What Majors are Complementary to Criminal Justice if I want to Double Major?

The majors that complement a criminal justice degree are often those that highlight one of the categories of criminology. Double majors must take courses relating to both of their majors, but some of those classes will let them earn credit for both programs at once. Depending on your school, you can often complete a double major in the same amount of time that you would a single major. When you select the right second major, you can increase your chances of securing a criminal justice job.

Sociology & Social Work

Sociology is just one of the majors that work with a criminal justice degree. Criminology is the study of criminals and their actions, and sociology is the study of people and how different groups act. Studying the two majors at the same time helps you research the type of people who are more likely to commit crimes and how poverty, race and other factors can lead to an increase in the criminal behaviors and actions reported in a single community. If you have an interest in working with victims of crimes and the criminals themselves, think about majoring in social work instead of sociology.


Psychology is one of the main fields of behavioral study. Psychologists help people dealing with anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses, but they also study specific behaviors and what makes people act in the way they do. Forensic psychologists often work for the federal prison system, in state prisons and with attorneys and law enforcement after someone commits a crime. Studying the two topics will give you a unique look into how psychological traumas and mental diseases can change the way people act and lead them to break the law.


Neil Johnson found that attorneys are one of the highest paid professions in the criminal justice field. According to Johnson, attorneys make between $54,000 and $166,000 a year and that some lawyers can make even more. As a pre-law and criminal justice double major, you learn the ins and outs of the criminal justice system and the role that attorneys play in that system. Defense attorneys work to protect the best interests of their clients, while prosecuting attorneys attempt to prove that someone committed a crime and to convict that individual. Though you’ll still need to go to law school before practicing, a criminal justice major gives you a strong background in criminal law.

Computer Science

One of the less thought of majors that complement a criminal justice degree is computer science. Computer science experts help state, local and federal law enforcement officials track the actions of criminals online and find computer evidence that can put criminals behind bars. Many of the positions available today require more than just a passing knowledge of computers. You need to understand various operating systems, how to find information hidden on machines and  different types of software used by professionals working in the field. A computer science degree gives you knowledge in all of those areas.

Criminal justice majors look at abnormal behavior, criminal activities and the role of the justice system in America. Double majoring helps you gain skills in another area that can help you on the job. Sociology, psychology, pre-law and computer science are just a few of the majors that complement a criminal justice degree.

Related Resource: What Is a Good Minor to Complement a Criminal Justice Degree?