Change the System
Our Criminal Justice program gives you extensive first-hand knowledge of the full criminal justice system through in-depth field observations and internships, which often lead to job offers. Criminal justice majors at Castleton University have gone on to careers with courts, corrections, and law enforcement, including probation, parole, state law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Secret Service, and Interpol. In addition to the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, we also offer an associate degree and a minor in criminal justice.
Why Earn a Criminal Justice Degree at Castleton?
- Ride-alongs: In the Law Enforcement in America course, you’ll log six to eight hours of ride-along observations with police officers.
- Courtroom observation: In the American Judicial System course, you’ll attend court for four hours of civil proceedings and four hours of criminal proceedings.
- Required internships: We’ll help you find an internship with a local agency for 125 hours of on-the-job learning and resumé-building experience.
- Strong alumni connections: Castleton’s criminal justice graduates work in top positions with federal and international law enforcement agencies — and they are delighted to help younger Castleton alumni.
- Independent research: Conduct a research study on a topic of your choice, then analyze and share the results of your findings.
- Behavioral focus: Go deeper and get to the root causes of crime and criminal behavior by studying psychology and sociology.
- Law school preparation: Our program provides excellent preparation for law school and legal careers.
Request more information about Castleton's Criminal Justice program →
What Careers in Criminal Justice Can I Pursue?
Graduates of the Criminal Justice program have gone on to successful careers in a variety of fields, ranging from international and national positions with:
- Border Patrol
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
- Law enforcement at the local and state level and beyond
- U.S. Customs
- U.S. Secret Service
What You'll Learn in the Criminal Justice Program
In Castleton's Criminal Justice program, you will learn to:
- Explain the U.S. Constitutional Amendments most relevant to the criminal justice process.
- Evaluate how specific landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions have shaped and influenced the operation of the criminal justice process.
- Name the specific stages of the criminal justice process, from arrest to appeal, and determine the amount of proof required at each stage.
- Apply knowledge of ethics to evaluate and resolve dilemmas often faced by criminal justice professionals.
- Explain how government agencies use crime data to identify patterns of crime and victimization and develop programs and strategies to prevent or reduce crime.
- Criminal Law
- Juvenile Justice
- Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice
- Law Enforcement in America
- Comparative Justice
- Death Penalty
View criminal justice courses →
Gain Field Experience in Criminal Justice
As a criminal justice student at Castleton, you will have multiple opportunities to transition from classroom learning to real-world scenarios through fieldwork. Several core classes require you to log courtroom and ride-along hours to get a first-hand look at the criminal justice system. Through a criminal justice internship, you will also experience the inner workings of an organization in your area of interest. This provides invaluable material for your resumé and helps you build your professional network as you figure out your own career path.
Criminal Justice Internship & Seminar
In this upper-level elective, you will complete 125 hours of a student internship with a local criminal justice organization while you attend an instructor-led seminar held throughout the semester. Here are some examples of recent internships:
- Howard Center Park Street Program – Mental Health Services
- Marble Valley Correctional Center
- NewStory Center
- Rutland County Court Diversion
- Rutland County Public Defender’s Office
- Rutland County State’s Attorney’s Office
- Rutland Dismas House
- Rutland Probation and Parole
- Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council
- Vermont Department of Liquor Control
- Victim Advocate within State’s Attorneys Office
Meet Our Criminal Justice Faculty
Our faculty have extensive experience in criminal justice education, as well as field experience, and they love to teach. Under Castleton’s relationship-based education model, you will work closely with your professors in this immersive, interdisciplinary, and close-knit program.
Meet the criminal justice faculty →