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Student in business attire on Interviewing Day 2019.

Criminal Justice

Who’s innocent? Who’s guilty? Are you sure?  What should the punishment be? Why? How can we help convicted criminals thrive after they’ve been punished? What should we be doing to prevent crime in the first place? As a major in Criminal Justice at McDaniel, you’ll explore our system of law and order in all its complexity.

Degree Types
Major , Minor
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Graduate School Preparation
Pre-Law Advising

Whether you want to fight crime as a law enforcement officer, shape the laws that citizens follow, understand why people commit crime, or study how crime affects society at large, you’ll be at home as a student in McDaniel’s Criminal Justice major.

Hands-on in the Real World

Thanks to McDaniel’s relationships with organizations of all types, you’ll complete an internship in a setting that will give you an up-close look at the type of work you can do with your Criminal Justice degree. This internship will help you build skills, grow your network, and give you a better idea of the opportunities out there for you.

Future Career Paths

Graduates of Criminal Justice programs go on to a number of rewarding careers in many different fields. After your time at McDaniel, you’ll be qualified to pursue careers like:

  • FBI Agent
  • Corrections Manager
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Paralegal
  • Police Officer

Distinctive Courses

SOC 2205 - Criminology

A study of the theoretical aspects of criminal behavior and crime causation; the measurement of crime and crime statistics as well as techniques of crime prevention and societal reaction to crime.

SOC 3225 - Criminal Deviance Deviant and Criminal Behavior

This course will explore the social construction of law and deviance as well as the socialization process underlying criminal acts, their classification and dispositions. The course will consider the interplay among offender, victim and situational elements surrounding crime as they elucidate violent crime, white collar crime, stalking, child molestation, rape, cults, group crimes, modern slavery, and drug crimes.

New: Students will explore issues raised in criminal court proceedings including those related to forensic testimony. Topics include elements of crimes, including actus reus and mens rea; some general doctrines of criminal liability, such as complicity, causation, attempt, and conspiracy; and full and partial defenses to crimes; insanity and competency determinations, civil commitments and guardianship hearings, as well as topic relating to jury nullification, and delinquency.

SOC 3420 - White Collar Crime

This course will explore the causes, consequences, and criminal justice system response to white-collar crime; explore why crimes committed by corporations or the elite are handled differently than crimes committed by marginalized groups; and the unequal standards in criminalization and punishment. The course will focus the impact of white-collar crime on marginalized populations in the US. It will thus examine how corporate misdeeds, political corruption and occupational illegalities and deviance disproportionately impact subordinated and marginalized groups thereby perpetuating social inequality.

Special Opportunities

An employer talks to students at a job and internship fair.


Internships are a key part of the education you’ll receive as a Criminal Justice major. Recently, McDaniel students have completed internships at:

  • Baltimore City Police
  • Suffolk County Police Department, NY
  • Maryland State Police Forensic Lab
  • Maryland State Police Fire Marshall Office
  • Emergency Management Homeland Security Prince Georges County Youth Program

The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Rodney Fisher '19 majored in Criminal Justice

Meet Our Students Class of 2019: Rodney Fisher Jr. Get to Know a Green Terror

Criminal Justice major and first-generation college student Rodney Fisher's legacy is "to show all first-generation college students that you can do it. You can be successful and achieve anything that you set your mind to. Do not let self-doubt keep you from reaching your full potential."