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Criminal Justice Studies

Do you have a strong desire to serve the common good?

The criminal justice studies major is individualized and students choose the justice path that is right for them. The program is an excellent academic home for students interested in law and legal careers, intelligence, forensic psychology, federal law enforcement, probation and work with at-risk populations in the community.


of our students participate in internships or service learning


of graduates are employed or enrolled in an advanced degree program immediately after graduation

5 years

you can earn a bachelor's + J.D.

A High-Quality Education

  • Four concentrations help design your future
  • Criminal Justice + JD Program
  • Internships
  • Our major is composed of an interdisciplinary curriculum comprised of faculty in criminal justice, management information security, sociology, anthropology, social work, political science and psychology. We offer four concentrations to enhance your degree. See our list of concentrations below.

    Incoming students declaring Criminal Justice Studies as a major with a Pre-Law concentration have an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Studies and a JD in 5 years, as part of our 3 + 2 or, in six years in the 3 + 3 pathway.

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    Internships provide students with a link between academics and the world of work.

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    Find the Concentration for You

    What is Business Intelligence?

    Business Intelligence (BI) refers to the theories, technologies, applications and practices for the collection, integration, analysis and transformation of raw agency data into useful information for agency purposes. Organizational success often depends on the ability to make decisions in a timely manner. Making effective decisions requires knowledge of how best to capture facts and analyze data, an understanding of data quality and warehousing issues, the ability to collect performance management metrics and data visualization.

    Why a Business Intelligence concentration in Criminal Justice Studies?

    Business Intelligence (BI) is not just for business students. Criminal justice agencies use BI skills to detect and protect citizens against crime. Criminal justice professionals use BI skills to collect and compile information on crimes, criminals and possible threats to security. These skills are used to create reports and to make recommendations about the deployment of resources for crime prevention and other decision-making purposes. The business intelligence minor includes a two-semester applied project. Thus, students graduate with real-world experience.

    Courses beyond the criminal justice core include: Survey of management information systems, problem-solving with visual tools, business intelligence, systems implementation with database management systems, data warehousing and an agency-based internship. 

    Potential careers include: Criminal intelligence analyst, crime analyst, criminal research specialist, criminal justice information analyst, data and research analyst and policy analyst.

    Pursuit of advanced graduate degrees or certification in: criminal justice, homeland security, intelligence analysis, business intelligence or analytics.

    Why a Criminal Justice Studies concentration?

    The concentration is composed of an interdisciplinary curriculum comprised of faculty in communication, management information systems, sociology, social work, political science and psychology. Students majoring in criminal justice can construct their major from a broad array of social science courses. The department and program offer numerous opportunities to engage in service learning and participate in our well-developed internship program that offers placements in community, corporate, or justice administration agencies at the local, state or federal level.

    Students will learn how laws are debated, created and enforced through criminal justice studies and how laws protect individuals and create an orderly society. You will gain an understanding of deviance, crime and criminality as you study law enforcement, the courts, corrections, social movements and other groups and agencies. By studying crime and the systems of criminal and community justice in-depth, our interdisciplinary program prepares you for a career as a practitioner and scholar within criminal justice and related criminological professions.

    Courses beyond the criminal justice core include: Students individually craft an interdisciplinary set of coursework to gain the knowledge, skills and abilities to pursue graduate work or a variety of justice related careers.

    Potential careers include: Case manager, family intervention specialist, pre-trial services officer, probation officer, juvenile court professional, police officer, state trooper, fish and game officer, fraud investigator, correctional officer, correctional family officer, U.S. Postal Inspector, federal law enforcement, victim’s advocate and other careers related to working with at-risk populations in the nonprofit realm.

    Pursuit of advanced graduate degrees in: criminal justice, criminology, law school, forensic psychology, political science and social work.

    What is Cyber-Security Management?

    According to the Department of Homeland Security, cyber-security managers have chief responsibility for overseeing the security of an information system or network. This work includes understanding the infrastructure necessary to protect the organization, developing procedures for responding to information security threats, maintaining situational awareness of cyber-security threats and assisting with the development and enforcement of organizational policies to secure information.

    To effectively respond to organizational threats, the cyber-security manager merges basic knowledge of cybersecurity technical skills with an understanding of policy, theory, and business practice. Thus, cyber-security specialists must have: 1) knowledge of computer networking concepts and protocols, and network security methodologies; 2) knowledge of cybersecurity and privacy principles used to manage risks related to the use, processing, storage, and transmission of information; 3) knowledge of cyber threats and vulnerabilities; 4) knowledge of risk management processes (e.g. methods of assessing and mitigating risk); and 5) knowledge of vulnerability information dissemination sources (e.g. alerts, advisories, errata, and bulletins).

    Why a Cyber-Security Management concentration in Criminal Justice Studies?

    Businesses, government agencies and private citizens are all at risk of falling victim to cybersecurity attack. According to the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies, cyber-security management professionals “provide leadership, management, direction or development and advocacy so the organization may effectively conduct cybersecurity work.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that information security related jobs are expected to grow 28 percent from 2016 to 2026. Thus, the need for professionals who understand cyber-security policy and how to manage, direct, deploy and enforce cyber-security practices remains high. Criminal justice studies majors with this concentration can look beyond law enforcement and successfully pursue security careers with businesses, contracting firms, financial firms and nonprofits. We take a hands-on approach to building the student’s cyber-security skillset. The concentration includes a two-semester analysis and design project carried out with a local business, government agency or nonprofit organization.

    Courses beyond the criminal justice core include: Survey of management information systems, problem-solving with visual tools, principles of information security, telecommunications and networking, internet security and an agency-based internship.

    Potential careers include: Law enforcement specialist (risk management), information security analyst, information security officer, information security manager communication security manager, data security analyst, security monitor, security coordinator and security technician.

    Pursuit of advanced graduate degrees in: criminal justice, cyber-security and information security.

    Students must earn a minimum grade of B- in Math 207 and in MIS 305 to qualify to move from general CJS concentration to Cyber-Security Management CJS concentration.

    Assumed level of proficiency with computers.

    Why a Pre-Law concentration in Criminal Justice Studies?

    Each year a significant number of criminal justice majors express interest in pursuing a legal career. This interdisciplinary concentration has been designed with those students in mind. The concentration is designed so that students not only develop an understanding of the law but also develop critical thinking and communication skills. Awareness of ethics is essential for success in legal professions. With this in mind, coursework is designed to encourage students to explore both personal and professional ethics. Students also have the opportunity to obtain a pre-law minor by enrolling in coursework connected to the University of Dayton’s mock trial team.

    In recent years, criminal justice majors have received acceptance letters from law schools such as American University, Boston College, Depaul University, Loyola University, Marquette University, Michigan State University, Villanova University, The Ohio State University and the University of Dayton to name a few.

    Earning the criminal justice studies degree with a concentration in pre-law does not guarantee acceptance into law school. Law school admission typically requires a high grade point average, as well as satisfactory performance on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Students are encouraged to begin preparing for the LSAT early in their undergraduate careers. Each student is assigned an academic advisor who discusses law school admission requirements. The academic advisor also links the students with on-campus law school preparation resources.

    Courses beyond the criminal justice core include: Legal careers and professional development, logic, the American judicial process, professional and technical writing, criminal law, criminal procedure, constitutional law, law and society and an agency-based internship. 

    Pursuit of advanced graduate degrees in: criminal justice, criminology, law or political science.

    Featured Programs and Initiative

    Omega Phi Delta and Alpha Phi Sigma

    Our majors are given the opportunity to take learning beyond the classroom by joining Omega Phi Delta, which also includes the national honor society Alpha Phi Sigma.

    Service Learning

    Integrate community service, reflection and civic responsibility. Expand your knowledge while helping to make a difference in the local community.


    Criminal Justice Studies Program

    St. Joseph Hall, Room 436
    300 College Park
    Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1447


    the average class size for criminal justice studies courses