Many schools offer an interdisciplinary bachelor's degree that combines courses from the department of psychology and the department of criminal justice. In addition to learning psychological theories governing human behavior, students learn about the criminal justice system. This degree combination prepares students for work in a variety of occupations.
Crime Scene Investigation
Combined with a major in psychology, a criminal justice minor qualifies students to work in the field of crime-scene investigation. Graduates use their knowledge of the mind with skills such as conducting an investigation, writing reports and giving accurate court testimony. Students graduating with this degree tend to seek work in criminal investigative agencies for federal, state, and local law-enforcement agencies as police officers, detectives or assisting forensic psychologists.
Criminal Justice Administration
Psychology majors who choose to focus their criminal justice minor in the area of criminal justice administration seek administrative careers in courts, police departments and community corrections agencies. Knowledge gained includes how the criminal justice system is structured, what constitutes correct criminal procedure, criminal justice ethics and criminal law. People skills learned while studying psychology, the ability to apply scientific techniques to assess human motivations, and orientation as to how the court system works prepare students to achieve a long-term career goal in management of criminal justice organizations. This is not usually an entry-level career, however, and experience or further schooling is generally required.
Related Reading: Are Criminal Justice Jobs in Demand in the U.S.?
Many psychology majors focus their criminal justice minors in the area of corrections. A major in psychology teaches students why people act and how to predict and motivate behavior. A minor in criminal justice typically includes courses in probation and parole procedures, correctional practices and the psychology of criminals. Jobs available for students with this combination of skills include correctional officer, guard, pre-trial investigator or case worker. Graduates might work in prisons, treatment centers or within the community.
You might also like: