As a criminal justice studies major, you examine how criminal law and institutions in law enforcement, courts, and corrections seek to provide justice. You become better prepared to respond to one of the greatest concerns of society – the problem of crime and our system of justice.

Career Paths

StudentsA criminal justice studies degree can be applied to a wide range of careers related to criminal justice such as law enforcement, courts, corrections, advocacy, juvenile justice, social work, private and corporate security, crime/intelligence analysis, and more. Here’s a sample of where our criminal justice studies graduates are working:

  • Americorps
  • Bardol Law Firm
  • Missouri Department of Corrections Office of Probation & Parole
  • Missouri Highway Patrol
  • Missouri National Guard
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners
  • Oklahoma Army National Guard
  • Peace Corps
  • Teach for America
  • Total Quality Logistics
  • US Army
  • UTC Aerospace Systems

Preparation for Graduate/Professional School

A criminal justice studies degree prepares you for graduate and professional schools such as law school. Some notable schools our graduates are attending include:

  • University of Missouri – Columbia
  • Penn State University
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of Missouri – Kansas City
  • Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville
  • Webster University
  • St. Mary’s University
  • University of Colorado – Denver
  • Boston University
  • DePaul University
  • Washburn University

Law School Pathways

Truman has 3+3 law school pathways agreements with select institutions allowing qualified students to matriculate into law school after completing just 90 credit hours at the undergraduate level.
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Areas of Study

You have the flexibility to select the area of focus that's the best fit for your career aspirations.

  • Law and Society
  • Criminological Theory and Research
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Forensic Investigation

Featured Courses

Coursework for the criminal justice studies program covers the legal system, criminology, juvenile delinquency, enforcement system, rehabilitation system, and more. Here's a sample of criminal justice studies courses:

Explore law enforcement and police system, the court system, the correctional and rehabilitative system, as well as the juvenile justice system.
Examine the historical and philosophical perspective of the American legal system.
Study of the causation of crime including major theories of criminal behavior and the political and social reactions used in developing strategies to control crime.
Analyze major theories of crime and delinquency causation in juvenile offenders, with theories and methods of prevention and treatment.
Learn about the concept of the policing function and the historical, legal, and cultural influences that have shaped it. Special attention is given to the external forces, including federal legislation, that affect the policing environment.
Focus on the correctional and rehabilitative system as a component of the justice system and study the current philosophy and treatment concepts.

Opportunities and Experiences

Student Intern


Gain a better sense of specific career settings through criminal justice studies internships. Some local agencies include Adair County Prosecutor's Office, Bruce Normile Juvenile Justice Center, and Kirksville Police Department. Summer internships can be completed virtually anywhere including your hometown.

Student Research Conference


Research topics of special interest and present your findings at Truman's Research Conference as well as state and national conferences.

Student group

Student Organizations

Explore your options to engage with peers and gain leadership experience by joining Truman's Mock Trial Team and professional organizations.


Campus Events

Observe a part of the judicial system others do not typically get to see by helping host the annual Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri on the Truman campus. The cases are appeals from previously held trials in area circuit courts.


Supportive Learning Environment

As a student in the criminal justice studies program, you learn from professors who are professionals in their fields who have a reputation for offering excellence in academic advising and mentoring.