New and Returning Students

Criminal Justice Brochure

The new brochure applies to students with the catalog year beginning fall 2021. Returning students should contact their advisor if they have questions regarding if any changes affect them.

Degrees and Programs

Discover what you can learn and where a criminal justice major can take you.

The undergraduate program in criminal justice provides a broad, multidisciplinary exploration of the complex criminal justice system. We incorporate knowledge and techniques from a wide variety of academic and applied disciplines. We are the only program in California, and one of only a few in the country, with a concentration in juvenile justice.


  • Law enforcement
  • The legal system
  • Working with at-risk youth
  • Forensics
  • Probation and parole
  • Correctional counseling
  • Private security


  • Research methods
  • Causes of crime
  • Forensic sciences
  • History and workings of the criminal justice system
  • Correctional and law enforcement management
  • Communication skills


  • Law enforcement
  • Social workers
  • Probation and parole officers
  • Crime scene investigators
  • Court administrators
  • Counselors of at-risk youth
  • Correctional officers and case managers
  • Crime analysts
  • School resource officers

"I’m already in law enforcement as a deputy sheriff. I enjoy helping people. I love knowing I can make a difference in somebody’s life."

Geoffrey B., Criminal Justice Student

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Career Opportunities

Criminal justice majors can pursue careers in areas such as:

  • Local county probation
  • Local police departments
  • Sheriff ’s departments
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • California Department of Justice
  • Customs and Border Protection
  • Local coroner’s offices such as the Stanislaus or Merced County Coroner’s Offices
  • Federal law enforcement
  • California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • State Police
  • Law firms

Updated: April 10, 2024