Jul 18, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Criminal Justice (BA)

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Criminal Justice is intended to provide students with a critical understanding of the nature and causes of crime and delinquency, the origins and meaning of law and social control (with emphasis on criminal law), the nature of the criminal justice system and the processing of cases through that system, and proposals for reducing crime and delinquency. The program is designed to broadly educate students, to prepare students for careers in various criminal justice settings, and to pursue graduate education.

Please see the UNLV Greenspun Department of Criminal Justice web page at www.unlv.edu/criminaljustice for information about department programs, faculty and facilities.  Degree worksheets and 4/5 year plan for the major are available at www.unlv.edu/degree/ba-criminal-justice.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an awareness of the history and nature of the major components of the criminal justice system: police, courts, and corrections.
  2. Be familiar with the basis of the law and the legal system, as well as decision-making in the criminal justice process, the social and political context of the legal system, important constitutional issues, and how criminal law differs from other forms of law.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the overall problem of crime in the United States, in terms of being familiar with different types of crimes committed in society, as well as possessing knowledge of the distribution of these crimes.
  4. Understand issues related to crime prevention and the rehabilitation of offenders.
  5. Be familiar with various methods of social science research including survey research, field research, experimental research, and evaluation research, and demonstrate awareness of the linkage between theory and research.
  6. Have basic knowledge of statistical procedures commonly used in the social sciences, in particular, those involved with descriptive research and hypothesis testing.
  7. Be able to conduct a research project from beginning to end, including how to locate existing sources of relevant information, operationalize concepts of interest, collect data, interpret findings, and present information in a professional manner.
  8. Be cognizant of various ethical concerns relevant to the study of criminal justice issues, and the distribution of justice in society.
  9. Be able to apply his or her knowledge in a variety of criminal justice settings, whether it be at the federal, state, or local level, or to pursue graduate education in criminal justice or a related field.

Assessment of Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes will be assessed by the administration of a Criminal Justice Department Exit Survey. The exit survey measures the extent to which required courses facilitated learning of each degree objective. In addition, students will complete a Criminal Justice Senior Assessment (CRJ 498 ) in their final semester.

Career Possibilities

Individuals with a Criminal Justice background have a wide range of career opportunities.

Law Enforcement

  • Federal Agent (FBI, DEA, Immigration, Secret Service, Federal Air Marshal, etc.)
  • State of Local Police Officer
  • Park Ranger
  • Private Security
  • Private Investigator
  • Campus Police Officer
  • Military Officer
  • Cooperate Loss Manager


  • Arson Investigator
  • Gaming Investigator
  • IRS Special Agent
  • Postal Inspector
  • Coroner


  • Attorney
  • Law Clerk
  • Paralegal
  • Court Administrator
  • Pre-Trial Services Officer
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Drug Court Coordinator
  • Crime Scene Investigator


  • Correctional Officer
  • Correctional Treatment Specialist
  • Warden
  • Parole Officer
  • Juvenile Detention Officer

Technical Support and Analysis

  • Crime Analyst
  • Forensic Technician
  • Ballistics Expert

Social Services

  • Social Worker
  • Youth Advocate
  • Victim Advocate
  • Teacher


Please see advising information at the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs Student Advising Center www.unlv.edu/urbanaffairs/advising.


For information regarding accreditation at UNLV, please visit the following webpage:

  • Institution - Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities www.nwccu.org.

University Graduation Requirements

Please see Graduation Policies for complete information.

Criminal Justice (BA) Degree Requirements - Total: 120 Credits

 (see note 1 below)

Recommended Courses That Meet General Education Core Requirements

The Greenspun College of Urban Affairs strongly recommends that students address their General Education Core curriculum requirements through our college. The following classes offered in our college meet graduation requirements.

General Education Requirements - Subtotal 37-47 Credits

First-Year Seminar - Credits: 2-3

English Composition - Credits: 6

Constitutions - Credits: 4-6

Mathematics - Credits: 3

  or higher

Distribution Requirement - Credits: 19-20

Please see Distribution Requirements  for more information.

  • Humanities and Fine Arts: 9 Credits
    • Two courses 3 credits each from two different humanities areas - 6 credits
    • One course in fine arts - 3 credits
  • Social Science:
    • Automatically satisfied by Major requirements
  • Life and Physical Sciences and Analytical Thinking: 10-11 Credits
    • Two courses from life and physical sciences category; at least one must have a lab
    • Analytical Thinking 3 credit course 

Multicultural and International

Multicultural, one 3 credit course required
International, one 3 credit course required

These courses may overlap with general education and major requirements.  A single course may not meet the multicultural and international requirements simultaneously. For the list of approved multicultural and international courses, go to: www.unlv.edu/provost/multicultural-requirements.

Milestone Experience

Culminating Experience

Major Requirements - BA in Criminal Justice - Subtotal: 27 credits

At least one course from each of the following three major content areas.

(see notes 3 and 4 below)

CRJ Electives - Credits: 21

Nine credits must be upper division

Related Areas - Credits: 18

Students must consult the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs Student Advising Center for a list of acceptable courses that meet this requirement.

General Electives - Credits: 7-17

 (see note 2 and 4 below)

Total Credits: 120


  1. A student may elect to graduate under any one of the following catalogs: the year of admission, the year of graduation, or the year of the latest change of major. The catalog used cannot be more than ten years old at the time of graduation. Requirements for graduation may vary depending on the catalog one uses. If you have questions, consult your advisor.
  2. All criminal justice majors must take a total of at least 42 credits in upper-division (300-400 level) courses, including 27 credits in upper-division criminal justice courses, and at least six successfully completed credits of Other Electives.
  3. Criminal justice majors are required to complete a total of 48 credits in criminal justice. (Of this total, 27 hours must be in upper-division courses.)
  4. Only four physical education activity classes can be applied toward graduation.
  5. CRJ 301  is a Milestone Experience course for Criminal Justice B.A.
  6. CRJ 498  is a Culminating Experience course for Criminal Justice B.A.