At a glance

The Criminal Justice Program at Carthage leads students on a thorough examination of the various institutions that make up the traditional criminal justice system. Students evaluate and discuss the types of laws and practices that constitute a free, humane, secure, and responsible society.

Major

  • Criminal Justice

Minor 

  • Criminal Justice

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The Criminal Justice Program at Carthage gives students a complete understanding of criminal justice, from lawmaking to lawbreaking.

Students take courses in political science and sociology, in addition to traditional criminal justice courses like Criminal Law and Constitutional Criminal Procedure. Criminal justice personnel need to fully appreciate the legal issues involved in their work, the nature of the social problems they encounter, and the psychology of people whose attitudes toward law enforcement differ from their own. Without this understanding, criminal justice personnel are not well-equipped for their jobs.

  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/116/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,185,374,559/405_Luisa_Nava_23.rev.1638389814.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/116/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,185,374,559/405_Luisa_Nava_23.rev.1638389814.webp 2x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/116/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,185,374,559/405_Luisa_Nava_23.rev.1638389814.jpg 2x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/116/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,185,374,559/405_Luisa_Nava_23.rev.1638389814.jpg" alt="" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/116/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,185,374,559/405_Luisa_Nava_23.rev.1638389814.jpg 2x" data-max-w="374" data-max-h="374" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “My relationships with the faculty members within my majors are both professional and personal. They never fail to help me out whenever I need it.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/513-">Luisa Nava</a> ’23</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.jpg" alt="Nicole Biba ?24" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2137" data-max-h="2136" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p>  “The professors at Carthage are very helpful and very knowledgeable about their areas of study. I love how engaged they are in the class.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/505-">Nicole Biba</a> ’24</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/35930_Kiah_Martin_23.rev.1665000414.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/35930_Kiah_Martin_23.rev.1665000414.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/35930_Kiah_Martin_23.rev.1665000414.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/35930_Kiah_Martin_23.rev.1665000414.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/35930_Kiah_Martin_23.rev.1665000414.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/35930_Kiah_Martin_23.rev.1665000414.jpg" alt="Kiah Martin ?23" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/35930_Kiah_Martin_23.rev.1665000414.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/35930_Kiah_Martin_23.rev.1665000414.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2400" data-max-h="3200" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “I chose Carthage because, coming from a town with a large state university, I knew a large class size was not for me. I did not want to get lost in a crowd of students, and I knew that creating relationships with faculty and other students was important for me.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2088-">Kiah Martin</a> ’23</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/41/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,400/36434_Cade-Wilson-23.rev.1669667141.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,400/36434_Cade-Wilson-23.rev.1669667141.webp 2x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,400/36434_Cade-Wilson-23.rev.1669667141.jpg 2x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,400/36434_Cade-Wilson-23.rev.1669667141.jpg" alt="Cade Wilson ?23" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,400/36434_Cade-Wilson-23.rev.1669667141.jpg 2x" data-max-w="400" data-max-h="400" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “The small class sizes at Carthage allowed me to develop a more impactful relationship with professors, which made me more comfortable speaking up in class when I didn’t understand something or when I felt passionate about a topic.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2174-cade-wilson">Cade Wilson</a> ’23</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>

Experienced, Expert Faculty

“Students leave here and they’re not just trained to be police officers. They can do all kinds of things in their careers, and our graduates reflect that flexibility.”

— Rick Matthews, Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice

The criminal justice faculty includes professors with Ph.D.s in sociology, as well as professional law enforcement officers and attorneys. The department regularly invites alumni to speak to current students, which allows criminal justice majors to hear directly from graduates who have gone on to work in a variety of positions and fields.

Flexible Degree

The criminal justice major at Carthage is designed for students who are planning a career in criminal justice, such as law and judiciary fields, law enforcement and administration, probation and parole, criminology, adult and juvenile corrections, and urban planning and affairs. There are a wide range of criminal justice careers at the local, state, and national levels. Students who graduate with a degree in criminal justice also leave Carthage with a solid foundation in the liberal arts. They have learned to read critically, think independently and communicate effectively.

Learn more about Careers in criminal justice