Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree

Protect, serve, and prepare to move into a key position in law enforcement or a federal agency with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Located a stone’s throw from the FBI, CIA, and NSA—and the major metropolitan areas of Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland—UMUC is home to industry leaders who protect cities and the nation from some of our greatest threats. Our criminal justice program can help provide you with an understanding of the nature of crime and the personnel, institutions, and processes that prevent and respond to crime.

This program is also available as a minor.

About the Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree

In your criminal justice coursework, you’ll learn both the theory and practice of the criminal justice system, as well as the specifics of criminal behavior, law enforcement, courts, corrections, security, and investigation. Our courses are developed and taught by local law enforcement officials, so you’ll benefit from their field-tested knowledge and experience.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Apply critical-thinking skills and logic to analyze and solve a variety of complex problems in the criminal justice environment
  • Manage and evaluate organizational efforts to ensure effective cooperation with stakeholders to prevent, control, and manage crime to ensure public safety
  • Use an ethical framework and an understanding of legal constraints to make decisions as a criminal justice professional
  • Develop specialized technical knowledge and skills relevant to subspecialities in the field of criminal justice to ensure public safety
  • Use interpersonal and leadership skills to work both independently and cooperatively as a member of a criminal justice team

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Design a security plan for a public service in the community
  • Compose a search and seizure application and supporting affidavit
  • Critique an analytic report of criminal intelligence

Degree Requirements

A degree with a major in criminal justice requires the successful completion of 120 credits of coursework, including 33 credits for the major; 41 credits in general education requirements; and 46 credits in the minor, electives, and other degree requirements. At least 17 credits in the major must be earned in upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above). See overall degree requirements.

General Education Requirements

Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. See information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements (in communications, arts and humanities, behavioral and social sciences, biological and physical sciences, mathematics, and interdisciplinary issues).

Research Course

Writing Courses

Arts and Humanities Courses

Behavioral and Social Science Courses

Biological and Physical Sciences Courses

Math Course

Computing Courses

Electives

The bachelor's degree in criminal justice requires 46 credits of minor and/or elective coursework.

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help prepare you to move into a command position in law enforcement or meet the degree requirement for federal law enforcement. The content of the degree program is applicable to positions in the public and private sectors. Graduates may find positions throughout the criminal justice system.