Learn to move your community and your career forward: You’ll do that here.

A criminal justice degree will prepare you to contribute towards pressing social issues in the areas of crime prevention, protection, and rehabilitation. And, with a college degree in hand, you’ll be ready to advance your criminal justice career in the future.

What You’ll Do

The degree in criminal justice has two tracks: an Academic/University and a Law Enforcement Academy track. The Academic/University track is for those seeking an undergraduate degree in criminal justice as preparation for entry-level jobs in the field or advanced graduate level or professional study. It gives a theoretical understanding of crime and the criminal justice system.

The Law Enforcement Academy track is for those seeking specialized law enforcement training for law enforcement employment.

  • Learn from faculty with extensive professional and academic experience.
  • Gain valuable real-world learning experience through internships.
  • Build critical spoken and written communication skills.
  • Study various aspects of criminal justice and build critical and analytical thinking and inquiry skills.

Outcomes & Careers

  • 99%

    Successful Outcomes Rate

    Students graduating with degrees from the Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology report being employed or furthering their education six months after graduation.

  • $67k

    Police and Detective

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for police and detectives is $67,290.

  • $56k

    Probation Officer

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for probation officers is $55,690.

  • $62k

    Court Reporter

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a court reporter is $61,660.

What You'll Study

The criminal justice curriculum includes core coursework to prepare you for a career in criminal justice. You’ll complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete this degree, including the general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours.

(45 Hours – Minor required unless noted)

Required Courses:

  • CJ100 Introduction to Criminal Justice (3)
  • CJ110 Introduction to Law Enforcement (3)
  • CJ115 Introduction to Criminal Courts (3)
  • CJ125 Introduction to Corrections (3)
  • CJ320 Criminal Law (3)
  • CJ370 Juvenile Justice (3)
  • CJ425 Planning and Research in Criminal Justice (3)
  • CJ499 Issues in Justice Administration (3)
  • SO305 Intersections of Crime (3)
  • SO360 Theories of Crime (3)

Choose One Track:

Academic/University - Minor Required
  • CJ303 Correctional Institutions (3)
  • CJ310 Advanced Police Administration (3)
  • CJ330 Criminal Investigations (3)
  • CJ335 Police Operations (3)
  • CJ350 Criminalistics (3)
  • CJ355 Constitutional Rights of Inmates (3)
  • CJ365 Community-Based Corrections (3)
  • CJ375 Victimology (3)
  • CJ400 Crisis Management & Conflict Resolution (3)
  • CJ422 Criminal Procedures (3)
  • CJ430 Policing in an Information Age (3)
  • CJ435 Senior Seminar (3)
  • CJ440 Theories/Methods of Offender Rehabilitation (3)
  • CJ71-473 Independent Study (1-3)**
  • CJ491 Internship in Criminal Justice (3)**
  • CJ505 Social Inequalities (3)
  • CJ510 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems (3)
  • CJ519 Restorative Justice (3)
  • CJ520 Law and Social Control (3)
  • CJ525 Crime and Criminal Justice Policy (3)
  • CJ834 Field Experience in Corrections (3)
  • SO242 Statistics for Social Scientists (3)
  • SO300 Organized/White-Collar Crime (3)
  • SO444 Deviant Social Behavior (3)
  • SR444 Treatment Strategies (3)
Law Enforcement Academy* - No Minor Required

(for students who have been admitted to the SEMO Law Enforcement Academy)

  • LE199 Basic LEA I (6)
  • LE299 Basic LEA II (6)
  • LE399 Basic LEA III (6)
  • LE499 Basic LEA IV (6)
*Students who can demonstrate successful completion of a 600-hour POST certification in a state-certified law enforcement academy will earn 24 credits for LE199/299/399/499 toward their Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.
**No more than 3 credits of Independent Study (CJ471-473) and no more than 6 credits of Internship (CJ491) may be counted toward degree.

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major program.

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours
  • Constitution Requirement – 3 hours
  • Written Communication – 6 hours
  • Oral Communication – 3 hours
  • Natural Sciences – 7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab)
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Humanities & Fine Arts – 9 hours (from at least two disciplines)
  • Additional requirements – 5 hours (to include UI100 for native students)
  • Civics examination

Freshman Year 

Fall Semester (16 Hours) 

  • UI100 (1) 
  • EN100 (3) 
  • CJ100 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Spring Semester (15 Hours) 

  • CJ110 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Milestone: Achieve a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA 

Sophomore Year 

Fall Semester (15 Hours) 

  • CJ115 (3) 
  • CJ125 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Spring Semester (15 Hours) 

  • CJ320 (3) 
  • Minor Course (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Milestone: Achieve a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA 

(Summer courses are encouraged to avoid 18 hour semesters) 

Junior Year 

Fall Semester (15 Hours) 

  • CJ370 (3) 
  • SO360 (3) 
  • Track 1 Course (3) 
  • Minor Course (3) 
  • Elective (3) 

Spring Semester (15 Hours) 

  • CJ425 (3) 
  • SO305 (3) 
  • Track 1 Course (3) 
  • Minor Course (3) 
  • Elective (3) 

Milestone: Achieve a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA 

Senior Year 

Fall Semester (14 Hours) 

  • Track 1 Course (3) 
  • Track 1 Course (3) 
  • Minor Course (3) 
  • Elective (3) 
  • Elective (2) 

Spring Semester (15 Hours) 

  • CJ499 (3) 
  • Track 1 Course (3) 
  • Minor Course (3) 
  • Elective (3) 
  • Elective (3) 

Milestone: Achieve a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA 

Get Funding for Your Education

Missouri’s opened the door to a more educated workforce. We want to help you walk through it. If you’re an adult learner and a Missouri resident returning to college, learn about the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant. It’s a statewide financial aid program that can be used to pursue a certificate, degree or industry-recognized credential in a high need area in Missouri. This major is eligible for the Fast Track grant.

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

Getting the Job

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time.

Criminal Justice (BS) Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree.

Office Location
Brandt 329
Mailing Location
One University Plaza, MS 7950
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701