Top 15 Criminal Justice Minors

Tara from Minnesota asked: what are the most desirable criminal justice minors to supplement my Bachelor’s degree?
Jerry from Texas asked: what is the best minor to take with a criminal justice degree?

So, what is the best criminal justice minor?

There isn’t one. Heck, some schools don’t even offer minors at all. And… I lost you!

Top Criminal Justice Minors Revealed

So, I may not have the best CJ minor on the platter for you, but it’s for your own good. I swear. The thing is there’s no single minor that is the best. Each minor has its purpose, and in the end, should align with your interests and aspirations.

There are the popular criminal justice minors:

  • Forensic Science
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Criminology
  • Homeland Security
  • Social Work

Schools bundle these minors like peanut butter and jelly and they are a lot of fun. But, for those that are a little bit more adventurous, here are lesser known criminal justice minors:

  • Business
  • Accounting
  • Forensic Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics
  • Pre-law
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Computer Science

Business, Accounting, Economics?!

I know some of these CJ minors may look weird at first. Trust me! Many of these minors are highly desirable in the form of a full-fledged Bachelor degree by various criminal justice agencies, including law enforcement organizations. For example, taking on a Bachelor’s degree in Business instead of a Criminal Justice degree is an option if you are looking at various criminal justice careers, like that of a police officer or a FBI Special Agent.

How to pick a criminal justice minor?

I hope that when it comes to picking your minor you already know what you can do with a criminal justice degree. You know, just so there are no surprises.

  1. My first rule of thumb is to take on a minor in something that you will be passionate about; something you would enjoy studying and doing as a profession
  2. My second rule of thumb is not to waste significant amount of time and money on obtaining a minor (when one is not offered during the course of your studies). Your time might better be spent on a criminal justice internship or pursuing a Master’s degree.

If a specific minor is not available, ask the department dean at your college or university if you can take one on or if you can deviate and take on a minor in something that may be perceived as unrelated (like Business or Finance as opposed to popular bundles like Forensic Science or Psychology)

Something to think about… Even though you may think that minors like Business or IT may seem unrelated to the criminal justice field, they are. One day you may be using your business knowledge to dismantle a criminal white-collar operation and another you may be retrieving data from a seized laptop to help convict a deranged killer who kept photographs of his deceased victims.

That said, be mindful that the popular criminal justice minor choices are “bundled” for a good reason. Very often, they follow the criminal justice required courses quite closely – keeping the studies on topic. And, that’s a really good thing.

Whatever minor you decide to take, use your brain cells just to make sure that is the course of study you want to take on.

What minor have you taken on while studying criminal justice?

Article written by Radek Gadek

Radek holds a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University. He is currently doing consulting work and runs this blog to provide relevant information on criminal justice degrees, colleges and related careers.

9 comments… add one
  • DCDA

    When I was in college, I truthfully selected my criminal justice major by combing through the course cataloger at my university and attempting to see what interested me and what did not. Happy to say that selecting criminal justice as my major lead me on a course to being a criminal defense attorney and I am glad i choose this field. I majored in this field and minored in political justice.

  • Mark

    I majored in CJ and minored in Political Science and Sociology. Heed the words above, I was double majoring in CJ/Poli Sci, but when accepted to grad school early, I chose to settle for a minor in Poli Sci and go right into grad school-no regrets!.

    I find now, some 20 years later as a College Instructor that this definitely helped round out my background and prepare me for teaching Criminal Justice. I now have an MPA and MA in CJ. I find that the broader background of education certainly has not hurt my teaching career.

  • Donald

    I am currently finishing up an associates degree in criminal justice. My professor told me that it would be better to have a bachelors degree in something other than criminal justice. Do you think that is true? I’ve always been very interested in psychology, and possible doing something like a police psychologist. Would it be worth looking into? Or should I just get my bachelors in criminal justice and have a minor in something else?

    Thank you

  • Traci

    I am just about ready to transfer to a Cal State University with a Criminal Justice major. I live in a small city with only one community college and one University so there is no Forensic program here anywhere. I was told by an adviser at the University that if I wanted to get into Forensics I would have to minor in Chemistry. I have not been able to get anyone that really knows what the hell they are doing here give me true advice. What opportunities will a minor in Chemistry give me in Criminal Justice?

    • Regina

      To get into the forensic area, you must major in a science. However since I don’t have the time to major in a science, I am doing my best to get the closest thing to it, which is Major in CJ and minor in forensic science. I had to do a lot of research to realize i need science in my degree to get in the forensice field, hope this helps!

    • Stephaine

      I have recently been looking into the different minors offered at my college; one of which is a Forensic Science minor, with this being said, the Forensic Science major here is packed full of all sorts of sciences which I assume it is elsewhere. Therefore, if you minored in Chemistry some of your credits may double as those required for your major and minor. Just a thought. :)

  • Sean

    I was going to pursue a major in CJ and a minor in astrophysics. I really want to learn more about Astrophysics but I don’t want it hurting me later on

    • jess

      If you just want to learn more about astrophysics, you may want to just take a few classes. Theyll count as electives and if you love it, declare it a minor. No pressure.

  • Sarah Self

    I am currently working on my degree in CJ and I’m also working a minor in computer and science. I’m looking to get into the investigative field whether it be government or private. I hope to specialize in the cyber world.


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