Criminal Justice Program

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

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

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.

Contact Us

Dr. Karin Brown

Head of Criminal Justice Department, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice 325-670-5819

Majors

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

Minors

  • Criminal Justice (B.A., B.B.S.)

Why study Criminal Justice at HSU?

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.

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.

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

Required Courses: 10 Courses (33 Hours)

  • 1301 Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
  • 1302 Police Operations
  • 1303 Courts and the Judicial Process
  • 1304 Correctional Systems
  • 2305 Juvenile Justice System
  • 3302 Bill of Rights
  • 3305 Justice Statistics
  • 3307 Criminal Law
  • 3308 Ethics in Criminal Justice
  • 4311 Field
  • 4360 Capstone

Elective Courses: 9 Hours (6 Upper Level) 

  • 2301 Criminal Investigation
  • 2306 Evidence and Procedure
  • 3301 Correctional Case Management
  • 3303 Media and Justice
  • 3304 Forensic Interviewing
  • 3306 Mental Health in Criminal Justice
  • 3309 Criminal Justice System Administration
  • 3310 Applied Ethics and Social Justice Issues
  • 3311 Crime Scene Investigation
  • 3312 Law and Politics in Film
  • 3335 Psychology of Crime
  • 4302 Drugs and Crime
  • 4304 Criminal Profiling
  • 4306 Constitutional Law: Liberties and Rights
  • 4307 Legislating Justice Issues
  • 4308 Death Penalty
  • 4309 Terrorism and Homeland Security
  • 4310 Internship
  • 4312 Violence and Victimology
  • 4313 Forensic Evidence and Expert Witness Testimony
  • 4315 International Law
  • 4316 Constitutional Law: Federal and State Powers
  • 4340 Justice Abroad
  • 4351 Crime and Delinquency
  • 4355 Search and Seizure

Required Supporting Courses

  • BIOL    3099 Topics in Forensic Science
  •               3103 Forensic Science Lab
  • SOCI     1301 Introduction to Sociology
  •               3303 Cultural Diversity
  • CSCI     1306 Introduction to Computer Forensics

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.

CRIJ Minor
Students seeking a minor in Criminal Justice must complete 21 hours in Criminal Justice. Students must complete CRIJ 1301 and 18 additional hours, 9 of which must be advanced.

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.