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Criminal Justice (B.A.)

SWOSU offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and minor in Criminal Justice and Sociology. Our program has been preparing students for careers in criminal justice for over 30 years. Graduates find employment in federal, state, and local criminal justice organizations and agencies.  They work in law enforcement, corrections, probation, parole, and juvenile justice programs. Many of our students also go on to pursue advanced study in graduate programs and law schools.

What is Criminal Justice?

Criminal justice is an all-inclusive degree that focuses on the three components of the criminal justice system: the courts, law enforcement and corrections. Our students leave with career flexibility to work in all three areas. In addition, students develop research, writing and presentation skills that prepare them for their careers after college. The field of criminal justice continues to grow and we hope you will allow us to help you to grow with it.

Career Sampling

  • Law Enforcement
  • Corrections
  • Probation and Parole
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Social Justice and Advocacy
  • Counseling and Rehabilitation
  • Victims Services
  • Education

Median Pay*

  • Police and Detectives: $63,380
  • Corrections: $44,400
  • Legal Occupations: $80,810
  • Education (post-secondary): $61,900

*Occupational Outlook Handbook—2018

Why Criminal Justice at SWOSU?

Our program is student centered and goes beyond what you might expect in an undergraduate degree. Our faculty are published scholars with practical experience who teach using a modern criminological approach. They help students understand and analyze the causes of crime, the inner workings of the judicial system, the challenges of the correctional system, and problems facing law enforcement in a rapidly changing social environment.

The criminal justice program has an interdisciplinary component and also draws selectively from the work of political science, sociology, & economics faculty.

We want you to excel in your career and believe you will benefit from the value added skills acquired in our courses through primary research, critical analysis, writing and presentations. Here is a brief list of the advantages we offer our students.

  • One-on-one advising using our newly developed self-serve system
  • Research skills
  • Writing about criminal justice issues
  • Presentations of your work at campus-hosted events and conferences
  • Research assistant positions with faculty
  • Internships in the community
  • Opportunities for travel to national and regional conferences
  • Graduate school and law school preparation

At SWOSU you will get to know the faculty and they will get to know you. Our major classes are small enough that you will be able to ask questions and challenge yourself to defend your views in a safe and open academic environment. You are encouraged to drop by our offices and ask questions or engage in stimulating conversations. You will come to realize that you have become part of a unique academic and professional culture that will support you as you grow into critically informed criminal justice experts.


Dr. Daniel Kavish | Dr. Howard Kurtz

Student Activities

Traveling to Academic Conferences


Whether you are considering graduate school, working in the public sector, or attending law school, this is a great way to work on presentation skills while building your resume. Our students are set apart by their involvement in under graduate research and conference attendance.


Our students attend conferences in Major cities across the US and local conferences that take place right here in Oklahoma and surrounding states. Conferences generally address important topics and trends in criminal justice. All have student sections that will allow you to present your ideas to state, regional or national audiences. They are also a great source of networking for career minded students.


Every year a group of our students attend academic conferences and also compete in student research competitions, crime scene competitions, and other events. This is an opportunity for you to present papers or projects you develop in class to audiences within your field. Check with your professor or advisor for information on upcoming conferences and possible funding for student research activities.  Your professors will assist you with this process through assignments and mentoring.