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How to Choose a Concentration for Your BS in Criminal Justice Degree

Four Simple Steps to Making the Right Choice

Congratulations! You’ve decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. The field of criminal justice offers numerous opportunities to help others, whether you’re keeping neighborhoods safe, investigating crimes, or supporting victims. Jobs in the field of law enforcement, including roles such as police officer and detective, are expected to grow at a rate of 7% between 2020 and 2030.1 This field has relatively low turnover, but applicants with a BS in Criminal Justice are well positioned to be hired, especially compared to those with only a high school diploma. In fact, in some federal agencies and police departments require a college degree.2


Choosing your concentration is an important step in your education plan. A concentration is a specific area of study within your degree program. Selecting the right concentration can make a difference in helping to prepare you for your ideal career in criminal justice. Follow these steps to choose a concentration for your BS in Criminal Justice degree.

  1. Consider your career aspirations. Ensure that the concentration you select will prepare you for the career you want. If you want to be a criminal investigator, choose a concentration with courses that explore the investigative process. Want to work with incarcerated populations? Pick a concentration that focuses on corrections.
  2. Think about an advanced degree. If you think you may pursue a master’s degree after you complete your bachelor’s degree, look for a concentration that allows you to apply undergraduate coursework toward an advanced degree. Some universities allow students to take graduate courses as part of a bachelor’s degree program that can then be applied toward an MS in Criminal Justice—potentially saving time and money.
  3. Talk to the experts. Your school should have an enrollment specialist or student support team to assist you. These representatives have a great deal of knowledge about the degree programs and courses available to you. They can talk you through the options and help you select a concentration that’s right for you.
  4. Design it yourself. Some universities offer a self-designed concentration. By selecting this option, you’ll enjoy maximum flexibility while creating a unique concentration curriculum and picking the courses that appeal the most to you. You’ll be able to study the topics within your degree program that interest you and that will help prepare you for your future criminal justice career.

Walden University, an accredited university, is an excellent choice to pursue your criminal justice degree online. Walden is designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. Walden’s BS in Criminal Justice coursework tackles relevant, contemporary issues, including 21st-century policing, cybercrime, and restorative justice. The curriculum includes hands-on learning, featuring case studies, true-to-life scenarios, and virtual technologies that give you a feel for real crime scenes.

Additionally, Walden offers two degree completion options: a course-based format that follows a scheduled, instructor-led approach, and Tempo Learning®, which allows you to work at a pace that suits you. Walden also offers two Accelerate Into Master’s (AIM) concentrations that allow you to take graduate-level work while completing your bachelor’s in criminal justice: Advanced Topics in Criminal Justice and Criminal Justice Management and Administration. Or you can design your own concentration and pick the courses you want with the Self-Designed option.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online BS in Criminal Justice degree program. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,