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What Is Criminal Justice?

The criminal justice field involves laws, practices and institutions that are created by government. It includes enforcement, organization, budgeting and other aspects of the systems of law enforcement. Students of criminal justice also study theories of crime and the public policy and how they affect the criminal justice system.

Careers in Criminal Justice
A student who earns a criminal justice degree may work as a law enforcement officer, court administrators, crime scene investigators, social workers, parole officers or security officers. A wide of specialties exist in the field, including criminal justice careers in the FBI, CIA, ATF, Homeland Security and immigration services. In addition, positions in military policing, industrial security, forensic psychology, private security and foreign service are also available. Jobs in criminal justice continue to expand as society finds more ways to police its various levels and functions.

Degrees in Criminal Justice
Students who are interested in criminal justice as a career can earn a 2-year degree at most community colleges around the country. Four-year bachelor’s criminal justice degrees are offered at most universities. Graduate level courses help to prepare students for high-level administration careers in criminal justice.

Criminal Justice Education
A criminal justice degree program usually includes foundation courses in English, writing, mathematics, sociology, psychology and introductory course in the criminal justice system. The higher-level core curriculum includes more extensive law enforcement organizational study, investigation techniques, constitutional rights and management. Courses in corrections include study of penal institutions and their management. Criminal justice majors may also take courses in homeland security and the juvenile justice system.

Criminal Justice Schools
Those who are interested in the criminal justice field will find a wide range of education options available across the country. Some of the top criminal justice degree programs are at the University of Maryland at College Park, University of Cincinnati, University of Albany (SUNY) and University of Missouri at St. Louis. Other nationally recognized programs are available in the Midwest, Southwest, East, California and Florida. Online criminal justice degrees are also available for busy adults who may be working full-time. University of Phoenix, Kaplan University and Capella University all offer criminal justice degree programs.

Check out our Top Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs for 2015

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