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Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration

Do you work in a field related to law enforcement, criminal justice, or corrections? Do you have an A.A.S. degree in any of these fields? Combine your knowledge of law enforcement with managerial expertise that can help improve your career advancement and professional opportunities. You'll leave Whitworth with a better understanding of your role in public service and society, prepared to manage departments and agency functions effectively and efficiently within a criminal justice setting.

Course Format Online or in person; Primarily hybrid
Locations Online
North Spokane
Average Completion Time 2-2.5 years with A.A. or select A.A.S. degree transfer
4-5 years with no transfer credits 
Application Deadline Four weeks prior to start date 
Prior-Learning Portfolio Available? Yes. Contact an advisor for more information.

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What will I study?

Criminal justice administration majors will learn:

  • Motivations of criminal behavior
  • The functions of the systems that punish and correct behavior
  • Professional writing and public speaking
  • Appreciation for human diversity and respect for inclusion
  • Personal and professional ethics in the field of criminal justice

Courses Taught by Professionals

Instructors are selected specifically for their experience and knowledge of current law enforcement practice. With a curriculum designed to move your leadership and professional expertise to the next level, instructors facilitate learning, drawing on the skills and practical experience of the professionals in each class.

Transfer Information

Already have an A.A. or A.A.S. degree?

With an A.A. or select A.A.S. degree from a community college, you may transfer to Whitworth's Criminal Justice Administration Program as a junior, receiving 60-64 semester credits toward your bachelor's degree. You can complete your degree in as little as two to three years.

Don't have an A.A.S. degree?

If you haven't earned an A.A.S. degree but have extensive experience working in related fields within the law enforcement community, any previously earned college and/or university credits will be assessed for transfer. Any shortage of credits may be earned via Whitworth's evening degree program or through submission of a prior-learning portfolio (see below).

Prior-Learning Portfolio

Earn credits for police academy or related experience

While Whitworth's degree in criminal justice administration is designed to complement and build on community college curriculum, it is also possible for those in law enforcement, corrections and related fields to earn credit for college-level learning outside the traditional college classroom. Our advisors will help you discover your options.

  • If you have completed Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Academy, you may earn up to 20 credits for applicable coursework.
  • You may earn up to 31 semester credits of portfolio credit to apply toward your evening degree program at Whitworth.

Interested, but don't have the experience in law enforcement?

Whitworth developed the Bachelor of Arts in Public Service Administration to provide an alternative for those who are interested in law enforcement but do not meet the requirements to enter the criminal justice administration program. Please see the program details for more information.

Degree Requirements

Courses for the major may be completed in just 18 months. Time to degree completion varies, depending on course load and transfer credits. Please speak with one of our academic advisors and receive a complimentary transcript evaluation.

For course descriptions and learning outcomes of this major, please view the course catalog.

Criminal Justice Administration Major - 36 credits

BU 352 Human Behavior In Organizations 3 credits
EC 345 Economics of Social Issues 3 credits
PO 302 Legal Issues in Social & Behavioral Studies 3 credits
PO 320 American Political Process 3 credits
PO 371 Introduction to Public Administration 3 credits
PY 345 Forensic Psychology 3 credits
SO 220 Race & Ethnicity 3 credits
SO 283 Deviance, Crime & Criminal Justice 3 credits
SO 370 Delinquency & Juvenile Justice 3 credits
SO 466W Ethics in Public Service 3 credits
COM 351 Group Dynamics 3 credits
COM 461 Applied Cross-Cultural Communication 3 credits

Graduation Requirements & Electives

All adult education programs from Whitworth must include Whitworth Inq (shared curriculum) and elective coursework to complete degree requirements. Some of the requirements may be met by courses offered in the major. Check with an advisor for details.

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate - 126

Total credits needed at Whitworth will vary depending on credits transferred from other institutions and/or earned on college-level examinations. 

What type of job can I get?

Earning your degree in criminal justice administration can open the doors to a variety of administrative roles within the criminal justice or corrections arena. Coursework may prepare you for administrative positions or managerial opportunities in the following areas:

  • corrections
  • rehabilitation
  • probation
  • crisis intervention
  • human resources
  • border protection
  • law enforcement
  • parole enforcement
  • security
  • public relations
  • federal agencies

Our grads get great jobs at places like...

  • City of Spokane
  • Pioneer Human Services
  • Spokane County Jail
  • Spokane Police Department
  • Post Falls Police Department
  • Department of Corrections
  • Washington State Patrol