Department of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies & Social Work


What can I do with my degree?

The Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Department offers two separate degree programs, depending on your career goals. You may earn an associate degree or a bachelor of science degree in Criminal Justice with a variety of emphases in the bachelor’s program: Administration, Law Enforcement, Juvenile Delinquency, Corrections or Legal Studies. You may also earn a certificate or an associate degree as a legal assistant (paralegal).

Criminal Justice majors pursue careers in law enforcement, corrections, juvenile delinquency and criminal justice administration. It is a challenging career and involves a high level of personal responsibility because individuals depend on law enforcement officers to protect their lives and property.

Criminal Justice graduates are employed as law enforcement officers; probation officers; corrections officers; US Secret Service agents; US Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms investigators; security officers; substance abuse treatment center workers and juvenile court officers. Many graduates have pursued advanced degrees in law enforcement or have gone on to law school.

Legal assistants, or paralegals, are employed by law firms, corporate legal departments and various government offices. They may specialize in many different areas of the law.

Is there a demand for graduates with Criminal Justice or Legal Studies Degrees?

Yes! According to the Bureau of Labor, employment of police and detectives is expected to grow 11 percent over the 2006-16 decade. A more security-conscious society and population growth will contribute to the increasing demand for police services.

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-09 Edition, employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 22% between 2006 and 2016, much faster than the average for all occupations, as law offices try to reduce costs by expanding tasks that legal assistants complete.

How can I decide if Criminal Justice or Legal Studies is the right career for me?

If you are honest, have sound judgment, integrity, and a sense of responsibility; if you are interested in a career where you can serve people and work for the betterment of society, consider a career in Criminal Justice or Legal Studies.

Faculty members in Missouri Western’s Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Department are very willing to talk to you about Criminal Justice or Legal Studies degrees. They can answer your questions and can connect you with graduates who have careers in those fields.