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Department of Criminal Justice

We prepare graduates by focusing on the economic, political, legal, and social environments in which the criminal justice system operates.

About the Department

Picture yourself on the front lines of protecting the public – enforcing laws, pursuing justice, or even working behind the scenes in an investigative lab. Careers in the exciting fields of law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole, court services, asset protection, corporate and private security, and juvenile justice are more popular than ever. You’ll study the various environments in which the criminal justice system operates, giving you flexibility to apply your degree to a variety of careers. Our criminal justice program will teach you knowledge of the law, psychology of criminals, and what makes a good public policy.

Our new crime scene and forensics lab (to be completed in 2018) will provide a variety of academic experiences, from managing hostage situations and active shooter scenarios, to crime scene investigation and emergency management exercises. Our crime scene investigation experiences will include bloodstain spatter analysis, fingerprint acquisition, firearm trajectories, shoeprint casings, and processing crime scenes with DNA evidence.


Online Criminal Justice Degree
Our new online criminal justice program is for those who are already working in the field and want to obtain a degree. The online offering lets you fit your college degree into your busy schedule. We have the best tuition rates around for in-state and out-of-state students.

 

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Rural Law Opportunities Program (RLOP)

A cooperative program between Wayne State College and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) that recruits and educates students from rural Nebraska to become lawyers who will return to rural communities and practice law. You’ll receive a full tuition scholarship at Wayne State College with guaranteed admission into the Nebraska College of Law.

“Being a criminal justice major is absolutely fascinating, and I love all of the professors. I think it’s a great atmosphere, and the thing about law that’s interesting is that you get to see a variety of perspectives. Because of the small size of the campus, I can talk with all of my professors instead of sitting in huge lecture halls and competing with 200 other students one at a time. I have had fantastic advisors who have done everything in their power to help me out – and I beyond appreciate that.”

 

Jacob Jones

Major: Criminal Justice
Hometown: Norfolk, Neb.

Criminal Justice Programs

Choose from our criminal justice degrees, or enhance your education by adding on a second major or minor. Explore your options here.

Program Name Bachelor's Pre-Professional or Affiliate Master's Minor Education Field Endorsement Education Subject Endorsement Supplemental Endorsement
Criminal Justice              
Criminal Justice - Fully Online              
Emergency Management              
Interdisciplinary Studies              

“Welcome to the fastest-growing major on campus. Criminal justice is an exciting field of study and career choice. While law enforcement, corrections, and probation and parole are the desired career paths for many of our students, other opportunities like social services, private and corporate security, wildlife management and environmental protection, and various investigative careers are also popular. Our program has been very successful in preparing students for the career field. We have forged great relationships with hiring agencies resulting in a very high rate of success in our students securing employment in the field. Professions in criminal justice are some of the most honorable around. So if you are interested in an exciting career with endless opportunities, contact WSC today. We would welcome the opportunity to connect with you and discuss your career aspirations.” 

 

Jason Karsky, Ph.D.

Department Chair
Professor of Criminal Justice

Outside the Classroom

At Wayne State College, you’ll have opportunities to enhance your education by participating in clubs, organizations, and more.

Student clubs and organizations

Clubs and Organizations

WSC Service-Learning

Service-Learning

Make a difference in the community while learning skills you can apply toward your future career. Wayne State’s Service-Learning program has received national awards in recognition of outstanding community service, with more than 400 students participating in Service-Learning projects each semester.

Criminal Justice Student Activities

Opportunities

Take advantage of unique learning opportunities beyond the classroom. You’ll get to visit correctional facilities and courts, see police departments, observe parole board hearings, and even interview prison inmates.

Student Teaching and Clinical Practice for Education Majors

Internships

An internship is not required to graduate with a degree in criminal justice; however, experience is always a plus. You’ll have a chance to work with local agencies to help gain some field experience and earn credit toward your degree. Career Services is also available to help you find the best internship and job opportunities.

Learn from the Best

Our faculty are accomplished, with 85% of our full-time faculty having the highest degree in their field. Several are highly regarded as experts and have been recognized with notable honors and awards. And with a low student-to-faculty ratio, you'll be sure to receive an excellent education in a personalized setting with a friendly atmosphere.

Criminal Justice Scholarships

In addition to having the region’s most affordable tuition, we offer thousands of dollars in scholarships every year. Learn more about scholarships for criminal justice students.

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