Earn a minor in criminal justice at Marian University

Minor in Criminal Justice

Want to make the world safer and more secure? Interested in a career working for local, state, or federal agencies, non-profit organizations, cyber security firms, or other enterprises focused on criminal and social justice issues?

To help reduce crime, incarceration, and poverty—and enjoy a career that's anything but routine—consider a minor in criminal justice.

Why minor in criminal justice at Marian?

According to a 2017 report by the Prison Policy Initiative, the American criminal justice system holds 2.3 million people in more than 3,100 local jails, 1,700 state prisons, 900 juvenile correction facilities, and 102 federal prisons. Those numbers don't include prisons in U.S. territories, immigration detention facilities, military prisons, or jails on Native American property.

Earning a minor in criminal justice will increase your knowledge and understanding of social and criminal issues that negatively impact families and communities. It will also enable you to explore best practices for solving these problems.

Marian University criminal justice courses focus on understanding criminal behavior, criminal justice systems, mechanisms of social control, and their relationship to society. As a student who minors in criminal justice, you will:

  • Identify ways in which oppression, privilege, discrimination, and social and economic disadvantage contribute to inequalities and injustices in criminal justice systems.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to design innovative approaches to dealing with social injustices and social harms in criminal justice systems.
  • Understand the origins of criminal behavior, societal responses to crime, and the consequences of crime in society.
  • Explore how to operationalize contemporary crime theory in given behavioral scenarios.
  • Define, explain, and critically assess the function of the U.S. criminal justice system.

What will you study?

To earn this minor, you'll complete 18 credits of courses selected from criminal justice and sociology. ​Coursework focuses on three subsystems within the field: law enforcement, rehabilitation, and social inequalities. 

With just one required three-credit course (CRJ 270: Introduction to Criminal Justice), you will have maximum flexibility to collaborate with your academic advisor and select 12 credits from courses that explore subjects like:

  • Drugs and social policy
  • Family violence
  • Juvenile justice and delinquency
  • Crime, media, and popular culture
  • Crime, punishment, and policing
  • Special topics in criminal justice

In addition, you'll complete at least three credits choosing from course topics such as:

  • ​Sociology of deviant behavior
  • Sex, gender, and sexuality
  • Race and ethnic relations
  • Social class, power, and inequality

You will also complete a required internship to gain first-hand experience and insight into how criminal justice agencies operate.

Upon graduation, you will be prepared for a general, entry-level career in the criminal justice field or entry into law school or other graduate programs.

​What are your career paths?

Depending on your career goals and objectives, a minor in criminal justice is versatile and complements a range of bachelor's degree programs.

You may choose to pursue employment working in law enforcement, government agencies, forensics, the legal system, or the corporate world. 

B.A. or B.S.  Minor Possible career paths
Accounting Criminal justice Forensic CPA for the FBI or other federal agency
Biology Criminal justice Crime lab manager
Communication Criminal justice Probation, parole, or corrections officer
English Criminal justice Journalist, reporter, blogger, or writer about social issues
Nursing  Criminal justice Forensic nurse 
Political science  Criminal justice  Police officer, detective, or ATF special agent
Psychologist  Criminal justice Criminal psychologist or crime scene investigator
Sociology Criminal justice Research specialist for Bureau of Justice Statistics
Spanish  Criminal justice  Border patrol or law enforcement officer

Job outlooks and salaries depend on demand in the employment market, but here are some statistics collected by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Occupation Growth through 2026  Median salary (2016) 
Criminal justice educators 3.5 percent $67,040
Probation officer  6 percent  $50,160 
Police officers and detectives  7 percent  $61,600 
Lawyers  9 percent $118,160 
Psychologist  14 percent  $75,230 
Social and community service managers  16 percent  $64,680 
Forensic science technicians  17 percent  $56,750 


For admission information

Office of Undergraduate Admission
(317) 955-6300 or (800) 772-7264

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