Criminal Justice

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“The mission of the Criminal Justice program at Mary Baldwin University is to produce graduates who utilize critical thinking skills to better understand and analyze crime and the criminal justice system by focusing on the social, cultural and political dimensions of these systems in the United States and the World.  The continually changing nature of crime requires an understanding of societal changes that affect the practice of criminal justice.  Our curriculum includes both academic and applied coursework with opportunities for practical application of classroom concepts.”

With over 55,000 agencies in the United States that are part of the Criminal Justice System, the need for qualified, educated practitioners is greater than ever.  The well-prepared professional should be knowledgeable and skilled in every component of, and the issues that influence, the Criminal Justice System in order to effectively address the public’s demand for protection and services.  Most Federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree to be considered for employment.  Most local agencies require advanced college degrees to be considered for promotion.  To be competitive, most public safety executives have post graduate degrees.


Mary Baldwin University offers a strong concentration of courses in the Liberal Arts providing the student with a unique knowledge of society and how the influences of social, economic, and cultural differences have an effect on the Criminal Justice System.  Academic majors and minors in the Criminal Justice Program are encouraged to be critical thinkers and explore and analyze issues with a solid theoretical foundation and scientific research methods.  As part of the College of Business and Professional Studies, students graduate with strong theoretical and applied skills while being involved in a multitude of professional development activities.  The program is available fully online through Baldwin Online and Adult Programs

Courses in Social Systems, Public Policy and Administration, Ethics, with emphasis in Anthropology, Criminology, Comparative Criminal Justice Systems  and Deviance are complimented by instruction in the application of professional services.  Skills learned in these courses enable students to critically analyze the complex factors generating crime, the societal issues associated with crime, and the institutional responses to crime.  Graduates identify historical trends in these “factors”, “issues” and “responses” so that in their future careers they are better able to identify problems as they emerge and to more effectively create new and innovative solutions.

Students who excel academically are eligible for induction into Nu Sigma, Mary Baldwin’s chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society.


Complete your criminal justice degree online.



Coursework for our criminal justice degree can be completed fully online through the university’s innovative Baldwin Online and Adult Programs. Just like in-person classes, the Blackboard-interface program emphasizes the development of strong conceptual skills in tandem with practical applications. MBU helps you fast-track your path to a criminal justice degree with the opportunity to transfer up to 27 credits (9 courses) through direct course equivalents from the Virginia Community Colleges System as well as the ability to earn up to 6 credits for work experience.

Faculty with more than 60 years of experience in law enforcement as well as in those who are leaders in academic research prepare students for careers, graduate school, and beyond.

Designed to equip students with hands-on career preparation, the criminal justice major requires an internship in addition to online coursework.

Criminal justice is also available as a minor.


Why study criminal justice at Mary Baldwin University?



What you learn as a student of Criminal Justice:

  • About crime: the social creation of crime and the social responses to crime in diverse societies and cultures.
  • Analysis and methodology of crime, it’s causes and effects.
  • About the criminal justice system and judicial processes: the functions of police, courts, lawyers, jails, bail, and prisons; constitutional law.
  • About the challenges communities face: terrorism, drugs, and social inequality.
  • About “how to”: police procedure, crime scene investigation, forensics, corrections, mediation, and judicial procedures.
  • About yourself: personal awareness, confidence, empathy; your ability to make a difference in the lives of others.

Our partners in the community: Experience matters. In Mary Baldwin’s Criminal Justice Program our community partners provide the hands-on experience you need. Options include

  • Staunton Police Department
  • Waynesboro Police Department
  • Augusta County Sheriff’s Department
  • Office on Youth
  • Middle River Regional Jail
  • SAW Coalition
  • Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Detention Center
  • Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice

These are just a few of the organizations that are available to help you learn through direct on-the-job experience.

Careers and Connections. Recent graduates from Mary Baldwin University are currently working as lawyers, police officers, and social workers. They are employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security and all branches of the military. We will gladly put you in contact with alumnae in the criminal justice field.


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