Criminal Justice

Why do individuals engage in crime and how are criminals created? How do our values as a society impact criminal behavior and crime? What are some of the biggest challenges facing today’s criminal justice system? Whether you’re interested in a career in local law enforcement or the FBI, working in the court system or becoming an advocate for victims, a degree in criminal justice prepares you for a rewarding career that helps build better communities for us all.

Angelyna Madrid '23

Criminal Justice/Psychology

“I decided to study psychology and criminal justice because I knew I needed to provide solutions for social inequities both my community and this country faces. My goal is to bridge the divide and be a resource for all people. I am open to any experience that will grant me the opportunity to dismantle systemic issues and mitigate the overarching issues of social justice, I am really interested in being a forensic social worker, crime analyst, police consultant, or a victim advocate.
“Because of my liberal arts education, I have had the opportunity to explore fine arts, humanities, philosophy/ethics/religion, social sciences, and natural sciences; I have a well-rounded understanding of various subjects and know how to apply these understandings to real-life scenarios. 
“My most memorable experience at Carroll was participating in the Pioneer Bridge summer program. It helped me as a first-generation student transfer from high school to college. This program provided me with a much-needed support system and exposure to all the resources Carroll provides. I also can say that those I met during the program are some of my closest friends till this day.”


Criminal justice student Angelyna Madrid

About the Criminal Justice Major

Understanding the Contemporary Issues That Lead to Crime Will Help Us Prevent It

Carroll University’s criminal justice major prepares you to understand the complexity of the criminal justice system and criminal behaviors. The program is rooted in social and criminal justice, sociology and criminology. You’ll be challenged to explore some of the most difficult and immediate concerns facing American society, and think critically about the issues that create an environment where criminal behavior can thrive. You’ll dive into questions that require you to think deeply about the role of punishment as a deterrent, the growing focus on victim’s rights and the impact of rehabilitation and prevention in reducing crime. The field offers a variety of career options, including working in the court system, law, law enforcement, private investigation, community rehabilitation, advocacy, corrections, loss prevention, probation and parole, teaching and graduate school.

Our program builds in time for discussion, group work and field experiences. It explores the history, structure, functions and operations of the primary components in the criminal justice system in the United States including law enforcement, courts and corrections. We analyze current issues such as sentencing practices, disparities in sentencing related to race and ethnicity and alternatives to incarceration. There are opportunities to investigate the experiences of victims in the system and the victim offender relationship, and connect the interrelationships between criminal behavior and societal factors such as drug use and abuse, family dynamics, poverty and delinquency.

Carroll’s criminal justice program is structured so you can double major or double minor and still graduate in just four years. Suggested options include psychology, forensic science, professional writing, communication and organizational leadership.


In addition to the major, Carroll offers a minor in criminal justice that complements many areas of study:


We help you build real world experience, explore careers and network with professionals through internship opportunities. Recent placements include the following companies:

  • Local and federal law enforcement agencies
  • Public defender’s office
  • Law firms
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • District attorneys' offices
  • Probation and parole departments
  • Wisconsin Department of Justice
  • Juvenile treatment centers
  • Corporate and private sector security positions
  • Attorneys' offices
  • Pretrial and jail division


College is a big investment in a bright future. Learn more about the industries and careers our majors pursue, and the workplaces and experiences of the alumni from our program. See where yours may take you.

Career Insight

“I hope to work with government agencies or police departments as a forensic psychologist.”

— Jade Meicher '21

Read Jade's story

More Resources

Meet the Faculty

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