Our program has been in place for over thirty years and we have an outstanding reputation for producing well educated and well trained criminal justice practitioners. You will be taught by former and active police officers, corrections officers and lawyers.  The program combines academic and hands-on training.  Courses in criminal investigation, firearms training and agency internships will help you acquire the necessary skills to excel in your future careers.

The Criminal Justice program has been providing students with an opportunity to achieve self-actualization in a number of broad areas.  These include, but are not limited to:

A strong focus on critical thinking

The emphasis on abstract thinking using concepts and a focus on critical thinking begins with the CJUS 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice and carries forward to advanced courses.  This regiment introduces and acclimates students into a more advanced mindset to help attain academic excellence throughout their four years at LSSU.

A multi-faceted approach

The Department exposes students to varied approaches within tracks in Criminal Justice.  This involves understanding the different disciplines and examining how they inter-relate on particular issues. The program also focuses on both macro and micro level of analyses in helping to gain a more comprehensive understanding of issues under study.

A strong emphasis on writing

The program prides itself in emphasizing and implementing writing as a central component in many of its courses.  Students are expected to refine and build on their writing skills, which lend itself to the production of quality work in the CJUS 401 Senior Seminar capstone course, and further such as graduate work, law school or in criminal justice careers where writing skills are integral.

A strong emphasis on research

The program takes pride in being part of an elite academic community that offers undergraduate students the opportunity to undertake actual research.  The program believes that all courses taught in the curriculum, and in particular the emphasis of the arch of core courses will help form the necessary foundation for the CJUS 401 Senior Seminar capstone course that involves the research process including statistical data analysis.  It is contended that our students will be better prepared for graduate school, or other areas of life where these skills can be applied.

  • Students learn proper forensic techniques within one of our dedicated criminalistics labs.

    LSSU is one of a few criminal justice programs to offer students an on-site shooting range.
  • LSSU is one of a few criminal justice programs to offer students an on-site shooting range.

    Students learn proper forensic techniques within one of our dedicated criminalistics labs.


Bachelors of Science Degree

The Bachelors of Science Degree, Criminal Justice Generalist is designed to provide a comprehensive background in the areas of the criminal justice field, affording students to augment the degree with a specialized minor. Specialized minors can include Corrections, Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, and Institutional Loss Control.  Students can also pursue an Associate’s Degree in the areas of Corrections, Law Enforcement, and Homeland Security.

The generalist degree program also attracts considerable interest from Canadian students, more specifically students from Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.  The Department of Criminal Justice has a working relationship with Sault College, where transfer credits are accepted and students are transitioned into the final year or two years of the degree.  The degree offers foreign students an opportunity to gain a marketable degree attained at an American postsecondary institution.

The generalist degree attracts interest from students who wish to pursue graduate school, particularly in a growing field of criminal justice which has seen exponential growth at the Masters level across Michigan and the United States, and emerging emphasis at the doctoral level.

Criminal Justice offers two types of programs

Students can choose to take a Bachelor (four- year program), or Associate (two-year program)

Bachelor’s are offered for the following concentrations:

  • Criminal Justice – Corrections: Bachelor of Science
  • Criminal Justice – Criminalistics: Bachelor of Science
  • Criminal Justice – Generalist: Bachelor of Science
  • Criminal Justice – Homeland Security: Bachelor of Science
  • Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement: Bachelor of Science
  • Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement Certification: Bachelor of Science
  • Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement Certification with NRT: Bachelor of Science
  • Criminal Justice – Public Safety: Bachelor of Science

Students can also choose to do a second major or a minor in any other of the eight concentrations.  They can also choose to simultaneously do an Associate’s program while working toward a Bachelor’s degree.  This affords students opportunity and potential for diversifying their educational concentrations and maximizing their potential when applying for work in the field.

Associate Degrees are offered for the following concentrations:

“After graduating from Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario from the Police Foundations program, I came to LSSU.  I chose LSSU because of the effective partnership between the two schools. The credit transfer program allowed me to take my credits I had earned over a two year period at Sault College to Lake State as university credits and finish my Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in only one year.”

“I also received a scholarship from LSSU for my GPA while at Sault College which helped me out a lot financially. I really enjoy the small classes and the professors who have a passion for what they are teaching. I like the fact that the professors have had a lot of experience within their field previous to teaching. Having this education will further my career in law enforcement and it gives me the tools I need to succeed.”

Hannah Gareau

“LSSU is close to where I live: just under an hour away.  Classes are small and the professors are approachable and willing to help with whatever questions I may have. They seem to genuinely want students to achieve their goals and potential. Smaller classes allow more opportunity for students and professors to get to know one another. Professors are enthusiastic about their respective courses that they teach. Professors treat students with the dignity and respect. The professors of criminal justice are more engaging.”

“The cost was actually less than expected for international students. There were universities in Canada that would have cost just as much if not more than LSSU. Another thing relating to this is that LSSU has equivalent transfer credits which many universities do not have or they do not take all credits into account and make students retake classes they have already done at another institution.”

“ The field of law enforcement and other related criminal justice fields are highly competitive so by having a degree it will show I went beyond a simple diploma and that I took an extra step to further my education. I plan to apply for Canadian law enforcement agencies within Ontario once I finish. However, I am also going to apply for border security and corrections if I do not get into law enforcement. Again, by having a degree from LSSU I have a broader knowledge of different fields of criminal justice rather than just law enforcement.”

Emily Beitz

Outstanding Alumni

The Criminal Justice – Generalist degree provides an ideal, tangible academic achievement that improves student opportunities for employment and advancement within the field.  While many of the program’s graduates are working in law enforcement, corrections and related fields, some accept positions within the federal government (FBI, DEA, US Customs, etc). Graduates are also finding careers with private security firms, criminal laboratories, private practice attorneys, and education.
  • Clayton Graham, Probate Judge for Mackinac County
  • Scott Strait, Sheriff of Mackinac County, MI
  • Steve Nusbaum, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Headquarters, Office of International Affairs in Washington, DC
  • Joel Postma, FBI agent, Detroit, MI
  • Michael Bitnar, Sheriff of Chippewa County, MI
  • Robery Marchand, Sault Tribal Police Chief
  • Joe Micolo, Kinross District Police Chief
  • Tony Fazarri, US Customs Deputy Chief.

Employers of Criminal Justice Graduates

  • Multiple city and county law enforcement departments/agencies (too many to list!)
  • Bay Mills Police Dept.
  • Bureau of Immigration/Customs Enf.
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • California State Crime Lab
  • Canada Customs & Revenue Agency
  • Central Michigan Univ. Police Dept.
  • Coast Guard Investigative Service
  • Department of Justice – US Marshals
  • Dept. of Attorney General
  • Dept. of Defense
  • Dept. of Homeland Security
  • Dept. of Natural Resources
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigations
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • George Washington Univ. Police Dept.
  • Lake Superior State University
  • Little River Band of Ottawa Indians PS
  • Michigan State Police
  • Michigan State Police Crime Labs
  • Michigan State University Police
  • Ministry of Public Safety & Security
  • Montana Department of Corrections
  • Ontario Provincial Police
  • Rochester, Minnesota Police Department
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Sault Ste. Marie Police Department
  • Sault Tribe
  • United States Marshals Service
  • Univ. of Florida Police Dept.
  • U.S. Customs
  • Wisconsin State Crime Lab – Wausau