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Criminal Justice

Your Future in Criminal Justice

The criminal justice major is designed for students who are planning a career in criminal justice areas, such as law and judicially related fields, law enforcement and administration, probation and parole, criminology, adult and juvenile corrections, or urban planning and affairs.

There are a wide variety of criminal justice careers at the local, state, and national levels.Students who major in criminal justice can pursue many career paths. Graduates have gone on to work as police officers, probation officers, sheriff’s deputies, pre-trial case workers and lawyers.

Possible career paths

  • Police officer
  • Attorney
  • Case manager
  • Corrections officer
  • Court services officer
  • Customs agent
  • Deputy sheriff
  • Fish and game warden
  • Immigration and naturalization
  • Inmate employment specialist
  • Lawyer
  • Parole officer
  • Pre-trial services officer
  • Private investigator
  • Probation officer
  • Security officer
  • Substance abuse counselor
  • U.S. Marshal
  • Victim services specialist

Where are Carthage criminal justice graduates now?

  • Police officer — City of Chicago police department
  • Police officer — City of Kenosha Police Department
  • Police officer — City of South Milwaukee Police Department
  • Police officer — Johnsburg Police Department
  • Dispatcher — Winthrop Harbor Police Department
  • Recruiter — Aerotek
  • Probation Officer — State of Wisconsin
  • Deputy sheriff — Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department
  • Deputy sheriff — McHenry County Sheriff’s Office
  • Special Agent — ATF

Salary and Career Outlook

Turnover in law enforcement is fairly low, but opportunities can be expected to grow about as fast as average for all occupations through 2018. Most growth will be in urban areas. Employment of police officers and detectives is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2018.

Nationally, criminal justice majors with bachelor’s degrees reported starting salaries of $34,800 in 2012. Starting salaries for police patrol officers is $50,100.

Visit the Carthage Career Center

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2017), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

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    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

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    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

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    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

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    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
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    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 11 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …

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