Criminal Justice

Drug crimes, mental health needs and human trafficking; all of these social and criminal justice issues are major topics not only within the field of criminal justice, but within our country. As the country re-examines these topics in criminal justice, and many others, students with a comprehensive knowledge of the criminal justice systems and the laws pertaining to them will become more valuable. Criminal justice is the application or study of laws regarding criminal behavior. Those who study criminal justice include the police, corrections/probation & parole, work with juveniles, work in a judiciary capacity, and work in the federal or state corrections system. Others work to advocate for changes in the current system of criminal justice, such as those who render decisions regarding current laws, like members of Supreme Courts.

Why a degree in Criminal Justice from Missouri Valley?

In a hands-on field, experiential learning is essential to preparing you for success. The small class sizes at MVC, offer an intimate learning environment that help you develop critical analytical skills, and knowledge of the research findings and methods used in the field. As a student in our program, you’ll build background knowledge in the theories that define deviance, and the laws and policies aimed at its control. This background will help you develop an awareness of individual rights and practice the proper procedures for criminal investigation and the subsequent actions necessary for court proceedings.

Career Possibilities

  • Local/Municipal Police Officer
  • County/Sheriff Officer
  • State Police Officer
  • Federal Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Juvenile Probation Officer
  • Legal Services
  • Corrections
  • Parole/Probation
  • Investigations

Graduate Program Possibilities

  • Criminal Justice
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Network Defense
  • Emergency Management
  • Social Work

Courses & Concentrations

Degree in Criminal Justice

Our criminal justice program is almost entirely made up of courses related to your degree. Some coursework includes criminal law and the Constitution, forensic science, criminal evidence, minorities and criminal justice, corrections/probation & parole, juveniles, criminology and victimology. In addition, some coursework in sociology is required.

Major Checklist for Criminal Justice – Corrections, Probation, & Parole Concentration​

​ Major Checklist for Criminal Justice – Juvenile Justice Concentration ​

​ Major Checklist for Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement Concentration ​

Minor in Criminal Justice

A minor in criminal justice is a valuable asset for students who do not major in criminal justice, but wish to enter law school, desire to counsel children, or to counsel within the prison system. This is a great supplemental minor for those majoring in sociology or psychology, or to have as a second minor along with forensic science. You will study criminal procedures, law, and judicial process, amongst other topics, giving you a comprehensive understanding of criminal justice.

Admissions & Scholarships

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How to Apply Applying for Aid


Alecia Schmidt
Co-Chair of the Division of Social Science
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice
Karen Reeter
Instructor of Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Beyond the Classroom

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