Sociology & Criminal Justice Programs
WSU’s Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice offers 3 majors and 2 minors taught by faculty with extensive experience, both academically and in the field.
Criminal Justice students study subjects such as law enforcement, courts, law, corrections, and agencies dealing with juvenile offenders to be prepared for careers in police science and correctional agencies.
The criminal justice program offers students:
- Faculty with experience in a variety of criminal justice settings
- Development of critical thinking skills as well as proficiency in writing and communication
- Small classes tailored to a more personalized learning experience
- Development of professional leadership skills
- Affordable tuition
The Police Science major prepares students to be leaders in their communities. You will get specialized knowledge from faculty who have experience in all areas of the justice system.
With a focus on developing practical skills, students will learn the fundamentals of policing while building on a solid academic foundation.
WSU is certified by the Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (POST) to provide Professional Police Officers Education (PPOE).
This offers students the classes required to obtain POST licensure and move toward becoming a police officer in Minnesota.
The Corrections & Justice Services major will teach students the necessary skills and knowledge to work in a variety of criminal justice positions.
Students will learn about institutional corrections, community corrections and other positions within the area of justice services.
The Corrections & Justice Services major may be right for you if you:
- are interested in how offenders think
- want to help offenders succeed after their release from prison
- are passionate about working with juveniles or advocating for victims
Students can also minor in Criminal Justice. Through this minor, students will learn about some of the nation’s most pressing problems around:
- social control
Admissions & Retention Requirements
Admission to the criminal justice program requires:
- completion of ENG 111 or equivalent with a grade of a “C” or higher
- completion of SOC 150 and CJS 210 with a minimum GPA of 2.50 and with grades of a “C” or higher
The Criminal Justice Faculty will review and make a recommendation on the student’s application. You will be notified of the decision by email or mail.
Once admitted to the program, students must demonstrate acceptable progress to remain in good standing. You must maintain a 2.50 GPA for all courses taken within the criminal justice program.
The student must get a grade of at least a “C” in all course work in the criminal justice program. If you complete a course with a grade lower than a “C,” then you’ll have to repeat the course.
See full retention requirements in the Criminal Justice Handbook (PDF).
Graduates of the WSU Criminal Justice program can pursue a wide variety of careers.
Entry-level opportunities within the criminal justice profession are quite diverse, and professional requirements vary from position to position.
According to criminal justice professionals, it is beneficial to have other professional skills in addition to your criminal justice background.
Many federal, state, and local corrections and law enforcement agencies are seeking individuals with Spanish-speaking skills. Agencies can also consider proficiency in other languages useful.
Others believe that education in the areas of accounting, computer science, and chemical use assessment is relevant in hiring decisions of some agencies.
- Police Officer/Deputy
- Canine Officer
- SWAT team member
- State Trooper
- Crime Scene Tech.
- Juvenile Officer
- Fish & Wildlife Officer
- Campus safety
- Special victims unit
- Railroad Police Officer
- Airport Police Officer
- Correction Officer
- Adult Probation
- Juvenile Probation
- Adult Parole
- Community Corrections
- Classification Officer
- Detention Officer
- Case Manager
- Housing Unit Manager
- Special Operations
- Absconder Unit
- Treatment Specialist
- Pre-Trial Officer
- Court Administrator
- Court clerk
- Legal Assistant/researcher
- Defense counsel
- Diversion Officer
Sociology students will learn how to create change for people and societies through critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills.
You will also explore situations from multiple perspectives, setting aside assumptions and looking at the big picture.
Explore how social experiences and social structure shape people’s beliefs and behavior.
This major will help you better understand human social behavior in a variety of settings using scientific research and theories.
In this minor, you’ll learn how to use sociological skills and knowledge to engage with today’s social issues.
You’ll also evaluate the causes and consequences of social inequality.
Here are some careers sociology students pursue after graduation:
- Admissions Counselor
- Career Counselor
- Child Welfare Worker
- Customer Service Director
- Guidance Counselor
- Hospital Administrator
- Human Resources
- Market Researcher
- Marriage Counselor
- Probation Officer
- Public Relations Manager
- Rehabilitation Counselor
- Social Worker
Minne Hall 212