Criminal Justice & Corrections
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Criminal Justice & Corrections Overview

A major in Criminal Justice and Corrections prepares students to work in the field of public law and criminal justice. You will learn about crime, law, and the justice system through studying different disciplines.

There are many different concentrations in this major that allow students to focus on an area of specific interest. For example, students could choose a concentration in Maritime Law Enforcement to learn how to effectively stop smuggling, piracy, drug trafficking, and sex trafficking. Another focus is Corrections; this concentration will teach you about prison life and other correctional facilities including the study of social reform. Or they could choose Juvenile Corrections if they are more interested in working with children and adolescents.

Other popular specializations are Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administrations, Criminal Justice/Safety Studies, Forensic Science and Technology, Criminal Justice/Police Science, and Securities Services Administration/Management to name just a few.

In any of these concentrations, you can expect to take classes in criminology, ethics in law enforcement, victims of crime, gender issues in law, correctional administration, policing society, the U. S. criminal-justice system, criminal law, and statistics.

Required Skills

Students should have a vast and absorbing interest in law, justice and social reform. This major requires math, statistics and science. Students will need to memorize theories and be able to apply methods to real-life situations. Critical reading skills will help you pull important information from dry texts as you read court cases, prison procedures and reports.

Interpersonal skills are important as you will work with various people from lawyers to criminals. Develop sharp listening and observational skills in order to pick up on crucial details. Students who are detail-oriented, organized and have a good memory will find success. This major involves the study of controversial and difficult information. This is in order to prepare students for tense and potentially dangerous situations in a career.


Graduates who major in Criminal Justice and Corrections will have the skills to work in a prison or another type of correctional facility. They are also found working for law enforcement or the coast guard. The interdisciplinary skills gained also prepare graduates for careers as psychologists, public administrators, or lawyers. Many of these careers will require graduate school.

Graduates with a degree in Criminal Justice and Corrections average $35,293 as a starting salary with a mid-career salary of $59,251.

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Related Majors

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Criminal Justice & Corrections might open up.

Accountants and Auditors
Child, Family, and School Social Workers
Computer Occupations, All Other
Correctional Officers and Jailers
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary
Detectives and Criminal Investigators
Emergency Management Directors
Financial Examiners
First-Line Supervisors of Correctional Officers
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives
First-Line Supervisors of Protective Service Workers, All Other
Forensic Science Technicians
Information Security Analysts
Managers, All Other
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers
Private Detectives and Investigators
Transit and Railroad Police
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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