Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Criminal Justice program at Wayne State University provides you with a hands-on, comprehensive education that encompasses a fundamental understanding of crime causation and the criminal justice system. Through the program, you learn all aspects of the justice system to foster a systemic view rather than a specialization in a single component of the criminal justice field.

Why Wayne State's criminal justice major?

  • A multidisciplinary approach to crime and justice
  • Rigorous coursework offers a solid foundation for graduate study or professional careers
  • Practical field experience through research opportunities and internships in partnership with policing and justice agencies across the Detroit community

Learning outcomes

In each component of the criminal justice degree program, you learn how to become an effective leader across the field of criminal justice and public service.

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice prepares you to:

  • Explain the general nature of crime and criminality.
  • Define both constitutional rights and judicial procedure.
  • Illustrate the scientific methods typically used in the social sciences.
  • Describe the major theoretical explanations of crime and criminality.
  • Identify the separate components of the criminal justice system, understanding the interrelationships between these components.

Criminal justice program requirements and curriculum

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice requires a minimum of 120 credits. To meet these requirements, criminal justice majors must satisfy the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences group requirements, the university general education requirements and the overall criminal justice program requirements.

To align with the growing sophistication needed to enter work in these law enforcement agencies, each component of the criminal justice degree program curriculum is structured to meet the educational standards of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Within this broad framework, courses deal with specific substantive topics.

In addition to in-classroom learning, practical field experience is built into our curriculum to help students gain professional experience in the courts, corrections, law enforcement and other agencies.

Bachelor's in criminal justice courses

The criminal justice degree program applies a multidisciplinary approach to uncovering the source of criminal behavior through criminology, psychology and sociology. As a criminal justice major, you'll learn topics that span theories of criminal behavior, criminal justice institutions, criminal justice research methods and the criminal justice process.

Explore criminal justice courses

Experiential learning

Criminal justice majors have endless opportunities to enhance their academic experience through observation, study, or real-world work in a selected criminal justice agency through criminal justice internships. Each of your experiential learning opportunities prepares you to be an ethical leader in your community.

Accelerated pathways to graduate study in criminal justice

The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice actively participates in the Accelerated Graduate Enrollment (AGRADE) program. This program enables qualified seniors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to enroll simultaneously in the undergraduate and graduate programs of the department, applying a maximum of 15 credits toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees in criminal justice.

Students interested in the criminal justice AGRADE program should contact Academic Advisor Marianka Holloway prior to completing 12 credits toward the criminal justice major requirements.

Learn more about the Master of Science in Criminal Justice.

Minor in Forensic Investigation and Policing

Complement your criminal justice degree with a forensic investigation and policing minor. This minor provides students with a foundational understanding of the interrelated investigative and forensic techniques utilized in criminal investigations.

Through the forensic investigation and policing minor, you learn the following:

  • The criminal investigation process
  • Analyzing and exploring laboratory forensics
  • How to utilize interviewing and interrogation tactics

Criminal justice bachelor's career outlook

Law enforcement agencies such as police departments, correctional facilities, and court administrators' offices all require an increasing number of personnel with quantitative analytical skills. Computer skills, personal interaction skills, knowledge of foreign languages, the ability to understand legal materials and an excellent command of the English language are also desired by employers.

With a bachelor's in criminal justice from Wayne State University, you can build all these vital skills to pursue a meaningful career in law enforcement, corrections, court systems and more!

The criminal justice major is also a stepping stone to law school if you want to pursue a path in defense, prosecution or other related careers in law.

Tuition and financial aid

At Wayne State University, we're committed to providing affordable, quality education to as many students as possible through our low tuition and fees. Along with excellent tuition rates, the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice provides scholarships and financial aid for undergraduate and graduate students to support your financial needs.

Explore our net price calculator to estimate your criminal justice degree tuition and financial aid savings.

Learn more about Wayne State's B.S. in Criminal Justice

When you enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program at Wayne State University, you take the first step toward the promotion of a safer, more just world.

Whether you're interested in corrections, law enforcement, legal services, nonprofit organizations or policy development, our hands-on curriculum provides you with the foundation you need to succeed along your criminal justice career path.

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.