Criminal Justice Program

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Major in Criminal Justice

Our Criminal Justice Major Allows You To:

  • Graduate with advanced standing in justice training academies
  • Qualify for federal employment at GS 7–8 status
  • Fulfill entry requirement for graduate and professional schools
  • Enhance current professional standing for students already in the field

B.A. in Criminal Justice (120 credits)

SUNY Plattsburgh’s bachelor of arts (B.A.) program in criminal justice is a broad, social-scientific approach to crime and justice. Students explore areas of study that seek to increase their understanding of important social problems, such as crime, delinquency, and violence. They also learn how to analyze and dissect the components of our criminal justice system. Subjects include the nature of criminal justice, it's history and philosophy, and its role in democratic society.

Criminal justice at SUNY Plattsburgh is not a police training program. You won't learn how to conduct a highway stop or put on handcuffs. You will become familiar with law and the U.S. Constitution, and how our laws and rights apply to individuals. You will compare and contrast crime and delinquency in urban and rural areas. You will learn the legal foundations and theoretical premises that lay behind criminal justice practices. And you will become familiar with the complexity of issues surrounding the criminal justice system.

Our program emphasizes a liberal arts approach to learning, which will help you to become acquainted with diverse fields such as political science, psychology, and sociology. You will build on those courses with more specific course work in law, the courts, corrections, and juvenile justice. Our program is flexible, which means that you can tailor it to fit your specific interests. And whatever your career choice — be it police work, law, corrections, or administrative areas — you will graduate from our program well prepared for these career challenges. You will also be an informed citizen who understand the complexities of crime and criminal justice.

Transfer students are welcome. If you are currently enrolled in an associate's degree program in criminal justice or another field, you will be pleased to know that Plattsburgh’s program is transfer-friendly. Junior and senior-level courses at Plattsburgh will build on those you completed at your previous college. In nearly all cases where students are transferring with a compatible associate's degree, the B.A. in Criminal justice can be completed within two years.

Program Requirements

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

For more information about the criminal justice program at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact

Wendy Gordon, Chair
Office: Redcay Hall 154
Phone: (518) 564-5212
Fax: (518) 564-3333
Email: [email protected]