Bachelor of Arts: Criminal Justice and Criminology

University Requirements

General Education

UMKC Essentials is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete. The 30-credit hour program includes a First Year Experience course; three critical thinking courses in the areas of Arts & Humanities, Natural & Physical Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences; a Culture and Diversity course; a Civic & Urban Engagement course; two courses in Written Composition and one course in Oral Communication; and a Math Pathway course. Transfer students entering UMKC will elect from the UMKC Essentials General Education Program or the Missouri Core 42 General Education Curriculum.  Academic advisors will meet with incoming transfer students to determine which option best serves the student’s educational needs. More information about General Education may be found here:

Constitution Course 

Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination

In accordance with Missouri Senate Bill 807 (section 170.013.1), 'any student entering a public institution of higher education for the first time after July 2019 who is pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree from such institution shall successfully pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics with a score of seventy percent or greater as a condition of graduation from such institution'.  To satisfy this requirement at UMKC, students access the exam through the Canvas site. This requirement will be listed in the degree audit system as, 'Take State Mandated Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination', and listed on the transcript as 'Missouri Civics Examination'.   

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • communicate professionally and effectively orally and in writing for the identified audience.
  • identify the diverse skills needed to succeed in this field and utilize these skills to address real-world problems.
  • evaluate different careers paths resulting from their CJC undergraduate degree.
  • demonstrate the ability to link theory, research and policy.
  • demonstrate the ability to engage with and address existing social problems.

The mission of the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology is to offer students the opportunity to learn how to analyze and interpret the systems of social control that are applied through the criminal justice system and throughout society, as well as how to explain the causes and consequences of these social structures. This major focuses on crime, criminals, and professionals who handle these concerns through arrest, court processing and punishments. As such, the major emphasizes community engagement and service so to prepare students for the jobs and leadership opportunities that will be necessary for their role as future change agents. The major offers skills in critical thinking and in conducting and evaluating research which promote evidence-based decision-making and effective communication. Always striving for best practices, this major is especially relevant to the urban engagement mission of the university, and its domain is always situated within inclusive learning environments which demand students become culturally competent individuals in order to understand and thrive in society.

Career Implications

The B.A. curriculum is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions and middle-management careers in the public and private sectors of police and security services, adult and juvenile justice systems and post-adjudicatory services such as probation, parole and related private organizations, as well as federal, state and local administrative agencies. The program is intended to augment skills that are developed in the training programs and academies of service agencies and to develop new talent for the wide variety of agencies and organizations that administer our legal institutions. In addition to the foregoing variety of career roles, CJC majors can exercise career options in consulting, government, human services, journalism and urban planning, and with the appropriate graduate training, in teaching social work, criminology and law.

Program Requirements

UMKC Essentials

First Semester Experience Course (GEFSE)3
Written Communication:
ENGLISH 110Introduction to Academic Prose3
ENGLISH 225English II: Intermediate Academic Prose3
Oral Communication (choose one of the following):3
Fundamentals of Effective Speaking and Listening
Introduction to Communication
Argumentation And Debate (offered via dual credit only)
Interpersonal Communication
Math Pathway (choose one of the following):3
Mathematics For Liberal Arts
Statistical Reasoning
Precalculus Algebra
Precalculus (5 credit hours)
Any 200-level MATH or STAT course
ACT Math Subscore of 28 or higher; or SAT Math Subscore of 660 or higher
Critical Thinking in Arts & Humanities (GECRT-AH)3
Critical Thinking in Natural & Physical Sciences (GECRT-SC)3
Critical Thinking in Social & Behavioral Sciences (GECRT-SS)3
Culture & Diversity Course (GECDV)3
Civic & Urban Engagement Course (GECUE)3
Total Credits30

Constitution Course Requirement

Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.” 

Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:

Choose one of the following:3
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
U.S. History to 1877
U.S. History Since 1877
Honors American Government
American Government
Total Credits3

There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:

  • Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
  • Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
  • Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.

School of Humanities and Social Sciences Degree Requirements

Writing Intensive Course (300-level or above; satisfied in major requirements below):0
Total Credits0

Major Requirements

Students must successfully complete the major requirements below with at least 21 of the 36 required hours taken in the department at UMKC with at least 12 of those hours at the 300-level or above. 

Foundation Courses
CJC 101Introduction To Criminal Justice3
CJC 301Theoretical Criminology3
or MOTRCRIM 205 MOTR Criminology
CJC 302Methods of Criminological Research3
CJC 303Introduction to Statistics in Sociology and Criminal Justice3
Systems Courses
Select one course each system:9
Policing In The Community
Policing in America
Principles & Practices of Criminal Courts
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
Principles Of Corrections
Community Corrections
Capstone Course
CJC 495WICapstone: Criminal Justice And Criminology3
Major Electives 112
Delinquency And Juvenile Justice
Gangs and Crime
Criminal Justice & Criminology in Popular Media
Race, Class and Justice
Blackness as Threat
Immigration and Crime
Ethical Issues in Policing, Law, and Corrections
Crime Scene Investigation
Advocacy and Crisis Intervention
Human Trafficking
Mock Trial
New Dimensions In Criminal Justice
Justice-Oriented Career Mapping and Development
Women, Crime And Criminal Justice
Hate & Bias Crimes
Restorative Justice
The Death Penalty In America
Directed Studies In Criminal Justice And Criminology
Professional Placement and Skill Enhancement
Total Credits36

Students must receive a grade of no lower than C- in the core required courses (CJC 101, CJC 301, CJC 302, CJC 303, and CJC 495WI) and achieve an overall GPA of 2.0 in the major. Students with more than one academic major may apply only 9 credit hours from another degree program toward the CJC major.

It is suggested that students broaden their course choices by selecting related offerings in English (especially those courses that stress writing skills), philosophy, history, geography, political science, psychology, sociology and public administration.

General Electives

Students must take elective credit hours to meet the minimum credit hour requirement for their degree, including at least 36 credit hours of coursework at the 300-level or above. The minimum required by the university is 120 credit hours, of which at least 30 credit hours must be taken at UMKC, but some degree programs require more.

General Electives 51

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Total Credit Hours: 120

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years.  Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”.  In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major. Please see the tab above to view the major map for this program.

UMKC’s Transfer Guides provide detailed guidance on recommended transfer coursework, plans of study, transfer timelines, and transfer contact information. To ensure a seamless transfer experience, students are encouraged to work with both their community college advisor and a UMKC advisor when planning their coursework.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Audit’ degree audit system provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for students' officially recorded (Office of the Registrar) and “what if” exploratory plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Plans’ degree planning tool enables students to develop a personalized semester by semester plan of study towards completion of degree requirements for student’s officially recorded (Office of the Registrar) and “what if” exploratory plans of study. Update and edit your full plan to degree completion each term and confirm accuracy each semester with your Academic Advisor(s).