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Criminal Justice Degree

Criminal Justice Degree Program Overview


University of Providence’s Criminal Justice program offers an extensive view of many career opportunities. UP offers courses in specific skill sets that are extremely beneficial within the field.

This is accomplished by offering four unique and specific “concentrations” that give a huge advantage in hiring and in selecting an appropriate course curriculum that meets the students wants and desires. The Criminal Justice Degree is widely recognized by Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) as a leader within the academic fields of Criminal Justice.

UP’s Professors offer over 40 years of practical experience and provide real life examples of opportunities in the many Criminal Justice fields. All courses align with the mission of the University of Providence and not only teach the necessary skills required for the CJ field, but also recognize the quickly changing roles and expectations of nearly all CJ careers.

UP’s Criminal Justice program offers special courses in Community Relations, Civic Engagement, Police Ethics, Career Survival techniques, and vast Juvenile and Special groups needs and concerns of people in our communities that the student will someday serve.

The academic offerings are designed to encompass current events and real situations – giving students a more accurate assessment of the current world. Civic engagement, restorative justice, ethics and the ability for criminal justice students to work in the real world are strongly emphasized. The University offers the criminal justice curriculum in the Associate, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Science degree levels.


Program Curriculum


Criminal Justice Degree


Skills You’ll Learn

Students who earn a degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Providence will learn these skills and more:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication – both Written and Verbal
  • Management and Leadership Skills
  • Specific Skills within the concentration (e.g. Juvenile Delinquency, Patrol Operations; criminal investigations etc.)
  • Career Management Skills
  • Understanding of perceptions and realities of Criminal Justice Careers and how to deal with these issues in a positive way
  • Law and its many avenues
  • History and trends within Criminal Justice


Career Outcomes

The Criminal Justice career field is broad and diverse with well over 150 different career paths. No matter which path you chose, the degree offers a broad-based knowledge that prepares the student for a successful career in CJ. The career opportunities are molded to the needs and wants of the students and are tailored to provide the tools necessary to help the student obtain their goals. The advisor program and mentor opportunities are strongly enhanced due to the passion and experience of the professors and community partners that UP uses within the CJ degree field.

Internship Opportunities

The internship opportunities within the Criminal Justice program are among the most extensive of any university experience – anywhere! UP tailors the internship needs to the requirement of the student, and have accomplished more than 40 different internships across the local, state and federal agencies. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Great Falls Police Department (and many other local police departments)
  • Cascade County Sheriff’s Office (and many other Sheriff’s offices)
  • Montana Highway Patrol
  • State and Federal Probation and Parole
  • Federal Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Youth Intervention Programs at all levels
  • Law Offices, to include the City of Great Falls
  • Municipal Courts
  • Property and Evidence Laboratories and agencies


Other Degrees You May Like

  • Forensic Investigation
  • Law Enforcement Concentration
  • Resource Enforcement Concentration
  • Corrections Concentration

Program Faculty

Gail Belfert, J.D.

Professor of Criminal Justice

Bryan Slavik, M.S.

Master Lecturer of Criminal Justice

Contact Information


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long will it take to complete a Criminal Justice degree?

University of Providence’s Criminal Justice degree is offered on campus and on-line (fully). Usual time of completion of is four years.

How much will I make with a degree in Criminal Justice?

Careers in Criminal Justice very greatly in salary. The average Law Enforcement Officer starts at $55,000 and can exceed this amount significantly depending on the field and agency.

What type of career can I expect to have with a degree in Criminal Justice?

The jobs available in Criminal Justice are extensive and number in the hundreds. Students may enter careers in law enforcement, corrections, probation, parole, or private security, as well as pursue graduate studies in criminal justice, sociology, law and other human service disciplines.

Common fields are Law enforcement (police) Corrections, Fish and Game, TSA, FBI, CIA, Secret Service, ICE (Border Patrol). Pre-law and acceptance into a law school, private security and investigation, and agencies that deal directly with youth and special interest groups.


I am a State Trooper for the Montana Highway Patrol and will be with the patrol going on four years. Professors such as Gail Belfert and Bryan Slavik were some of the best to learn from. In my opinion, the Criminal Justice Program there is the best in the state. Through my years there, I had the privilege to be instructed by local Police Officers, Attorneys, and personnel from the Juvenile Justice System. I believe that I gained the best education and experience from these instructors and professors with their wealth of knowledge they provided.
Julian Gallegos
Alumni, Class of 2017

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