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Criminology and Criminal Justice BA

Covering topics from crime rates and law enforcement to judicial systems and inmate rehabilitation, the bachelor of arts degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice is one of the most thriving academic programs at Lindenwood University-Belleville.

Department Mission

Consistent with a liberal arts education, the Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJ) Department provides interdisciplinary knowledge of criminological theory and the practice of law enforcement agencies, legal studies, the correctional system, and victim services at the juvenile and adult levels.  Through immersive teaching, research, and rigorous coursework, students critically think about diversity and ethical dilemmas faced within the criminal justice system.  Experiential learning is the foundational backdrop of the curriculum.  Students develop higher order thinking skills and are prepared for graduate or pre-professional studies and careers in the public and private sectors within a global society.

About Criminology and Criminal Justice

Criminology and criminal justice are closely related, but separate fields.  While criminology examines the rates of crime and its underlying causes, criminal justice focuses on the individuals, organizations, and systems that work to prevent, manage, and resolve crime within communities.  Since the founding of the Belleville Campus, the Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice has been one of the most thriving academic programs at Lindenwood University-Belleville.

Lindenwood University-Belleville Criminology and Criminal Justice Faculty

You will learn from experienced faculty who are accomplished CCJ researchers and professors.  In addition, nearly all of our faculty have prior and/or ongoing professional experience working within the criminal justice system.  They recognize the importance of gaining valuable work experience before you graduate, which is why you will be encouraged to choose from a wide variety of internship opportunities with local, state, and federal agencies.  These types of experiences create great networking opportunities and allow students to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom.  In some cases, they can lead to job offers.   

The CCJ faculty at Lindenwood University-Belleville are honored judges, practicing investigators, as well as accomplished law enforcement and corrections officials. You will benefit from their direct experience in the criminal justice field and their professional connections to local and state police departments, legal organizations, forensics, investigation agencies, social service agencies, and CCJ academic organizations.

Lindenwood’ s small class sizes ensure that you develop a close mentor relationship with professors who are dedicated to helping you succeed.  This relationship is enhanced by the fact that our faculty members work as academic advisors and assist students in achieving their personal and professional goals. 

Earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Lindenwood University-Belleville

As a criminology and criminal justice major, you’ll take courses covering topics in Policing, Criminal Law & Procedure, Corrections, Diversity within CCJ, and Research Methodology. Numerous hands-on opportunities are also available to CCJ majors, such as field trips, guest speakers, crime scene analysis, mock trial, service-learning, conference attendance, professional presentations, and mock job interviews

We have structured our degree to provide you with the greatest level of flexibility possible.  With a large number of major elective courses, you will be able to find the area most pertinent to your interests.  Classes are offered in a variety of methods (e.g. grounded, online, hybrid, tutorials) to meet student needs.  Also, the CCJ degree’s flexibility offers you the opportunity to double major or obtain multiple minors within a four year period. 

Earning a Minor in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Even if you choose to major in a different degree program, you may still be interested in adding a minor in criminology and criminal justice to your degree. A minor is a secondary academic subject to add to your knowledge, whether it is professional or personal interest.

The minor in criminology and criminal justice is 24 credit hours. Like those students pursuing a CCJ major, a high degree of flexible scheduling allows you the opportunity to tailor your minor to the area(s) in which you have the most interest. 

What You Can Do with a Criminology and Criminal Justice Degree

When you graduate with a degree in criminology and criminal justice, you’ll be ready for a career in a number of fields, including law enforcement, investigations, security,  probation, corrections, rehabilitative treatments, social services, public administration, and forensic science. You will also have a firm foundation for postgraduate studies in law or criminology and criminal justice.

The latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that police officers and criminal investigators typically earn an annual median salary of $60,270. Jobs for lawyers and legal assistants are expected to grow at a higher than average rate through 2024 with median salaries ranging from $50,000-$100,000+.

Degree Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice

With a degree in the criminal justice field, there are many different paths you can take to land a career that’s right for you. Check out some of these options:

Public Service Career Paths

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Security Officer
  • Probation/Parole Officer
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Forensic Investigator
  • Corrections Officer
  • Treatment Specialist
  • Child Services Officer
  • Juvenile Court Officer
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Game Warden

Private Career Paths

  • Security Officer
  • Investigator
  • Community Supervision Officer
  • Corrections Officer
  • Loss Prevention Agent
  • Non-Profit Advocate
  • Social Worker

Foundational Career Paths

  • Judge
  • Prosecuting Attorney
  • Defense Attorney
  • Paralegal/Legal Researcher
  • Forensic Analyst
  • Policy Analyst
  • Criminologist
Lindenwood University
2600 West Main Street
Belleville, IL 62226