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Criminal Justice

  • Credits:
  • Degree:
    Bachelor of Science

Program Description

The criminal justice program explores criminal behavior and the responses of law enforcement, the court system, and corrections. It also explores the impact of crime on victims, offenders, and the general public. As a criminal justice major, your studies will take you beyond the classroom and into the field, providing opportunities to work with members of the professional community and gain practical skills in real-world settings. You’ll also develop advanced communication, research, and analytical skills you can apply to a wide range of careers.

Why Major in Criminal Justice?

A degree in criminal justice opens the door to diverse professional opportunities, in areas including law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice, cybercrime, and more. Many of these jobs are in high demand and offer competitive salary and benefits. Because there will always be a need for criminal justice professionals, it’s also a field that offers a high level of job security.

Cambridge College Criminal Justice Program Highlights

Gain a broad understanding of the criminal justice system while developing specialized skills in your area of interest. Combining classroom instruction and hands-on learning, the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice at Cambridge College offers a flexible, affordable undergraduate degree option for adult learners.

  • Convenient course schedules. Earn your bachelor’s degree in criminal justice via convenient day, evening, weekend, and online classes that fit your busy schedule. Talk to a Cambridge College academic advisor to plan a course of study that works for you.
  • Experiential learning. Gain real-world experience and develop your professional network through a variety of field placement and student research opportunities with local criminal justice agencies.
  • World-class faculty. Work closely with caring, dedicated faculty who bring diverse criminal justice experience to the classroom.
  • Exceptional value. Earn your bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at one of the most affordable four-year private nonprofit colleges in the nation.
  • Diverse students. Gain diverse perspectives collaborating with students from all over the world at one of the most ethnically diverse colleges in America.
  • Convenient locations. All of our classroom locations are close to public transportation and/or offer free parking for students. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2016, roughly three million workers were employed in the criminal justice field. This broader field includes subfields such as law enforcement, corrections, forensic science, homeland security, private security, academia, and legal services.


Specialize your degree in an area that interests you. The criminal justice major offers concentrations in juvenile justice studies, legal studies, and peace and justice studies.

  • Juvenile Justice Studies Concentration: In addition to providing a background in youth services and current theories of adolescent development, this concentration explores the impact of community disadvantage, child abuse, and neglect on behavior. Learn more.
  • Legal Studies Concentration: Designed for students who are interested in pursuing a law career, this concentration provides foundational knowledge of various aspects of law school and the legal profession. Learn more.
  • Peace and Justice Studies Concentration: This concentration focuses on ways to promote the fair and equitable provision of justice as the path to a more just and humane world. Learn more.

Criminal Justice Program Learning Outcomes

As a criminal justice major at Cambridge College, you’ll gain a fundamental understanding of:

  • The underlying causes of crime and criminal behavior and how the criminal justice system is structured.
  • Differing views of national, state, and local laws; policies; and enforcement practices.
  • The role of law enforcement in society, the structure and training of its officers, and specializations such as community policing, state police, environmental police, and federal law enforcement.
  • The role of federal and local courts and of defense, prosecution, and judicial professionals.
  • The role of corrections, correctional facilities and sentenced populations, and correctional policies.

Your criminal justice training will also prepare you to understand and respond to controversial issues related to treatment vs. punishment, the need for law and respect for human rights, the impact of crime and imprisonment, alternative sentencing, and the principles of restorative justice.

Criminal Justice Careers

A degree in criminal justice opens the door to a wide range of professional options—from law enforcement, to corrections, to forensic science and academia.

Graduates of the Cambridge College criminal justice program go on to positions in:

  • Court probation
  • Case management in juvenile and adult judicial processes
  • Community-based alternative sentencing programs
  • Youth diversion programs
  • Pre-release and community reintegration services
  • Drug treatment, victim advocacy, and domestic violence services
  • Corrections on county and state levels

Graduates will also be well prepared for study at the Police Academy and for graduate study in criminology, criminal justice, forensics, public administration, law enforcement, legal studies, human and social sciences, and law.

Take some time to research different opportunities and find the right criminal justice career for you. Our Career Resource Advisors are here to help.

Criminal Justice Salaries

Because criminal justice encompasses so many different fields, salaries can vary significantly depending on your specialization, training, and location. These are average salaries for a small selection of careers in criminal justice, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Corrections officer: $42,820
  • Paralegal: $49,500
  • Criminologist: $56,750
  • Forensic science technician: $56,750
  • Police officer: $61,600
  • Forensic psychologist: $75,230
  • Criminal investigator: $78,120 

Example Criminal Justice Courses

With a major in criminal justice, you’ll have the opportunity to take classes such as:

  • Crime and Criminal Justice
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Women and Crime
  • Criminal Justice Field Education

Download the Criminal Justice program sheet.

Criminal Justice Scholarships and Financial Aid

Get financial assistance to help pay for your criminal justice degree. In addition to scholarship opportunities available through Cambridge College, you might also be eligible for other types of financial aid, such as federal and state grants or loans.

The first step is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Learn more about applying for financial aid

Related Programs at Cambridge College

If you’re still exploring degree options, you might be interested in learning more about these programs at Cambridge College: 


General Education

WRT101-102 and MAT101-102 may by waived if equivalent courses have been accepted in transfer. Credits will be replaced with open electives. WRT201 required if both WRT101-102 are waived; not required for students completing WRT101-102 at Cambridge. WRT090 and MAT100 required if assessment indicates need.

Principles and Processes of Adult Learning
LRN 175 3 credit(s)
Students explore theories of adult learning. They clarify the fit between their academic program and their learning and career needs, and see how their prior learning fits in. They assess their academic skills of critical thinking, mathematics, writing, and computer literacy. Students become independent learners who can effectively manage the structures, processes and expectations of undergraduate education.
College Writing I
WRT 101 3 credit(s)
Through challenging readings, class discussion, small group col­laboration, and different forms of writing, students learn the skills and process of “thinking on paper.” They learn to construct an argument or discussion that supports a clear thesis and present it effectively in a well-organized essay that observes the conventions of written English. They write academic papers that analyze and synthesize the issues suggested in two or more readings. Critical reading, critical thinking, research skills, and forms of documentation are also introduced.
Foundations of Critical Thinking
CTH 225 3 credit(s)
We learn to engage in reasoned thinking. We learn to formulate hypotheses; conceive and state definitions, and understand logical consistency and inconsistency. We explore the differences between claims of fact, value, and policy; what constitutes credible evidence; the nature of assumptions. We learn what constitutes a persuasive argument as opposed to an emotive and propagandistic one, and critically examine them. Students learn to present clear, well thought out critical arguments in writing and oral presentations. We look at the relationships among thinking, writing, speaking and listening, laying a strong foundation for improving our capacity to write, speak, and listen well.
College Mathematics I
MAT 101 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: MAT100 If assessment indicates need. This course introduces students to the value of mathematics for students’ career and educational goals. Students will acquire mathematical study skills, gain strategies for problem solving, and develop a sound foundation for future mathematics coursework. The course is structured towards engaging students in active, applied, and real-life learning in order to facilitate mathematical problem solving and conceptual understanding.
Introduction to Computer Applications
CMP 130 3 credit(s)
Assessment available. This course provides a hands-on introduction to the personal computer, Windows, word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software, the Internet, and an overview of Word, Excel and Power-Point uses. Students begin with the basics of each application and progress through intermediate level.
College Writing II
WRT 102 3 credit(s)
WRT102 acquaints students with the academic research paper as both process and product. The course begins with an intensive review of the strategies and techniques for writing an academic essay that are covered in WRT101 and then moves to selecting and narrowing a topic, preliminary research, and establishing a focus for a 12-15 page argument research paper. The final paper includes an abstract, an introduction, discussion, conclusion, and references. Students learn how to write an annotated bibliography and use APA documentation for in-text citations and references.
College Mathematics II
MAT 102 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: MAT101 If assessment indicates need. Challenge exam available. This course develops students’ mathematical thinking and problem solving around issues of both mathematical content and process. Students will acquire a conceptual and practical understanding of and familiarity with numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and basic data analysis and probability. The course focuses on supporting students’ understanding of problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connections, and representations. A key feature of the course is active student involvement to support communicating mathematics in everyday and academic contexts.
Information Literacy
CMP 230 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: CMP130 (course or portfolio) and familiarity with Windows and/or Mac operating system, or permission of instructor. Information literacy is necessary for lifelong learning and career advancement. It is the ability to analyze problems, research and select relevant information, create an effective presentation from that information, and, when appropriate, publish it in print or electronic formats. Students acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities to apply principles of information literacy to their academic and professional lives. A problem-centered approach is used. Students use the Internet and e-mail news groups, file transfer and Netscape, and search engines. They learn to evaluate the credibility of information and use problem-solving paradigms.
General Education Distribution Requirements

Arts & Humanities - 6 credits

Natural & Physical Sciences - 6 credits

Social Sciences - 6 credits

Open Electives

Choose electives and/or concentrations to support your academic interests and professional goals. (Course prerequisites must also be met.)

Criminal Justice Major

Required courses:

  • Crime and Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Criminal Law
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Law Enforcement Policies and Procedures
  • Corrections, History and Current Practice
  • Courts and Community
  • Alternative Sentencing and Restorative Justice
  • Introduction to Juvenile Justice
  • Women and Crime
  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • Special Topics in Criminal Justice Issues
  • Criminal Justice Field Education
  • Criminal Justice Capstone
  • Domestic Violence: Risks, Trends, Resources
  • Youth and Gangs
  • Family Mediation Techniques
  • Art of Advocacy: Skills for Policy & Service Delivery

Core Faculty

Senior Instructor



  • Admission Test:

    No SAT or ACT tests required.

  • Admissions Office:
  • Application Form:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)

School Requirements

See Admissions Requirements for School of Undergraduate Studies


State Health Requirements

The Massachusetts Health Department and Cambridge College require the following of students in Massachusetts:

Immunizations – All students in Massachusetts are required to get certain immunizations before you can register for your first term. See form

Health Insurance – In Massachusetts, undergraduate students taking nine or more credits/term and graduate students taking six or more credits/term must enroll in the College’s health insurance plan. Students who have insurance with comparable coverage may request a waiver. See information and enroll or waive.

International Students 

International students are accepted at Massachusetts location only, and need to provide supplemental documentation:

  • Official demonstration of English language proficiency
  • Supplemental documentation for issuance of I-20
  • International transcripts, evaluated by an accepted evaluation service

Transfer Credit

Undergraduate program applicants, once you are accepted, your official transcripts are evaluated for transfer credit.


  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $1.985 (Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.)

Note: Rates are as of July 2019, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

Grants, Scholarships and Loans

Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

Getting Your Company to Help

Many companies have tuition assistance programs, designed to help their employees with their professional development. Learn more

Take the Next Step Toward Your Degree in Criminal Justice