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Criminal Justice (CJ)

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of surveyed alumni within 9 months of graduation
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Evidence-based practices

Gain practical experience.

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.

The research methods I learned and the exposure I had to current issues and practices in my field assisted me in determining best practices for the police department to better serve the community.

Denise Brotherton '94, '20 MACJ


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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What are the next steps?

Mount Mercy offers competitive tuition and generous scholarships.

We also encourage all students to apply for federal, state, and other kinds of financial assistance.

Learn more about:

We make it easy by accepting applications year-round! No deadline, no fee, no pressure.

  1. Create your application
  2. Apply under standard admissions criteria or go "test optional"
  3. Request official transcripts from all institutions previously attended. Mail to:

* Mount Mercy University Admissions
  1330 Elmhurst Drive NE
  Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402

* If you are applying for an accelerated program, please mail to "Accelerated Programs"

For more detailed instructions on how to apply, see our Admissions page.

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.