Why major in Criminal Justice?

A degree in criminal justice from UPIKE will prepare you for a career in exciting professions ranging from forensic investigations to probation and parole. UPIKE’s criminal justice program emphasizes practical applications, procedures and theoretical concepts to prepare you for an ever-changing field. The criminal justice professors at UPIKE use current events in society to help you understand and build knowledge of the criminal justice system.

Professor teaches criminal justice class.

Program Distinctives

The criminal justice major at UPIKE integrates practical applications and theory-based learning to provide a well-rounded knowledge of the criminal justice field. As a student, you will learn to adapt theory in real-world applications to provide solutions for problems in the criminal justice system. .

The practical application courses are designed to show students investigative techniques criminal investigators follow to evaluate and analyze different types of crime scenes. Students are also engaged in the legal system with mock courtroom settings and legal proceedings, which are insightful experiences for those interested in pursuing a law degree

Internship programs are also available and not only allows students to gain experience, but also to make valuable connections in the workplace.

Students collect evidence during forensics class.

Interesting Courses

CJ 273 Police Practices and Procedures
This course covers the day-to-day operations of police officers and the communities they serve. Community policing, drug enforcement investigations, international crime and the history of policing are examined.

CJ 375 Investigative Functions in Law
Students are immersed in investigative techniques used by crime scene investigators. This course teaches students how to process and analyze evidence from several mock crime scenes and leads to the understanding of what constitutes probable cause.

Students investigate a mock crime scene.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this degree, you’ll have an understanding of why crime occurs and how the criminal mind works. UPIKE’s criminal justice program is designed to educate students for leadership positions in the field of criminal justice. This field will prepare you for a variety of professional settings, including law enforcement, correctional case management, correctional education, chemical dependency and substance abuse counseling, victim-offender mediation and alternative dispute resolution and pre-law. Employment is often found in government, the private sector, universities and nonprofit organizations. Government is the largest employer in the criminal justice field, with approximately 50 percent employed at the local level. The field of criminal justice is constantly changing to meet the new demands of a changing society. Employment opportunities are expected to increase faster than average compared to other occupations.

Earn your bachelor or associate degree in a variety of learning options. 3-year degree track | Face-to-face or Hybrid (both online and face-to-face courses)

Career paths in Criminal Justice

Correctional Officer
Court Officer
Crime Scene Investigator
Domestic Violence Counselor
Federal Law Enforcement Officer
Forensic Evidence Technician
Legal Assistant/Paralegal
Police Officer
Private Investigator
Probation and Parole Officer
Statistical Research Analyst

Where Recent Graduates have gone to work or study

East Kentucky Correctional Complex
East Tennessee State University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Liberty University
Pike County Detention Center
Pike County Sheriff’s Deputy
Pikeville Police Department
Louisville Metro Police
South Carolina Highway Patrol
University of Pikeville Public Safety


“As society continues to grow, so does the need for careers in criminal justice and the understanding of how and why criminal behavior occurs. Criminal justice classes at the University of Pikeville are taught by knowledgeable faculty who bring their real-world perspective to the classroom. Whether you are interested in careers in criminal justice, crime prevention, child behavior problems, or juvenile delinquency, this degree is extremely valuable. The program stresses interdisciplinary study of criminal justice in America.



Timothy Roberts

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
(606) 218-5022