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  • Major in Criminology/Minor in Psychology?

    I know most officers say not to major in such a specific field like Criminal Justice. Is Criminology still too specific of a field? I took a criminology class last semester and thought it was very interesting and enjoyed the class. Also, I am thinking about a Psychology minor for some extra "icing on the cake" as I also took an intro to psych class last semester and did very well in it. What do you officers think about this major/minor combo? I appreciate any comments/suggestions given to me!

  • #2
    Semantics--it's the same degree.

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    • #3
      If there's a particular degree you wish to shoot for, by all means do it. The reason many of us counsel against a C J Degree, or Criminology (same thing) is it's rather limited marketability. OTH, a degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Political Science etc, would be of far more value to you, if a LE career didn't pan out . Once more, if a C J Degree is what you want, go for it .

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      • #4
        +1 on what PhilipC. wrote. It's important to study a subject that you like. Maintain as high a GPA as possible.
        As for 'icing on the cake' I always advocate picking up a second or third language. I do not suggest you try to
        learn a language in a university setting. There are plenty of methods that can be used to learn one on your own.
        Good luck to you.
        Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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        • #5
          I understand. I will put some thought into this within the upcoming weeks and see where I decide to go with this. Thank you very much for your responses everyone.

          Stay safe.

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          • #6
            What Phillip said!

            And a degree in bowling management wouldn't hurt either.
            This is for all you parents that like to put your kids names on the back of your mini-vans.

            STOP IT! There are predators that will use that information against them!

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            • #7
              Whether there is a curriculum difference between schools that offer CJ degrees as opposed to criminology degrees is really up to the school. Some programs may significantly differ while others will not. Regardless, a police employer will view them as the same degree. A lot of two year schools offer CJ degrees, however your comment about Criminology degrees being offered by "more legitimate" universities is simply foolish. I would bet my next paycheck more legitimate universities offer CJ degrees than criminology degrees. Some of the most famous criminal justice schools in the country have CJ degrees. John Jay College of Criminal Justice, anyone. The Univ. of Cincinnati had a CJ degree program that is highly regarded in the academic world for it's bachelor's, master's and PhD programs. The list goes on and on. I have taught CJ as an adjunct at a Tier 1 college that has a CJ program and have spent more time researching CJ programs than you have been in school. Don't confuse the OP with statements of fact when you have very little knowledge of the subject matter at hand. While I am sure it was not your intention, your comment is offensive, inaccurate and has no basis in fact.

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              • #8
                NextGen:
                I graduated from Florida State with a BS in criminology. Many subjects were more in line with with sociology, like:
                -What makes criminals criminal- social, environmental, genetics
                -Everything you wanted to know about phrenology!
                -Studies about the outcomes of incarcerated females who give birth in prison.

                There were a few classes more in line with learning about actual law enforcement, but not enough for me.... I think a CJ degree is more "meat & potatoes" than all the fluff in most criminology curricula. CJ seems more about doing the job of LEO.

                Also, at FSU at least, there were MANY liberal professors who, looking back, probably did not like actual cops.

                At least I met a lot of FSU football players!!! (a lot went the criminology route).
                Last edited by swat_op506; 08-06-2010, 08:42 AM.
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                • #9
                  Hmm..this is a tough choice for sure. I enjoyed criminology and psychology and thought they were both really interesting, but like you all are saying, IF law enforcement isn't for me (which I believe you when you say it happens more often than one might think), but IF it isn't for me, I don't know what else I could take up. To be honest I can't see myself getting int any other profession (I'm sure most of you have told yourselves that at one time or another or heard it millions of times from others). It will be a tough choice if I choose to drop either Criminology or Psychology..I'm not too big on Political Science, but I took a class on it last semester and it wasn't all that bad, just boring, but I enjoyed writing some papers on the various topics there were since I was able to voice my opinion on certain issues. Business could also be a possiblity, but then again, I'm not too sure what I would get into if I decided that LE wasn't for me. Thank you for your detailed responses so far!

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                  • #10
                    How about flipping them. Major in Psych and minor in criminology.
                    Last edited by kc12; 08-06-2010, 04:32 PM.
                    But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

                    For the intelectually challenged: If the government screws the people enough, it is the right and responsibility of the people to revolt and form a new government.

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                    • #11
                      Develop effective oral and written communication skills and you will become an excellent cop, regardless of your chosen field of study!
                      Last edited by strong4305; 08-06-2010, 03:57 PM. Reason: edit
                      Memphis Police

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                      • #12
                        I'm major in Psych and minor in CJ. seems to be working well, especially since I could not see getting a bachelors in CJ. It's pointless since all my professors are completely liberal and hate police and the CJ system. I had one professor say that we should get rid of jails/prisons. Another was a probation officer for LA County and still is a reserve, but hates on police all day long. I've gotten into verbal "discussions" with him about his information and how it's not factual.

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                        • #13
                          Honestly, the many jobs I have had the last thing they really cared about was the major. It was noted but they really want to know is your GPA. Anyone can get a CJ degree. Not everyone can maintain a 3.8 GPA and graduate Magna Cum Laude.

                          And my two cents on the criminology and CJ war is that they are pretty much the same. CJ has just been over marketed and the for profit college corporations are looking at ways to change the name to make it sound like it's something new.

                          Here's how it all works (CJ and criminology) There are bad/crazy/stupid people in the world and there are laws against the things they do. The police catch them, the courts judge them, and the penal system punishes them. The who, what, where, when, why, and how is really not that complicated.

                          And get a minor in something useful. Everyone does phycology and never follows through on it. Get a minor in math or something so people know you're not stupid.
                          Last edited by wirefire2; 08-12-2010, 03:16 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fishnhunt
                            I apologize for offending you, sir. It was not my intent. I did not intend to mean a Criminology Degree is more legitimate than a CJ degree. I apologize if I made it seem that way. I just meant to say that the "online" b/s degree churning out schools mostly offer CJ degrees, not Criminology. So IN MY OPINON it tends to water down the weight of how it sounds when you say you have a "CJ" degree, even if from a legitimate university; not a b/s online school.

                            While CJ and Criminology degrees are both offered (and may well more often CJ degrees) at legitimate universities, the "questionably legitimate" online schools typically offer only CJ. Thus my comment and intent, not in any way to bash a CJ degree or to suggest it is inferior to a Criminology degree...
                            Just so you don't step on your crank again...those "questionably legitimate online schools" have the same accreditation as your state schools. It's the same stuff, really it is. It's only presented in a different format and they online or corporate school just doesn't waste millions of money from student tuitions on football stadiums.

                            Honestly online classes are hard as hell. You HAVE to teach yourself. If you don't do the reading or the work you fail. No one is going to say anything you will just fail all by yourself in front of your computer...while you play WoW.

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