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Criminal Justice Major

Working in law enforcement is a rewarding career that allows you to improve the quality of life in our communities. Our Criminal Justice major is designed to give you an understanding of both the criminal justice system in America and the school of criminology, in addition to sociological, psychological, biological, and ethical issues of concern to those who work in the field. It’s a major for those interested in the interrelationships between the criminal justice system and society. With a degree you can pursue a career in law enforcement, government, teaching or private industry.

Why Grand View?

  • Develop a greater understanding of the criminal and juvenile justice processes.
  • Apply criminal justice theory to real-world situations.
  • Analyze and interpret criminal justice system data.
  • Formulate ethical responses to professional situations.
Career Options

Our recent graduates are enjoying rewarding careers in the following jobs:

  • Police Officers
  • Detectives
  • Correctional Officers
  • Crime Scene Investigators
  • Fraud Investigators
  • TSA / Homeland Security
  • Forensic Specialists
  • Law School
  • Immigration / Customs Enforcement
  • Division of Criminal Investigation
  • State Troopers
  • Probation Officers
  • Postal Inspectors
  • U.S. Marshals
  • Cyber Security
  • FBI
  • Public Safety
  • Secret Service
  • Graduate School

What Can I Do With This Major?

Course Requirements

Prerequisites for Courses in the Major

These courses will not be counted in computing the GPA for the major.

STAT 241 or PSYC 239 Principles of Statistics or Statistics for Social Sciences 4 credits
or
3 credits

Prerequisites for the Major

These courses will not be counted in computing the GPA for the major but must be taken to complete the major.

POLS 110 National Government 3 credits
PSYC 101 General Psychology 3 credits
SOCS 101 Introduction to Sociology 3 credits

Requirements for Major (49 credits)

SOCS 150 Introduction to Criminal Justice and Ethics 1 credit
SOCS 215 Race and Ethnic Relations 3 credits
SOCS 220 Corrections and Penology 3 credits
PSYC / SOCS 310 Social Psychology 3 credits
SOCS 315 Social Problems 3 credits
SOCS 318 Criminological Theory 3 credits
PSYC 320 Abnormal Psychology 3 credits
POLS 340 American Constitutional Law and Development I 3 credits
SOCS 340 Juvenile Justice and Gangs 3 credits
POLS / SOCS 350 Research Methods for the Social Sciences 3 credits
SOCS 360 Police and the Courts 3 credits
PSYC / SOCS 362 Forensic Socio-Psychology 3 credits
SOCS 399 Internship 3 credits
SOCS 420 Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation 3 credits
SOCS 450 Senior Seminar 3 credits

Electives - Choose 6 credit hours

POLS 315 Introduction to Public Administration 3 credits
SOCS 331 Crime and the Media 1 credit
SOCS 333 Women and Crime 1 credit
SOCS 334 Serial Killers 1 credit
SOCS 335 Violence in the Workplace 1 credit
SOCS 336 The Sociology of the Weird and Bizarre 1 credit
SOCS 363 Domestic Violence 1 credit
SOCS 364 Dysfunctional Family 1 credit
SOCS 365 Divorce in America 1 credit
SOCS / BSAD 367 White Collar Crime 3 credits
SOCS 375 Homeland Security and Law Enforcement 3 credits
SOCS 380 Topics in Non-violence 3 credits
SOCS 392 Independent Study 1 - 4 credits
SOCS 430 Special Topics 1 - 4 credits

Grand View 2+2 Program

Prerequisites for Courses in the Major

These courses will not be counted in computing the GPA for the major.

STAT 241 or PSYC 239 Principles of Statistics or Statistics for Social Sciences 4 credits
or
3 credits

Prerequisites for the Major

These courses will not be counted in computing the GPA for the major but must be taken to complete the major.

PSYC 101 General Psychology 3 credits
SOCS 101 Introduction to Sociology 3 credits

Requirements for Major (30 credits)

PSYC / SOCS 310 Social Psychology 3 credits
SOCS 315 Social Problems 3 credits
SOCS 318 Criminological Theory 3 credits
SOCS 340 Juvenile Justice and Gangs 3 credits
POLS / SOCS 350 Research Methods for the Social Sciences 3 credits
PSYC / SOCS 362 Forensic Socio-Psychology 3 credits
SOCS 399 Internship 3 credits
SOCS 450 Senior Seminar 3 credits

Electives - Choose 6 credit hours

POLS 315 Introduction to Public Administration 3 credits
POLS 340 American Constitutional Law and Development I 3 credits
PSYC 320 Abnormal Psychology 3 credits
SOCS 215 Race and Ethnic Relations 3 credits
SOCS 220 Corrections and Penology 3 credits
SOCS 331 Crime and the Media 1 credit
SOCS 333 Women and Crime 1 credit
SOCS 334 Serial Killers 1 credit
SOCS 335 Violence in the Workplace 1 credit
SOCS 336 The Sociology of the Weird and Bizarre 1 credit
SOCS 360 Police and the Courts 3 credits
SOCS 363 Domestic Violence 1 credit
SOCS 364 Dysfunctional Family 1 credit
SOCS 365 Divorce in America 1 credit
SOCS / BSAD 367 White Collar Crime 3 credits
SOCS 375 Homeland Security and Law Enforcement 3 credits
SOCS 380 Topics in Non-violence 3 credits
SOCS 392 Independent Study 1 - 4 credits
SOCS 420 Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation 3 credits
SOCS 430 Special Topics 1 - 4 credits
Download Degree Checklist

Rasmussen Center

Dedicated in 2008, the 42,851 square-foot $8.5 million building houses the departments of art, education, history, criminal justice, political studies, psychology and sociology, as well as general-purpose classrooms, art studios, computer labs, the ALT Center, faculty offices, and various student amenities.

Virtual Tour

Awards and Accomplishments

Erin Krei '17 • A 2017 criminal justice major, Erin is pursuing her master's in biodefense from George Mason University.

Internships & Beyond

Students pursuing a Criminal Justice degree have the opportunity to work on internships at various criminal justice agencies in Des Moines and the surrounding areas. Students have completed internships in many area businesses: Mainstream Living Inc., Fifth Judicial District-Dept. of Corrections, Polk/Warren County Juvenile court, Iowa Department of Human Services and the Altoona Police Department.

Career Outlook

Earning a degree in criminal justice can help you get hired for many different job opportunities within the criminal justice field. While police officers make up a large portion of the professionals working in law enforcement, there are many more career options that you may want to consider. 

With the wide range of roles available, you can find a job that is a good fit for your unique interests, skills, talents, and salary expectations.

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