Photo of Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice B.A.  

Major  Minor  
120 credit hours
98% career outcome rate1
 

The criminal justice system is a vital part of our society. The creation and enforcement of laws ensures a safe and fair environment for everyone. The criminal justice system makes sure that criminals are identified, apprehended, judged and punished. There are three main parts of the criminal justice system: law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. Law enforcement officers are the front lines of the criminal justice system. Police officers, detectives and forensic scientists work to deter crime and investigate incidents once they happen. The court system includes judges who oversee trials and juries and attorneys who defend or prosecute those accused of committing crimes. Finally, prison administrators and corrections officers are in charge of monitoring jails and those who are convicted. Each part of the criminal justice system works together to serve and protect people.

A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice will allow you to study and become an expert in the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, courts and corrections. Through the criminal justice program at Concordia Nebraska, you’ll learn to use scientific perspectives and methodologies to examine society’s response to crime in local communities and around the world.

At Concordia University, Nebraska, you will be prepared for a career in criminal justice with skills in writing, communications, and analysis. You’ll learn the ins and outs of law enforcement agencies and how the judicial system works. A dedicated crime scene house located near campus means you’ll be able to experience forensic science first-hand, and train to investigate real-world crime scenes. You’ll also examine the moral and ethical issues that arise when dealing with crime and justice, as well as examining how we can improve the criminal justice system for the future. Here, you’ll receive hands-on learning experiences through criminal justice internships and class projects to help you better understand the careers that a degree in criminal justice can offer you, as well as a deeper understanding of the field of criminal justice and the society in which it functions.

18:1
Student-to-faculty ratio

100%
Faculty with terminal degree

Core Concepts

Concordia University, Nebraska’s criminal justice program prepares students to serve in the criminal justice system by providing them with a foundation of the knowledge, principles, ethics and theories necessary to successfully protect and uphold the law at the city, state or federal level.

Concordia NebraskaCriminal Justice: Learning Objectives

Students will be introduced to the history of the American Criminal Justice system and the functions of law enforcement professionals, including criminal investigation, court and corrections procedures.

Students will gain basic knowledge of criminal and civil laws and judicial procedures within the criminal justice system, including federal, state and local laws.

Students will examine the moral codes and ethical decisions involved when working within the criminal justice system.

Students will integrate the knowledge and theory of criminal justice through course work and field experience. Students will be able to observe professionals in the criminal justice field and gain hands-on experience.

Dr. Tim Huntington - Biology, Criminal Justice

Concordia NebraskaCriminal Justice: Program Goals

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Students will be able to read, analyze and apply criminal justice texts, laws and cases.

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Students will be able to effectively communicate criminal justice-related ideas both orally and in writing.

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Students will be prepared to recognize and respond to ethics-related situations encountered by criminal justice professionals.

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Students will be prepared to work in the criminal justice field with sensitivity and recognition of cultural and socioeconomic differences.

Concordia Nebraska Criminal Justice: Career Outcomes

Correctional Officer

As a correctional officer, you will use your criminal justice degree to oversee individuals who have been arrested and are serving time in jail or prisons. You will enforce rules and keep order, maintaining security by settling disputes between inmates and preventing disturbances, as well as aiding in the rehabilitation of offenders. 

0.5% Annual Growth Rate2
$31,350 Entry-Level Salary2
$45,760 Mid-Level Salary2
$78,290 Late-Level Salary2

Forensic Scientist

Forensic scientist said criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence at crime scenes and in laboratories. As a forensic scientist, you will combine your knowledge of natural sciences and the criminal justice system to help solve crimes as part of local law enforcement units or with a federal agency such as the FBI. You may choose to specialize in a certain area of forensics like ballistics, trace evidence or DNA analysis. 

14% Annual Growth Rate2
$32,760 Entry-Level Salary2
$58,230 Mid-Level Salary2
$97,200 Late-Level Salary2

Police Officer

As a police officer, you would be charged with protecting and serving the citizens in your county, region or city. You would enforce the law by arresting criminals and preventing crimes, using your knowledge of the criminal justicesystem. Police officers are the first line of defense to keep people safe.

5% Annual Growth Rate2
$54,496 Entry-Level Salary2
$61,380 Mid-Level Salary2
$80,246 Late-Level Salary2

Paralegal

Paralegals perform legal work to assist lawyers. As a paralegal, you might be responsible for maintaining and organizing files, drafting documents or conducting legal research and investigations. You might also assist a lawyer during trials or collect evidence to be used in court. Most paralegals work within the criminal justice system for law firms, government agencies or corporate legal departments. 

12% Annual Growth Rate2
$39,631 Entry-Level Salary2
$50,940 Mid-Level Salary2
$82,050 Late-Level Salary2

Lawyer

As a criminal law attorney, you would use your knowledge of the criminal justice system to advocate for, advise and counsel the clients you represent. You might also appear in court to represent your client in criminalcourt proceedings. You would also be responsible for researching and preparing cases, collecting evidence and analyzing laws. 

6% Annual Growth Rate2
$56,910 Entry-Level Salary2
$120,910 Mid-Level Salary2
$208,000 Late-Level Salary2

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1 Recent graduates attending graduate school or employed within six months of graduation.

2 Career salary and wages sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.