College of Arts & Sciences Criminal Justice


Our grads are going places!

Criminal Justice grads work in a variety of fields. Based on recent survey data, the following list indicates the wide range of jobs held by graduates from our Criminal Justice Studies program.

Law Enforcement

USD provides a full range of courses for students who wish to pursue law enforcement careers. Graduates have found jobs in the following agencies and positions:

  • City Police Departments
  • State Highway Patrol Officers
  • U.S. Border Patrol Agents
  • U.S. Corps of Engineers (Park Rangers)
  • U.S. Marshals Office
  • Crime Prevention Specialists
  • Investigators for Numerous State and Federal Agencies
  • BIA and Tribal Police Department                                      
Probation, Court Services and Court Administration

Students interested in court-related positions are pursuing careers in probation, court administration and community-based corrections.

  • U.S. Probation Office, Federal Officers
  • Probation/Parole Offices, State Officers 
  • Clerk of Courts, Tribal Courts
  • Corrections Officers
  • Supreme Court Clerk
  • Residential Officer, State Department of Corrections
  • Court Services Officers
Juvenile Justice

Many graduates work with juveniles in both secure and non-secure residential settings, in treatment centers and in the community.

  • Juvenile Probation Officers
  • Juvenile Corrections Officers
  • Youth Counselors
  • Officers in Boot Camps and Juvenile Detention Centers
Legal Fields

Over 160 graduates of the USD Criminal Justice Program have gone on to law school and careers as attorneys.

  • Prosecuting and Defense Attorney
  • Agency Attorney for State and Federal Agencies
  • Public Interest Advocacy
  • State Attorneys General
  • Paralegals
  • Partners, law firms
Social Services

Many graduates find rewarding careers in the social service sector. With a renewed emphasis on treatment, prevention and rehabilitation, opportunities in this field are expected to increase.

  • Victim Services Agencies
  • Senior Child Care Counselors
  • State Licensing Officers
  • Family Therapists
  • Social Workers with State Department of Human Services
  • Training Coordinators
  • Directors of Sexual Assault Response Teams
Other Government Service

Numerous graduates work in other government positions:

  • Governors Offices
  • U.S. Senate and House Offices
  • Peace Corps
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • City Superintendent
  • U.S. Army, Training Officer
  • Staff Assistant, Dept. of Labor
Other Private Sectors

Many graduates move from public service to challenging, rewarding jobs in the private sector, such as: 

  • Gateway, Assistant to Senior Vice President
  • Systems Analyst, Sioux Valley
  • Hospital & Health System
  • Consultant, Custom Micro Inc.
  • Arizona State University, Research Associate/Teaching Assistant
  • Federal Insurance, Claims Adjustor. Numerous Other Private Jobs

Because of the great shortage of criminal justice faculty, more graduates are obtaining doctorates in order to teach in colleges and universities across the U.S.

For more detailed career information and helpful links, see USD's Career Development Center.