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Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice2021-03-03T09:09:48-06:00

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 two concentrations to choose from: 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 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 2019 to 2029 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
15-17
Major Requirements
CRJ 100Introduction to Criminal Justice3
CRJ 110Introduction to Juvenile Justice3
CRJ 130Introduction to Policing3
CRJ 190Criminal Investigation3
CRJ 200Introduction to Corrections3
CRJ 260Criminal Law3
LAT 101Introduction to Law3
ENG 108College Writing and Research3
MAT 110Contemporary Problem Solving3-4
or MAT 110E Contemporary Problem Solving
or MAT 111 Introductory Statistics
or MAT 111E Introductory Statistics
or MAT 112 Finite Mathematics
or MAT 116 College Algebra
PSY 101General Psychology3
or SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology
Plus 21 credits from the following:21
Any other CRJ, LAT, POL or SWK class not already used OR
Psychology of Communication
Abnormal Psychology
Criminology

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

Program Requirements

1. No more than 2 courses with a grade of D permitted in major and concentration coursework.

2. Earn an overall GPA of at least 2.0 and a major GPA of at least 2.0.

University 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. Fulfill the Missouri Constitution requirement.
  5. Successfully pass the Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement exam.

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

General Studies
42-47
Core Requirements
CRJ 100Introduction to Criminal Justice3
CRJ 110Introduction to Juvenile Justice3
CRJ 190Criminal Investigation3
CRJ 260Criminal Law3
CRJ 305Introduction to Theories of Crime3
CRJ 325Understanding Research in Criminal Justice3
CRJ 410Criminal Procedure3
LAT 101Introduction to Law3
LAT 335Interpersonal Conflict Resolution3
Select one of the following Applied Learning tracks:6
Track 1:
CRJ 365Practicum I3
or CRJ 465 Internship
CRJ 470Senior Seminar3
Track 2:
CRJ 405Research Methods3
CRJ 420Quantitative Analysis in Criminal Justice3
Concentration
Select one of the following concentrations:28-31
General
Legal Studies

Concentrations:
General
Legal Studies

 General Concentration

Concentration Requirements
CRJ 130Introduction to Policing3
CRJ 200Introduction to Corrections3
CRJ 300Criminal Justice Communications3
CRJ 460Criminal Justice Administration and Leadership3
LAT 420Civil Rights Law3
Choice of a second major, minor, approved certificate or twelve credit hours of restricted electives from the following:12
Select any LAW course numbered 500-599
Psychology of Communication
Abnormal Psychology
Criminology
Mental Health and Social Work
Family and Child Welfare
Substance Use and Disorders
Death And Dying
Total Credit Hours27

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:
Select any LAW course numbered 500-599
Business Law I
Business Law II
Psychology of Communication
Abnormal Psychology
Criminology
Mental Health and Social Work
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.

Program Graduation Requirements

  1. No more than 2 courses with a grade of D permitted in major and concentration coursework. 
  2. Earn an overall GPA of at least 2.0 and a major GPA of at least 2.0.

University 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. Fulfill the Missouri Constitution requirement.
  6. Successfully pass the Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement exam. 
Are you ready to declare a major? Download, sign and submit the form to the Criminal Justice, Legal Studies and Social Work Department.

Mapping your degree plan is important. Consult with your academic advisor to create a plan for degree completion and monitor it regularly.