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Successful completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree in criminal justice degree by itself does not lead to licensure or certification in any state, regardless of concentration or specialization. Further, Ashford University does not guarantee that any professional organization will accept a graduate's application to sit for any exam for the purpose of professional certification. Students seeking licensure or certification in a particular profession are strongly encouraged to carefully research the requirements prior to enrollment. Requirements may vary by state. Further, a criminal record may prevent an applicant from obtaining licensure, certification, or employment in this field of study.

Popular Criminal and Social Justice Career Titles: 
Here are some sample career titles with explanations. Please remember that Criminal and Social Justice is a very large field and additional exploration is highly encouraged. 

  • ​Police: Police officers often work for the local, state, or federal government. If becoming a police officer is your goal, you'll need to decide what type of police office you will want to be and explore the requirements for that specific role. 

  • Federal Marshal: Federal Marshals transport, manage, and protect prisoners and arrest wanted criminals/fugitive felons. They also provide protection to judges, attorneys, and jurors in high profile or potentially dangerous court cases. To learn about the requirements, click here.

  • Highway Patrol Officer: State highway patrol officers are sworn law enforcement officers whose primary responsibilities are to ensure the safety and security of people traveling on state highways and roads. Each state has it's own requirements, so make sure to look up the requirements and eligibility within your state. 

  • Immigration Officer: Immigration Officers, or, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are responsible for preventing illegal immigration and preventing the unlawful traffic of goods into the US. Immigration Officers agents may be involved with customs issues or immigration issues and may be assigned a variety of tasks in such areas as border patrol, human trafficking and child exploitation, cyber crimes, deportation, and intelligence gathering. To learn more about this career field, click here

  • Border Patrol: Border Patrol Agents are focused 24/7 on securing the international land borders and coastal waters between Ports of Entry. 

  • Criminal Investigator:The job of a Criminal Investigator is to attempt to solve each case that comes his or her way. The nature of the work tends to be specialized based on the CI’s education and experience and the needs of the organization for which he or she works. Criminal investigators generally work for local, state, and federal government agencies, such as state police, the US Forestry Department, the Inspector General, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the FBI. To learn more about this role, click here.

  • Homeland Security: Homeland Security agents help secure borders, airports, seaports and waterways. To learn more about Homeland Security, click here.

  • ​Probation Officer: Probation officers supervise people sentenced to probation by the courts. Their ultimate goal is to assist with the rehabilitation of offenders. This role varies state by state, so be sure to look up requirements within your area.

  • Corrections Officer: Corrections officers, also known as correctional officers and detention deputies, supervise individuals who have been arrested and are being held for trial or who have been convicted of a crime and are serving a sentence in a jail, reformatory, or penitentiary. 

  • Sheriff's Deputy: Deputy sheriffs, or sheriff’s deputies, enforce local, state, and federal laws within a county. 


  • Private Security Manager: A private security manager plans and oversees security operation systems and programs while providing the safety of an organization, entity or facility. A private security manager is different from a law enforcement official because they work for a company and not for the government.