Criminal Justice Degree

Student studying

Program Description 

Built on our strong liberal arts foundation, Rockhurst University’s Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice introduces students to the complexity of our nation’s criminal justice system. As a criminal justice major, you’ll explore causes and prevention of criminal behavior, as well as gain expertise on the meaning and application of the legal process, law enforcement, court management, and correctional treatment.

We aim to be one of the best colleges for criminal justice degrees in Kansas City, and we do so by fostering a humanistic understanding of the study of crime and the criminal justice system. Our criminal justice program emphasizes critical thinking, application and analysis, and is structured to prepare students for graduate programs in criminal justice and related social science fields, as well as preparation for law school or direct entry into one of many fulfilling criminal justice jobs. Graduates go on to find success in criminal justice careers as competent, effective and compassionate leaders.

In addition to the criminal justice major, RU also offers a minor.

What is Criminal Justice?

Criminal justice is a growing field that spans everything from law enforcement to the court system to the justice administration. With a need for increased security across the globe, criminal justice degree graduates are in high demand. Criminal justice jobs are a good fit for those looking for a rewarding career while also giving back to their communities.

Learning Outcomes 

Criminal justice degree program graduates will be able to:

  • Identify the three primary components of the criminal justice system. 
  • Develop critical thinking skills.
  • Describe empirically supported correlates of criminal behavior.
  • Compare rationales for punishment.
  • Compare criminological theories. 
  • Create a valid research project. 

Prospective Students 

Current Students 


  • Internships 
  • Capstone projects 
  • Instruction from faculty with experience working in criminal justice careers


What can you do with a criminal justice degree? Graduates go on to pursue criminal justice degree jobs in areas such as:

  • Law
  • Federal or local law enforcement
  • Research

Some examples of criminal justice jobs within these fields include:

  • Crime scene investigators
  • FBI agents
  • Police detectives
  • Probation officers
  • Criminal justice professors