Preparing you to succeed in the criminal justice or legal studies professions

Whether you're interested in a career in law enforcement, corrections, security administration, forensic investigation or legal studies, Washburn University's Criminal Justice & Legal Studies department will prepare you to succeed. While working with faculty who have real world experience, you'll learn the necessary theoretical, practical and critical thinking skills to compete in today's job market.

Forensic Investigations

The forensic investigations major will prepare you to work in the field as a crime scene investigator. Our curriculum provides you with hands-on experience and with the critical thinking and reasoning skills necessary for you to succeed in the field.

Meet student success story Emma Morrissey

Sophomore Emma Morrissey learned about Washburn from one of her high school teachers in Overland Park. She fell in love with campus and the Criminal Justice program, now her major. Emma is president of the Criminal Justice Association on campus and plans to attend law school after she receives her undergraduate degree.

Rick Rescorla Homeland Security Lecture Series Inaugural Event

Washburn University's second Rick Rescorla Homeland Security Lecture featured a discussion with Jen Easterly, director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and host Francis Q. Hoang, mcj '00. As Director, Easterly leads CISA’s efforts to understand, manage, and reduce risk to the cyber and physical infrastructure Americans rely on every day. Before serving in her current role, Easterly was the head of Firm Resilience at Morgan Stanley, responsible for ensuring preparedness and response to business-disrupting operational incidents and risks. She has also served as the deputy for counterterrorism at the National Security Agency. You can watch the lecture on the event page.



We value academic quality throughout our criminal justice & legal studies programs.

  • We value the integration of theory, practice, and academic rigor in our curriculum.
  • We value enthusiastic, sincere, and abiding service to others.
  • We value personal responsibility for our individual actions.
  • We value flexibility, adaptability, and creative thinking.
  • We value the opportunity to mentor, encourage, and help each student fulfill his or her talents and abilities.
  • We value diversity in all that we do.


Student Learning Outcomes: Criminal Justice Program

Criminal Justice students at Washburn University, upon graduation, are expected to:

  • Analyze the nature of crime and justice in the United States and other countries;
  • Evaluate the police, courts, and corrections systems in America;
  • Integrate the conceptual and theoretical frameworks that form the study of criminal justice;
  • Demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication skills;
  • Integrate academic learning with field-based education by completing an internship;
  • Evaluate criminal justice research critically and systematically.


Student Learning Outcomes: Legal Studies Program

Legal Studies students at Washburn University, upon graduation, are expected to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in legal research and writing;
  • Use critical thinking skills to analyze and apply case law and statutory law;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of litigation procedures and legal terminology;
  • Apply general communication and interpersonal skills in a legal setting;
  • Evaluate legal scenarios and identify applicable professional rules of ethics.

It is the policy of Washburn University to assure equal educational and employment opportunity to qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, marital or parental status, sexual orientation or gender identity.


The Criminal Justice and Legal Studies degree programs prepare students to pursue advanced educational opportunities and to obtain productive careers in law enforcement, corrections, security administration, forensics, and the law. The programs are designed to produce knowledgeable students who possess the necessary theoretical, practical, and critical thinking skills to compete in today’s job market. Faculty bring practical and academic experience to the classroom and are committed to excellence in teaching. Diversity is valued in the Criminal Justice and Legal Studies degree programs, and faculty are dedicated to producing ethical graduates who are prepared to succeed in their chosen profession.

GET IN TOUCH WITH Criminal Justice & Legal Studies

Criminal Justice & Legal Studies
Benton Hall, Room 201
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
Ph: 785.670.1411

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