Criminal Justice

Offered as a major (B.S.)

Study criminological theory, the justice system, and law.

You will develop the knowledge, values, and ethical training that are essential to pursuing careers in public law enforcement, corrections, courts, victim services, and related non-profit social service agencies. You’ll also be well prepared to pursue graduate studies in law, criminology, or public policy and administration.

The Curriculum
Understand society and its systems

By studying human behavior and social institutions, you’ll get a complete picture of the criminal justice system. You’ll learn how this system is made up of several agencies, each with its own important function. You’ll examine these different fields and the ways they work together, including:

  • Policing
  • Corrections
  • Judicial processes
  • Forensics
  • Law
  • Victimology
  • Crime research and statistics
  • Public policy
Take an interdisciplinary approach

Your studies will incorporate both theory and intensive research, with an emphasis on understanding criminal and constitutional law, crime and criminal behavior, and criminal justice systems. Excelling in the criminal justice field requires background in several different subjects. Your major will be enhanced with foundational courses that cover:

  • Sociology
  • Political science
  • Psychology
  • Global studies
  • Public policy and administration
Be a strong, ethical leader

The criminal justice system needs leaders who think critically, communicate clearly, and find ethical solutions to complex problems. Rather than taking a single course on ethics, your classes will be designed to incorporate these crucial skills throughout your coursework.

Gain field experience

In addition to your regular classes, you’ll also complete an internship in a criminal justice or related agency. This hands-on opportunity — combined with your courses’ service learning, research projects, and field trips to justice agencies — will give you inside experience with the day-to-day operations of the criminal justice system.

The Experience
Criminal Justice major photo of student or faculty

Teaching and mentoring experiential learning through research, instruction, and service has provided unique opportunities and invaluable academic growth for myself and my students. Our passions are deepened and our horizons are expanded.

Schannae Lucas
Associate Professor
Criminal Justice major photo of student or faculty

I think every person can experience life-changing transformation through service. So I engage my students in meaningful learning and service opportunities to help them discover and live out their purpose.

Helen Lim
Associate Professor
Your Future

More than 80% of our criminal justice majors secure employment in the field after graduation or go on to graduate school. With greater attention being focused on law enforcement and national security, criminal justice students with bachelor's and graduate degrees are in demand.

While most graduates are employed in a criminal justice agency, such as law enforcement or probation, many also find employment in private organizations such as insurance carriers and victim services.

Our alumni study at:

  • California Western School of Law
  • George Mason University
  • Indiana University
  • Kapella University
  • Pepperdine Law School
  • San Diego State University 
  • University of Denver
  • University of Nevada, Reno

They work for:

  • FBI Cyber Division
  • Los Angeles Police Department
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Oxnard Police Department
  • San Diego Police Department
  • Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department
  • United States Customs
  • Ventura County Probation Agency

Career paths:

  • Correctional Counselor
  • Crime Analyst
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Customs Inspector
  • Highway Patrol Officer
  • Legal Assistant
  • Park Ranger
  • Parole and Probation Officer