Concentration Areas to Consider

Criminology and Criminal Justice majors are required to include a concentration area in their program consisting of 18 credit hours with 12 hours at the upper division (300 or 400 level).  A concentration is similar to a minor but specific requirements are determined by the minor department and minors officially recorded on your transcript while a concentration will not appear on the transcript. In many instances, it is very easy to integrate a minor into the area of concentration.


There are many excellent choices and students will select an area of concentration to develop secondary skills or knowledge they feel will be beneficial depending on career goals.  There are no limitations as to which area to select as a concentration, but students should consider the prerequisites for upper division courses.  Students are not limited to the following but may consider these areas.


*A Foreign Language:  Some agencies give preference to students who are fluent in a second language.  Languages offered:  Arabic, Czech, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.  Beneficial in multi-lingual communities. 


*Biology/Chemistry/Biochemistry:  Helpful to meet the strong science requirements for lab work or prerequisites for advanced education in forensic science or criminalistics (crime lab work).


*Business Administration:  Helpful for advancing into higher level administrative or management positions. 


*Child, Youth and Family Science:  Helpful to prevent, intervene and remedy interpersonal problems experienced by individuals in their family relationships.  Beneficial for child protective services, juvenile services or victim services.


*Communication Studies:  Strong communication skills are needed in most criminal justice related positions.  Also beneficial in preparing for law school.


Computer Science:  Helpful in the investigation of computer fraud/computer crime.  Highly in demand skill for many employers, e.g. FBI.


*Education:  Beneficial if planning to return to the University for an education degree/teacher certification.


*English:  Strong reading and writing skills can be of benefit in many criminal justice related positions.  Particularly helpful if considering law school because of the extensive reading and writing required.


*Ethnic Studies:  Helpful to understand diversity and working with diverse populations.


*Fisheries & Wildlife (Natural Resources):  This would be helpful if interested in becoming a conservation officer/game warden.


Forensic Science:  Beneficial if interested in law enforcement and crime scene investigation.  Advanced planning is needed to complete calculus and extensive science prerequisites for forensic science courses.


*Gerontology:  With the aging population, this is helpful to have a better understanding of working with the elderly.


*Global Studies:  Increases knowledge of global issues and the diversity of interactions at the global level.


*Human Rights & Humanitarian Affairs:  Helpful for CCJ careers that interact with the public.  Develop knowledge of human rights and the political and philosophical tensions that arise between the protection of human rights and other goals, like the idea of respecting cultural diversity, maintaining a national identity, or protecting the security of citizens.


*LGBTQ/Sexuality Studies:  Understanding experiences of individuals concerning gender and sexuality would be helpful in many criminal justice related positions. 


 Military Science:  Students in the ROTC program may wish to fulfill their concentration with ROTC courses.


*National Security Studies: Develop writing and critical thinking skills, negotiate multiple and competing interests, analyze global security issues, develop knowledge in international policy.  Beneficial for a career with a federal agency or private industry with international relations or security requirements, e.g. Homeland Security, Intelligence Communities. 


*Philosophy:  Helps develop analytical and critical thinking skills which are needed to reason well and make good decisions.  Beneficial in any position, but particularly helpful if considering law school.


*Political Science:  A good understanding of government, politics and public policy would be of benefit since a large number of criminal justice positions are in public agencies.


*Psychology:  Understanding behavior and behavior problems would be helpful in many criminal justice related positions or if interested in graduate education in counseling.


Public Policy Analysis:  May choose to complete the Certificate which trains students to analyze public policies, negotiate multiple and competing interest and develop in-depth knowledge and application in substantive policy issues.


*Sociology:  Courses understanding culture, society and social problems may be of benefit.


*Women & Gender Studies:  Helpful to understand women’s issues in various types of positions or particularly in victim services.


*An official minor is offered through UNL in these areas and students may wish to integrate a minor into their concentration area.  Students who wish to complete a minor should work carefully with their criminology & criminal justice adviser to fulfill both the concentration and UNL minor requirements.  Other areas offering minors at UNL include anthropology, art history, economics, geography, geology, history, insect science, mathematics, physics, religious studies, statistics, as well as others.  For a complete list of available minors, see the UNL Undergraduate Catalog.