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Criminal Justice Major

Program Overview

A criminal justice degree provides you with a well-rounded education that positions you competitively for careers and opportunities in law enforcement, corrections and community corrections, probation and parole, court agencies, Homeland Security, nonprofit agencies, offender re-integration services, and graduate-level work in criminology and criminal justice.

Program Concentrations

This program is made up of the following concentrations. Learn more about concentrations.

Concentration Overview

The Criminology concentration is designed for students interested in general studies in crime and law, and for those that might pursue careers in social work, victim advocacy, or advanced legal studies.

Concentration Overview

The Policing and Justice Systems concentration emphasizes the practice and application of criminal justice concepts, and focuses on the skills needed to succeed as a criminal justice professional. This concentration will prepare students for entry-level positions in the fields of public safety and corrections.

Concentration Overview

Social institutions are necessary structures in human society, but they also shape persistent inequities and inequalities of class, ethnicity, gender, age, race and nationality in people’s lives. This concentration focuses on social structures that serve as mechanisms for the creation and perpetuation of social disparities, while also studying how individual and collective action in turn, affect the impact of societal structures on people’s lives.

Concentrations on this page are required for this program. Additional courses or concentrations may need to be added to meet program or credit requirements.

Program Coursework

The specific degree requirements on the website are for illustrative purposes and may change at any time. Please contact the Registrar's Office, Academic Advising or refer to the course catalog for detailed program requirements.

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities for Criminal Justice majors include:
  • law enforcement,
  • corrections and community corrections,
  • probation and parole,
  • court agencies,
  • Homeland Security,
  • non-profit agencies,
  • offender re-integration services, and
  • graduate-level work in criminology and criminal justice.

For more information about careers in Criminal Justice, contact the Stritch program chair or a faculty member, or visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics at

Program Outcomes

Upon completing the criminal justice degree program, students will:
  • Understand foundational theory and concepts underlying criminal justice systems.
  • Recognize the rights and responsibilities of criminal justice professionals.
  • Analyze and evaluate the role of individuals and institutions in the criminal justice system.
  • Analyze data and draw conclusions, defending evidence-based practices within the field

Liberal Arts Core

Liberal Arts Core - The Liberal Arts Core Curriculum is rooted in the Liberal Arts and our Franciscan heritage. It is designed to create a framework to develop knowledge, skills, and responsibilities necessary to educate students so that they will be prepared to contribute to the world guided by a concern for issues of justice and ethical behavior.

LEADERSHIP:  4 credits
  • Freshman Seminar (1 cr.)
  • Spiritual & Ethical Literacy (3 cr.) 
  • Personal Branding Communication (3 cr.)
  • Writing for the 21st Century (3 cr.)*
  • Quantitative Problem Solving (3 cr.)*
  • Language & Culture (3 cr.)
*For ‘Writing for the 21st Century’ (English) and ‘Quantitative Problem Solving’ (Math), you may need additional courses depending on your placement.

CORE LITERACIES:  15 credits – Choose one (1) course from each broad theme. Course options can be found in the course catalog or on the academic advising page. Broad themes are:
  • Narratives of Identity       (3 cr.)
  • Science, Environment & Culture (3 cr.)   
  • Social Tensions (3 cr.)    
  • The American Experience (3 cr.)
  • Approving the Better Things (3 cr.)

Professional Core

Culminating Experience

Giving students a culminating experience as well as practical work experience, the Professional Core is a graduation requirement for every Stritch student in a bachelor’s degree program. This bachelor’s degree program includes completion of the Professional Core consisting of three courses:
  • Pre-Internship
  • Internship
  • Capstone

More about Criminal Justice at Stritch

Cardinal Stritch University is not only dedicated to developing new criminal justice professionals, but is also impacting the future of the criminal justice profession through the development of The Center for Excellence in Public Safety Leadership. We believe it is our responsibility to help our public safety partners through the development and delivery of innovative leadership programs designed for the benefit of public safety leaders and organizations who seek to serve their communities with respect, caring and compassion. The only research and training development center of its type, The Center for Excellence in Public Safety Leadership features a Professional Advisory Committee comprised of national public safety leaders who have committed their efforts to the leadership vision of Cardinal Stritch University and the Criminal Justice Program.
Contact admissions or the program faculty with questions about this program.


Barry A. Reynolds

Faculty - Criminal Justice