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Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, General Major

CJ Day

If you envision yourself improving society, consider enrolling in UCO’s Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice program, general major. This program can prepare students for a multitude of career paths in law enforcement, policy and corrections.

Our holistic perspective is designed to strengthen your research, writing, communication and leadership skills. In the process, you’ll gain a more nuanced view of the U.S. criminal justice system, including its procedures, related public policy, ethics and role in society. At the same time, you’ll explore why certain individuals commit crimes and consider issues currently affecting the criminal justice system and how they can be addressed going forward.

To help your education and career goals become a reality, the University of Central Oklahoma offers scholarships and tuition waivers. 

For additional information, reach out to the School of Criminal Justice by email at criminaljustice@uco.edu with your questions today. 

About the Degree | Curriculum | Student Organizations | Careers

 

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About the B.A. in Criminal Justice, General Major

Home to one of the state’s oldest criminal justice programs, the UCO School of Criminal Justice strives to graduate students who go on to lead and enact change within the field. Our bachelor’s degree programs transform academic drive into applied professional skills while weaving in a liberal arts foundation.

This combination equips you to question and ethically lead in corrections, rehabilitation or a law enforcement agency, all while providing you with a more in-depth educational environment designed to help you acquire a broad range of practical skills. 

Along the way, our program’s diverse faculty will guide your endevor– bringing with them decades of knowledge and real-world experiences. Just as the field of criminal justice is vast in its applications and disciplines, our faculty come from diverse backgrounds in law, research, corrections, community policing, working with serial offenders, cybercrime and white-collar crime.

We further pair this broad perspective of experiential learning with public outreach and research programs designed to enhance your education and to provide value to criminal justice agencies. Students are invited to get involved in our Criminal Justice Community, a societal justice group that works closely with department faculty and local law enforcement to advance its mission.

Student Learning Objectives

Criminal Justice  Majors will be able to:

  • refine their written and oral communication skills, both for working with the public and speaking to a professional audience.
  • gain a more detailed, varied understanding of criminal justice processes and current issues.
  • have opportunities to participate in meaningful research.
  • will learn to synthesize information and properly document source material according to American Psychological Association (APA) citation standards.
  • develop the skills to succeed in a rapidly changing, sometimes volatile environment

B.A. in Criminal Justice, General Major Curriculum

Reflecting the mix of liberal arts and practical skills, you’ll complete 124 credit hours covering foundational criminal justice courses, wide-reaching advanced subjects, two levels of a foreign language and the University Core.

 DEGREE SHEET

Foundational Courses

No matter the focus of your degree, this sequence gives all bachelor’s in criminal justice students a multifaceted perspective of the U.S. criminal justice system, criminology topics and ethics. You’ll hone your writing skills with a focus on investigative reports, search warrants and probation reports and see how communication can be used as a tool to develop connections. 

As well, you’ll learn about the structure and role of the U.S. criminal justice system, processes and current concerns and balance this with topics in criminology and sociology to delve into criminal behavior and why certain individuals are drawn to crime. In the process, coursework stresses the importance of quantitative and qualitative research. 

At this stage, you’ll have the chance to explore select specialty areas, including cybercrime, terrorism, white-collar crime, victimology and corrections-related topics.

General Criminal Justice Track

The general major anticipates the number of paths your future career could take. Courses touch on these possibilities and the skills needed for law enforcement, corrections and other areas within the criminal justice field.

These higher-level courses continue to expose you to a spectrum of criminal justice disciplines. Topics cover the juvenile justice system in detail, from factors contributing to delinquency to relevant laws, and U.S. Supreme Court decisions concerning search and seizure, interrogation and right to counsel. 

In considering reform within the criminal justice system, courses go over the function and structure of the corrections system, the societal purpose of rehabilitation and any current issues. Further anticipate a practicum experience in law enforcement, corrections or a criminal justice-oriented agency.


Student Organizations

The School of Criminal Justice has two student organizations and a living learning community (LLC).

UCO Criminal Justice Club 

The Criminal Justice Club meets every other week during the academic semester for networking and learning. Practitioners come to campus to visit with club members at meetings. 

Honor Society

Eta Tau is UCO’s Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma. Alpha Phi Sigma is the National Criminal Justice Honor Society. Once you’ve completed four (4) criminal justice courses and have reached a certain GPA, you can apply for membership. Membership applications are accepted each fall and spring semesters. Announcements are shared on the School of Criminal Justice’s social media pages. You may also contact the School of Criminal Justice for more information.

 STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AT UCORE

CJ Living Learning Community

Students majoring in criminal justice (corrections, general and police) can choose to live with and near other criminal justice majors on campus as part of an LLC. Members of the LLC take a course together and have the opportunity to participate in special tours, field trips and other educational experiences outside of the classroom. 

Learn more about living learning communities

 


What Can I Do With a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice?

With the Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice, general major, your career can take a number of directions, with opportunities seeing average to above-average demand between 2020 and 2030. Based on figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, roles include police and detectives (7% growth), probation officers and correctional treatment specialists (4% growth) and private detectives and investigators (13% growth). 

Whether through this degree or continuing your education in a graduate or professional program, a bachelor’s in criminal justice opens the door to a career as a:

  • Law enforcement officer
  • Crime scene technician
  • Corporate security officer
  • Lawyer
  • Corrections/probation officer
  • Case manager/treatment specialist
  • Criminalist
  • Victim advocate

To give yourself an edge and begin building connections, consider applying to or participating in any of the following organizations: