Criminal Justice Degree

The field of criminal justice is dynamic and demanding, with an ever-increasing need for advances in the following areas: forensic science, the interconnection between the law and science; behavioral analysis, including an understanding of criminal psychopathology and victimology; administration of rapidly changing criminal justice systems and agencies, with an emphasis upon management and crime policy; and homeland security, including digital security, infrastructure protection, and global perspectives. A Criminal Justice degree from Hardin Simmons University offers students a multidisciplinary, practical, research-based learning opportunity designed to address these critical needs.

Potential Employment Opportunities in Criminal Justice

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth throughout this decade is projected to occur in law enforcement, private investigators, correctional, probation, and parole officers, and forensic science technicians.

  • Forensic Science Lab Technician in a Law Enforcement Center
  • Child victims’ forensic interviewer
  • Consulting or Investigation of Criminal Cases
  • Organization and management of Victims Advocacy Centers
  • Direct services provision for crime victims
  • Social policy development
  • Director or administrator of various local, state, or federal justice agencies
  • Federal law enforcement agent
  • Advancement or added specialization in the chosen field of study
  • Leadership or command position in law enforcement or security

Contact Us

Dr. Karin Brown-Head of Criminal Justice Department

Dr. Karin Brown

Head of Criminal Justice Department, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

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Majors

  • Criminal Justice (B.A.)
  • Criminal Justice (B.B.S.)

Minors

  • Criminal Justice (B.A., B.B.S.)

Why study Criminal Justice at HSU?

Criminal Justice Program Students in group photo

Carl Wesley Owen Scholarship

Carl Wesley Owen attended Hardin-Simmons from 1977-1978 majoring in Law Enforcement. His dream was to incorporate his love of flying with his law enforcement endeavors. Carl’s untimely death ended his dreams on May 30, 1980. His mother, the late Norma Owen, provided a generous endowment in memory of her son to provide opportunities for students who seek careers at HSU in Criminal Justice as her son did.

Criminal Justice student conducting examination in classroom

Hands-On Experience

Our students train with the same equipment, doing precisely the same evaluations and testing, that they will do in their careers after graduation.

students taking group photo abroad with HSU flag

Study Abroad Opportunities

Criminal Justice students get unique opportunities to study justice systems in other countries and better inform themselves about different, progressive approaches. In 2018, students traveled to Bergen, Norway, to attend an academic research meeting at Bergen University, with side trips for sightseeing and tours of agencies and facilities.

Program Details

All courses and course descriptions for each degree type can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog:

Internship Opportunity
Each student may complete a 100-hour internship with a criminal justice agency during their senior year. This internship enables the student to obtain supervised field training, practical experience, and to integrate knowledge gained in the classroom. There are multiple internship sites from which to choose and students may obtain experience from more than one internship agency.

All prospective students should research requirements and conditions of employment with the agencies that interest them. Policies vary and can have physical, age, and other personal and health restrictions. Even with a college degree, candidates may not qualify for those positions if they do not meet the agency requirements. Additionally, criminal justice agencies conduct thorough background checks of applicants, and prior criminal records or poor driving record may disqualify candidates.

A career in criminal justice affords men and women many and varied employment opportunities at the local, state, and federal level. The Criminal Justice program at HSU will prepare students for careers in the criminal justice system.

Career Field Potential for Employment Salary Potential
Forensic Science Technicians 2016-2026     17% growth (much faster than average) Median Pay $56,750 per year
Private Detectives and Investigators 2016-2026     11% growth (faster than average) Median Pay $48,190 per year
Police and Detectives 2016-2026       7% growth (as fast as average) Median Pay $61,600 per year
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists 2016-2026        6% growth (as fast as average) Median Pay $50,160 per year
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives 2016-2026       7% growth (as fast as average) Median Pay $88,400 per year
Victim Advocacy Center Manager 2016-2026     18% growth (much faster than average) Median Pay $64,680 per year
Human Service Worker/Victim Advocate 2016-2026     16% growth (much faster than average) Median Pay $34,811 per year
Federal Law Enforcement Agent 2016-2026           7% growth (as fast as average) Median Pay $78,730 per year
Child Forensic Interviewer Median Pay $38,818 per year

Careers in the field of criminal justice include:

Law Enforcement Officer
District Parole Officer
Community Supervision Officer
Forensics Technician
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent
Juvenile Probation Officer
Juvenile Program Case Manager
Prison Warden
Correctional Officer
Drug Enforcement Agent
Victims Assistance Coordinator
Border Patrol Agent
Secret Service Agent
Residential Program Professional
Private Security
Investigations
Case Management for Specialized Caseloads

The HSU Criminal Justice Association is an organization that allows students to become actively involved with the many aspects of the law enforcement and corrections systems. Guest speakers, demonstrations, field trips, and participation in various service and application-driven activities provide students with a greater understanding of the many facets of the criminal justice system while promoting opportunities for professional networking within the community.

Each student may complete a 100-hour internship with a criminal justice agency during their senior year. This internship enables the student to obtain supervised field training, practical experience, and to integrate knowledge gained in the classroom. There are multiple internship sites from which to choose and students may obtain experience from more than one internship agency.

Undergraduate and graduate students in HSU’s Criminal Justice Department will be engaged, resourceful, and confident servant leaders. The program will proactively equip students to become servant-minded in their professional leadership capacities, capable of positively and ethically impacting individuals and communities.

Mission and Objective
The study of the justice system in an environment enlightened by faith begins with an understanding of the foundational role practitioners play in facilitating ethical and just responses at all levels. The integrity of the system is heavily reliant upon the character of the individuals serving within it. Equal treatment under the law is a core principle within this framework. Students will be provided opportunities to master leadership, technical, analytic, and practical competencies necessary for service in this dynamic and demanding field. Graduates of the Criminal Justice program are encouraged to face challenges through the lens of acting justly, seeking mercy, and walking humbly.