Is Criminal Justice Hard? Here’s What You Need to Know!


As a study advisor, I often hear many students express concern about the difficulty of certain fields of study. Criminal justice, in particular, is often perceived as a challenging and daunting area of study. Many students wonder if they have what it takes to succeed in this field, given its complexity and the emotional toll it can take on those who pursue it. In this post, we’ll explore whether criminal justice is indeed a difficult field to study. We’ll also provide you with some tips and tricks to help you succeed, as well as alternative programs that may better suit your interests and needs. So whether you’re a prospective criminal justice student or simply curious about this field, read on to learn more!

Factors that make criminal justice hard

There are several factors that contribute to the difficulty of studying criminal justice:

  • Complex theories and concepts: Criminal justice involves the study of complex theories and concepts related to law, psychology, sociology, and criminology. Understanding and applying these concepts can be challenging.
  • Legal jargon and terminology: Criminal justice involves a lot of legal jargon and terminology that can be difficult to understand for those without a legal background.
  • Emotional toll: Dealing with crime and victims can take an emotional toll on students studying criminal justice. The subject matter can be difficult to process and can be emotionally draining.

However, with perseverance and the right strategies, these challenges can be overcome.

Tips for succeeding in criminal justice studies

Here are some tips to help you succeed in your criminal justice studies:

  1. Stay organized and manage time effectively: Create a schedule for studying and completing assignments and stick to it. Use a planner or other organizational tools to keep track of deadlines and important dates.
  2. Take advantage of resources: Use textbooks, study guides, and online materials to supplement your learning. Attend office hours or tutoring sessions if you need additional help.
  3. Stay motivated and seek support: Criminal justice studies can be challenging, so it’s important to stay motivated and seek support when needed. Join a study group or seek out mentoring from professors or professionals in the field.
  4. Participate in internships and volunteer opportunities: Getting practical experience through internships and volunteer opportunities can help you gain a better understanding of the criminal justice system and make valuable connections in the field.

By incorporating these strategies into your routine, you can increase your chances of success in your criminal justice studies.

Alternatives to traditional criminal justice programs

If the traditional criminal justice program isn’t for you, there are alternatives that may better suit your interests and needs:

  • Online learning options: Online learning provides greater flexibility and can be an excellent option for those who need to balance work or other commitments with their studies. Some universities offer fully online programs in criminal justice, criminology, or related fields.
  • Programs in related fields: If you’re interested in criminal justice but not sure if you want to pursue a traditional criminal justice program, consider related fields such as criminology or forensic science. These programs cover many of the same topics as criminal justice, but with a different emphasis.
  • Business law: Business law is another degree program that might be interesting for students who want to focus on law and justice. You can learn more about it from this article: Is Business Law Hard?

Exploring these alternatives can help you find a degree path that works best for you and your career goals.

Interesting facts

Here are some interesting facts about the difficulty of criminal justice and criminology studies:

  • Studying criminal justice or criminology is not just about memorizing facts and theories. It involves critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
  • Legal jargon and terminology can be confusing and difficult to understand for those new to the field.
  • Dealing with crime and victims can be emotionally draining and may require a strong support system.

If you’re interested in pursuing a degree in criminology, check out is criminology hard? for further insights on the subject.


Is criminal justice a hard major?

Yes, criminal justice can be a challenging major due to the complex theories, legal terminologies, and emotional tolls involved.

What skills do I need to succeed in criminal justice studies?

Critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills are essential for success in criminal justice studies.

Are there any alternatives to traditional criminal justice programs?

Yes, programs such as criminology or forensic science offer similar topics without the legal emphasis.

What resources can I use to help me succeed in criminal justice studies?

Resources such as textbooks, study guides, and online materials can be helpful, as can participating in internships and volunteer opportunities.

What job opportunities are available for those with a criminal justice degree?

Possibilities include roles in law enforcement, the court system, private security, and social service agencies.

Is criminology the same as criminal justice?

No, criminology focuses on the causes and consequences of crime, while criminal justice deals with the legal and justice systems.

Is criminal justice a good major?

Yes, studying criminal justice can lead to rewarding careers and opportunities for making a difference in society.

What are the benefits of pursuing a career in criminal justice?

Benefits include job security, opportunities for advancement, and the ability to make a positive impact on society.

What are some challenges of working in criminal justice?

Challenges can include high stress levels, long hours, and potentially dangerous situations.

How can I decide if criminal justice is the right field for me?

Consider your skills, interests, and values, and research the field to determine if it aligns with your career goals.

Real experience

Samantha was determined to make a difference in the world. She had always been fascinated by criminology and the criminal justice system, and she knew she had the passion to pursue a career in this field. However, as she started her studies, she quickly realized that it wasn’t going to be easy.

The first obstacle was the complexity of the theories. Samantha found it difficult to wrap her head around the different concepts and the way they all fit together. She spent long hours pouring over textbooks and re-reading lectures, hoping to gain a better understanding.

But it wasn’t just the theories that were tough to grasp. The legal jargon and terminology were equally challenging, and she often felt lost during class discussions. She had to constantly remind herself to stay focused and take notes, even when it all seemed to be going over her head.

On top of this, dealing with the realities of crime and victimization took an emotional toll on Samantha. Hearing about the horrible things that people could do to each other was difficult, and she knew that these stories would stay with her for a long time.

Despite all of these challenges, Samantha refused to give up. She sought help from her professors and found support from her peers, who were all going through the same struggles. She participated in internships and volunteer opportunities to gain practical experience and to remind herself of why she had chosen this path in the first place.

And it all paid off. She graduated with honors and landed her dream job in the criminal justice field. Now, she’s making a positive impact in the world every day, and despite all the obstacles she faced, she knows she made the right choice.


Criminal justice can be a challenging field of study, but with the right strategies and mindset, success is within reach. By staying organized, taking advantage of resources and support, and seeking out practical experiences such as internships and volunteer opportunities, you can succeed in your criminal justice studies.

However, traditional criminal justice programs aren’t for everyone. Be sure to explore alternatives such as online learning and related fields like criminology and forensic science if you’re looking for a program that better suits your interests and needs. To learn more about how to choose the right criminal justice program for you, visit How to Choose the Right Criminal Justice Program for You.

Remember, pursuing a degree in criminal justice is a noble and rewarding endeavor, and with dedication and hard work, you can achieve your goals and make a difference in the world of law and justice.

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