Are you interested in studying crime and criminal justice? Do you want a career in law enforcement, forensic, law, probation, or juvenile in agencies such as the FBI, NCIS, or U.S. Courts?

The East Carolina University Department of Criminal Justice's mission is to educate the next generation of criminal justice leaders. A criminal justice bachelor's degree prepares students for professional positions at the federal, state, or local levels in law enforcement, crime laboratory, court, correction, juvenile, or related fields. In fact, our graduates are found in criminal justice or law positions in government agencies, corporations, or offices around the world.

Students have the opportunity to learn about crime and criminal justice in the classroom, laboratory, and field. Using the latest instructional and practical applications, the program equips students with the knowledge and skill needed to be successful in the workplace or advanced education setting. For example, the forensic science lab features state-of-the-art software and equipment currently being used by law enforcement agencies. Hence, this caliber of education provides students with a competitive advantage upon graduation.

Our alumni work as law enforcement special agents, police officers, criminal investigators, forensic specialists, intelligence analysts, game wardens, judges, probation officers, correctional administrators, juvenile specialists, prosecutors, victim advocates, asset protection specialists, attorneys, and more.

ECU Advantage

East Carolina's Department of Criminal Justice has outstanding faculty with a broad spectrum of criminal justice and interdisciplinary expertise. Our award winning teacher-scholar faculty members are committed to student learning and success. As a student, you will study in a vibrant criminal justice department with diverse graduate and undergraduate majors, specialized programs, and distinguished alumni. Plus, our program offers extraordinary learning and leadership opportunities with the national criminal justice honor society, field experience, international study abroad, and independent study or research with faculty mentors.

Our bachelor of science degree gives students the skills needed to pursue a career or graduate degree in criminal justice, law, or related areas. Many of our undergraduates choose to continue their studies at ECU because we also offer a master's degree in criminal justice.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: William Bloss (247 Rivers Building; 252-328-4192; blossw@ecu.edu)

Criminal justice majors are expected to maintain an overall 2.0 GPA throughout the program and earn a C (2.0) or higher in all JUST courses. Criminal justice majors and minors must complete JUST 2004 before enrolling in courses above JUST 2999. Forensic science minors are expected to maintain an overall 2.5 GPA throughout the program.

Minimum degree requirement is 120 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. General education requirements including those listed below - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

  • POLS 1010 - National Government
  • PSYC 1000 - Introductory Psychology
  • SOCI 2110 - Introduction to Sociology
2. Core - 42 s.h.
  • JUST 1000 - Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • JUST 2004 - Crime and Criminality
  • JUST 2009 - Correctional Systems
  • JUST 2012 - Police and Society
  • JUST 3200 - The Juvenile Justice System
  • JUST 3500 - Principles of Criminal Law
  • space
  • JUST 3501 - Criminal Procedure or
  • JUST 3502 - Legal Aspects of Corrections or
  • JUST 4300 - Criminal Justice Administration and Management
  • space
  • JUST 3700 - Race, Gender and Special Populations in the Criminal Justice System
  • JUST 3800 - Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • JUST 3900 - Introductory Statistics for Criminal Justice
  • JUST 4500 - Issues and Problems in Criminal Justice
  • JUST 4990 - Field Education and Seminar
  • Note:

    Students are required to complete one 3 s.h. writing intensive course in the major.

    3. JUST electives above 2999 - 9 s.h.
      4. Minor or general electives to complete requirements for graduation - 29 s.h.

        If a student decides to select a minor to satisfy this requirement and the minor does not require a total of 29 semester hours, the student will be required to complete the minor and additional general electives. If a student decides not to select a minor to satisfy this requirement, the student will be required to complete 29 semester hours of general electives.

        For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

        Careers With This Degree

        Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

        • Criminal Justice/Safety Studies
        • Criminal Justice/Safety Studies
        • Law Enforcement
        • Crime Laboratory
        • Courts
        • Corrections
        • Juvenile Justice
        • Victim Services
        • Asset Protection

        Career Opportunities

        ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

        NC Tower

        This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

        • Self-employed;
        • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
        • Work outside of North Carolina.

        US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

        This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

        Degree-specific internships

        For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.