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Post Graduate Planning

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Exploring Your Options

The Criminology, Law, and Justice major complements a broad liberal arts background with specialized understanding of the US criminal justice system, including its history, policies, and administration. Although some students continue their studies beyond the BA degree by attending graduate school to become professional criminologists, there are a number of jobs and careers that undergraduates can pursue with a BA in CLJ. A degree in CLJ prepares students to pursue careers in virtually any field that requires an understanding of individual and organizational behavior, analytical tools and strong communication skills. As a result, CLJ majors are found in a variety of occupational settings, including: the criminal justice system, law, community and social services, nonprofit organizations, social work, government agencies, business, and education. Whatever your dream job, there are resources at UIC that can assist you in gaining the knowledge and experience necessary to compete for those positions upon graduation.

What Can I do With a Bachelor's Degree in CLJ? Heading link

Long-Term Career Options New Graduates in Criminology, Law, and Justice Career Options
Corrections Officer/Counselor Arson Investigator
Court Mediator Attorney
Court Reporter Correctional Counselor
Crime Analyst Court Administrator
Federal Agent Criminal Investigator
Forensic Scientist Federal Probation Officer
Judge Fraud Investigator
Police Officer Game Warden
Police Warden Juvenile Detention Officer
Private Investigator Loss Prevention Specialist
Private Security Administrator Police Detective
Probation/Parole Agent Police Officer
Prosecutor/Defense Attorney Security Analyst
Social Services Specialist State Trooper
Substance Abuse Counselor Surveillance Officer
Victim Advocate TSA Screener
Victim Services Specialist
Youth Advocate

Gaining Experience

Experience in a particular career field can be gained through various channels – including internships and volunteer work.  UIC’s location in Chicago allows CLJ students to pursue a range of opportunities in organizations relevant to the criminal justice field and beyond.  CLJ Internships offer excellent opportunities to gain real-world experience while making degree progress at the same time. In addition, you might also consider studying abroad. Studying abroad provides an opportunity to learn about other societies and cultures, enabling comparisons to be drawn between the American criminal justice system’s policies and those of other nations. Such experience offers you a vantage point for understanding the strengths and limitations of the US system of law and criminal justice. As with internships, while studying abroad you make progress toward your degree at the same time.

Students can also pursue internships through LAS beginning in their sophomore year at UIC. These internships are not necessarily in CLJ, and they are not taken for CLJ credit, but they may be helpful to you in giving you experience in diverse work settings, helping you focus your career goals, allowing you to apply skills acquired in the classroom, and providing you with networking possibilities.

If you are interested in careers in law and legal services check out the UIC Pre-Law Society, UIC Mock Trial team, and take advantage of pre-law advising. Information about organizations, resources, internships, law school opportunities, etc. can be found on the LAS Pre-Law page.

If you are interested in going to graduate school and becoming a criminologist, one way to gain actual experience as a researcher is to secure a position on a professor’s research project and/or take an Independent Study with a faculty member. You can also attend the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association conference held annually in Chicago. Talk with your professors and advisors about your career goals and seek help identifying what kind of graduate program would best help you in achieving your goals. Depending on your research interests, you might also want to consider applying to programs in Sociology, Psychology, Social Work, or Public Health.

Using Available Resources

There are a number of sources on campus that can help you prepare for the job market. You can speak to advisors and professors, as well as visit the UIC Office of Career Services, Student Services Building, Suite 3050, 1200 West Harrison Street, (312) 996-2300 to discover what can be accomplished with a degree in criminology, law and justice. UIC’s Career Services can assist students with resume writing, interviewing practice, career exploration, and more.

In addition to on-campus resources, those interested in graduate study may want to explore the organizational sites below for information on graduate programs, journals and student memberships.

  • American Society of Criminology (ASC)
    The American Society of Criminology is an international organization involved in research and policy and, scientific and professional knowledge about the origins, prevention, and treatment of crime and delinquency, and promoting rehabilitation.
  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
    The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) is an international association that fosters professional and scholarly activities in the field of criminal justice. ACJS promotes criminal justice education, research, and policy analysis within the discipline of criminal justice for both educators and practitioners.
  • Law and Society Association 
    The Law and Society Association is an interdisciplinary scholarly organization committed to social scientific, interpretive, and historical analyses of law across multiple social contexts.  For sociolegal scholars, law is not only the words of official documents.  Law also can be found in the diverse understandings and practices of people interacting within domains that law governs, in the claims that people make for legal redress of injustices, and in the coercive power exercised to enforce lawful order.  Sociolegal scholars also address evasions of law, resistance and defiance toward law, and alternatives to law in structuring social relations.
  • CLJ Open House
    The CLJ department hosts an open house annually around November and invites speakers to provide guidance to students pursuing varying career options. Contact us for more info.

Where Can I Find a Job? Heading link

Federal Government State, County, and Municipal Commission Private Sector
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Airports Battered Women's Shelters
Drug Enforcement Administration Constable's Office Computer Corporations
Federal Bureau of Investigation County Adult Probation Departments Concealed Handgun Training Academies
Federal Bureau of Prisons County Clerks' Offices Consulting Firms
Immigration and Naturalization Service County Jails Financial Institutions
Internal Revenue Service County Attorneys' Offices Hospitals
U.S. Customs and Border Protection County Juvenile Detention Centers Industry
U.S. Department of Labor County Juvenile Probation Departments Insurance Companies
U.S. District and Appellate Courts District Attorneys' Offices Law Firms
Fish and Wildlife Service District Clerks' Offices Polygraph Administration Agencies
U.S. Marshal's Office District Courts Private Investigations Agencies
U.S. Park Police Illinois Attorney General's Office Private Universities
U.S. Postal Service Illinois Commission on Discrimination & Hate Crimes Retail Establishments
U.S. Probation/Parole Departments Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority Privately Operated Prisons
U.S. Secret Service Illinois Department of Children & Family Services Privately Operated Prisons, Jails & Detention Centers
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Illinois Department of Corrections Railroads
Illinois Department of Employment Security Utilities
Illinois Department of Human Services
Illinois Guardianship & Advocacy Authority
Illinois Law Enforcement, Training & Standards Board
Illinois Liquor Control Commission
Illinois Lottery Commission
Illinois Prisoner Review Board
Illinois State Police
Illinois Youth Commission
Independent School Districts
Municipal Courts
Municipal Police Departments
Port Authorities
Sheriffs' Offices
Transit Authorities