• Careers in Criminal Justice and Forensic Science

    What can you do with a degree in criminology and criminal justice?

    A Bachelors degree in criminology and criminal justice prepares students for a wide variety of careers related to the field of criminal justice and corrections. The following is a sampling of career paths that are open to graduates of Hamline’s Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science.

    Law Enforcement and Investigation: A degree in criminology and criminal justice from Hamline University will prepare students interested in working as a Minnesota peace officer, or a law enforcement agent at the city, county, state, or federal level. The Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (POST) has approved Hamline’s Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science as a provider of academic training for individuals seeking licensure to become a peace officer in the state of Minnesota.

    Corrections: The field of corrections includes programs and institutions for both juveniles and adults. Students pursuing a career in corrections can work in a variety of settings such as: probation, parole, community programs or halfway houses. In addition, students with a degree in criminal justice may also pursue employment within prisons, jails or detention centers. Positions in the field of corrections may include direct supervision of offenders or providing specialized services to individuals under the supervision or exiting corrections.

    Community Service Agencies: A degree in criminology and criminal justice will also prepare students to work in a variety of community service agencies that focus on crime prevision or providing services to victims of crime. Among some of the most common agencies are rape crisis centers, delinquency prevention and diversion programs, child abuse prevention programs, youth shelters, vocational and educational centers, and drug and alcohol-abuse programs.

    Research and Policy: There is a demand in the field of criminology and criminal justice for individuals who can use data to answer questions about crime and justice and/or analyze policy and program implementation for a variety of criminal justice/correction agencies. These positions can be found in local police departments, government agencies, universities, or private research institutions. Hamline’s criminology and criminal justice degree provides each graduating student with a foundation in social research methods and statistics to pursue careers related to the field of research and policy.

    What can you do with a certificate in Forensic Science?

    Students who complete a degree in one of the natural sciences (chemistry or biology) in addition to completing the forensic science certificate at Hamline are prepared for careers in various laboratory settings analyzing forensic science evidence.

    Completing the forensic science certificate at Hamline prepares students to analyze a variety of types of forensic evidence. For instance, a student completing a degree in chemistry and/or biology in addition to the forensic science certificate are prepared to conduct analysis of toxicology, controlled substances, DNA, trace evidence, fingerprints, documents, firearms, and impression evidence in various crime lab settings. Students can also focus in medico-legal forensic sciences (e.g., forensic anthropology, forensic pathology, forensic psychology, forensic psychiatry, death investigation) by completing a major in the appropriate discipline (e.g. anthropology, biology) and the forensic science certificate and begin work in a medical examiner’s office.

    Graduates of Hamline University with a natural science degree and a forensic science certificate began their careers with the following employers:

    • Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Forensic Science Laboratory
    • Tri-County Regional Forensic Laboratory
    • MedTox Laboratories
    • Texas Department of Public Safety
    • Burnsville Police Department: Investigations
    • Mitchell Hamline School of Law
    • Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Crime Lab
    • Minneapolis Police Department Crime Lab
    • Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Office
    • Saint Paul Police Dept Crime Lab