Criminal justice is an academic field which examines the actions of the formal social mechanism we call the criminal justice system. The system is composed of three subsystems: policing /law enforcement agencies, the courts/judiciary, and correctional agencies. The study of criminal justice requires an examination of the structure and functioning of each of these subsystems, as well as knowledge about the role behavior of the participants. The study of the criminal justice process involves a critical evaluation of how the administration of justice actually operates in American society, raising fundamental questions and examining the perspectives from which solutions to problems might be drawn.
Students who complete the bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice participate in a professional program. They are educated for justice-related positions in both the public and private sectors, graduate study and law school. Students may choose between three study options: general, community policing and problem solving, and pre-law.