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Criminal Justice and Homeland Security

The right major matters.

While Criminal Justice and Homeland Security are separate programs at MacMurray, many students major in one and minor in the other, and quite a few are able to double-major in both.

As a major in either program, you'll be immersed in a well-rounded curriculum that prepares you for a wide variety of careers in criminal justice or with private and government security agencies. Classes are geared for all disciplines, including policing, corrections, probation, parole, federal or state agents, government security, and private security.

Photo of a class demonstration with a local police dog.

In both majors, the faculty have diverse, practical backgrounds with decades of experience in the field. They either currently work or have worked as professionals at local, federal, and state agencies, and they bring to the classroom that experience, expertise, and their many contacts in the field of criminal justice and homeland security.

Their extensive background in police and investigative work matters to your understanding and learning. This hard-earned practical knowledge allows them to combine unique, real-life experience with theoretical knowledge, so you can be prepared when you take your first professional position.

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Opportunities for Students

Expert Visitors

Visitors and guest speakers from various agencies are invited to classes each semester to provide you with information about what it is like to work in their agencies. They will give you ideas about different careers after graduation and the opportunities and responsibilities in those fields, and, along with internships, help you discover the area of criminal justice or homeland security that best suits you.

Career Fairs

Criminal Justice and Homeland Security majors are encouraged to attend career fairs throughout the year. Attending career fairs is an excellent way for students to get to know and make themselves known to potential employers.

With MacMurray's close proximity to the state capital of Springfield, there are numerous opportunities to make such connections, and the Criminal Justice and Homeland Security programs often arrange for transportation to go in groups to such events. In addition, students are encouraged and helped to go further afield, to such events as the Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Career Fair every fall at Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL.

Photo of a student donning special bomb squad gear.


Both the Criminal Justice and Homeland Security programs give you the opportunity to complete multiple internships, so you can work with more than one type or level of agency (local, state, or federal) while receiving credits for each internship you complete. This hands-on experience can help you decide the sort of police or security work most interests you and will make you far more attractive to the agency you want to join once you graduate.

Students have completed internships at many agencies, including the Jacksonville Police Department, the Morgan County Sheriff's Department, and the Jacksonville/Morgan County Office of Emergency Management, all located in Jacksonville, IL and with the Illinois State Police, Illinois Emergency Management Agency, and the U.S. Federal Probation Department, all in nearby Springfield, IL.

Career Preparation

Students who take advantage of all that MacMurray offers are better prepared to enter their chosen field, and quickly begin a rewarding and accomplished professional career in criminal justice or homeland security.

MacMurray graduates have been hired by such agencies as the Springfield Police Department, the Illinois Department of Corrections, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.


Learn more about Criminal Justice and Homeland Security courses and how to pursue a Bachelor's or Associate degree in Criminal Justice or a major or minor in Homeland Security through our catalog.


Photo of Bruce Liebe

Bruce A. Liebe

Senior Director for the School of Professional Studies
Assistant Professor of Homeland Security

"The class sizes allow you to connect with students. You get to know students and have ample opportunity to interact with them. The MacMurray environment truly creates a family atmosphere."

  • Areas of interest: Liebe has a special interest in the management of critical incidents and the decision making process utilized in both routine and crisis situations.
  • M.A. in Legal Studies — University of Illinois-Springfield
  • B.A. in Criminal Justice — University of Illinois-Springfield
  • A.A.S. in Criminal Justice — Illinois Valley Community College
  • Courses taught: Introduction to Homeland Security, Domestic and International Terrorism, Tradecraft and Weaponry of Terrorism, Transportation Networks and Homeland Security, Intelligence, Public Health and Homeland Security, Criminal Incident Management, Homeland Security Strategies and Policy, Mass Violence
Photo of Robert Elliott

Robert L. Elliott

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

"I love teaching at MacMurray because the small class sizes enable me to know every student in class. I can challenge them to demonstrate their academic strengths while at the same time encourage them to improve in areas they must develop to be successful in their chosen career field."

  • Areas of interest: Elliott is researching differences in organizational citizenship behaviors of police officers with and without military experience. His interests include organizational homeland security preparedness related to training exercise and evaluation programs.
  • Enrolled in D.P.A. Program in Public Administration — University of Illinois
  • M.A. in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration — Western Illinois University
  • B.A. in Fire Protection Services Administration — Western Illinois University
  • B.S. in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration — Western Illinois University
  • A.A. in Criminal Justice — Illinois Central College
  • Courses taught: Corrections, Juvenile Justice, Private Security, Writing in Criminal Justice, Homeland Security and Healthcare System, The Role of Intelligence in Homeland Security, Transportation Networks in Homeland Security, Homeland Security Strategy and Policy
Photo of Mark Lahr

Mark A. Lahr

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Homeland Security

"I really enjoy the fact that students are there to gain knowledge of their perspective fields. I love bringing real world experience to the classroom. It bridges the gap between written text and the experience the instructor brings from the field. The students are more complete with information and leave with a clearer picture of the profession they want to enter."

  • Areas of interest: Lahr is an exercise enthusiast, especially when it comes to weightlifting. He loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, biking, and fishing. His favorite place to be is on the East Coast enjoying its oceans and beaches.
  • Enrolled in D.P.A. Program in Public Administration — University of Illinois
  • M.A. in Enforcement and Justice Administration — Western Illinois University
  • B.A. in Criminal Justice — University of Illinois-Springfield
  • A.A. in Criminal Justice — Lincoln Land Community College
  • Courses taught: Weapons of Mass Destruction, Intro to Criminal Justice, Victimology, Writing in Criminal Justice, Community Corrections, Policing in America, Juvenile Justice, Intelligence in Homeland Security, Corrections, Criminology