Criminal justice


Prepare for public service.

Work with faculty experts in areas throughout the criminal justice field.

Criminal justice students study the causes of crime, treatment of offenders and management of the criminal justice system, with a focus on balancing social justice and individual rights.

The Wilder School graduates typically pursue careers in public service and work in law enforcement, the court system, corrections or public policy.

As a student, you’ll work with faculty experts in criminal justice, criminology, law, juvenile justice, organized crime, law enforcement, corrections and transnational crime.

Bachelor’s program

Gain critical skills as you prepare for a career in criminal justice — or to take them into law school or a master’s program. You’ll benefit from the Wilder School's strong connections with public safety agencies across Virginia by engaging in off-site experiential activities that help you hone what you learn in class.

Choose from one of two concentrations, and learn about the degree requirements and courses for each:

Forensic crime scene investigation concentration

Justice concentration

Master’s program

Deepen your understanding of criminology issues and enhance your ability to affect public policy decisions, program evaluation and agency management within the criminal justice system.

Program and degree requirements

Post-Bachelor's Certificate program

Designed for those interested or involved in professions in the criminal justice system, this certificate facilitates career advancement to help you develop skills in criminal justice policy, program evaluation and management.

Program requirements


The criminal justice minor requires 18 credits and allows you to gain theoretical and practical education in the field of criminal justice.

Course requirements


“The Wilder School’s learning environment is ideal for criminal justice majors, and the internship opportunities are endless. I will always be thankful for my experience at VCU.”

— Nicole Levesque, B.S., Criminal Justice, 2013; U.S. Secret Service Officer