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Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree

B.A. in Criminal Justice

National Louis University's Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, with majors in Criminal Justice Administration or Forensic Social Justice, prepares students to work in fields addressing the effects of criminality on individuals, communities and society. The bachelor's degree in criminal justice equips graduates to serve in law enforcement, courts or corrections systems, or to work in related private industries.

Choose NLU's Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice if you:

  • Want to make a positive difference through public service
  • Are intrigued by the root causes of criminal behavior and its role in society
  • Want to learn from faculty practitioners in law enforcement, courts, corrections and the security industry
  • Value a degree combining psychology, sociology, public policy and organizational management that will give you the broadest set of professional opportunities
  • Want to major in Criminal Justice Administration (managing organizations) or Forensic Social Justice (the psychology of criminality and its applications)
  • Want the flexibility of completing your degree online or on campus
Enhance your B.A. in Criminal Justice degree and career readiness with a concentration in Entrepreneurship.   Utilize your Elective hours to fulfill the Entrepreneurship concentration requirements.
  • How to understand and apply theories about why people commit crimes, the effects of criminal behavior on society and how crime is being addressed and ameliorated in communities today
  • Methods in criminal investigation and analysis
  • How the criminal law and justice system works, and the key policy trends affecting the justice system in the United States
  • The role and functioning of the corrections system, including approaches to the rehabilitation of offenders
  • The role of human services, sociological and psychological conditions and family dynamics in diagnosis and intervention (for forensic mental health concentrators)
  • How the main criminal justice agencies operate, are funded and deliver their services (for criminal justice administration concentrators)

NLU offers a Criminal Justice Minor through our Applied Behavioral Sciences program. The program studies the nature of humans, their conduct in society and the institutions established to address antisocial behavior in the pursuit of the common good. This minor would be useful for those engaged in professions like counseling, education, health care, law and law enforcement. Please see the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavior Sciences Program for details.

NLU offers online criminal justice degree options. A completely online course of study is available for students who major in Criminal Justice Administration, while students majoring in Forensic Social Justice may take a blended format of online and on-campus classes in the Chicago area.


Criminal justice degree graduates can be found in a number of roles, including*:

  • Police officers
  • Forensic scientists
  • Security specialists in business settings
  • Juvenile justice caseworkers
  • Paralegals
  • Correctional officers
  • Probation officers
  • Private investigators

*These careers may require fulfillment of additional federal, state, county or municipal requirements.

For more than a century, National Louis University has specialized in education and the social and behavioral science disciplines that underlay the practice of criminal justice. Our new criminal justice degree curriculum was developed in consultation with leaders in the law enforcement, security and corrections fields so that graduates will be prepared to address the expectations of hiring managers today.

Directed by a former homicide detective who became an educator later in his career, NLU's criminal justice degree program includes guest lectures, class trips and case studies that engage you with the newest developments in the field. Special topics will include terrorism response, homeland security, criminal investigation, transportation security and forensics. You will be guided to pursue special certifications and training to enhance your professional preparation.

The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree requires 180 quarter hours, including 60 quarter hours of general education, for completion. Working with an academic advisor, students will begin the program at a point that reflects their preparation and readiness. In addition to college courses, students may complete general education requirements through Credit by Portfolio, Credit by Examination or Credit by Proficiency.

Students entering the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree must select a major in either Criminal Justice Administration or Forensic Social Justice. The general education and core requirements are identical, but major course requirements vary for each.

All applicants must meet NLU's general admission requirements as well as additional requirements specific to this program. Refer to the appropriate application checklist available online at

Get more information today about enrolling in NLU's Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree program. Connect with an Enrollment Specialist or call 888.NLU.TODAY (888-658-8632).


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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