What it's All About

A degree in criminal justice or loss prevention management opens doors to a variety of challenging and rewarding careers. Are you interested in public-service occupations such as law enforcement, corrections, probation, military intelligence, homeland security or the courts systems? How about private-sector opportunities in loss prevention, corporate security or insurance and fraud investigation? Our small, personalized courses are taught by professors with real-world experience. For your flexibility, many courses are offered online or at convenient times on campus.

Experience Learning

You can select courses that can provide hands-on training in a crime lab setting utilizing contemporary technology, such as fingerprint kits, drug identification, ballistics, and firearms identification. The Criminal Justice Department is one of the only academic undergraduate programs in the country that utilizes a use of force simulator as part of our curriculum. Additional hands on courses include Interviewing/Interrogation and Firearms and Violence. We also offer a minor in Wildlife Conservation Law & Policing for students interested in a career as a game warden or conservation officer at the state or federal level.  We offer a wide selection of internship options in your junior or senior year. You can also learn about other cultures and justice systems through opportunities to study abroad.

Career Excellence

Graduates of NMU have gone onto become police officers and administrators, game wardens, juvenile delinquency specialists, corrections officers, federal agents, and loss prevention administrators. They work for local, state and federal agencies. 


crime scene tape

Cold Case Homicide Seminar

In collaboration with the Michigan State Police (MSP), the NMU Criminal Justice Department will offer CJ 485 Cold Case Homicide Seminar during the 2024 Winter Semester. Students will work directly with MSP detectives in their investigation of a cold case homicide. Students will gather, review, annotate, and analyze police investigative files and use such information to develop investigative leads which will be provided to detectives for their investigation. Special attention will also be given to a variety of forensic disciplines, technologies, and investigative strategies used in these types of specialized investigations. This course provides a hands-on application of best practices and procedures in relation to cold case units in law enforcement agencies.


Student working in a mock crime scene

Mock Crime Scenes

Hands-on experience goes beyond the classroom. Other institutions, like the U.S. Coast Guard, sometimes come in and work with students on investigating crime scenes.


Students using a gun simulator

Join the Criminal Justice Association

Department News

  • Dr. Warchol's book Exploiting the Wilderness: Analysis of wildlife crime has been released by Temple University Press.  The book has been reviewed and endorsed by anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall. 
  • Professors Hanson and Warchol participated in the September 2017 annual meeting of the Midwest Criminal Justice Association in Chicago.
  • Asset Protection executives from Target are working with us to create internship and employment opportunities.  Interns start at $17/hr. for full time summer employment.
  • Watch for us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube, click like and subscribe.
  • Dr. Mesloh at the gun range.
  • AN/CJ 495 Forensic Anthropology investigate "Lambicide"
  • Professor Hanson was made Department Head
  • Christopher MacMaster has taken over our internship program.  If you would like more information please contact him at cmacmast@nmu.edu
  • Professor Bryan Bubolz will be joining the Criminal Justice Department in the Fall of 2020. Bryan Bubolz received his bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2014 and spent many years interviewing and studying members of street gangs. In addition to street gangs he has also analyzed data and published numerous articles on violent right wing extremists. Bryan has a passion for these topics as well as broader issues related to juvenile delinquency, domestic and international terrorism, criminological theory, and violence.
  • Professor Bryan Bubolz released a paper on role residual among former gang members

Contact the Criminal Justice Department