DEGREE FINDER is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

Today's criminal justice degree is a direct stepping-stone to a wide field of excellent and often quite noble and exciting career opportunities. As with all degree considerations, however, it is very common and even beneficial to consider the question of difficulty associated with earning a degree in criminal justice. How difficult is it, and what all does it entail? Here is the basic rundown of this great degree option today.

Duration, Basic Degree Outline

To summarize the contents of this degree, the student of it will learn all about the various components of the criminal justice system. They will learn about police work and strategy along with criminality patterns and associated cultural and psychological components to crime. They will also learn about the court system and how various court-rendered outcomes play out for the accused as well as greater society. They will additionally learn about what happens as court and prison involvement concludes as well as repeat criminality, also known as "recidivism." While none of these particular subjects of study requires special IQ capabilities beyond other college studies, they will still require commitment and study, as does any other degree program.

Time is another common component considered when degree difficulty is weighed by prospective students. The typical, accredited degree in criminal justice is aligned with the standard college layout in terms of time requirements. As such, an associate's degree here typically takes approximately two years to complete, while the bachelor's requires the standard four years and the master's requires the standard six. Failed courses, withdrawals, absence, and other hurdles can, however, cause this time approximation to increase.

See our ranking of the 50 Best Value Colleges for a Criminal Justice Degree.

Required Courses and Subject Matter

Another great way to help gauge difficulty in a degree is by taking a closer look at some of its required coursework. A long list of what seems to be subject matter of personal difficulty may be best avoided in those seeking to limit overall degree difficulty. The following are some of the telling course requirements found along this degree path. To learn more about each class and its specific parameters in a particular school, it is best to lookup that class within the school's course list and consult its detailed description therein.

  • Criminology
  • Policing in America
  • Criminal Justice Ethics
  • American Corrections
  • The Prosecution Process
  • Victimology
  • Security Administration
  • Alternatives to Incarceration
  • Border Security
  • Juvenile Justice

Assistive Resources

Finally, for those considering how to handle difficulty in this degree program should it be encountered, there are a number of great resources students should always stay abreast of. While many of these assistive resources can be found directly within the school being attended, some also exist on the outside. Here is a short list of the various assistive resource points to consider.

  • On-Campus Student Advising Office
  • On-Campus Academic Support Centers
  • On-Campus Library
  • Saylor Online Free Academy
  • Study Guide Zone
  • Khan Academy
  • US Department of Education

With a degree in criminal justice, any number of exciting and highly fulfilling careers can be had. For those interested in the potential difficulties encountered in this program, this article represents the basic aligns of what can be expected. In conclusion, further information regarding the criminal justice degree and the many careers reliant on it today can be found by visiting the website for the National Criminal Justice Association.

Take the next step towards your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

Man working at desk