Criminal Justice (BA, Minor)
Why study Criminal Justice?
Careers in Criminal Justice give you the opportunity to make a significant difference in people’s lives. By studying Criminal Justice, you develop the skills to improve your community by aiding the victims of crime, counseling and rehabilitating criminals, and directing the progress of a parolee.
One of the main reasons people study Criminal Justice is they have the desire and passion to help others through the use of the legal system. A degree in Criminal Justice will introduce you to the law and can help prepare you for law school and other post-graduate programs.
Aurora University’s Criminal Justice program is unique because we serve as a resource for career development and improvement in the quality of life in our communities. We are constantly reviewing our curriculum ideas and enhancing our learning tools to maximize opportunities for our students.
We recognize the diversity of our students and offer them the option of customizing their course selections to specialize in what matters to them.
When you study Criminal Justice at AU, you will learn about the interrelationship of the core components of the entire field from police and courts to corrections. Our degree also covers social policy areas involving homeland security and terrorism.
The Criminal Justice program at AU will provide you with a broad academic experience, so that you are prepared for a variety of careers in law enforcement, corrections, probation, parole, homeland security, military, or federal service. AU faculty teach courses that will build your analytical, critical thinking, research, and writing skills.
Through experiences in the field, our students gain knowledge by working alongside police officers, corrections officers, agency employees, and investigators. Many of our students opt to complete internships in a variety of federal, state, and local criminal justice agencies as well as some private sector agencies.
You can expand your career opportunities with a double major in Psychology or Political Science and Public Policy. Even with a second major, you’ll still be able to graduate in four years. If you would like to explore academics beyond your major, you can also minor in Criminal Justice. A secondary area of study allows you to focus on another subject of interest during your college experience.
You can also earn an advanced degree by adding one year of graduate study beyond your undergraduate degree through AU’s accelerated Master of Science in Criminal Justice Plus One program. The extra year of study allows you to choose one of two concentrations: Leadership and Administration or Psychology and the Law.
The learning environment at AU expanded my mind and enabled me to become a better police officer. I would not be where I am today had it not been for this institution.Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman '03
2020 annual median salary for police officers and detectives
2019-2029 projected job growth rate
- Criminal justice system (police, courts, and corrections)
- Forensic science
- Homeland Security (emergency response to natural and manmade disasters, cybercrime investigations)
- Juvenile justice
- Organized crime
- Security leadership
- Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honorary Organization
- Aurora Criminal Justice Association
I was taught three major things while attending AU: Go after what you’re passionate about, take every opportunity you can, and preserve your integrity.Kelly Dolar, Criminal Justice BA '20, MPA Plus One '21
All Criminal Justice majors are encouraged to participate in an internship. These internships often take place at federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, private security agencies, law offices, and probation departments.
- Airport security officer
- Border patrol agent
- Child support agency worker
- Community service coordinator
- Customs agent
- Cybercrime investigator
- Environmental conservation officer
- Federal law enforcement agent
- Homeland security professional
- Inspector or compliance officer
- Justice department agent
- Juvenile court counselor
- Loss prevention specialist
- Non-profit organization advocate
- Park ranger
- Police officer
- Witness protection worker
Where our graduates work
- Department of Homeland Security
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Illinois Department of Corrections
- Illinois State Police
- Indiana State Department of Children Services
- Kane County Court Services
- Kane County Juvenile Justice Center
- Numerous local police agencies including:
- Aurora Police Department
- Bettendorf, Iowa Police Department
- Chicago Police Department
- Elgin Police Department
- Glen Ellyn Police Department
- Kane County Sheriff’s Office
- Kendall County Sheriff’s Office
- Los Angeles Police Department
- Louis County Police Department
- Naperville Police Department
- San Jose Police Department
- Wheaton Police Department
- United States military
- Wisconsin Community Services