Criminal Justice Degree–Law Enforcement Concentration (CJL)

The mission statement for the Criminal Justice program at MWCC is to provide students with academic preparation for career entry, transfer to four  year institutions, and life-long learning through a broad based and comprehensive curriculum supported by community partnerships and guided by the demand of the criminal justice workforce. The law enforcement concentration emphasizes areas such as community policing, investigation, criminalistics, and the administration of justice. For Massachusetts police officers who qualify for the benefit, the Criminal Justice program is approved as a Police Career Incentive Program by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

Number Suggested Course Order


Semester Grade Prerequisites/Notes
ENG101 English Composition I


    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
SOC103 Introduction to Sociology


    Prerequisites: ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement

Note: SOC103 should be taken during the first semester

MAT126 Topics in Mathematics (or higher)


    MAT096 or placement
CJU131 Introduction to Criminal Justice


    Prerequisites: ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement

Note: CJU131 should be taken during the first semester

CJU133 Criminal Law


    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
ENG102 English Composition II


PSY105 Introduction to Psychology


    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
CIS127 Computer Technologies


    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
CJU134 Criminal Procedure


    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
CJU232 Introduction to Criminology


    Prerequisite: SOC103

Note: CJU 232 should be taken during the second semester

  Science Elective


    Electives: BIO, BTC, CHE, EAS, EGM, NRD, PHY

Note: Lab science required for transfer

POL211 Massachusetts and the Federal



    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
  Restrictive Elective


    Electives: CJU234, CJU252, SOC129, SOC208, SOC212, SPA109 (or higher)

Note: CJU234, CJU252 recommended

CJU233 Criminal Investigation


    CJU134 or permission of division dean
CJU250 Introduction to Corrections


CJU220 Technical Writing for the Criminal

Justice Professional


    Prerequisite: ENG101

Note: CJU220 should be taken in semester preceding CJU255

SPC113 Speech


PSY240 or

SOC205 or


Abnormal Psychology or

Social Problems or

American Ethnic History




ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement

PER126/130 Health, Fitness, and Wellness Elective


    Prerequisites: FYE101, MAT092, RDG098, or placement

Note: PER130 is recommended for transfer

  Restrictive Elective


    Note: See above Restrictive Electives
CJU140 American Policing


    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
CJU255 Seminar in Criminal Justice


    Prerequisites: ENG102, completion of all required Criminal Justice courses and at least one restrictive elective (or one to two concurrently), or permission of division dean

Note: This course should be taken in the semester immediately preceding graduation

                                                                          Total: 63/65 credits

Campus/format: A majority of this program can be completed during the day at the Gardner Campus.

Helpful hints: Academic and career advising sessions with a Criminal Justice advisor are highly recommended. Cooperative education, volunteer, and/or service learning experiences may increase chances of employment.

Transfer options: Check with your advisor to ensure proper course selections. For a complete list of transfer agreement options visit MWCC’s transfer services website: and

Special requirements: Students enrolled in the Criminal Justice program are not eligible for life experience, police academy, armed services, or Tech Prep credits, and are limited to six credits total in CLEP, DANTES, and challenge exams. Only courses completed at institutions accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges may be transferred into the program. Transfer students are required to complete at least three of their required Criminal Justice courses (nine credits) at MWCC. A Criminal and Sexual Offender Records Information (CORI/SORI) check is required for student interns. Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Career options: Municipal police officer; state trooper; special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Department of Treasury; private or public security officer; private investigator; work with victims or advocacy groups.

Earning potential: $35,600 to 59,800.

Program Competencies for CJCD and CJL

Upon graduation from these programs, students shall have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Apply skills and knowledge necessary for entry-level positions and/or continued study in criminal justice or related fields.
  • Explain the basic concepts, operations, and services of the primary agencies that make up the criminal justice system.
  • Analyze theoretical perspectives on criminality and social deviance, and identify specific crime typologies and offender profiles.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in identification and explanation of Constitutional processes, substantive law content, and application of appropriate techniques in the investigation, apprehension, prosecution, adjudication, punishment, and rehabilitation of criminal offenders.
  • Demonstrate essential skills including reading, writing, communications, critical thinking, reasoning, and knowledge and use of terminology of a criminal justice professional.
  • Analyze current issues facing the criminal justice system and ethical choices confronting criminal justice practitioners.
  • Analyze career opportunities and assess skills and abilities in relationship to specific positions.

Technical Standards* for CJLC, CJCD, and CJL

* For general information about technical standards and accommodation,  see page 68.

Students entering these programs must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Comprehend textbook material at the 11th grade level.
  • Communicate and assimilate information in either printed, signed, or computer voice format.
  • Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
  • Observe, investigate, make appropriate determinations at mock crime scenes, and problem solve.
  • Function as a team leader, including giving directions and providing advocacy.
  • Maintain cleanliness and personal grooming consistent with close personal contact.
  • Learn to operate a computer, with or without adaptation