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Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science

Undergraduate (Bachelors)

Online Completion

Downtown Location

Northwest Location


Contact Us

UHD Department of
Criminal Justice & Social Work

1002 Commerce Street Houston, TX 77002
Office: C-340
Phone: 713-221-8943


Kevin Buckler, Ph.D.
Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Social Work and Professor of Criminal Justice

Krista S. Gehring, Ph.D.
Assistant Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Social Work and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Faculty Directory



Student standing in front of glass holding a book.

The Program

Course work leading to a UHD College of Public Service Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) degree equips students with a foundation in criminological theories and criminal justice processes, including communication, analytical, and critical thinking skills. The Criminal Justice faculty strive to prepare students to be effective leaders in criminal justice and related fields, as well as research and advanced studies.
 Graduates who earn a BSCJ will be able to:Criminal Justice Best Online Program 2023 Award by US News

  • Critically analyze crime and justice issues.
  • Apply criminological and justice system theories to the study of crime and justice. 
  • Communicate effectively about criminal justice topics. 
  • Analyze criminal justice ethical dilemmas and develop sound courses of action. 
  • Apply research methods and statistical analyses to criminal justice problems.

This degree program prepares students for a career in criminal justice and public service, and prepares students to pursue the study of law and other related graduate programs.


BSCJ Application Process

Application is a three-step process:

  1.    Applications are completed through ApplyTexas;
  2.    Required documentation is submitted to the Office of Admissions.
  3.    Once UHD makes an admissions decision, UHD will contact students via email concerning advising, orientation, etc.  

Declaration as a BSCJ major requires the following:

  • Continuing students at UHD must have a UHD GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  • Students transferring to UHD must have a transfer GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  • Freshmen who meet the Freshman Admissions criteria will be declared upon admission to the university.

Degree Requirements


University requirements:

The BSCJ degree requires a minimum of 120 hours that count toward program completion. At least 25% of the semester credit hours must be earned through instruction offered by UHD. At least 18 hours must reflect approved upper-level courses. 30 semester credit hours counting toward program completion must be taken at UHD. The degree requires a minimum of 36 upper-level (3000 and above) criminal justice hours, 18 of which must be earned at UHD. An overall minimum grade point average of 2.0 at UHD is required for graduation, and a minimum average of 2.0 must be maintained in the upper-level hours in the major. 

Department requirements:


BSCJ students must complete an ethics course – CJ 3311. Three writing intensive courses are required for BSCJ completion. Writing intensive courses in the major include CJ 3301, CJ 3311, and CJ 4370.

For a complete and updated overview of the BSCJ degree requirements, please refer to the current Catalog Degree Description.

For students who seek to complete the degree requirements in four years, this Four Year Degree Plan maps a path forward. 

Advantage of the BSCJ Compared to the BAAS-CJ

The BSCJ degree option contains specific coursework (criminological theory, research methods and statistics) that prepares students for further educational opportunities in graduate school. The BSCJ should be strongly considered by law enforcement officers and others who have an interest in graduate school. For example, the UHD Master's of Science degree in Criminal Justice admission standards require Criminology, Statistics, and Research Methods (generally, at the 3000 or 4000 levels) which a student would obtain by completing the BSCJ.



Today's criminal justice challenges are diverse, complicated issues that require educated and unique resolutions. Potential employers are as varied as the issues, and include governmental agencies on a local, state and national level, law enforcement, law, corrections, victim services, academia, nonprofit and for-profit organizations. 

For more information about careers in criminal justice, please contact Dr. Gilmore, Director of Criminal Justice and Career Services. 

Field Experience/Internships

At UHD, the Criminal Justice Program designed its field experiences (also known as internships) to help students gain experience within a criminal justice agency while incorporating that experience with academic training. By enrolling in the Field Experience courses, students can gain course credit while working with an approved criminal justice agency. Students and field placements must be approved prior to students enrolling in the Field Experience course. 
For more information about the CJ Field Experience course, please contact Dr. Gilmore, Director of Criminal Justice Field Experience and Career Services. 


Criminal Justice Advising

A Criminal Justice student gets advised in the Department of Criminal Justice and Social Work Suite C-420 when the student meets one of the following criteria:

  • transfer student with 45 hours or more of credit toward the degree plan who seeks advising for the second semester (including summer) and onward; or 
  • student who started his/her academic career at UHD and who has earned 45 credit hours or more toward the degree. 

If you have any questions, or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact the College of Public Service Advising Center at 713-221-8906.