School of Social Sciences and International Studies

Bachelor of Arts in Crime and Justice Studies

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Why Choose Crime and Justice Studies?

Crime and justice studies (CJS) is an interdisciplinary and incredibly varied field of study. Knowledge specific to the discipline relies upon research from fields as varied as sociology, law, history, psychology, and political science. It encompasses analysis of federal, state, and local entities that seek to understand, control, and deter crime. The principal agencies charged with these responsibilities are law enforcement, the judiciary, and corrections. More fundamentally, however, crime and justice studies examines questions of social justice—concerns related to equality, fairness, freedom, security, and social order. If you are interested in understanding the causes, responses, and consequences of crime for the individual as well as the larger society, consider this program.

Crime and justice studies is a liberal arts degree and therefore, our focus is on providing you with a well-rounded, critically engaged, and scientifically informed understanding of the field. While practical experience is a vital component of our curriculum, our larger mission is that, when you graduate, you will be an innovator and leader in your chosen occupations and will utilize scientific reasoning and sharply honed analytical skills on your path to success. You will be prepared for positions in a variety of occupations, including local and federal law enforcement, probation and parole, civil, criminal and juvenile courts, research, corrections, teaching, forensics, and a variety of other fields.

While crime and justice studies is an exciting and challenging major, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, if you have a prior criminal record or a drug or alcohol dependency it will be difficult for you to obtain employment in the field once you graduate. Further, it is a field that generally requires not only keen analytic and technical skills but also the ability to empathize, establish strong interpersonal boundaries, and, most importantly, maintain fundamental respect for the rights and dignity of others. 


View the crime and justice studies program profile for sample occupations, average salary, and employment projections. Crime and justice studies majors are employable in almost every public and private sector you can think of. They can target careers in:

  • Accounting
  • Business Management
  • Biology
  • Communications
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • English
  • Electronic Engineering
  • History
  • Journalism
  • Languages
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Military Science
  • Performing and Visual Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Photography
  • Physical and Health Education
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Agencies and Services Where Crime and Justice Studies Majors May Seek Employment:

  • Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Services 
  • American Red Cross 
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms 
  • Bureau of Prisons 
  • Defense Investigative Services 
  • Department of Agriculture 
  • Department of Human Resources 
  • Department of Justice 
  • Department of Labor 
  • Department of State 
  • Department of the Treasury 
  • District Attorneys' Offices 
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation 
  • Food and Drug Administration 
  • Governors' Offices 
  • Immigration and Naturalization Service 
  • Indian Police 
  • Industrial Security Firms and Corporations 
  • Internal Revenue Service 
  • Juvenile Courts 
  • Municipal, County and State Police Departments 
  • Municipal, County and State Prison and Penal Systems 
  • Municipal Courts and Court Administration Offices 
  • National Center for Action on Institutions and Alternatives 
  • National Center for State Courts 
  • National Criminal Justice Reference Service 
  • Police Foundation 
  • Practice of Law 
  • Private Rehabilitation Agencies 
  • Probation and Parole Agencies 
  • Public Defender Offices 
  • Research and Consulting Firms 
  • Senators' Offices 
  • State and County Consumer Advocate Offices 
  • State and County Coroner and Medical Examiner Offices 
  • State Crime Commissions 
  • State Trial Courts 
  • U.S. Armed Forces 
  • U.S. Customs Service 
  • U.S. Marshal Service 
  • U.S. Postal Service and many more.... 

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Real-World Experience

You will be required to complete one three-credit hour internship prior to graduation. You should meet with an internship coordinator a minimum of one semester before registering (two semesters prior for sociology internships). Internships can be taken through political science, sociology or urban affairs/geography departments (each has different minimum GPA requirements) by contacting the internship coordinators listed on our internships page.

Success Stories

Michael Townsend has been assigned to protect numerous heads of state, including Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Madison Stiffler, a junior crime and justice major at Wright State, is a star on the women’s club bowling team.

Academics and Curriculum

Our program attracts students with a wide variety of academic and occupational interests. For that reason, we feature a curriculum that provides both a tightly focused set of core classes combined with a more flexible, option-rich secondary set of clustered requirements. This configuration helps ensure you will master the essential subject matter of the larger field as well as develop expertise in more specialized topics. So, whether your interest is in policing, legal studies, probation, social inequality, or the countless other topics aligned with this major, our curriculum should meet your needs.

The CJS major entails completion of 15 three-hour courses across three major areas of focus—the CJS core, CJS foundation areas, and advanced CJS electives.

View the Bachelor of Arts in Crime and Justice Studies program information and requirements in the Academic Catalog.

Bachelor of Arts in Crime and Justice Studies checksheet (PDF)



To be admitted into the CJS program. you must have:

  1. Earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0
  2. Completed ENG 1100 with a grade of C or better; or
  3. Completed two additional core classes in the College of Liberal Arts.

If you are a transfer student (either with an associate’s degree or transferring any credit from another university or college) or you are a first-time freshman, you must first be admitted to Wright State. Go to undergraduate admissions, either online or visit the Student Union. Keep in mind, that it may take up to three weeks to process your application once every item is complete.

How to Apply

Review the college admission requirements and complete the admission application. Identify whether you will be majoring in Crime and Justice Studies.

If you are a current student and wish to change majors, go to the WINGS Express major/minor change request form and change your major. If you are an undecided/exploratory student, talk to your advisor about majoring in Crime and Justice Studies.

Accepted Students

After you receive your acceptance letter from the Office of Admissions, advisors will help you with any placement testing that may be required, plus help you register for classes. If you’re a transfer student who has already met the minimum requirements, you will be directly admitted to the College of Liberal Arts.

Admitted Students

Once you've met the minimum requirements to be admitted to the crime and justice studies program, your file will automatically be sent to the College of Liberal Arts Advising Office, 937-775-2601. After the liberal arts advisors evaluate your transfer credit, they will forward your file to the crime and justice studies department. You will receive a welcome letter at that time which identifies your faculty advisor. However, feel free to call us at any time with questions at 937-775-2667 or email


Take the Next Step

Finding the right college means finding the right fit. See all that the College of Liberal Arts has to offer by visiting campus.