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The concentration in criminal justice is designed for students who are particularly interested in a career related to law enforcement. The consensus among criminal justice professionals is that a broad-based, liberal arts education provides the ideal background for a career in policing, probation and parole, corrections, or juvenile justice. The concentration places an emphasis on written and verbal communication skills, ethics and ethical behavior, civil rights and liberties, the nature of crime and delinquency, theories of punishment and corrections, and institutions within the U.S. criminal justice system.
A liberal arts education is characterized by the study of ideas and issues of general concern as opposed to narrow, vocational training. Is a liberal arts education "relevant" to criminal justice? Absolutely. Most police officers will work for state or local agencies, carry out searches and seizures, and contend with a wide range of criminal and dysfunctional behavior. It makes sense, therefore, that courses such as state and local politics, public administration, constitutional law, juvenile delinquency, and criminology will provide a critically important foundation upon which to build a successful career in the criminal justice system. Moreover, a liberal arts education seeks to develop good written and verbal communication skills, which are important in any career, and especially useful for promotion to positions of higher responsibility.
Your training in specific skills and techniques is best left to the professionals at police academies or other relevant training agencies. At Frostburg, we seek to provide our students with an education.
Finally, it helps to keep your options open. Especially when combined with an internship in the field, the criminal justice concentration provides an excellent preparation for a career in law enforcement. However, if you ultimately decide on some other path, the broad-based education provided by the Law and Society major will be valuable and appropriate for many careers outside of the criminal justice field.