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Criminal Justice (BA)


With a great many opportunities to work for the betterment of society, a degree in criminal justice equips graduates with transferable real life experiences of every day law enforcement at a local, state and federal level. SVSU students learn to address the needs of local and global communities through the integration of meaningful service and traditional instruction that incorporates reflection and critical thinking to enrich their collegiate career. The Criminal Justice degree is designed to provide students with a broad education based in the social sciences and, at the same time, introduce them to the goals and processes of the entire criminal justice system. Students have the opportunity to work in the field through an Engaged Learning course, which assigns them to a public or private organization to perform criminal justice-related work. SVSU students stand out as they take advantage of all that the Criminal Justice program has to offer—whether that be immediate career placement, graduate school or building life-long professional contacts.

Cardinal Points

  • The program has a cooperative agreement with the Delta College and Mott Community College Police Academies that permits our students to earn 12 Academy credits toward the SVSU degree. Students can earn 6 credits if they attended another MCOLES certified Police Academy

  • Class sizes range from 20 to 35 students, allowing for meaningful faculty-student interaction.

  • The Criminal Justice program is one of the largest on-campus with over 300 students enrolled in the major.

The Criminal Justice program provides a liberal arts education with an inter-disciplinary focus on crime and criminal justice. The program requirements provides students with an overview of policing, criminal courts, corrections and criminal justice policy. In addition, students are offered instruction based upon the current criminal justice trends and policies. 

Highlighted Courses

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Key Electives

Click here to see a listing of programs




Complementary Minors/Majors

Our Students After Graduation...


State of Michigan
Beacon Health Options (ValueOptions)
Child Protective Services
Healthsource Saginaw
University of Michigan

Career Opportunities

Law Enforcement Officer (local, state or federal)
Military OneSource State Consultant
Child Protective Specialist
Mental Health Worker
Public Safety Officer

  • Employment of police and detectives is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026. (U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • 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. (U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • 2018 median annual pay for police officers and detectives was $63,380/year or $30.47/hour. (U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Students develop careers in a wide variety of fields including social services, private security, the legal field, corrections (including probation and parole), as well as working in fields with a youth-centered focus

Cardinal Successes

These stories offer insight into how SVSU students have turned their education into successful opportunities yielding real-world success.

Sloan Klaski Criminal Justice Alumn

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Terrence Moore Criminal Justice Alum

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Fully integrated into social networks, SVSU Connect is a valuable networking space dedicated to the community of SVSU students, faculty and alumni which cultivates a culture of helping and giving back. In addition to connecting with each other, students at all points along their journey can reach out to alumni mentors for guidance and insight into making the most of their SVSU experience and successfully transitioning into life after graduation.