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Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice2018-08-29T13:31:46+00:00

Serve your community. Serve the world.

Passionate about Criminal Justice? Interested in becoming a peace officer? Studying Criminal Justice will give you an understanding of the justice system and its process, from local to global issues and how to uphold ethical standards. You will also develop strong writing, research and analytical skills, attractive traits to employers in all industries.

Our Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Criminal Justice is an option for any student interested in working in the criminal justice system and is searching for a degree that can be obtained in two years. Students who earn an associate degree can use their courses toward a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

Our Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Criminal Justice prepares both entry-level and seasoned professionals in the theoretical foundations, knowledge, skills and practices of criminal justice administration inclusive of law enforcement, courts, and corrections. This program enables students to develop rational decisions and informed responses to the daily challenges of law enforcement, courts and corrections operations.

Students can tailor a degree to their own interests and career goals with five concentrations to choose from: Administration, Corrections, Juvenile Justice, Law Enforcement and Legal Studies.

The Administration concentration is an excellent degree for any area of criminal justice. It prepares students for the work that goes on behind the scenes in a criminal justice organization. Managing the operations of a police organization requires a unique ability to understand the needs of the community being served, as well as the components of the organization. These courses enable graduates to enter organizations with a broader understanding of the rationale for decision-making within the organization.

With a criminal justice administration degree, graduates can excel as an administrator in municipal, county or state organizations. Other career options include becoming civil service officers, state and federal parole officers, court administrators, federal law enforcement officers or private sector law enforcement.

If you enjoy leading a team of people and have the desire to make a real difference in your community, this is the degree for you.

The Corrections concentration opens up several opportunities upon graduation. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists work with and monitor offenders to prevent them from committing new crimes. Correctional officers are responsible for overseeing individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been sentenced to serve time in a jail or prison.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook lists probation officers and correctional treatment specialists as typically engaging in the following activities:

  • Evaluate offenders to determine the best course of rehabilitation
  • Provide offenders with resources, such as job training
  • Test offenders for drugs and offer substance-abuse counseling
  • Monitor offenders and help with their progress
  • Conduct meetings with offenders and their family and friends
  • Write reports on the progress of offenders

The Juvenile Justice concentration provides students with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills for a rewarding career working with youth in the local, state or federal juvenile justice system. They will gain an understanding of the internal workings of the criminal justice system and its response to youth in the system.

While earning the degree, students develop professional skills in correctional procedures, as well as cultural and sociological diversity, ensuring the most relevant and comprehensive information needed to impact the lives of today’s youth. Knowledge and experience gained through courses will prepare students to serve effectively as an expert in the field of youth corrections.

The Law Enforcement concentration is an excellent degree for any student interested in becoming a law enforcement officer at the local, state or federal level.

Our department has a fully integrated Law Enforcement Academy. You can earn up to 21 college credits toward your degree while attending our academy. If you pass your POST examination and you are 21 years of age, you have the minimum training required to become a police officer in most departments in Missouri (and many other states).

Our graduates have obtained jobs with agencies at all these levels. From the FBI, Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Agency to state highway patrols to local police departments, large and small, law enforcement offers a broad range of experiences and opportunities.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook estimates a 5% job growth rate from 2012 to 2022 for police officers.

The Legal Studies concentration offers criminal justice students the opportunity to explore the various roles, functions and responsibilities of the numerous civilian positions in the American legal system. You’ll come away an understanding of the history, principles, and purpose of legal institutions and their operation.

All students complete an applied learning requirement. In most cases students choose an internship and a senior capstone course. Students who have earned a Bachelor’s degree in this or any discipline may also choose to apply for admission into law school, which is a very competitive process based primarily on grades and scores on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate effective legal knowledge and practical skills necessary to perform substantive legal work under the direction of an attorney.
  2. Demonstrate appropriate paralegal skill development and professionalism through practical experiences.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of their ethical responsibilities in the legal profession.
  4. Articulate the paralegal’s role in the delivery of legal services to the public.
  5. Write clearly and think analytically.
  6. Read, analyze, and synthesize complex information in an organized and logical manner.
  7. Utilize technology necessary to meet employer needs.
  8. Manage multiple projects and tasks.
Crime scene do not cross

Criminal Justice (Associate of Science, A.S.)

General Studies
15
Major Requirements
LAT 101Introduction to Law3
LAT 335Introduction to Mediation3
LAW 100Introduction to Criminal Justice3
LAW 110Introduction to Juvenile Justice3
LAW 190Criminal Investigation3
LAW 260Criminal Law3
LAW 280Criminalistics4
LAW 305Introduction to Theories of Crime3
LAW 325Understanding Research in Criminal Justice3
Select one from the following:3
Contemporary Problem Solving
Finite Mathematics
College Algebra
PSY 101General Psychology3
or SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology
Select seventeen to eighteen credit hours from the following:17-18
College Writing and Research
Introduction to Policing
Traffic Control and Accident Investigation
Introduction to Corrections
Probation and Parole
Police Photography
Criminal Justice Communications
Criminal Justice Concepts and Issues
Criminal Evidence
Victimology
Practicum I
Selected Criminal Justice Topics
Intermediate Criminal Law
Juvenile Law and Procedures
Administration and Planning
Internship
Critical Aspects of Policing I
Critical Aspects of Policing 2
Police Methods and Operations
American National Government
American State and Local Government
General Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Criminology
Family and Child Welfare
Substance Use and Disorders
Death And Dying

NOTE: Students must complete a Pre-Post test and Contact Information form prior to graduation. 

Graduation Requirements

  1. Earn a minimum of 62 credit hours (100 level and above, maximum of 6 CED credit hours applicable).
  2. Earn 20 of the last 30 credit hours at MWSU in institutional course work (exclusive of credit by examination).
  3. Participate in required departmental and campus wide assessments. 
  4. No more than 2 courses with a grade of D permitted in major coursework. 
  5. Earn an overall GPA of at least 2.00 and a major GPA of at least 2.0.
  6. Fulfill the Missouri Constitution requirement.

Criminal Justice (Bachelor of Science, B.S.)

General Studies
42-47
Core Requirements
LAT 101Introduction to Law3
LAT 335Introduction to Mediation3
LAW 100Introduction to Criminal Justice3
LAW 110Introduction to Juvenile Justice3
LAW 190Criminal Investigation3
LAW 260Criminal Law3
LAW 305Introduction to Theories of Crime3
LAW 325Understanding Research in Criminal Justice3
LAW 410Intermediate Criminal Law3
Select one of the following Applied Learning tracks:6
Track 1:
Practicum I
Internship
Senior Seminar
Track 2:
Research Methods
Quantitative Analysis in Criminal Justice
Concentration
Select one of the following concentrations:28-31
Administration
Corrections
Juvenile Justice
Law Enforcement
Legal Studies

Concentrations:
Administration
Corrections
Juvenile Justice
Law Enforcement
Legal Studies

Administration Concentration

Concentration Requirements
LAT 420Civil Rights Law3
LAW 280Criminalistics4
LAW 300Criminal Justice Communications3
LAW 315Criminal Justice Concepts and Issues3
LAW 460Administration and Planning3
Choice of a second major, minor, approved certificate or twelve credit hours of restricted electives from the following:12
Study Away in Criminal Justice & Legal Studies
Selected Topics in Peace & Conflict Studies
Domestic Relations
Conflict Management
Selected Legal Topics
Introduction to Corrections
Probation and Parole
Criminal Evidence
Victimology
Practicum I
Selected Criminal Justice Topics
Juvenile Law and Procedures
Independent Research/Project
Internship
Senior Seminar
Advanced Selected Criminal Justice Topics
Select any LAW course numbered 500-599
Critical Aspects of Policing I
Critical Aspects of Policing 2
Police Methods and Operations
Psychology of Communication
Abnormal Psychology
Criminology
Family and Child Welfare
Substance Use and Disorders
Death And Dying
Total Credit Hours28

 NOTE: To fulfill the applied learning requirement, the B.S. in C.J., concentration in administration, will require students to follow Track 2 and take LAW 405 Research Methods and LAW 420 Quantitative Analysis in Criminal Justice. Students in this concentration, with its emphasis on research, do not have to take an internship, but may  take one as part of their restricted elective or elective requirements.

Corrections Concentration

Concentration Requirements
LAT 420Civil Rights Law3
LAW 200Introduction to Corrections3
LAW 270Probation and Parole3
LAW 300Criminal Justice Communications3
LAW 460Administration and Planning3
SOC 430Criminology3
Choice of a second major, minor, approved certificate or twelve credit hours of restricted electives from the following:12
Study Away in Criminal Justice & Legal Studies
Selected Topics in Peace & Conflict Studies
Domestic Relations
Conflict Management
Selected Legal Topics
Criminalistics
Criminal Justice Concepts and Issues
Criminal Evidence
Victimology
Practicum I
Selected Criminal Justice Topics
Research Methods
Quantitative Analysis in Criminal Justice
Juvenile Law and Procedures
Independent Research/Project
Internship
Senior Seminar
Advanced Selected Criminal Justice Topics
Select any LAW course numbered 500-599
Psychology of Communication
Family and Child Welfare
Substance Use and Disorders
Death And Dying
Total Credit Hours30

Juvenile Justice Concentration

Concentration Requirements
LAT 370Domestic Relations3
LAW 200Introduction to Corrections3
LAW 270Probation and Parole3
LAW 300Criminal Justice Communications3
LAW 440Juvenile Law and Procedures3
SOC 430Criminology3
Choice of a second major, minor, approved certificate or twelve credit hours of restricted electives from the following:12
Study Away in Criminal Justice & Legal Studies
Selected Topics in Peace & Conflict Studies
Civil Rights Law
Conflict Management
Selected Legal Topics
Criminalistics
Criminal Justice Concepts and Issues
Criminal Evidence
Victimology
Practicum I
Selected Criminal Justice Topics
Research Methods
Quantitative Analysis in Criminal Justice
Independent Research/Project
Administration and Planning
Internship
Senior Seminar
Advanced Selected Criminal Justice Topics
Select any LAW course numbered 500-599
Psychology of Communication
Abnormal Psychology
Family and Child Welfare
Substance Use and Disorders
Death And Dying
Total Credit Hours30

Law Enforcement Concentration

Concentration Requirements
LAW 130Introduction to Policing3
LAW 140Traffic Control and Accident Investigation3
LAW 275Police Photography3
LAW 280Criminalistics4
LAW 300Criminal Justice Communications3
LAW 460Administration and Planning3
Choice of a second major, minor, approved certificate or twelve credit hours of restricted electives from the following:12
Study Away in Criminal Justice & Legal Studies
Selected Topics in Peace & Conflict Studies
Domestic Relations
Civil Rights Law
Conflict Management
Selected Legal Topics
Introduction to Corrections
Probation and Parole
Criminal Justice Concepts and Issues
Criminal Evidence
Victimology
Practicum I
Selected Criminal Justice Topics
Research Methods
Quantitative Analysis in Criminal Justice
Juvenile Law and Procedures
Independent Research/Project
Internship
Senior Seminar
Advanced Selected Criminal Justice Topics
Select any LAW course numbered 500-599
Critical Aspects of Policing I
Critical Aspects of Policing 2
Police Methods and Operations
Psychology of Communication
Abnormal Psychology
Criminology
Family and Child Welfare
Substance Use and Disorders
Death And Dying
Total Credit Hours31

Legal Studies Concentration

Concentration Requirements
LAT 115Paralegal Studies3
LAT 220Legal Research3
LAT 225Litigation3
LAT 250Legal Computer Applications3
LAT 310Legal Drafting3
LAT 400Advanced Legal Research3
Choice of a second major, minor, approved certificate or twelve credit hours of restricted electives from the following:
Real Property
Tort Law
Study Away in Criminal Justice & Legal Studies
Probate Law
Selected Topics in Peace & Conflict Studies
Domestic Relations
Civil Rights Law
Conflict Management
Selected Legal Topics
Criminal Justice Concepts and Issues
Criminal Evidence
Victimology
Practicum I
Selected Criminal Justice Topics
Research Methods
Quantitative Analysis in Criminal Justice
Juvenile Law and Procedures
Independent Research/Project
Administration and Planning
Internship
Senior Seminar
Advanced Selected Criminal Justice Topics
Select any LAW course numbered 500-599
Business Law I
Business Law II
Psychology of Communication
Family and Child Welfare
Substance Use and Disorders
Death And Dying
Total Credit Hours18

NOTE: Students must complete a Pre-Post test and Contact Information form prior to graduation. Per ABA program approval guidelines, students with a concentration in legal studies must also complete an exit interview with selected department faculty.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Earn a minimum of 120 credit hours (100 level and higher, maximum of 6 CED credit hours applicable).
  2. Earn a minimum of 30 credit hours in upper-division courses.  Lower-division transfer courses accepted as meeting upper-division departmental course requirements cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.
  3. Earn 30 of the last 45 credit hours at MWSU in institutional coursework (exclusive of credit by examination).
  4. Participate in required departmental and campus wide assessments.
  5. No more than 2 courses with a grade of D permitted in major and concentration coursework. 
  6. Earn an overall GPA of at least 2.0 and a major GPA of at least 2.0.
  7. Fulfill the Missouri Constitution requirement.