How Could a Criminal Justice Degree Advance My Career?

by | Feb 6, 2023

Across the justice system, people serve the public, enforce the law, and assist victims of crime. A quality criminal justice degree program allows individuals to develop leadership and investigation skills, study criminology and the psychology of criminal behavior, and prepare for a variety of positions and promotions.

Continue Your Training

Within a well-established program, individuals will cover a wide range of topics, including constitutional law and social research methods. These courses are designed to expand your understanding of judicial powers, human psychology, evidence analysis, and character formation. Your enhanced knowledge and skillset will be beneficial while working or seeking employment in the criminal justice field.

Distinguished programs provide initial training or build upon prior experience and education. Some programs will also allow credits earned at a regional criminal justice academy or a state police academy to be applied toward a degree.

Increase Your Opportunities

Whether you are already working in the field or looking for a new profession, earning a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice creates new opportunities in your career. Industry publications note, “Criminal justice is an ever-evolving field and there are new ways to utilize these skills all the time.”

Degree recipients may work in law enforcement, human services, or addiction recovery. They can apply their knowledge of criminology, behavioral psychology, and social deviance in a variety of careers, including:

  • Addiction Counselor
  • Case Manager
  • Correctional Officer
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Federal Agent
  • Fraud Investigator
  • Game Warden
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Paralegal
  • Probation or Parole Officer

Choose Your Program

Criminal Justice programs are offered in both online and in-person formats to accommodate students with different schedules and learning styles. Many programs incorporate internships with prisoner advocacy programs, court systems, and counseling services to provide students with experience in the field of security and protective service. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects this career field to grow throughout the next decade.


With over 100 years in Christian higher education, Bluefield University serves students with degree programs that enable them to go further. Our Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degrees are designed for developing the research, analytical, and communication skills needed to work in complex criminal justice careers. A Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Justice Administration or preferential admission into the Appalachian School of Law is also offered for individuals seeking advanced roles within law enforcement. As a Yellow Ribbon Program institution, students with previous military or police training may receive up to 30 credit hours toward their degree completion.

With a caring faculty and supportive staff, students receive personalized one-on-one support with a personal success coach throughout their online degree program. To get started in a Bluefield University degree program today, please visit the program page or email [email protected].

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


Meet our core Counseling faculty

Dr. Challen Mabry

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Dr. Kristen Moran

Associate Professor of Counseling

Brandy Smith

Assistant Professor of Education & Counseling,
Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling Program,
Title IX Confidential Counselor

Our team is here for you! How can we help?

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