Criminal Justice Degree

The societal outcry for a fresh look at all aspects of the criminal justice system makes this an exciting time to study criminal justice with APU’s Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth from now until 2022 in several occupations related to criminal justice, such as information security analysts, paralegals and legal assistants, private detectives and investigators, security guards and gaming surveillance officers, and criminal justice and law enforcement teachers. The BLS also projects several replacement positions available in law enforcement. Criminal justice majors will be needed to provide leadership in all areas of this vital field.

Why Study Criminal Justice?

APU’s criminal justice degree equips students to analyze methods of reducing crime; advance police practices; improve prison, jail, and parole policies; and make society safer. Completion of the program will enable students to:

  • Demonstrate comprehension of the traditional and contemporary theories of crime causation and the nature of the major components of the criminal justice system: police, courts, and corrections.
  • Employ critical-thinking skills as well as ethical and moral reasoning to solve problems related to criminal justice.
  • Identify various methods of social science research including survey research, field research, experimental research, and evaluation research, and demonstrate awareness of the linkage between theory and research.
  • Comprehend qualitative and quantitative social science research, including descriptive research and hypothesis testing.
  • Identify ways in which discrimination, oppression, privilege, and social and economic disadvantage contribute to inequalities and injustices within criminal justice systems.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, and demonstrate basic knowledge of information technology as applied to criminal justice research and practice.

The most impactful part of APU’s criminal justice major is that the professors are there to support and push you in striving to become a better you. The classes touch on different parts of the criminal justice system—the courts, corrections, and law enforcement—and allow us to engage in different perspectives from professors and students. They help build my knowledge in different areas of the criminal justice field, which helps prepare me for pursuing a career in federal law enforcement.

Grace Morfin ’19

Gain In-depth Learning Experiences

Students experience active learning in real-world contexts: touring local prisons; volunteering in the community with at-risk youth; interning with local police departments, courts, and law offices; and hearing from professionals in the field at different stages of their careers. Study away programs are also available.

Is This Major Right for You?

You’re a criminal justice major if you:

  • Want to make a difference by creating laws, aiding at-risk youth, and protecting the rights of individuals.
  • Are the type of person who asks hard questions, challenges practices, and looks to implement innovative solutions.
  • Desire to critically analyze criticism of the criminal justice system.
  • Are interested in creating programs to aid and address victims of crime, juvenile offenders, and the formerly incarcerated returning to our communities.

Azusa Pacific also offers a bachelor’s completion program in criminal justice at the Inland Empire, Murrieta, and San Diego regional campuses. This program is designed for transfer students who have at least 30 units.

Note: This information is current for the 2017-18 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.