Criminal justice is society's primary formal means of social control. Generally, it is the practice of public and private agencies and groups that deter crime and delinquency and prosecute, defend, adjudicate, punish and correct suspects and convicted offenders. The study of criminal justice begins with an analysis of the entire justice system as a force for social order. Advanced study inquires into the political, organizational, social and behavioral aspects of its components.
Students develop analytical and research skills that enable them to identify and assess the often conflicting objectives of criminal justice and investigate basic issues and practical problems in criminology and criminal justice. Legal courses foster an awareness of the values of due process and the limits of governmental power in a democratic society.
Career opportunities in criminal justice professions include roles as police officers, supervisors and executives; criminal justice investigators, working for public defenders, prosecutors, fire departments and insurance companies, correctional officers, probation officers, parole officers and community corrections specialists, for whom a college degree is often mandatory. Other specialized roles in criminal justice include juvenile intake officers, juvenile probation officers, volunteer administrators, criminologists, forensic psychologists, medical examiners and policy analysts.
There are several funding sources for graduate students including the Justice Scholars Program, the Chief Scholars Program and Graduate Teaching Assistantships. Learn more about our graduate funding opportunities.