Prepare to make an impact in your community: You'll do that here.

Southeast offers courses that foster critical and analytical thinking, writing, confidence, leadership, and life-long learning. Why? Because crime prevention, law enforcement, victim services, and rehabilitation demand these strong skill sets, plus a drive to improve your community. 

We’ve designed two tracks to degree completion: an Academic/University track for those seeking a bachelor's degree and a Law Enforcement Academy track for those seeking specialized law enforcement training.  

What You'll Do   

As an online criminal justice major at Southeast, you’ll learn various aspects of criminal justice and communication to become career-ready. More specifically, you’ll have the opportunity to: 

  • Learn from faculty with extensive professional experience and advanced academic degrees. 
  • Continue working, secure an internship or balance life’s other responsibilities by taking online courses. 
  • Become familiar with computer technology commonly used in the field. 

What Can You Do with a Criminal Justice Degree?  

A degree in criminal justice offers outstanding preparation for careers in criminal justice agencies (law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice, etc.) as well as graduate school in criminal justice or related areas and law school.  

With two track options to tailor the degree for your career ambitions, you’ll be career-ready for the field you choose. 

Career Opportunities 

  • Police officer 
  • Correctional officer 
  • Probation officer 
  • DEA agent

Online: Criminal Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree

Criminal Justice by the Numbers

  • $53k

    Correctional Officers and Bailiffs

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a correctional officer or bailiff is $53,290.

  • $74k

    Police Officers and Detectives

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a police officer or detective is $74,910.

  • $61k

    Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a probation officer or correctional treatment specialist is $61,800.

Criminal Justice Curriculum

Degree Map

The criminal justice degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete, including the general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours. Minor required unless noted.

A grade of ‘C’ is required in each core course. 

Required Courses (30 hours core):

  • CJ100 Introduction to Criminal Justice (3) 
  • CJ110 Introduction to Law Enforcement (3) 
  • CJ115 Introduction to Criminal Courts (3)  
  • CJ125 Introduction to Corrections (3) 
  • CJ220 Criminal Law (3) 
  • CJ370 Juvenile Justice (3) 
  • CJ425 Planning and Research in Criminal Justice (3) 
  • CJ499 Issues in Justice Administration (3) 
  • SO305 Race, Gender, Class & Crime (3) 
  • SO360 Theories of Crime (3)  

Choose One Track: 

 Academic/University – Minor required 
  • CJ222 Gangs in America (3)
  • CJ235 Police Operations (3)
  • CJ303 Correctional Institutions (3)  
  • CJ330 Criminal Investigations (3) 
  • CJ350 Criminalistics (3) 
  • CJ355 Constitutional Rights of Inmates (3) 
  • CJ365 Community-Based Corrections (3)  
  • CJ375 Victimology (3)  
  • CJ400 Crisis Management & Conflict Resolution (3) 
  • CJ410 Advanced Police Administration (3)
  • CJ422 Criminal Procedures (3) 
  • CJ430 Policing in an Information Age (3)  
  • CJ435 Senior Seminar (3)  
  • CJ440 Theories/Methods of Offender Rehabilitation (3) 
  • CJ471-473 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)
  • CJ522 Critical Analysis of Gangs in America (3)
  • CJ525 Crime and Criminal Justice Policy (3)  
  • CJ540 Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice (3)
  • CJ541 The Death Penalty in America (3)
  • CJ834 Field Experience in Corrections (3) 
  • SO202 Racial & Ethnic Relations (3)
  • SO242 Statistics for Social Scientists (3) 
  • SO300 Organized/White-Collar Crime (3)  
  • SO444 Deviant Social Behavior (3) 
  • SW207 Understanding Cultural & Social Diversity (3)
  • SW242 Statistics for Social Scientists (3)
  • UI300 Drugs & Behavior (3)
  • UI309 Crime & Human Behavior (3)
Law Enforcement Academy* – No minor required (for students who have been admitted to the SEMO Law Enforcement Academy) 
  • LE199 Law Enforcement I (3) 
  • LE299 Law Enforcement II (5)  
  • LE399 Law Enforcement III (5) 
  • LE499 Law Enforcement IV (5)  

*Students who can demonstrate successful completion of a 600-hour POST certification in a state-certified law enforcement academy will earn 18 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 a 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


  • Full Term: Aug. - Dec. (3 hours) 
  • Full Term: Aug. - Dec. (3 hours) 
  • Full Term: Aug. - Dec. (3 hours) 
  • 1st 8 Week: Aug. - Oct. (3 hours) 
  • 2nd 8 Week: Oct. - Dec. (3 hours) 
  • Total: 15 hours


  • Wintersession: Dec. - Jan. (3 hours) 
  • Full Term: Jan. - May. (3 hours) 
  • Full Term: Jan. - May. (3 hours) 
  • 1st 8 Week: Jan. - Mar. (3 hours) 
  • 2nd 8 Week: Mar. - May. (3 hours) 
  • Total: 15 hours 


  • 1st 4 Week: June (3 hours) 
  • 8 Week: June-July (3 hours) 
  • 2nd 4 Week: July (3 hours) 
  • Total: 9 hours 

Assistant Professor of the Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology

"My teaching philosophy encourages mentorship and application of material through the use of real-life scenarios. I believe these two elements are essential for student growth. "

Dr. Kristen N. Sobba, Ph.D.

Dr. Kristen Sobba smiles for a portrait.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences 

This degree is housed within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The College prepares students for lifelong careers. We boast programs that train students in problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, organization, and adaptability. Skills employers value, so we prepare you for basically any career field.

Earn Your Degree on Your Schedule.

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

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.

Law Enforcement Academy, 2017, B.A. in Communication Studies, 2018

"I'm thrilled to finally be entering the line of work that I care so deeply about. I think the part that excites me most is getting to interact with different aspects of the community and educating people on what police officers do. "

Jennifer Rubin

 Jennifer Rubin posing with her arm resting on a rail.

Online Learning at Southeast

When it comes to your success, we do whatever it takes. Online learning at Southeast takes the same reputable college courses taught by Southeast faculty and makes them available anytime, anywhere.

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.

96% of College of Humanities and Social Sciences graduates are employed or enrolled in grad school within a year.

Our alumni work and study at

  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) logo
  • The US Marshals logo
  • Missouri Highway Patrol logo
  • Department of Justice | The Federal Bureau of Investigation logo
  • Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) logo
  • Law School at Southern Illinois University logo
(573) 651-5184
Office Location
Kent Library 305
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 4610
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Take the Next Step