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Gain insight

Learn about crime and the primary components of the criminal justice system: policing, courts and corrections

Criminal Justice Major

Criminal justice and its primary components — policing, courts and corrections — emphasize due process of law and domestic tranquility. The ends of the criminal justice system are to set standards of behavior, prevent crime and sanction or rehabilitate offenders so we all may better manage societal expectations, trust others and go about our daily lives.

What Will I Learn?

Criminal justice at SUNY Plattsburgh provides a liberal arts education on current and historical issues including theoretical explanations of crime, social justice, transnational crimes, international justice and the diversity inherent in our domestic systems of justice. Students will gain the skills necessary to knowingly assess the numerous criminal justice issues of our time and become familiar with the law, the U.S. Constitution and how rights apply to individuals. Our program rigorously prepares students for careers in criminal justice and related fields. 

In our program’s courses, we critically examine:

  • Causes and consequences of crime, juvenile delinquency and recidivism;
  • The multifaceted role of police in a democratic and diverse society; 
  • The IVth Amendment and our society’s growing reliance on technology;
  • The full scope of rehabilitation and treatment in a correctional setting;
  • How criminal justice addresses mental health and addiction epidemics;
  • The ethics of racial profiling, solitary confinement and charge-bargaining guilty pleas.

What is Unique About Our Program?

Flexibility & Options

Our program emphasizes a liberal arts and interdisciplinary approach to learning which encourages you to examine the criminal justice system through various lenses such as political science, psychology and sociology. 

Tailor our program to fit your specific interests. Whatever your career choice — be it police work, law, corrections, research or administrative areas — you will graduate from our program well prepared for these career challenges.

Choose a campus close you to you — you can study at the main campus in Plattsburgh or at our branch campus at Queensbury.

What Are My Career Opportunities?

Our program qualifies you to pursue both professional and further academic goals. Employment opportunities for those with bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice include entry-level positions in the following areas:

  • Federal Government:
    • Border Protection
    • U.S. Marshals
    • Governmental Investigation Services
  • Law Enforcement:
    • State Police
    • Local Police
  • Court Administration & Investigation
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Probation/Parole Officer
  • Corrections:
    • Administration
    • Corrections Officer
  • Graduate School:
    • Law School
    • Criminal Justice Graduate Studies
    • Behavioral Sciences
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