Criminal Justice, Criminology and Law

Welcome to  Criminal Justice, Criminology and Law — one of the largest degree programs at Kentucky Wesleyan College. This program is intended to introduce students to the study of criminal behavior, criminal justice systems, social justice and law from a multidisciplinary, liberal-arts perspective.

Students seeking a degree in criminal justice and criminology or legal studies will study the complexities of relationships among the legal, social, political, historical and psychological influences affecting crime, criminals and law processes.


Kentucky Wesleyan’s Criminal Justice, Criminology and Law Program offers degrees in the following areas:

  • BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology
    The BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology is specifically designed to give students a choice in education and career planning. Students majoring in Criminal Justice and Criminology may choose either an emphasis in criminal justice or in criminology.
  • Criminal Justice Emphasis
    A degree emphasis in criminal justice is specifically designed for students who plan to enter the criminal justice field as a practitioner. It is recommended that any student who prefers to enter graduate school or law school major in Criminology or Legal Studies.
  • Criminology Emphasis
    A degree emphasis in criminology is specifically designed for students who plan to attend graduate school or law school or seek a career in social and behavioral research as well as the criminal justice field as a practitioner.
  • BA/BS in Legal Studies
    The Legal Studies program is an interdisciplinary course study of the law specifically designed for those planning to attend law school.

After obtaining a degree in criminal justice, criminology or legal studies, many students seek careers as professionals working within the criminal or juvenile justice system (i.e., courts, law enforcement, corrections), many students attend graduate school to conduct research on criminological issues and other students attend law school.

Courses focus on explanations for the development of law within society, why people break laws and how society reacts to law-breaking. Interdisciplinary breadth in the study of criminal justice, criminology and law is essential for those majoring in these fields of study.

NEW: 3+3 BS/Accelerated Law (J.D.) Program in Criminal Justice and Criminology

The 3+3 Accelerated Law program at the University of Louisville allows eligible undergraduate students to apply to the Brandeis School of Law in their junior year. Students admitted under the program fulfill their senior year of undergraduate credits through the successful completion of their first year law school courses, allowing them to graduate with both a baccalaureate degree at the end of their first year of law school from Kentucky Wesleyan College and Juris Doctor degree from the University of Louisville two years later, saving a year of tuition and related costs.

Online Criminal Justice Program

We also offer an online criminal justice program for those who need the convenience of learning at home. The Criminal Justice and Criminology (CJC) online degree at KWC was designed with the needs of adult students in mind, and meets the ever-increasing demand for qualified and highly skilled professionals in the field of law enforcement and other related fields.

This degree is available with an emphasis in criminal justice, which is specifically designed for students who plan to enter the criminal justice field as a practitioner or who want to attend graduate school or law school.

Service Learning

Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.

Service learning is a critical component to the Criminal Justice, Criminology and Law degree program. As a requirement for a degree in criminal justice and criminology, certain core courses are designated as service learning. Starting Fall 2019, new students seeking Criminal Justice and Criminology majors will be required to complete one service learning course (3 credit hour). See 2019-2020 bulletin for further details and prerequisites.

Criminal Justice Association

The Criminal Justice Association centers on the educational, social and career development of its members — the CJA is open to any student who is interested in the field of criminal justice, behavior or law.

The group normally meets every other Thursday in the Cox Conference room at 12:10 p.m.

The CJA strives to improve criminal justice through educational activities; promote professional, academic, and public awareness of criminal justice issues; and provide a unified voice for professionals and students in the field of criminal justice.

Each year, the CJA sponsor the Annual Career Fair and several fundraisers.