criminal justice
Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Major

The Criminal Justice Major provides an overview of the criminal justice system including its three basic components: the police, the courts, and corrections. Criminological theory and research examine criminal behavior and crime causation.

The combination of criminal justice coursework and hands-on learning through internships prepares students for careers in law enforcement, the law, or corrections; or to pursue graduate and professional education.

Students completing a major in criminal justice will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the criminal justice system including core components of the police, the courts, and corrections.
  • Understand crime and criminal behavior by examining criminological theories of crime causation.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills by analyzing and discussing criminal justice issues.
  • Connect substantive areas of academic coursework to real-life application in a criminal justice field.

This program includes:

  • Hands-on experiential learning
  • Internships with community organizations and businesses
  • Student-faculty research projects
  • Developing critical thinking and communication skills
  • Building relationships within the field and community at large
  • Applying a unique understanding of criminal justice

Criminal Justice Major

Students must complete all requirements, support courses in the Criminal Justice major.

Complete all of the following:

  • CJ 101 Careers in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 231 Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CJ 260 Criminal Law and Individual Rights
  • CJ 307 Criminology
  • CJ 316 Introduction to Corrections
  • CJ 347 Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 350 Constitutional Law
  • CJ 355 Law Enforcement
  • CJ 416 Crime and Punishment
  • CJ 420 Global Issues
  • CJ 498 Internship
  • Electives in Criminal Justice

Complete all of the following:

  • COMM 147 Introduction to Public Speaking
  • MATH 171 Elementary Statistics or MATH 102 Math for Life
  • GOV 305 Current Issues in Government
  • WS 300 Global Issues or CJ 420 Global Issues in Criminal Justice

Complete one (1) of the following:

  • SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
  • PSYC 131 General Psychology
  • PSYC 251 Developmental Psychology

Career Opportunities in Criminal Justice

Depending on your chosen concentration here is a list of potential career avenues.

Opportunities with Undergraduate Degree

  • Parole Officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Juvenile Court Counselor
  • Social Worker
  • Court Administrator
  • Law Enforcement
  • Border Patrol
  • Probation and Parole (Adult and Juvenile)
  • Juvenile Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Domestic Violence Advocate
  • Prevention Specialist
  • Victim Witness Coordinator

  • Training and Resource Development Specialist
  • Homeland Security
  • Emergency Management

Opportunities with Graduate Degree:

  • Attorney
  • Judge
  • Arbitrator or Mediator
  • Crime Analyst
  • Detective
  • Public Safety Administration
  • Cyber Security
  • Corrections Warden

Career Outcomes

2021 Median Pay
Probation Officer
Social Workers
Police and Detectives


Criminal Justice Club

Criminal Justice Club

The Criminal Justice Society was created to provide better insight into possible Criminal Justice career paths.

Pre-Law Club

Pre-Law Club

Provides students with assistance in the law school process, form LSAT study groups, & connect with peers.

IW Hands Club

IW Hands Club

The IW Hands Service Club focuses on service-learning and living the Iowa Wesleyan motto of being tenacious, inspired, global, engaged, and respectful.


Meet The Professors

Headshot of Nathan Daniels

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Science Hall; Room 105

More Info