Criminal Justice

Your Future In Criminal Justice

Have you considered a criminal justice career? Pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice at the University of North Texas can lay the groundwork for becoming a:

  • Police officer
  • Federal or state law enforcement officer
  • Loss prevention officer or contingency manager in the corporate world
  • Probation or parole officer
  • Sheriff's deputy
  • Detention or custodial officer in a city, county, state or federal jail or prison
  • 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, administrator with a criminal justice agency or researcher in crime and law enforcement by attending graduate school.

Many of our alumni are serving in agencies throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth 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; utilize our staged crime scene area; or require completing service learning activities. Other electives and seminars allow you to focus your studies on a particular interest.

Study abroad opportunities and course work leading to a certificate in criminalistics are also 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 criminalistics. 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 website.

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 33 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 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.


High school students

We encourage you to fulfill the graduation requirements for the distinguished level of achievement under the Texas Foundation, Recommended or Distinguished Achievement high school program or the equivalent.

In your junior year, take the SAT or ACT and have your scores sent to UNT.

In your senior year, apply for admission at Apply Texas by March 1 and request that your high school transcript be sent to the UNT admissions office.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses can count toward college credit at UNT.

Transfer students

If you're attending a Texas community college, you should consult our online transfer guides, the UNT Undergraduate Catalog and an academic counselor or advisor to review your degree plan. Proper planning will allow you to receive the maximum amount of transfer credits.

Our Transfer Center will help you make a successful transition to college life at UNT by connecting you with a peer mentor and other campus resources. Each year, 3,800 students transfer to UNT.