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Criminal Justice

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College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Serve, Protect, Defend

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

You are driven to do the right thing. You feel a responsibility to protect others from harm. You want to invest your life in something that could help change the world for the better.

Making the choice to become a criminal justice professional—specializing in either law enforcement, the courts or corrections—means you will play an important part in keeping citizens and communities safe from crime, threats, and harm. Now more than ever before, the world needs committed and capable criminal justice personnel.

With a bachelor’s degree from AUM’s Criminal Justice program, you’ll be qualified for hundreds of exciting criminal justice job opportunities at the local, state, and federal level.

This major provides broad academic preparation in both liberal arts and specialized course work. You’ll also get hands-on experience with an internship focused on law enforcement, the courts or corrections.

Our experienced, full-time faculty have published scholarly books and numerous peer-reviewed articles in prestigious journals, including Criminal Justice Studies, Police Quarterly, International Journal of Police Science & Management, and others. They have also presented papers at annual conferences such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the American Society of Criminology.

If you would like to prepare for a career in the fields of paralegal/legal assistant or judicial administration, you should consider the Legal Studies Concentration. This option is also an ideal way to prepare for law school.

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The Know How

What you will know with a Criminal Justice degree from AUM

We Encourage You To Think

The courses in this program help you become a critical thinker, with skills such as collecting and evaluating information, drawing conclusions and evaluating those conclusions.

We Prepare You To Be The Leader

With job experience, you may take on a leadership role, with others turning to you to uncover the essential facts of a life-or-death situation. We’ll help you get ready for that responsibility.

We Give You A Positive Framework For Serving

Know how to serve the public interest by delivering not only the truth, but the context behind it.

We Get You Ready For Your Career

Through shadowing and internship opportunities, you’ll get a taste of the real world of criminal justice. You’ll also be able to create a professional network that will be crucial to career success.

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Game Plan for Success

Your GPS is an academic tracker that provides a step-by-step guide to graduating on time.

Points of Pride

  • The Criminal Justice department head is an experienced former deputy chief of police of a California police department.
  • Our full-time faculty has published scholarly books and numerous peer-reviewed articles in prestigious journals, including Homicide Studies, International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, Criminology & Penology, and many more.
  • Faculty has presented papers at annual conferences such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the American Society of Criminology.

Soaring Warhawks

  • Dr. Wendy Williams is the Deputy Commissioner for Women’s Services with the Alabama Department of Corrections.
  • Dr. Rodney Ellis is chancellor of Southern University at Shreveport in Louisiana.
  • Paul Register is chief of police of the Auburn Police Department.
  • Louis Franklin is the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama.
  • Kevin Murphy served as Montgomery’s police chief and is now chief deputy with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

Customize Your Concentration

  • Looking to enhance your criminal justice training for a robust and flexible career? A minor in Psychology or Sociology could help.
  • Apply to the University Honors Program, a diverse community of students who take classes together, work on community service projects, and travel the U.S. and abroad.
Video Testimonials

Tell me about the Criminal Justice major.

Courtney Waid
We Have the Answers

Rewarding Occupations and Job Growth

Check out our Career Discovery Board on this page to begin exploring your options. Contact us by phone or email so we can get you the answers you need.

The Criminal Justice faculty have numerous contacts and relationships in law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. You’ll benefit from this network when seeking internships and jobs.

The Criminal Justice focus prepares you to work in law enforcement, the courts and/or corrections. The Legal Studies concentration is ideal for paralegal/legal assistant or judicial administration.

Students seeking to continue their education in Law school are given dedicated resources that provide class schedule advising focused on career choice, assistance with graduate school applications, and more.

Degree Options

Is a Degree in Criminal Justice right for me?

With this bachelor’s degree as your educational foundation, you have many career possibilities.

Career/Job TitleEntry-level EducationJob Growth 2020-2030Annual Median Salary
Police and DetectiveBachelor’s Degree7% (As fast as average)$67,290
Probation Officer and Correctional Treatment SpecialistBachelor’s degree4% (Slower than average)$55,690
LawyerLaw degree9% (As fast as average)$126,930

Note: Salaries vary depending on several factors including your level of experience, education, training, demographics, and industry. Here is a sampling of the future job growth and salaries according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Quick Facts

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

At AUM’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, you will have powerful learning experiences, working side by side with professors who have real-world experience.

Our academic departments include Communication and Theatre, Criminal Justice, Economics, English and Philosophy, Fine Arts,  History and World Cultures, Political Science and Public Administration, Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, and Army ROTC. To help you pay for college, you might qualify for one of our scholarships.

Official Name of the Criminal Justice Degree

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice


This degree requires students to meet on campus. Students in these courses enroll in a program to connect in a campus setting and to collaborate using a variety of technological and educational tools. Professors play an inspirational role in building relationships among teams and individuals in this setting. The criteria for many programs can only be met with In-Class coursework. Be sure to check with your advisor to understand the best route to take.


Courses Include

To complete this degree concentration, you will need to complete courses in the university core, Criminal Justice, and electives. Contact us for a current listing of courses required to complete this program.  

The course listings below are only a few of the classes this concentration offers. For a full review of this program in detail, please see our official online catalog AND consult with an academic advisor.

Course #Course NameCourse Description
JUST 1150Introduction to the American Criminal Justice SystemOverview of the United States criminal justice system; students develop a general understanding of the dynamic nature of the criminal justice system's response to crime in society, including the roles of law enforcement, courts, corrections, and juvenile justice systems.
JUST 3040Organization and AdministrationIntroduction to organizational structures, human resource management, organizational performance, and consideration of organizational changes.
JUST 3120Investigative MethodsExamination of theories and practices of the investigative process in the criminal justice system, specific operational techniques and applications of innovative techniques.
JUST 3620Criminal LawJurisprudential philosophy and case study of common law and statutory crimes. Includes functions and development of substantive criminal law, elements of specific offenses and defenses.
JUST 3630Evidence/CriminalisticsIssues and problems of proof in civil and criminal trials, rules of evidence, examining witnesses, constitutional considerations, etc.
JUST 4390JPS Information SystemsAcquaints the student with methods and procedures concerning the protection of information, computer hardware and software. Emphasis on identifying the organizational responsibility for protective programs and detection of information and computer theft.
JUST 4510JPS Planning & BudgetingIntroduction to planning concepts, methods, implementation, budgeting and evaluation. Discusses the relationship of planning to effective management and decision making. Develops a broad conceptual framework for various planning methods and techniques.
JUST 4640Criminal ProcedureA study of the legal steps involved in the enforcement of criminal law and the fundamental principles necessary to a fair trial. Procedurally oriented discussion of arrest, search and seizure, right to counsel and due process of law.
JUST 4700Research Methods (WI)Research methods as applicable to justice and public safety, evaluation of research designs, conceptual models, sampling techniques and procedures. Analysis of research results. Development of an individual research design. Grant writing fundamentals. Prerequisite ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020.
JUST 4710Alternative Dispute Resolution (WI)Examination of the various aspects of alternative dispute resolution processes, including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Legal requirements and skills are explored in the context of conflict diagnosis, process selection, and resolution.
JUST 4750Survey of Crime TheoriesProvides an examination of the major criminological schools of thought as well as the prominent theorists within each school; theories are presented that examine criminal motivation and the application of criminal law, additionally, the implicit theoretical assumptions regarding the punishment of offenders are examined.
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