NSU's criminal justice major prepares you to make a positive impact on community safety through study of criminology, sociology, and data analysis.

Format: Online or On Campus


Northern's criminal justice major, offered on campus and online, provides wide-ranging foundational knowledge of the U.S. criminal justice system. In this program, you'll learn about criminal law and procedure, policing, the judicial system, the correctional system, and criminological theory.


Our program offers answers to criminal justice questions, including:

  • What does it mean for an offender to get off on a technicality?
  • What's the difference between murder and manslaughter?
  • Why do people commit crimes?
  • How are victims served and supported in the criminal justice process?

Northern's AA degree in criminal justice is available entirely online.


Criminal justice majors also are eligible for priority admission to Northern's counseling master’s program!



A criminal justice degree from Northern prepares you to succeed in law enforcement; various roles in municipal, state, and federal courthouses; probation; or correctional institutions. 


You might pursue a career in the juvenile justice field as a juvenile detention officer, or work with court personnel monitoring juvenile probationers.


You'll also be prepared to work in victim services or in an advocacy role with victims, or work with people with substance abuse problems.


Other career options include pursuing a law degree or graduate-level education in criminal justice and related fields, such as clinical mental health counseling.


For more information on careers in your major or help choosing a major, contact Career Services.



For criminal justice students seeking hands-on experience, Aberdeen is a convenient center of local, state, and federal law enforcement organizations, including the Aberdeen Police Department, Brown County Sheriff’s Office, South Dakota Highway Patrol, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


As the county seat, Aberdeen also features the Brown County Courthouse, which houses a Court Services office.


If you're a highly motivated criminal justice student, you could land an internship with one of these organizations - and possibly receive academic credit while gaining real-world experience and making an impact.


Arts and Sciences Internships



Arts and Sciences Scholarships

NSU Scholarships



Criminal Justice (AA)

Criminal Justice (BA) Course Requirements

Criminal Justice Minor


Plan of Study

Criminal Justice (BA) Plan of Study

Criminal Justice (AA) Plan of Study