per year. With the salaries might come benefits like – health insurance, employer’s assistance for further studies, and others. 

Read -> Criminal Justice Degree


What’s the difference between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice? 

You must be wondering about the difference between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice, lets’s understand. 

Pursuing BA equips you with philosophical aspects of the criminal justice system.

While BS equips you with technical and practical aspects of the criminal justice system.

The choice is yours, on what you want to pursue.

How Long It Takes to Get a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice?

If you choose a full-time on-campus program it takes around 4 years to complete the course. But, if you opt for an online program, it can take around 3-4 years depending on your pace of learning. Also, you might receive accelerated programs if your GPAs are superior.

Know More -> How long is Criminal Justice Degree?

What Can You Do with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Degree? 


Considering education – if you want to continue further with your education you can go for the masters or even try your hands at PHDs. You could also go after advanced degrees in related fields such as legal studies or law.  

Considering Jobs – if you want to shift to working, you have diverse career opportunities. It’s like being in a situation where whatever you touch turns out to be a gold pot.

How much Money can I make with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice?

The average salary with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice degree is $60,000 per year. You could get anywhere between $47,920-$66,020, as per the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) data.

Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Worth it?

Yes! You are equipped with advanced skills that make you eligible for jobs across fields, not alone criminal justice. The ROIs are higher with plenty of job options, career advancement opportunities, better pay, excellent benefits, and even administrative roles.

Can I get funding for my bachelor’s in criminal justice? 

Yes. You can get funding if you are eligible for it through – aid from FASFA, Scholarships, and Employer Assistance.


-> What Jobs Can You Get With a Criminal Justice Degree?

-> What Can You Do With a Criminal Justice Degree Besides Being a Cop?

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About the Author
Grant founded OnlineDegree.com with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.