Located a stone’s throw from the FBI, CIA, and NSA—and the major metropolitan areas of Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland—UMGC is home to industry leaders who protect cities and the nation from some of our greatest threats. Our criminal justice program can help provide you with an understanding of the nature of crime and the personnel, institutions, and processes that prevent and respond to crime.

This program is also available as a minor.

About the Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree

In your criminal justice coursework, you’ll learn both the theory and practice of the criminal justice system, as well as the specifics of criminal behavior, law enforcement, courts, corrections, security, and investigation.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Apply critical-thinking skills and logic to analyze and solve a variety of complex problems in the criminal justice environment
  • Manage and evaluate organizational efforts to ensure effective cooperation with stakeholders to prevent, control, and manage crime to ensure public safety
  • Use an ethical framework and an understanding of legal constraints to make decisions as a criminal justice professional
  • Develop specialized technical knowledge and skills relevant to subspecialities in the field of criminal justice to ensure public safety
  • Use interpersonal and leadership skills to work both independently and cooperatively as a member of a criminal justice team

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Design a security plan for a public service in the community
  • Compose a search and seizure application and supporting affidavit
  • Critique an analytic report of criminal intelligence

Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Courses in the Major

  • CCJS 100
    or CCJS 105
  • CCJS 340
  • CCJS 497
  • CCJS 345
  • CCJS 350
    or any upper-level CCJS course
  • CCJS 230
  • CCJS 360
    or any upper-level CCJS course
  • CCJS 380
  • CCJS 341
  • CCJS 352
    or any upper-level CCJS course
  • CCJS 495

Electives

The bachelor's degree in criminal justice requires 46 credits of minor and/or elective coursework.

General Education Requirements

Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. See information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements (in communications, arts and humanities, behavioral and social sciences, biological and physical sciences, mathematics, and interdisciplinary issues).

Research and Computer Literacy Courses

  • PACE 111M
    or PACE 111P
    or other PACE 111 course
    (to be taken in first 6 credits)
  • LIBS 150
    or CAPL 398A
    or other general education elective
  • IFSM 201
    or CMST 301
    or another computing course appropriate to the academic major

Communications Courses

  • WRTG 111
    or WRTG 291
    or other writing course
  • WRTG 112
  • SPCH 100
    or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • WRTG 391
    or other advanced upper-level writing course

Math Course

  • MATH 105
    or other approved math or statistics course

Arts and Humanities Courses

  • HIST 142
    or HIST 157
    or other arts and humanities course
  • ARTH 204
    or foreign language course or other arts and humanities course

Behavioral and Social Science Courses

  • ECON 201
    or PSYC 100
    or other behavioral and social science course
  • GVPT 170
    or other behavioral and social science course

Biological and Physical Sciences Courses

  • BIOL 101
    and BIOL 102
    or other paired science lecture and laboratory courses
  • NUTR 100
    or BIOL 160
    or other science lecture course

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help prepare you to move into a command position in law enforcement or meet the degree requirement for federal law enforcement. The content of the degree program is applicable to positions in the public and private sectors. Graduates may find positions throughout the criminal justice system.

Additional Information

At least 17 credits in the major must be earned in upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above). See overall degree requirements.

Educational Relationship

An articulation agreement between UMUC’s Undergraduate School and Graduate School allows eligible students who complete their undergraduate degree at UMUC with a major in criminal justice to reduce their total coursework for the Master of Science in Management with a specialization in criminal justice management at UMUC by 6 credits (two courses) and complete both degrees with a total of 150 credits of coursework.