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Criminal Justice (BA)

University of South Alabama
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
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About this program

Criminal Justice(BA)

The Criminal Justice program provides broad exposure to the core aspects of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, courts, and corrections. We have a dynamic department with award winning faculty who excel in both teaching and research. With courses offered on the main campus and on our Baldwin County campus, students have the ability to tailor a degree to their own interests. We offer a variety of elective courses and internships with local, state, and federal agencies. Students will gain strong analytical and critical thinking skills that will prepare them well for a diversity of careers in areas including law enforcement, probation, parole, and victim services, or for graduate programs including law school. Come join us at South — we would be delighted to welcome you here!

Our program offers a variety learning experiences to help prepare students for their careers, with courses led by award winning faculty who have been recognized for their teaching, advising, service, and research. The critical thinking, writing, and analytical skills our programs provide have prepared our graduates well for work in fields that have included law enforcement; education; government; law; corrections; public policy; business; NGOs and non-profits; and more.

The department has a long history of both student internships and community engagement, as the city of Mobile is home to the field offices of multiple law enforcement agencies (federal, state, and local), a jail, a juvenile detention center, a county courthouse, a federal district courthouse, and multiple victim service agencies. Our active Criminal Justice Association provides social and educational opportunities for students within our department, and students are encouraged to join the Alpha Phi Sigma honors society.

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Admission requirements

Documents Required

  • Official high school transcript reflecting a minimum 2.50 GPA
  • Official ACT or SAT scores: a minimum ACT superscore of 19 OR a minimum SAT (critical reading + math only) score of 900 (if taken prior to March 2016) OR a minimum SAT (Evidence-based reading and writing + math only) score of 990 (if take March 2016 or after)

At this time, the University of South Alabama is accepting self-reported information that will be considered with your application for admission. All the information will be verified and your admission will be contingent on receipt of official documents.

Required Academic Core Courses:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3 years of social science
  • 3 years of Math- Must include Algebra I and two higher level math courses (for example: Algebra II, Algebra w/ Finance, Algebraic Connections, Geometry, Trigonometry, Analytical Geometry, Pre-Calculus, or other higher level math courses will be considered)
  • 3 years of science (At least two of the sciences must include labs)
  • 3 years of advanced electives (Courses chosen from any of the four core areas above and may include foreign language)

The Alabama High School Diploma with Advanced Endorsement meets all University of South Alabama core requirements. The Credit Based Diploma awarded by Alabama High Schools is accepted; however, students must meet all high school core requirements listed above.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

Requirements for the Criminal Justice Major

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to U.S. Government
  • Policing and Society
  • Correctional Policies and Procedures
  • Research Methods
  • Judicial Process
  • Theories of Offending
  • Capstone Seminar in Criminal Justice
  • Level CJ Electives

Requirements for the Criminal Justice Minor

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Level CJ electives

Criminal Justice Electives

  • Public and Private Security
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law
  • The Law and Legal Theory
  • Liability and Punishment
  • Crime and Politics in Latin America
  • Gender and Criminal Justice
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Criminal Justice
  • Drugs and Crime
  • Special Topics
  • Sexual Violence
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Community Based Corrections
  • Juvenile Justice Administration and Policy
  • Criminal Justice Policies
  • Police Accountability and Community
  • Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
  • Special Topics
  • Armed Conflict
  • Seminar on Terrorism
  • Directed Studies
  • Internship
  • Honors Thesis

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please visit the university website for more information.


  • In-State: 329.00 per credit hour
  • Out-of-State: 658.00 per credit hour

Career paths

Local law enforcement:

  • Municipal and County police departments
  • Park police
  • County police
  • Juvenile justice centers

State law enforcement:

  • Crime labs
  • State Crime Commissions
  • The Court System
  • Attorney General Offices
  • Narcotics Bureaus
  • Liquor Control Boards
  • State Police
  • Alabama Bureau of Investigation

Federal law enforcement:

  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • U.S. Marshals Service
  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
  • Veterans Affairs
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of State
  • Office of the Inspector General

Private sector law enforcement:

  • Insurance companies
  • Private detectives/investigators
  • Safety officers
  • Private security
  • Security patrol officers

Courts and Corrections:

  • Law Clerk
  • Court Reporter
  • Bailiff
  • Probation Officer
  • Parole Officer
  • Correctional Officer
  • Correctional Counselor

Other Typical Vocations:

  • Data/research analyst
  • Victim's advocate
  • Juvenile probation officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Parole Officer
  • Correctional Officer
  • Correctional Counselor

With additional graduate course work:

  • Criminologist
  • Criminal profiler
  • Psychologist/Psychiatrist
  • Forensic pathologist
  • Forensic anthropologist
  • Instructor/Professor
  • Forensic scientist
  • Crime lab analyst
  • Data analyst
  • Crime scene investigator
  • Prosecutor
  • Defense attorney


About this institute

University of South Alabama

The University of South Alabama is a comprehensive, global research and teaching university that provides our students with an exceptional education in business, the liberal arts, education, engineering, computing, the sciences and health care. Located in Mobile, Alabama on the...

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Why study at University of South Alabama

State-of-the-art labs and classrooms, small class sizes, international accreditation, scholarships, proximity to the beach, affordability


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