Differences Between a Criminal Justice and Homeland Security Degree
By Dr. Charles M. Russo, faculty member, Intelligence Studies at American Military University
and Justin Spaulding, Ph.D. candidate and faculty member, Criminal Justice at SUNY Canton
Deciding what degree to pursue is a big decision for students. It depends somewhat on what career the student wants to pursue, but not entirely. Many fields require a bachelor’s degree, but do not require a major in a certain field of study.
For example, a police department may have a requirement that an officer have a bachelor’s degree but will usually not require the degree be in criminal justice. While it may seem to make sense that an aspiring officer should get a degree in criminal justice, that may not actually be necessary. Officers may benefit just as much, if not more, from pursuing a degree in homeland security, for example.
It’s important for students who are studying criminal justice or homeland security to understand each program—including the limitations—so they can decide what works best for their career aspirations.