Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice Program offers students an interdisciplinary degree experience designed to provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary for a career in criminal justice or advanced studies. The program provides an understanding of the justice system, its functions, problems, and cultural impacts, as well as an understanding of the forces that impact crime and deviance. 

Students can major or minor in criminal justice.

Students majoring in Criminal Justice are required to complete courses related to crime, policing, corrections, criminal justice, criminal law, and juvenile justice. They are also required to take courses in political science, sociology, psychology, and philosophy. Students are encouraged to take criminal justice electives on topics such as social problems, drugs and crime, forensic anthropology, and family violence.

Students who minor in criminal justice are required to take 15 hours of criminal justice and sociology courses. This plan of study complements the educational pursuits of students in many different majors. This program provides a general overview of the criminal and juvenile justice systems and an understanding of the cultural and environmental factors that impact crime.

Kappa Mu

Criminal Justice majors are encouraged to join Kappa Mu, the Wesleyan chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association. Members organize various events, such as lectures by criminal justice professionals, fundraising, and preparing for regional conference competitions.

Students can run for elected positions in the group. Here are the officers from 2013.

Members and officers in the inaugural year.


Students who major in criminal justice are required to complete an internship or independent study course to fulfill the cross-cultural experiential requirement. Most students choose an internship. Students have interned with numerous local and state police agencies, correctional agencies, juvenile justice institutions, day report centers, probation and parole agencies, law firms, and courts.

After Graduation

Students who graduate with a degree in criminal justice are prepared for many unique employment opportunities. Graduates are eligible for careers in: law enforcement, community and institutional corrections, victim-based programs, probation and parole, and juvenile justice programs among others.

Our program also prepares graduates for further education in the areas of criminal justice, criminology, sociology, and law school.

Student testimonials

"The Criminal Justice program at West Virginia Wesleyan College has given me not only the knowledge, but also the skills to succeed in life. This program pushed me to be the best that i can be personally and professionally, and prepared me for a great career in the CJ field. Choosing WVWC's CJ program was one of the best decisions of my life!"

            --Heather Petre, 11

"My time in the Criminal Justice program not only prepared me for grad school at WVU but the professors helped me become a better person."

            --Adrianna Espinosa 10

After transferring into an Intro to Criminal Justice course with Dr. Miller the fall of my sophomore year I have yet to look back and consider changing my major. I was undecided when I transferred into the course and after the experience I had learning about the laws, behaviors, crimes and criminals in our society I decided this is what I wanted to do. I have been able to make great connections and earn valuable experience as a criminal justice major that will help me in any future explorations. I’m very grateful I transferred into that class on a whim and definitely didn’t look back!

            --Teena Marcum, 13 Criminal Justice Major

I first fell in love with Criminal Justice on accident when I took one of their general education classes. Soon after I decided to take CJ up as a major. The teachers are fantastic and so helpful. I served as the President of the Criminal Justice Student Association (Kappa Mu). I am proud of the work we did for the community and school. Now that I am in graduate school, I realize how much the program prepared me for this experience.

--Kristen Kisner, 14 Criminal Justice and Psychology Major

“Coming to Wesleyan, I wasn’t sure if criminal justice was what I honestly wanted to do. Now that I have graduated and am working in the criminal justice system, I know I couldn’t have decided on a better major.”

-Kyle McGee 13 Criminal Justice

The criminal justice program at Wesleyan has given me more opportunities than I can even mention.  The professors in the department of Criminal Justice and Sociology stopped at nothing to make sure I experienced success while learning and understanding the world of social science and its role in the justice system.   From an amazing internship opportunity, to involvement in the Criminal Justice Student Organization, I’ve experienced the benefits that Wesleyan has to offer.  I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and privilege to be a part of the Criminal Justice department here at Wesleyan.

--Zach Perkey 13 Criminal Justice

Being a CJ major has truly given me great opportunities, from an amazing study abroad trip, to an enlightening internship within a federal agency. Using all that I have learned in the CJ department, I have unlimited opportunities to get into a great workforce and further pursue my goals in law enforcement.

--JT Noland Senior Criminal Justice Major