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

Our Bachelor of Science 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: Legal Studies or General.

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.

Students wishing to file a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice may do so upon successful completion of both CRJ 100 (Introduction to Criminal Justice) and LAT 101 (Introduction to Law) with a grade of C or higher in each course.  For transfer coursework to qualify, the transferred course must meet current articulation requirements or be approved by the Chairperson of the Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies.

If the student meets the criteria, the advisor will sign both the application and major declaration form and then forward them to the chairperson for review. The major declaration form can then be filed with the Registrar. If admission requirements are not met for the B.S. degree in Criminal Justice, the student will be encouraged to declare a major in the A.S. degree in Criminal Justice or Legal Assistant, working towards admission requirements for the B.S. degree in Criminal Justice.

General Studies
Students must complete General Studies courses42-47
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
Select one of the following concentrations:28-31
Legal Studies

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
Mental Health and Social Work
Substance Use and Disorders
Death And Dying
Family and Child Welfare
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
Mental Health and Social Work
Substance Use and Disorders
Death And Dying
Family and Child Welfare
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.