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What degree for FBI Special Agent

nICKEM2012nICKEM2012 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
I am just finished my Junior year of High School and I need to look for colleges and more importantly a degree to major in. I want to join the FBI and specifically work my way up to the CRIG team but I am not sure what degree to pursue. Some things i was looking at were Forensic Psychology, Psychology, Behavioral Science, Criminology, and maybe Criminal justice or Homeland Security. What would be the best option out of these or any other recommendations? I would like to get my Bachelors and Masters in the degree that I choose. I would also rather major in a degree that I would be interested in so that is why I did not want to do Accounting or Finance or something like that.

Thanks for all your help,


Replies to: What degree for FBI Special Agent

  • NL5825NL5825 Registered User Posts: 16 Junior Member
    I would imagine something like Criminal Justice or Homeland security (per what is described on the FBI website), as that makes the most sense. After looking at the website for CIRG, I would say something with Criminology/Criminal Justice and something with Psychology; although by description it sounds like they are tasked with a great deal, so I do not know for sure.
  • nICKEM2012nICKEM2012 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    edited June 8
    I meant CIRG not CRIG
  • BigSmoBigSmo Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    edited June 12
    According to the FBI website: "The FBI seeks Special Agents with degrees/expertise in physical sciences, computer science, engineering, architecture, law, accounting and other disciplines that require logical analysis and critical thinking."


    While criminal justice or homeland security are obviously great options, I would recommend going for something like computer science or engineering. That way, you would still have a good chance while also having a widely-applicable degree if an FBI career doesn't work out.

    If you have your heart set on law enforcement, consider other federal agencies like the ATF, DEA or DHS. You may find upon graduating that the FBI isn't even hiring (sometimes applications are closed for years at a time), so it's a good idea to have other options in mind that you still feel enthusiastic about.
  • sattutsattut Registered User Posts: 943 Member
    In the old days, the hired only lawyers and accountants. Criminal justice isn't offered at top schools, from which students don't generally go into police work. It is sort of obvious how accounting, computer science, or say chemistry would apply. It might be good to have a combination of the fields that they mention, maybe with some criminal justice. Or say a law degree after undergraduate in one of those.

    However, you might not get hired by the FBI, so it is probably good to have some backup plans. Study something you are interested in, and has other career possibilities.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 4,577 Senior Member
    Criminal Justice tends to be a very easy major. Criminal Justice majors are the lowest scoring group on the LSAT test for admission to law schools out of 25 or so majors compared.

    I believe the University of Mississippi may have a program designed specifically for those seeking a career in the FBI.
  • philmusicphilmusic Registered User Posts: 21 Junior Member
    I would strongly encourage you to take the advice on the FBI website seriously. Computer science, engineering, accounting, biological sciences, as well as other fields provide the FBI with strong analytical thinkers who possess immediately relevant skills. Look also into the FBI's excellent and competitive internships.
  • SolarGoatSolarGoat Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    You should consider the fields listed on the FBI website and the majors related to them. Your major should depend on your desired position within the FBI. They do far more than traditional law enforcement. Some areas often overlooked at the FBI and law enforcement in general are computer forensics, language interpretation, and legal services. If you're looking to be a traditional field agent, you should consider a degree in criminal justice. You could also minor in a foreign language or one of the physical sciences in order to make yourself a more well-rounded candidate. There are also some universities offering classes in homeland security, which would definately be useful for a future career in law enforcement such as the FBI.
  • Notknot77098Notknot77098 Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    There has been a lot of press here in Texas for the UT San Antonio Cyber Security programs - and FBI hires UTSA students. See this link for more information, https://business.utsa.edu/information-systems-cyber-security/cyber-security-program/
  • me29034me29034 Registered User Posts: 1,605 Senior Member
    My D’s roommate is interning at the FBI this summer. She is a biology major.
  • CharlieschCharliesch Registered User Posts: 2,081 Senior Member
    edited June 14
    The FBI does hire some people right out of college for administrative jobs, computer specialists and as investigative assistants. There are many jobs other than special agent, including as intelligence analysts. However, the Trump Administration is in the middle of transferring 2,500 FBI DC headquarters jobs to Alabama and Idaho.

    I believe you need to be 25 to be eligible to apply to be a special agent. I believe most successful special agents have military or law enforcement experience when they apply. It is extremely competitive.

    Keep your nose clean. The background check process is very extensive for any job in the FBI. The more time you have spent overseas, the harder the background check process.
  • Jay1811Jay1811 Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    As a current Special Agent with another department, I would highly encourage you to choose a major other than criminal justice or homeland security as they would be the least likely to yield you a job offer from the FBI as an agent.

    I would recommend something in a hard science, computers and have foreign language skills.

    Feel free to pm me if you have any specific questions related to the career or process.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 4,577 Senior Member
    OP: Please consider the advice in post #11 above from @Jay1811. FBI agents tend to be highly intelligent--while criminal justice tends to be among the easiest, least challenging majors offered in college.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 2,646 Senior Member
    You might want to share your stats.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,909 Senior Member
    edited July 20
    Do not major in criminal justice unless your goal is to be a policy officer or dept of corrections agent.
    Data analytics and a critical foreign language would be my recommendation, but if you're interested in psychology pair that with, say, a critical language flagship or a bioinformatics minor.
  • aunt beaaunt bea Registered User Posts: 9,419 Senior Member
    From what I understand, the FBI approaches who they want, when they want, at the colleges. They are very specific in what they expect. I know of someone who was recruited before he graduated, at a top ten school. He majored in engineering and CS (was a top scorer on his SATs and GPA).
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