Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Criminal Justice

Why study criminal justice at the National Moser Center for Adult Learning?

Studying criminal justice at the National Moser Center for Adult Learning is designed for the adult student who is at least 22 years of age, has professional work experience as a criminal justice professional and is seeking to advance their career, or is looking to become a criminal justice professional. The accelerated degree blends online and classroom courses.

While enrolled in our B.A. in Criminal Justice program, students develop a foundation in American government, ethics and cultural heritage. They learn the fundamentals of juvenile justice, delinquency and crime, criminal investigation techniques and research methodology. They gain a broad background in criminal law. To ensure degree completion, the learning team format is deployed with access to Benedictine’s various student services, such as tutoring, advising and career services. Additionally, each learning team provides a support network for students and individualized attention from professors.

Benedictine University has long been committed to offering programs to those working in criminal justice and its career changers, including our nation’s veterans, since offering First Responder programs in 2001 in partnership with local police and fire professionals.

How does the B.A. in Criminal Justice program work?

The program is offered in an adult accelerated learning team format. Students progress through the program together as a learning team, completing coursework in approximately 20 months. Classes are blended, with one evening classroom session and one asynchronous online session per week.

Realizing the busy schedules of our adult students, the program culminates in a thesis project with an application-based practicum rather than a time consuming internship project, which often requires adult students to take a leave of absence from their career(s).

Our program offers rolling admissions so that students can be admitted and enroll year-round. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Learning teams are small, typically 14-22 students. Classes may be offered on-site or at one of our National Moser Center for Adult Learning locations.

What Careers are Available in this Field?

A major in criminal justice can open doors to a number of careers such as (but not limited to) lawyer, judge, police officer, detective, criminal investigator, counselor, corrections officer, protective services, court services, social services and juvenile services. The degree can also enhance marketability for students seeking careers in corporate security and various regulatory agencies.

Increased demand for private detectives and investigators will stem from heightened security concerns and the need to protect property and confidential information. Technological advances have led to an increase in cybercrime, such as identity theft and spamming. Internet scams, as well as other types of financial and insurance fraud, have also created a demand for investigative services, particularly by the legal services industry. 

Background checks will continue to be a source of work for many investigators as both employers and personal contacts seek to verify a person’s credibility.*

Job Prospects

Strong competition for jobs can be expected because private detective and investigator careers attract many qualified people, including relatively young retirees from law enforcement and the military.* Continued desire for public safety will
result in a need for more officers. However, demand for employment is expected to vary depending on location, driven largely by local and state budgets. Even with crime rates falling in the last few years, there will be continued demand for police services to maintain and improve public safety.

Applicants with a bachelor’s degree and law enforcement or military experience, especially investigative experience, as well as those who speak more than one language should have the best job opportunities.

Security guards will continue to be needed to protect both people and property. Concern about crime, vandalism and terrorism will result in an increased need for security. Demand should be strong in the private sector as private security firms take over some of the work once conducted by police officers.

The B.A. in Criminal Justice may be applied to roles within local, state, and/or federal agencies and careers within public or private sectors, and may lead to advanced degrees within public safety, law enforcement administration, management and/or public health.

In a November 2013 survey to the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the majority of respondents said they felt that a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is an essential requirement for promotion.