Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Degree logo for College of the Ozarks


A Criminal Justice bachelor's degree from College of the Ozarks prepares a student to compete for professional positions within a wide range of government and private justice-related agencies by providing a comprehensive education that includes core and collateral courses along with a specific field of study within the two following emphases:

  • Corrections,
  • Law Enforcement.

Criminal Justice majors investigating a crime scene
Criminal Justice majors have the opportunity to participate in field trips to prisons, jails, law enforcement agencies, and other justice system sites and facilities. In their junior and senior years a student may participate in the Criminal Justice Internship program, in which students are assigned duties in a criminal justice agency for academic credit.

A Criminal Justice bachelor's degree from College of the Ozarks is valued and respected by a wide range of agencies in the Midwest and beyond. The Criminal Justice program frequently receives calls from former students relating how well their educational experience from College of the Ozarks prepared them for their career. There are a number of graduates who are either in law school, working for a law enforcement agency or juvenile delinquency agency, or in one of many other criminal justice related career fields.


Associate Professor of Criminal Justice David Vogt.
Mr. Vogt is also a graduate of College of the Ozarks. After graduating Mr. Vogt went to work for the Marshall Missouri Police Department and then to the Springfield (Missouri) Police Department (SPD). While at SPD Mr. Vogt was assigned to the patrol unit, the COP (bike) unit, and the DWI unit as Acting Sergeant, and was trained as a major crimes investigator. While working at SPD he earned his Master’s Degree in Business Organizational Security Management from Webster University. Mr. Vogt uses his years of experience in law enforcement to teach the law enforcement track in the Criminal Justice department.

David Vogt

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Dr. John Russo.

Dr. Russo is a graduate of the University of Arkansas - School of Law. Dr. Russo was a certified Law Enforcement Officer and Instructor in the State of Florida. He was a Fire and Arson Investigator and he has worked on numerous incidents including serial murder and serial arson cases. Dr. Russo was the Chief Deputy of a Sheriff's Department here in Missouri, is currently a cerified Law Enforcement Officer in Missouri and is a licensed attorney in Arkansas and Missouri. He has been both an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Deputy Public Defender. Dr. Russo has been declared an expert witness in court as to the Origin and Cause of Fires and teaches various law enforcement classes including criminal law and criminal procedure.

Dr. John Russo



College of the Ozarks Criminal Justice majors have the potential for employment with agencies and careers such as:

  • U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms & Tobacco (ATF)
  • Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • U.S. Secret Service
  • U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • U.S. General Services Administration
  • U.S. Army Intelligence & U.S. Army Military Police
  • State Highway and Water Patrol
  • State Criminal Investigator (within a number of various divisions)
  • State Probation & Parole Office
  • State Division of Youth Services Office
  • State Juvenile Office
  • State Department of Conservation
  • County Sheriff’s Office
  • City Police Department
  • Detective
  • Crime Scene Technician
  • Legal Assistant
  • Private Corporations: Security, Insurance Fraud Investigators, Surveillance Specialists, etc.

Criminal Justice Club

The Criminal Justice Club is a great way to network and experience a wide variety of activities, such as:

  • Shooting and marksmanship
  • Defensive tactics
  • Tours of police departments, and prisons and jails
  • Job shadowing
  • Police ride-a-longs
  • Cookouts and much more!
Crime scene tape
Criminal justice majors practicing shooting at gun range
Criminial justice majors participating in physical fitness as part of Criminal Justice degree program

The members of the Criminal Justice club participates in campus-wide and regional activities that include:

  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Shooting and Marksmanship
  • Physical Fitness
  • Criminal Law  and other tests


The Criminal Justice club at College of the Ozarks allows students to interact with others who share their same interests in a fun and out-of-the-classroom setting. For more information call the College of the Ozarks Criminal Justice office at 417-690-3391, or email at


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