Ball State criminal justice graduate in uniform as police officer

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If you are looking for the flexibility in how you take your classes, consider our all-online option for a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and criminology. Learn more.

Crime is an unfortunate part of our world every day. If you have a passion to serve and protect the vulnerable and better understand the causes of crime and delinquency, then our bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and criminology are for you.

This major provides you with a combination of in-class education, immersive learning opportunities, and internships in a professional environment. Upon graduation, you will be well-versed on the theory and practice of the criminal justice system and you’ll be well-prepared for employment with local or national criminal justice agencies.

What You Will Learn

As part of our criminal justice and criminology program, you will gain in-depth knowledge of how social, political, and cultural contexts influence crime and the justice system. You’ll gain the experience to conduct yourself professionally as you interact with peers, educators, members of the community, and criminal justice professionals.

You’ll also learn to:

  • critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of criminal justice policy
  • conduct research and/or interpret qualitative and quantitative findings and relate them to criminal justice policy

Program Benefits

Our instructors combine successful professional careers with strong teaching abilities. They’ll take an active interest in your success, using their ties to the field to help you grow through practical experiences.

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Through immersive learning opportunities, internships, and community projects, you’ll develop valuable, hands-on experience that will prepare you for your career.

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Our students lead in the classroom, on campus, and in the community—we take pride in helping others.

You’ll have the opportunity to mentor at-risk youth, teach adults to read, participate in blood drives, clean up neighborhoods, and many other activities. There are literally hundreds of opportunities within CJC and the university to volunteer your time.

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Major Requirements

Our major in criminal justice and criminology, offered as either a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts, includes the University Core Curriculum and coursework specific to criminal justice and criminology. Ask your advisor for details regarding the language requirement for the Bachelor of Arts. Learning a second language is highly desirable for many criminal justice careers and may include a bonus or increase in salary!

Total Credits

120 total across CJC and University Core Curriculum; 48-51 CJC credits for the CJC BA/BS

Required Courses

All courses are 3 credits each for a total of 24 credits

  • CJC 101 - Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CJC 102 - Introduction to Criminology
  • CJC 211 - Race, Gender, and Justice
  • CJC 220 - Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • CJC 301 - Evaluation Research
  • CJC 229 - Decision-Making and Ethics in Criminal Justice
  • CJC 251 - Criminal Law
  • CJC 495 - Capstone in Criminal Justice


24 credits of courses are required from the electives below, in addition to the required courses above

  • CJC 230 - Introduction to Policing
  • CJC 240 - Introduction to Corrections
  • CJC 250 - Introduction to Courts
  • CJC 309 - Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
  • CJC 332 - Victimology
  • CJC 333 - Policing in a Free and Diverse Society
  • CJC 340 - Institutional Corrections
  • CJC 341 - Community Corrections
  • CJC 350 - Evidence and Procedure
  • CJC 369/479 - Internship in Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • CJC 390 - Honors Colloquium in Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • CJC 396 - Advanced Criminological Theory
  • CJC 397 - Constitutional Law in Criminal Justice
  • CJC 398 - Human Services
  • CJC 399 - Special Populations
  • CJC 410 - Special Topic in Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • CJC 490 - Independent Study

Course availability varies per semester; please see Banner for available courses when registering for courses. To see our required courses for the interdisciplinary concentrations, please see our Course Catalog.

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What Can You Do With a Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks criminal justice careers as some of the fastest growing in America. Our bachelor’s degree equips you for a variety of roles in local, state, and federal law enforcement—many of which now require four-year degrees. You’ll be qualified to work in:

  • probation departments
  • law enforcement agencies
  • correctional and rehabilitation institutions
  • parole offices
  • victim advocacy
  • court services (clerk, bailiff, case administrator, etc.)
  • private investigation
  • loss prevention/asset protection

Additionally, if law school is in your future, criminal justice is an excellent pre-law program, especially if you have an interest in public law—prosecution, defense, and government legal representation.

Paying for Your Education

Department Scholarships

On top of the dozens of scholarships the university offers its students, our department gives awards every year to its own students to recognize them for their achievements. Learn more.

Ready to Apply?

Are you interested in pursuing a BS or BA in criminal justice and criminology? The first step is to apply as an undergraduate student to Ball State University. Begin the journey today.


Do you want to learn more about our program or have questions about the application process or financial aid? We’re here to help! One of the best ways to understand why Ball State is right for you is to schedule a visit through our Office of Undergraduate Admissions to see it for yourself. Or if you’d like to speak directly to someone in our department, please feel free to call or email us.

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