Learn about our justice system

Forensics investigators, judges and corrections officers are vital to our communities. They ensure our safety and that justice is served fairly in our court systems.

At JCSU, our students get a complete view of the criminal justice system. Regardless of where you see yourself in the system, what you learn in our program will put you on the right track for a successful career serving your fellow citizens.

What will I study as a criminology major?

Our students learn the skills necessary to bag evidence, dust for fingerprints and photograph the crime scene. They also learn about criminology from a legal standpoint, the chain of custody and any fourth amendment issues related to processing crime in a courtroom setting.

As a major in our criminology program, you’ll learn about the three major components of the criminal justice system:

  1. Law enforcement
  2. Courts
  3. Corrections

You’ll also have the opportunity to go behind the crime scene tape and network with some very prominent professionals in your field.

Through a practical understanding of every aspect of the criminal justice system, including child abuse, crime scene and white-collar crime, you’ll be fully prepared to enter the workforce.

Where will I study criminology?

Your criminology classes will have access to the latest smart technology for an enhanced learning experience.

You’ll also have the opportunity to tour local prisons, police departments and corrections facilities. In these environments, you’ll have the unique opportunity to talk with workers and inmates for a firsthand perspective on the criminal justice system.

    What will I learn outside the criminology program?

    JCSU is a private liberal arts university. What this means to you is that your education will broadly cover all areas of study. The diversity of your classes will help you look at “the big picture” in any career you choose.

    • Classes incomputer scienceandcommunicationartswill give you a definite advantage in the job market and workplace.
    • Taking severalEnglishandforeign language classeswill help you interact with a global community that is getting smaller each day.
    • By takingmathandscience classes, you’ll have a better understanding of the world around you.
    • Healthandphysical educationcourses give you the knowledge to cope with everyday stress and lead a better, longer life.

    Having a college education will give you the tools to succeed in life. Having a liberal arts education will give you the opportunity to take your success further.

      Many universities don’t offer a degree in criminology, but at JCSU, that’s just one reason we’re unique.

      The criminology program is certified by the North Carolina Department of Justice Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and is only one of four four-year institutions in the state to earn that certification. What this means for you is that you'll receive a real-world education that will prepare you to serve your fellow citizens and make a positive impact for your community.

      We prepare you for success beyond the classroom.

      Your professors will help you put criminal justice theory into real-world practice by collaborating in community research projects. Nothing compares to the experience of addressing current issues with the partnership of your professors as you work together to find solutions to community problems.

      You’ll receive firsthand experience in your core classes in the criminology major. Learn about forensics and investigations in a mock crime scene or conduct mock trials, where you’ll:

      • File bills of indictment
      • Prepare for arraignments and plea hearings
      • Present cases
      • Gather evidence

      In research methods class, you’ll not only learn about survey development, but also help develop and validate a survey, conduct the surveys in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community and perform data analysis.

      Research opportunities you won’t find anywhere else.

      Students in our program even have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the community, even while they’re still in college. Some have had the opportunity to serve in a group of policy advisers to James Mitchell Jr., president of the. They studied issues relevant to government policy-making on the national level.

      Other students have participated in community research. Working with locals, they learn how to develop surveys, conduct interviews and collect data — all to better their neighborhood communities.

        Get involved in on-campus activities and organizations.

        Through activities like Crime, Justice and Law Week, you’ll be connected to speakers and professionals from highly respected organizations such as the:


        If you choose to become involved in the Criminal Justice Association (a JCSU student organization), you’ll be mentored by professionals and practitioners in the field.

        Through our monthlyLunch and Learn Series, professionals come to campus to provide informal networking and mentoring opportunities. You’ll have the opportunity to network with local:

        • Judges
        • Law enforcement professionals
        • Attorneys
        • Correctional personnel

        Your path to a successful career begins the minute you step on campus.

        Careers and advanced degrees:

        Graduates of JCSU’s criminology program have found promising careers at the:

        Advanced Degrees

        Our students have continued their education by pursuing an advanced degree at:

        • Cornell University
        • University of Baltimore
        • Bowling Green state University
        • Michigan State University
        • Strayer University


        Our students have held internships with:

        • High-profile Charlotte law firms