Delve into an understanding of the justice system and criminal behavior, address the challenges of neighborhoods and cultures, and evaluate current practices.

The criminal justice degree at Houghton – available fully online or on campus – takes a comprehensive approach to the ethical, psychological, and social aspects of criminal behavior and current policies at control. Investigate the historical roots of and responses to criminal behavior in the United States, the development of the modern legal system, and determine possibilities for prevention, restorative justice, and more.


Why Major in Criminal Justice?

  • Address the history of and concerns related to social justice in the modern legal system.
  • Develop close mentoring relationships with Christian faculty members who care about your academic, emotional and spiritual growth.
  • Engage in discussion of significant contemporary concepts and issues – including development of an individual or group research project and professional preparation – in a senior capstone seminar.
  • Integrate theory with professional practice with hands-on learning during an internship experience in a criminal justice setting.
  • Go in-depth in subjects such as criminal law, juvenile justice, environmental crime and justice, and more.

Major Requirements

The Bachelor of Science major in criminal justice requires 36-38 hours, including 19-20 credits of required core courses and 17-18 credits of criminal justice electives drawn from the areas of criminal justice, political science, psychology, and sociology.


Student Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the major in criminal justice will develop the ability to use the quantitative and qualitative tools of the social and behavioral arts and sciences to assess the effectiveness of efforts at prevention, correction, and restorative justice. They will engage in knowledgeable and respectful discussion of policies and procedures, including the particular challenges and opportunities of rural and cross-cultural approaches to criminal justice. Students will be able to evaluate factors contributing to criminal action and the effects of different approaches to criminal justice intervention using both statistical and research methods and critical evaluation of moral and ethical arguments.

Careers and Outcomes

Potential criminal justice career options include the fields of: 

  • Crime scene investigation
  • Criminology
  • Cybercrime
  • Forensic science
  • Homeland security
  • International criminal justice
  • Law enforcement
  • Legal studies
  • Paralegal studies
  • Public safety administration
  • Victim and family advocacy