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Northwest Missouri State University

Criminology Major


The Northwest Difference

The Bachelor of Science in Criminology is an interdisciplinary study of crime and the criminal justice system. It is the broad investigation of the roles that sociological and psychological factors play in determining how a society defines crime, contributes to or deters criminal behavior, and responds to victims and offenders. Criminologists have a wide variety of career paths from which to choose. Those interested in working within the criminal justice system may pursue a number of government jobs including, careers within law enforcement, courts, or corrections.

Students may also be interested in positions addressing social reform and involvement in programs improving social conditions related to crime. Those focusing on the psychological underpinnings of criminal behavior may pursue positions involved in victim advocacy, prevention programs for youth, or rehabilitation programs for offenders.

This major offers three different areas of focus: diversity within the criminal justice system, the adult justice system and the juvenile justice system. Each emphasis allows students to specialize in one of these fields and tailor classes within that emphasis to fit their interest beyond the core courses within the program.

Minor in Criminal Justice

Criminal justice is the study of crime and how it is managed by the government. Students will learn the basic functions of criminal justice, the theoretical components on the process of becoming a criminal, and the roles of the courts and juvenile systems. This minor require the completion of 24 credit hours.

Career Ready. Day One.

Northwest ensures students are career ready, day one through internships, field experiences and networking opportunities. Read Sam's story »

Sam is Career ready. Day One.

Career Opportunities

Job titles related to this degree program include

  • Police officer
  • Victim’s advocate
  • Mediator
  • Family services case manager
  • Parole officer
  • Probation officer
  • Treatment and rehabilitation counselor
  • Social justice advocate
  • Defense attorney
  • District attorney
  • Correctional facility warden
  • Game warden
  • Postal inspector

Profession-Based Learning Experiences


Although internships are not required in the criminology and criminal justice major, they are highly encouraged. Examples of internships for this major:

  • Campus police
  • Treatment centers
  • Children and family centers
  • Local police and state troopers
  • Juvenile detention centers
  • Drug abuse and deliquency prevention programs
  • Law firms

Student Organizations

Criminal Justice Club
Supports the development and interests of students majoring in criminology or minoring in criminal justice. The club also sponsors speakers and promotes professional development of students preparing to enter the field.

For a full list of student organizations with in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences »

Study Abroad

Study Abroad

Study Abroad is an opportunity for students to apply hands-on international experience to their academic development. Faculty members provide short-term study programs that prepare students before, during and after the program. Two types of study abroad programs are available: faculty-led and traditional study abroad.

The traditional program may be a semester, summer or year-long program and is taught by Northwest’s international partner institutions.

For more information about study abroad opportunities »

The Northwest Difference

The Northwest Difference

Founded in 1905, Northwest is a traditional campus with more than 7,200 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in the middle of everywhere, Maryville is two hours from Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Missouri and
2 ½ hours from Des Moines, Iowa.