- Programs and Degrees
- Legal Studies
- Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice
A 360° look into Criminal Justice.
A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is a versatile choice, and new jobs are always being created in this advancing field. Students at William Woods University study criminal justice because of a desire to gain insight through a well-rounded, liberal arts curriculum that motivates purpose and perspective. It is a respected program in its combination of study of theoretical principles put to real, tangible application.
At William Woods University, we will connect you with thought leaders of current topics, very often right here on campus, and our passionate faculty who teach 100% of our courses, and have experience in various careers in the criminal justice field. You will learn to think critically and ethically, to investigate thoroughly, to become a better verbal and written communicator, and to develop your knack for research and analysis.
Criminal justice majors may choose from one of three areas of emphasis:
- Get involved in Criminal Justice Club, and participate in the conversations around today’s societal and criminal justice issues. Organize on-campus events to raise awareness about current issues
- Attend national conferences in homeland and industrial security
- Work with our faculty in scholarly research
- Gain experience with internships at the federal, state and local levels — including work with police departments, state highway patrol, industrial security and more
- Prepare for careers in law enforcement, agencies, industrial security, corrections, and the judicial system
- Compete for a chance to have your research published in our own department journal!
Our Criminal Justice degree at work
Our bachelor’s in criminal justice alumni have found successful careers in leading agencies, companies and firms:
- Noble Biocare International
- Bell & Watson, PLLC, Memphis, TN
- Cox Health Systems
- Missouri Secretary of State
- Homeland Security
- National-level intelligence agencies
- North Star Resource Group
- Columbia Police Department
- United States Marine Corp
- General Motors
- Province of Ontario
- Pate's Law Group, Orlando FL
- William Woods University
- Boomerang Strategies, McKinney, TX
- State of Missouri
- Spectrum Brands, Inc.
- McAdams, LTD
- DeVry Education Group, Government Relations Department
- Midwest Litigation Services
- Veteran's United Home Loans
- Missouri Division of Youth Services
- New Bloomfield Schools
- United States Senate, Office of the Press Secretary for the Environment and Public Works Committee
- Legislative Lobbyist firm for the KC Chiefs and others
- Central Trust & Investment Company
- Boone County Circuit Clerk
- Florida GAL Foundation
- Dinsmoer & Shohl, Commercial Litigation, Kentucky
- Prosecuting Attorney office, Lincoln County and others
- Kathy J. Weinman Children's Advocacy Center, St. Louis, MO
- High Caliber Stables, North Carolina
- Chelsea Meadows Equestrian Center
Some graduate and law schools attended by political/legal studies and criminal justice bachelor’s grads:
- University of Missouri Law School
- University of Missouri Master's and Doctorate program in Political Science
- University of Missouri Master's in Education
- Oklahoma City Law School
- St. Louis University Law School
- American University Law School, Washington, DC
- University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School
- University of Missouri-Kansas City Master's program in Political Science
- Barry University Law School - Florida
- William Mitchell College of Law
- Master's of Liberal Arts in Journalism, Harvard
- University of Denver Law School
Being a part of the William Woods legal studies department has really been a pleasure. My professors care about me as an individual and are always willing to go the extra mile if I need it. The criminal justice program has prepared me for a career in homeland security with a wide variety of specialty classes. From forensic evidence to intelligence management and threat assessment, my education through the criminal justice-homeland security program has kept me up-to-date with the ever-changing worlds of law and national security. I feel that my experiences at William Woods and with the criminal justice-homeland security major are invaluable.
— Megan Grissom, legal studies-criminal justice graduate
The professors in the criminal justice program are extremely knowledgeable in their field and have always been there for help when I needed it. They have made my college experience exciting and have given me the foundation for a job in criminal justice.
— Trevor McBride, legal studies-criminal justice graduate
Courses you may take
CMJ 110 - Introduction to Criminal Justice -S - 3.00
This introductory course will examine crime in America with a focus on the role of police, courts, and correctional institutions. Students will consider the balance between freedom and security issues and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the American justice system as it adapts to cultural, political, and societal changes.
CMJ 180 - Criminology -T - 3.00
This introductory course will explore the cause and major theories of criminal behavior. Students will learn the various research techniques that have been used to study criminal behavior and examine connections to social, environmental and ethnographical factors. Students will gain a more complete understanding of crime and how it relates to human social life. Finally students will apply the knowledge gained in their studies to examine current policy trends and the methods used to address crime and proscribed social behavior.
CMJ 230 - Criminal Justice World History - 3.00
This course will examine the evolution of criminal justice systems around the world from 2000BCE to present day. It will place its focus upon their creation, development, similarities and distinctions, and the impact these systems have had, and continue to have, upon the populations which they possess authority over. An emphasis will also be placed upon the dynamic between cultural belief systems and the establishment and enforcement techniques associated with governmental rule.
CMJ 270 - Criminal Law - 3.00
This course involves the study of substantive and procedural criminal law including due process, probable cause, statutory and case law authorities governing criminal law and rules of criminal procedure. This course will also provide a foundation for further work in the Criminal Justice field, and host an in-depth examination of the crimes committed by suspects, and actions taken by criminal justice professionals to deal with those crimes.
CMJ 280 - Criminal Procedure - 3.00
This introductory course begins with first contact with the police, all the way through to appeal. We will discuss Search and Seizure; Interrogations, Confessions, and Identification Procedures; The Beginnings of Formal Proceedings; Trial, Conviction, and Beyond. This course presupposes no legal expertise, connects criminal procedure cases to the real world through innovative pedagogy, and encourages students through numerous decision making exercises to be critical thinkers by putting them in the position of judge.
CMJ 320 - Foreign and Domestic Terrorism - 3.00
This course will examine the history and status of domestic and international terrorism. We will emphasize different regions of the world and the terrorist groups in each region. As well as examine terrorist events, groups, responses to terrorism, changes in terrorist strategies, and current and future trends.
CMJ 340 - Black Market Economics - 3.00
Secret organizations, underground tunnels, dark-web agents, crypto-currencies, laundered money, cartels, the mafia, street gangs, smugglers and designer drug kingpins, are among the elements associated with, and covered, in this examination of the trillion-dollar shadow economy which hides behind the secret doors we are rarely allowed a glimpse beyond. In this course we will enter the shadows of the Black Market Economy shaping our world, more and more, everyday.
CMJ 355 - Crime Scene Investigation - 3.00
This is an introductory course which examines the many facets of Crime Scene Investigation, with a strong emphasis on homicide investigations, to include: the processing of a crime scene, the collection, preservation, and collation of forensic evidence, the post mortem examinations of homicide victims, the development of detective leads in searching for suspects, as well as the many law enforcement sub-disciplines associated with scientific forensic examination. This course will examine these modules concurrently with a comprehensive examination of a real-life, unsolved, serial killer cold case, to provide real-world context to the related concepts.
CMJ 370 - Drugs in America - 3.00
This course will place a heavy emphasis on the cultural, social, economic, and carceral consequences of US drug policy formation as well as the enforcement of these laws by governmental agencies. It will also place an emphasis on public and personal perceptions which impact our understandings, and misunderstandings, of what constitutes 'drug use', who a 'drug user' is, and what 'drug use' means to various US sub-populations. In addition, it will provide a history of US illicit drug use, with an emphasis on cultural socio-demographics, and how immigration policy has influenced our current legal system as it related to illicit substances.
CMJ 380 - Research Mthds in Criminal Justice - 3.00
In this course we will discuss contemporary research methods applied to criminal justice and criminology. We will demonstrate how research is relevant to the field and what tools are needed to actually conduct that research. We will examine qualitative research and quantitative research and discuss real-life examples and explain how to competently critique as well as create research-based knowledge. Prerequisite: CMJ180 and MAT114
CMJ 417 - American Cults and Serial Killers - 3.00
This course will focus on the forensic examination and psychological profiling associated with group and individual serial killings within the US over the last century, and the responses by law enforcement agencies to bring them to justice. It will place an emphasis on the group murders committed by the Manson Family and Jamestown cults, as well as the method of operation attributed to famous lone serial killers, the selection of their victims, and the execution of their crimes.
CMJ 427 - Criminal Justice and Cultural Revolution - 3.00
This course will examine the effects of violent social and political conflict, in the context of its impact on, and manipulation of, criminal justice systems. It will inspect past and present day struggles between personal freedoms and political power through the lens of gender, race, religion, Philosophical/political affiliation, and social justice, while examining how law enforcement and court systems navigate these turbulent periods. It will attempt to prepare future criminal justice practitioners for the revolutions sure to come, by examining those we have endured in the past.
Learn more about undergraduate admissions requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.