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Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Index photo

Our Mission

The mission of the Criminal Justice Department is to encourage distance learning and scholarship, to produce qualified and knowledgeable graduates, and to foster the development of ethical professionals who are prepared for leadership positions in the criminal justice and justice fields. The department is devoted to emphasizing quality teaching and learning, to providing an international perspective and to promoting the value of community service. The Department seeks to further the study and understanding of criminal justice through our teaching, service to the university and service to the community.

About Us

The Criminal Justice Department provides:

  • Varied and Flexible Curriculum
  • Small Classes
  • Individual Academic Attention
  • Knowledgeable Faculty
  • International Educational Opportunities
  • Unique Learning Environment

The Criminal Justice Administration, Juvenile Justice, and Law Enforcement degrees offer academic training coupled with "real world" practical training for students pursuing careers as criminal justice professionals. The department degree programs offer varied curricula to meet the needs of a diverse student body.

Our degree programs prepare students for varied careers such as:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Corrections
  • Probation and Parole
  • Private or Industrial Security

The department degree programs also prepare students for investigative positions with federal agencies, state and local agencies, insurance companies and other private enterprises, as well as opportunities in the areas of safety and security.

The Criminal Justice Department offers a flexible curriculum to serve the needs of the student body, including day, evening, hybrid, and online courses. Hybrid courses combine the benefits of the classroom experience with the flexibility of the online courses by meeting on campus regularly, but conducting parts of the course online. Students can obtain the Criminal Justice Administration degree and the Associate of Science in Law Enforcement degree online.

The Department offers criminal justice professionals who have experience in the field college credit for work experience through the portfolio process. The Department also recommends that all students participate in the internship program, where students receive college credit for working side by side with practicing criminal justice professionals.

Our faculty members are attentive to student needs and strive to prepare students for challenging criminal justice careers. The faculty have varied practical experience as law enforcement officers, juvenile officers, assistant prosecutors, legal advisers, criminal investigators, and child abuse investigators. In addition, our faculty members have experience in private law practice, security administration, mental health coordination and non-profit agency administration.


Besides offering academic degrees in Criminal Justice Administration, Juvenile Justice and Law Enforcement, the Criminal Justice Department provides law enforcement and continuing education training to the criminal justice community in Missouri and the entire Four State area. The Missouri Southern State University Law Enforcement Academy is certified by the Missouri Department of Public Safety to provide a basic 600 hour law enforcement academy. The Law Enforcement Academy provides students with the training required to become eligible to be licensed peace officers in the State of Missouri. Missouri Southern State University's continuing education for law enforcement provides the opportunity for officers to fine tune their skills as well as meet the Missouri P.O.S.T. license requirement of 48 hours of continuing education every three years. Our facilities include an indoor firearms range, two firearms simulation laser shooting systems, fully equipped patrol cars, an indoor driving simulator, a mobile crime scene investigation vehicle, and a simulated apartment used for law enforcement and crime scene investigation practicals.