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Criminology and Criminal Justice

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice 

For More Information

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-3799
Fax: 417-836-3200
Email: Criminology@MissouriState.edu

Career Preparation

With over 500 majors and minors, the Criminology (CRM) Program is designed to provide students with an understanding of delinquent and criminal behavior along with the operation of the criminal justice system. Knowledge and investigation in these areas contributes to an appreciation of crime and justice as aspects of public affairs. Included in this understanding is an awareness of the societal, political and economic implications of various approaches to crime control policy. Furthermore, the CRM program provides a solid liberal arts foundation essential for either working in some aspect of the criminal justice system or pursuing further schooling, such as law school or graduate school.  

The CRM major introduces students to basic criminal justice issues, procedures and concepts. We are dedicated to informing citizens of issues involved with crime and crime control. We strive for a healthy balance between academic analysis and needed education for careers in the criminal justice field.   

Objectives of the Major

After completing the Criminology Program, students will gain knowledge in:

  1. criminological theory
  2. research methods in criminology and criminal justice
  3. policing
  4. criminal courts and law
  5. institutional and community-based corrections 
  6. diversity issues in criminal justice, consistent with the cultural competence component of the University's public affairs mission
  7. community engagement with a criminology/criminal justice agency, consistent with the University's public affairs mission


To graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Criminology, students must complete the University's General Education requirements, the Criminology major program and earn a minimum of 125 total credit hours. The following courses are required for the Criminology major:

Core Courses (36 credit hours)

  • CRM 210: Introduction to the American Criminal Justice                    System*
  • CRM 250: Policing*
  • CRM 260: Criminal Law and the Courts*
  • CRM 270: Institutional and Community-Based Corrections*
  • CRM 320: Criminological Theory
  • CRM 330: Juvenile Justice
  • CRM 340: Research Methods in Criminology and Criminal                   Justice
    • CRM 345: Quantitative Analysis for Criminology and Criminal Justice
    • CRM 355: Current Issues in Policing  OR CRM 375: Current                    Issues in Corrections
    • CRM 365: Criminal Procedure
    • CRM 380: Criminal Justice Organizations and Management
    • CRM 598: Senior Seminar in Criminology

*Prerequisite course for 300+ level courses. 

Criminology Electives (9 hours)

Students select CRM electives from the courses listed below:

  • CRM 301: Crime and the Media
  • CRM 302: Reforming America's Prisons
  • CRM 303: Capital Punishment
  • CRM 304: Sex Crimes
  • CRM 305: Serial Killers
  • CRM 335: Criminal Typologies
  • CRM 396: Directed Readings in Criminology
  • CRM 397: Special Topics in Criminology
  • CRM 410: Crime, Justice, and Gender
  • CRM 415: Crime, Class, Race, and Justice
  • CRM 420: Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
  • CRM 430: Victimless Crime
  • CRM 435: Evidence
  • CRM 440: Foundations of Homeland Defense and Security
  • CRM 445: Victimology
  • CRM 475: Community Corrections
  • CRM 480: The Gang Phenomenon
  • CRM 485: Drugs in Society
  • CRM 487: Green Criminology
  • CRM 490: Internship in Criminology
  • CRM 495: Criminal Justice Ethics
  • CRM 497: Special Issues in Criminology
  • CRM 597: Special Issues in Criminology


The CRM faculty have a wide range of experience in various aspects of the criminal justice system. They teach progressive, innovative and stimulating courses, conduct academic research in their respective areas, publish in scholarly journals, give presentations at professional conferences, and provide a variety of services throughout the community. 


CRM courses are taught in Strong Hall, a state-of-the-art facility for college instruction. Strong Hall contains high-tech classrooms bringing computer-assisted techniques into the learning environment.  We also offer many of our courses online.

Other Student Opportunities


Preferably in their senior year, students have the opportunity to become involved with an internship experience in a criminal justice agency. In the past, CRM students have interned in law enforcement agencies, courts, the juvenile justice system, as well as jails, prisons, and probation and parole offices. We also encourage students to do an internship with agencies related to the justice system such as victim centers, domestic violence shelters, and various social service agencies providing assistance to both offender and at-risk populations.

The Criminal Justice Society

CRM majors and minors may get involved with the Criminal Justice Society, an extra-curricular student organization. The Society provides experiences not possible in the traditional classroom, such as "ride-alongs" with police departments, tours of area prisons, along with special guest speakers arranged by the Society.

The Criminal Justice Honor Society

Students may be eligible for membership in Alpha Phi Sigma, a national honor society for criminal justice students.To be eligible, a student must be a CRM major or minor, have completed at least 45 college credit hours with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and have taken at least 12 hours of CRM courses with a grade point average of 3.2 or higher. Membership in this honor society creates opportunities for community service & career networking.

Sample Schedule

Missouri State is committed to assisting students to graduate in four years--see sample graduation plans for this major.

The following is a sample schedule for this major--your actual schedule will vary.

Senior Year

First Semester Courses Hours
CRM Electives8
CRM 345 Quantitative Analysis for Criminology and Criminal Justice3
General Elective6
Total Hours 17
Second Semester Courses Hours
SWK 330 Substance Abuse Interventions3
CRM 598 Senior Seminar in Criminology and Criminal Justice3
Two CRM electives6
General Elective3
Total Hours 15

Junior Year

First Semester Courses Hours
CRM 320 Criminological Theory3
CRM 330 Juvenile Justice3
CRM 365 Criminal Procedure3
KIN 210 Healthy Lifestyles: Preventive Approaches3
CRM 355 or CRM 3753
Total Hours 14
Second Semester Courses Hours
CRM Electives5
CRM 380 Criminal Justice Organizations and Management3
CRM 490 Internship in Criminology3
CRM 340 Research Methods in Criminology and CJ3
General Elective4
Total Hours 18

Sophomore Year

First Semester Courses Hours
Culture & Society Humanities3
MTH 130 Contemporary Mathematics3
PSY 121 Introductory Psychology3
CRM 250 Policing3
CRM 270 Institutional and Community-Based Corrections3
Total Hours 15
Second Semester Courses Hours
ENG 221 Writing II: Writing for the Professions3
CRM 260 Criminal Law and the Courts3
General Electives6
Total Hours 15

Freshman Year

First Semester Courses Hours
GEP 101 First-Year Foundations2
ENG 110 Writing I3
SOC 150 Introduction to Society3
PLS 101 American Democracy and Citizenship3
Natural World4
Total Hours 15
Second Semester Courses Hours
CRM 210 Introduction to the American Criminal Justice System3
COM 115 Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
HST 121 Survey of the History of the United States to 18773
Natural World4
Creativity and Vision3
Total Hours 16