Your Future In Criminal Justice

Pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice at the University of North Texas can lay the groundwork for becoming a:

  • Detention or custodial officer in a city, county, state or federal jail or prison
  • Federal or state law enforcement officer
  • Loss prevention officer or contingency manager in the corporate world
  • Police officer
  • Probation or parole officer
  • Sheriff's deputy
  • Victim's advocate at the county, state or federal level

After receiving your degree, you'll need further training at a police academy or department for most law enforcement jobs. You may become a criminal lawyer, an administrator with a criminal justice agency or a researcher in crime and law enforcement by attending graduate school.

Many of our alumni are serving in agencies throughout the North Texas region as:

  • Police chiefs, supervisors and officers
  • Special agents at federal agencies
  • State law enforcement officers
  • Supervisory staff at community corrections agencies

What we offer

Our curriculum educates you in the theoretical, practical and empirical aspects of criminal justice in preparation for your potential career or graduate studies. The course work addresses a wide variety of subjects such as:

  • Criminal justice and public policy
  • Criminal law and procedure
  • Criminological theory
  • Ethical and diversity issues in criminal justice
  • History of crime and justice in the United States
  • Police and correctional systems
  • Research methods

Some courses incorporate experiential activities in jails, prisons or courtrooms, or require completing service learning activities. Other electives and seminars allow you to focus your studies on a particular interest, and study abroad opportunities also are available.

Our faculty members have extensive relationships with area agencies and include nationally recognized experts in policing, juvenile justice, corrections, criminological theory, victims' issues and sentencing. They also have expertise in offender behavior and research methodology. Their books and articles are used in classrooms across the nation, and some have been cited as landmark research efforts.

While pursuing your degree, you may qualify for competitive, academic-based scholarships. We also sponsor student chapters of Alpha Phi Sigma (the national criminal justice honor society) and Lambda Alpha Epsilon (the criminal justice pre-professional society). Information about the scholarships and student organizations is at

Our Criminal Justice Internship Program allows you to complete an internship for academic credit and gain practical experience. This program is in addition to the internship services provided by the university.

What to expect

You'll complete 27 credit hours of core criminal justice courses; 12 credit hours of psychology, sociology, technical writing and communications courses; and 15 credit hours of criminal justice electives. Electives focus on alcohol and drug abuse, community corrections, corporate security, juvenile justice, offender behavior and organized crime.

The Career Center, Learning Center and our team of professional academic advisors are among the many valuable resources available to you at UNT. The Career Center can provide advice about internships, future employment opportunities and getting hands-on experience in your major. The Learning Center offers workshops on speed reading, study skills and time management. Academic advisors will help you plan your class schedule each semester.