Criminology and Criminal Justice

Bachelor of Science

Study criminological theory, the justice system, and law.

You will develop the knowledge, skills, and ethical training that are essential for pursuing a career in law enforcement, corrections, the courts, probation and parole, or a variety of social service agencies. You will also be well prepared for graduate studies in law, criminology, or public policy and administration.

The Curriculum
Understand society, crime, and justice

By studying human behavior and social institutions, you’ll get a complete picture of the causes of criminal behavior and crime's impact on society. You will learn how the criminal justice 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
  • Theories of crime and criminality
Take an interdisciplinary approach

Your studies will incorporate theory, research, and practical applications with an emphasis on understanding crime and criminal behavior, criminal justice systems, as well as criminal and constitutional law. Excelling in the criminal justice system or a related field requires a background in several different subjects. Your major will be enhanced with foundational courses that draw from:

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

Today's competitive job market and our global society require leaders who think critically, communicate clearly, and find ethical solutions to complex problems. Rather than taking a single course on ethics, your classes are designed to incorporate these crucial skills throughout your coursework.

Gain field experience

In addition to your regular classes, you’ll complete an internship in a criminal justice or related agency. This hands-on opportunity — combined with your coursework that involves 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
Criminology and 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
Criminology and 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
Your Future

More than 80% of our criminal justice majors secure employment in the field after graduation or go on to graduate school or law 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 government agencies, nonprofits, and in private sector organizations such as insurance carriers and victim services.

Our alumni study at:
  • California Western School of Law
  • George Mason University School of Law
  • Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Kapella University
  • Loyola Law School
  • Northeastern University
  • Palo Alto University
  • Pepperdine Law School
  • San Diego State University 
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Denver
  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • University of Southern California
Our alumni work for:
  • Beverly Hills Police Department
  • Department of Public Safety
  • FBI Cyber Division
  • Los Angeles Police Department
  • Oxnard Police Department
  • San Diego Police Department
  • Santa Barbara Police Department
  • Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office
  • Simi Valley Police Department
  • United States Customs
  • University Campus Safety Departments
  • Ventura County Probation Agency
  • Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Crime Analyst Division
Career paths:
  • Border Patrol and Immigration Officer
  • Correctional Officer
  • Crime Analyst
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Customs Inspector
  • Juvenile Justice Officer
  • Law Enforcement (local, county and federal levels)
  • Legal Assistant
  • Park Ranger
  • Parole and Probation Officer
  • Researcher
  • U.S. Customs Agent 
  • Victim Advocacy and Social Services

of Cal Lutheran graduates find a job or enroll in graduate school within nine months

More Career Outcomes