Criminal Justice


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Criminal Justice

Gain practical experience.

Evidence-based practices

Mount Mercy University’s criminal justice major stands out for its strong reputation and long history as one of few schools in the Midwest to offer a four-year criminal justice program. Mount Mercy’s accomplished faculty prepare future community leaders by blending classroom learning with practical experience through guest speakers, field trips, and internships. Students studying criminal justice will be ready for a career in corrections, criminal investigation, policing, or juvenile justice.


Practice for real-world situations

Students are introduced to evidence-based practices and are prepared to take on employer demands for critical thinkers, effective communicators, and ethical decision makers— all of which are vital to being competitive in today’s marketplace.

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Working in this field is very challenging due to the population or demographic our services cater to. Unfortunately, when you look at the ‘success rate,’ it doesn’t look very promising—but when we hear back from patients that are successful, it makes everything worthwhile.

Erin Maeder '15, '20 MACJ
Assistant Director Area Substance Abuse Council

Careers in Criminal Justice

While many entry-level positions in policing do not require a 4-year degree, a college degree often makes an applicant more "marketable" and promotable. Participation in reserve and internship programs is also usually a plus.

The corrections field is one of the most rapidly growing segments of the criminal justice system.  Because the United States has more people incarcerated than any other country in the world, there are (and predictably will continue to be) a wealth of occupational opportunities in corrections.  Internships and volunteering are often excellent ways to break into this field.

A student who plans to attend law school is not required to have a specific undergraduate major.  Students going on to law school typically study a variety of subjects including, but not limited to, political science, criminal justice, philosophy, history, English, and economics.  Law schools look at a variety of criteria in admitting new law students. Some of the most important criteria are the undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and scores on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).  Criminal justice majors are urged to consider a double-major to prepare for law school admission.

As a relatively new discipline there are a small, but growing, number of graduate programs in criminal justice.  Many teaching and research careers are now available for those going on for the Master's degree, and especially the PhD degree.  Other criminal justice graduates have gone onto graduate studies in psychology, social work, criminology, and public policy.

Become a leader in the community.

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