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Criminal Justice Major

Learn about SBU's criminal justice degree program

Our criminal justice system needs employees who care about the individuals entrusted to their care. As a criminal justice major at SBU, you will benefit from the individualized instruction coming from small class sizes and a faith-based approach that will teach you the foundations of criminal justice with an emphasis on servant leadership.

With both theoretical and practical emphases, you will learn about the criminal justice system, criminal law and law enforcement and will be prepared for a variety of potential career paths, such as federal or state law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole, private security, research and more. Some graduates build upon their bachelor's degree in criminal justice and go on to law school or other graduate-level work.

The Criminal Justice degree is offered through SBU's College of Arts and Sciences


Major Map (PDF)

Degree Plan

SBU students in Welcome Week processional

The SBU Advantage

  • All faculty have first-hand, real-life experience and are dedicated to sharing their experiences as they teach and equip students.
  • 14 hours of transfer credit are granted to individuals who have received certification upon completion of 400-600 hours or equivalent training programs of the police/sheriff's academies and who subsequently enroll in this program at SBU.
  • Broaden your opportunities by adding a second major or minor in psychology or sociology to your degree program.

Faith Integration

SBU's criminal justice faculty is committed to a foundation of biblical truth and Christian faith within the academic curriculum. This foundation adds an important perspective in class discussions about the criminal justice system, society issues and ethics — allowing for a more thorough examination of the fundamental causes of crime and society's response to it. For example, the belief that everyone is created in the image of God and is loved by Him, and that the root of crime and related societal problems lies in the sin nature into which we are born impacts how we approach criminal justice issues.

This foundational freedom at all levels of study allows students to develop a more well-rounded understanding of the true nature of crime and justice, and gives students a fuller range of ideas to effectively address current issues within their criminal justice careers.

Faculty's personal Christian faith influences interaction with students on a daily basis. Faculty pray with students and genuinely care about them in and out of the classroom.

While all courses inherently integrate the Christian faith, the department of behavioral sciences also offers special classes specifically focused on faith integration, such as Psychology of Religion, Sociology of Religion, and Agape Love and Altruism.

The department has adopted 2 Peter 1:5-7 as its department verse: "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love."


After majoring in criminal justice, SBU alumni are pursuing a variety of career paths. Recent examples include:

  • Highway patrol — in states like states Missouri and Arkansas
  • Law school
  • Local law enforcement and fire departments
  • FBI - Kansas City office
  • Military service


Clubs and Organizations

Behavioral Sciences Club

As a behavioral sciences student you are encouraged to join SBU's Behavioral Science Club, which unites all students interested in and studying the behavioral sciences, including criminal justice, psychology, social work and sociology. Club members meet regularly to encourage each other and participate in various service projects.

Sociology and Criminal Justice Society (SCJS)

Join SBU's chapter of Sociology and Criminal Justice Society (SCJS), an honor society for behavioral sciences students studying sociology and criminal justice.

Criminal Justice Four-Year Plan


Fall Semester

ENG 1113 English Composition I 3
PSY 1013 General Psychology 3
BIB 1013 Old Testament History 3
CIS 1103 Computer and Information Management 3
MAT 1143 College Algebra 3
UNI 1111 University Seminar 1
Total hours 16

Spring Semester

ENG 2213 English Composition II 3
SOC 1003 Introduction to Sociology 3
BIB 1023 New Testament History 3
FAR 10_3 Intro. to Art, Fine Arts, Music or Theatre 3
HIS 2213/2223 U.S. History I or II 3
UNI 1121 Critical Thinking 1
Total hours 16


Fall Semester

POL 1113 American Government and Politics 3
KIN 1162 Foundations of Physical Fitness/Wellness 2
COM 1103 Fundamentals of Speech Communication 3
BIO 1004 Principles of Biology 4
SPF 2012 Spiritual Formation 2
  General electives 3
Total hours 17

Spring Semester

PHS 1004 Physical Science or Earth Science 4
CRJ 2313 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3
ECO 2003 LIFE Economics 3
PSY 3033 Abnormal Psychology 3
SOC 2012 Human Diversity 2
Total hours 18


Fall Semester

SOC 2012 Human Diversity 2
CRJ 3313 Law Enforcement Organization/Administration 3
PSY/SOC 3073 Social Psychology 3
  Criminal justice electives 6
  Electives in your minor 3
Total hours 15

Spring Semester

SOC 4033 Criminology 3
CRJ 2333 Judicial Process (spring, even) 3
BEH 3243 Elementary Statistics (Elective) 3
CRJ 2952 Emergency Management 2
  Criminal justice elective 3
  Electives in your minor 3
Total hours 17


Fall Semester

CRJ 4313 Corrections in America 3
CRJ 4373 Police Methods and Procedures 3
PSY 4373 Addictions (Elective) 3
  Electives in your minor 6
Total hours 15

Spring Semester

CRJ 3373 Juvenile Delinquency 3
CRJ 4333 Criminal Law 3
CRJ 4983 Internship in Criminal Justice (Elective) 3
  Electives in your minor 6
Total hours 15

This is a proposed guideline. Please check the catalog and see your advisor for your final degree requirements. Southwest Baptist University reserves the right to make changes to degree plans without advanced notice or obligation. The student is responsible for understanding and completing all general education, degree, departmental and graduation requirements.

Complete the graduation requirements and general education requirements for the B.S. degree and complete one of the following three options (1) 8-9 hours of upper level psychology, sociology or natural sciences, (2) complete the requirements for a minor within the department, (3) complete the requirements for a second major as listed in the catalog plus 36 hours in criminal justice including: Note: The approved second major from this department would be Psychology or Social Work.

Download in PDF format:
Criminal Justice Plan (PDF)