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Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice

There’s more to law enforcement than just catching the bad guy. If your interests lie in the fields of corrections and justice, you may want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice to explore all your career options in this area. The University of the Cumberlands criminal justice program’s expert faculty will guide you on an educational path toward professional success.


Mission and Goals

The bachelor's in criminal justice mission is to provide students with an understanding of the roles of society and law enforcement, how these two entities interact and how to appropriately respond to inadmissible behavior. Criminal justice courses help students develop leadership, research and writing skills and strengthen critical thinking skills. Upon completing the bachelor's in criminal justice, students are prepared to pursue graduate studies or enter the field of criminal justice as ethical, effective professionals.

Program Goals

  • To provide students with a core knowledge base in criminal justice in order to prepare them for their chosen careers within the justice field and/or graduate studies.
  • To enhance understanding of the roles of society and law enforcement in response to deviant behavior.
  • To appreciate the diversity of humanity and understand how cultural factors impact consumers of the criminal justice system.
  • To strengthen critical thinking skills by fostering an understanding of deviance and clarifying personal values related to working with deviant populations.
  • To cultivate an understanding of qualitative and quantitative methods of research and writing applicable to the criminal justice field.

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What is a Criminal Justice Degree?

Our criminal justice courses in the criminal justice degree program will help you develop leadership, research and writing skills as well as strengthen your critical-thinking skills. Your studies will give you the knowledge necessary to succeed in a variety of criminal justice career choices. Upon completing your bachelor’s in criminal justice, you will be prepared to pursue graduate studies or enter the field of criminal justice as an ethical, effective professional. A BA in criminal justice requires all the same coursework as a BS, with the addition of a world language up to the intermediate level.

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Is Criminal Justice a Good Major?

As a criminal justice major, you will learn to understand the roles of society and law enforcement and how these two entities interact and respond to unacceptable behavior. When you earn your Bachelor of Science from one of the best colleges for criminal justice education, you’re preparing yourself for long-term career success in the criminal justice field.

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What Can You Do with a Criminal Justice Degree?

You might be wondering exactly what you can do with a criminal justice degree. What kind of criminal justice degree jobs can you pursue? Plenty, actually. Your bachelor’s in criminal justice from Kentucky-based* University of the Cumberlands can help prepare you for a wide range of careers, including:


A criminal justice degree from University of the Cumberlands can prepare you for a number of jobs in the protective services industry, including law enforcement. Employment of police officers and detectives is projected to grow 7 percent over the next several years with an average salary of $66,020 per year.


Perhaps instead of actively fighting crime, you’re more interested in passing along what you’ve learned. With a median annual salary of $79,640, employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 12 percent over the next decade.

Or you could pursue a career in other fields altogether. With the solid foundation of critical thinking and people skills a degree in criminal justice provides, you’ll be well prepared to pursue a variety of professional positions.


  • Police Officer
  • Shift Supervisor
  • Patrol Sergeant
  • Chief of Police
  • Criminal Justice Professor
  • Adjunct Professor
  • FBI Agent
  • Border Patrol Agent
  • Federal Air Marshal
  • DEA Agent
  • Customs Enforcement Officer
  • Corrections Officer
  • ATF Agent
  • Deputy Sheriff

"12 Percent" Projected Growth Rate for Postsecondary Teachers by 20302

1Police and Detectives
2Postsecondary Teachers

*Positions applicable throughout the nation

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration is expected to fill more than 807,000 openings by 2026. 

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Degree Requirements for Criminal Justice Degree

Bachelor's in Criminal Justice 


Core Requirements (27 hours) – All of the following: 

Core Electives (9 hours) – Three of the following: 

*With permission of the Department Chair, CRJS 439 and CRJS 490 may be taken twice.

NOTE: Courses used as part of a concentration area (below) cannot be used as an elective in the 36-hour Core. Students may want to choose electives at the 300 or 400 level to ensure they take the 36 upper-level credit hours required for graduation. 

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Completion of the requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree plus a world language through the intermediate level.

Minor in Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Core Requirements (18 hours) 

Two Additional Criminal Justice Electives (6 hours) 

 Associate of Science in Criminal Justice 

Core Requirements (18 hours) – All of the following: 

Transfer Credit 

Officers who have successfully completed the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice’s Basic Training course (DOCJT) or similar programs from other states are able to receive up to 15 credit hours as Transfer Credit toward completing a Criminal Justice Degree at UC. The academy graduate must currently be employed by a law enforcement agency and be in good standing with their agency. The Officer must first enroll and be accepted as a student in the UC Criminal Justice Degree Program. The Officer must be able to present documentation from the DOCJT verifying graduation and must submit a copy of their Peace Officers Professional Standards Certification. The officer must submit a letter of recommendation from a supervisor within the officer’s department. With appropriate documentation, transfer credits will replace the following courses:

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More Information on Criminal Justice Degree


Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees. 


Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information. 


We are here for you. Pursuing your Criminal Justice Degree is a path that can require guidance and experience. You'll have amazing faculty to help figure out where to direct your path. Learn more about the Criminal Justice faculty

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Do you have what it takes to be a leader on campus and make your mark on the criminal justice industry? If so, fill out the form on this page and find out what a bachelor’s in criminal justice from UC can do for you! Let’s talk about our test-optional college admissions process, scholarship opportunities, and more!

National FOP University

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University of the Cumberlands is proud to support members and families of the Fraternal Order of Police. We have partnered with the National FOP University to offer members and their families exceptional academic programs that are structured to be some of the most affordable in the nation. FOP members can also apply to University of the Cumberlands free of charge.

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Williamsburg, KY 40769

Career Path

A University of the Cumberlands degree prepares you for the rigors of the professional world.  Click the button to learn more about the exciting career opportunities you can pursue with this program.