Criminal Justice, BA

Program Description

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Criminal Justice at CSU Bakersfield is designed to provide the student with familiarity in the major components of the U.S. criminal justice system, including law enforcement, prosecution, courts, and corrections organized on local, state, and federal levels.

Mission Statement for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice is designed to empower students as critical thinkers, effective oral communicators, and competent writers on subject matters of crime and justice including:

  1. the nature, extent, and causation of crime;
  2. knowledge in research methods and statistical applications to promote an understanding of criminal behavior and to assess the effectiveness of criminal justice policies;
  3. the role of criminal law in the regulation of human conduct and maintenance of stability in society;
  4. the philosophy, theory, policies, practices, processes, and reform of the U.S. police agencies at the federal, state, and local levels;
  5. the philosophy and goals of criminal punishment and to understand the structure, processes, and reform of the U.S. correctional agencies at the federal, state, and local level.

Graduates who have acquired these skills and knowledge and have been exposed to other relevant topics, such as juvenile delinquency, the role of women and victims in the justice process, ethical concerns for criminal justice practitioners, understanding of the appreciation for cultural and ethnic diversity, the connection between drugs and crime, and the dynamics of gangs and violence, are prepared for graduate study, law school, or challenging careers in the field of criminal justice. Students who graduate from the Criminal Justice program should be able to demonstrate the skills and knowledge as stated in the goals and objectives which can be found at the department’s website.

Minor, Concentration, and Special Minor (optional)

Criminal Justice majors have the option to declare a minor. If a Criminal Justice major chooses to declare a minor, the student must satisfactorily complete one of the three options listed below:

  1. A special minor consisting of at least 12 semester units, 9 of which must be upper division, approved by the student’s advisor and the AVP for Academic Programs, taken outside the major discipline.
  2. A minor consisting of at least 12 semester units within a minor program designed and approved by another discipline.
  3. An interdisciplinary concentration or minor in one of the specially developed areas.