Criminal Justice Administration

What degrees are offered in criminal justice at MTSU?
Undergraduate students can get a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice administration with either a general concentration, law enforcement concentration or emergency management/homeland security concentration.  At the graduate level, students can earn a Master of Criminal Justice. 

What can I do with a degree in Criminal Justice Administration?
In the Department of Criminal Justice Administration our core curriculum is optimized to prepare students for employment in one of three broad areas within the criminal justice system. The first is law enforcement. We prepare students to begin careers in local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The second is corrections. Our courses prepare students for careers in prisons, jails, probation, and parole services. The third is law. Our legal courses are an excellent foundation for those students that plan to attend law school and study criminal law. And that’s just the core! Our concentrations allow students to develop additional expertise in specialized areas such as emergency management or homeland security.

What separates MTSU’s criminal justice program from every other criminal justice program out there
When you take classes in the Department of Criminal Justice Administration you are learning from practitioners with years of real-world experience. Our Criminal Investigations and Crime Scene Investigations courses are taught by current and former law enforcement officers with years of experience working crime scenes. When you take Criminal Law or Constitutional Issues, you are learning from practicing attorneys that have defended clients in criminal trials.

Are your criminal justice programs online
All degrees are offered 100% online with in-seat options if you choose classes for both in-seat and online, or if you want to take courses online. 

Are there hands-on courses?
MTSU designates experiential learning courses as those where students can “learn by doing”.  We have courses that are EXL both online and in-seat, like Criminal Theory, Police Organization and Administration, Criminal Investigations, Crime Scene Investigation, Crime in America, and Private and Industrial Security.  Some of these, because they are hands-on, are offered only in-seat or in a hybrid delivery. 

What are your degrees/programs like?

Criminal Justice, B.S.

We live in a country governed by the rule of law, and the proper administration and enforcement of the criminal justice system promotes an orderly society designed to allow its citizens to live peaceful and protected lives. Students who seek careers within the criminal justice system are often motivated to serve the greater good, and desire to be part of the solution to some of the issues that impact our society.

There is a vast range of career possibilities in this field that allow our graduates to find opportunities that fit their unique goals and motivations. Criminal justice is a highly respected field with career options for both men and women. Our students are prepared to enter careers in local, state, and federal government agencies.

Careers in criminal justice often allow their practitioners to help people in need and protect others from harm by keeping individuals and communities safe. Many of these careers involve protecting communities, investigating crime, and the enforcement of laws. There is a strong demand for criminal justice graduates with over 2.5 million people currently working in the field. Graduates learn transferable hard and soft skills that are valuable in all career options. The skills and knowledge acquired will set you up for careers in criminal justice and beyond.

Emergency Management and Homeland Security, B.S.

When a crisis occurs, having educated and trained professionals in leadership roles is critical. These crises could involve everything from natural disasters to identifying and working to prevent attacks by foreign or domestic terrorists. When these emergencies occur, planning and preparation enable the community to make the most of a bad situation.

This program examines global and local threats to public safety and prepares the students to assume management and leadership roles in the field. The leadership and communication skills developed in the program are designed to minimize the negative impact of any of the crises that are encountered. The program provides both an education and a skill set that can move a student further up their career ladder. Students learn to develop emergency action plans, perform hazard analyses, create community response plans, and enable mass care operations. Graduates are provided with the knowledge and skills to serve in many roles in the emergency management and homeland security domain.

Every level of government and industry needs security specialists to develop policies, procedures, and strategies to protect their communities, employees, and critical services.

Law Enforcement, B.S.

A degree in law enforcement is designed to help prepare you for careers in policing and related fields. Coursework includes the philosophy of criminal justice, coupled with the application of public safety and law enforcement. Students learn how the justice system works, the role of the police and corrections officers, and the impact of social services on criminal justice.

The classwork prepares students with the expectation to serve in these public safety positions, as well as the internal operations of law enforcement agencies. Topics in this program include ethics, individual rights, constitutional law, and modern criminal investigation techniques. Effective law enforcement requires that practitioners learn critical thinking, problem-solving, conflict resolution, communication skills, and hard skills such as investigative techniques and interview techniques.  Experiential learning courses in this program provide hands-on experiences that prepare students for future positions in law enforcement. 

Careers in law enforcement can include opportunities such as victim advocates, crime scene investigators, police and sheriff departments, probation officers, security management, detectives, FBI, ATF, border patrol, and other federal agencies.

Health and Human Performance

Physical Education Teacher Education and Sport Pedagogy; What can I do with this degree? Are they delivered online?
These degrees allow you to teach k-12 physical education within the State of Tennessee.  These two degrees are offered in a face-to-face format.

For the Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology, What GPA do I have to have to get into graduate school and where can I work as a SLP or Audiologist?
Successful applicants need a 3.5 GPA to be accepted into the graduate program, and graduates can work in the following locations:  health care (hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, acute care, outpatient, inpatient, assisted living facilities, home health care), private practice, early intervention tele-practice, and private contract work.

For Exercise Science, what kinds of careers can I pursue with a bachelor's degree, and do I need to attend graduate school
MTSU’s exercise science program prepares students for both fitness certifications and career-related academic or professional graduate programs. Some careers are Exercise Physiologist, Cardiac Rehab Specialist, Strength & Conditioning Coach, Personal Trainer, Wellness/Fitness Director, Bio-mechanist, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Athletic Trainer, Physician Assistant, and Medical Doctor.  Health specialist professions such as bio-mechanist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, athletic trainer, physician assistant, and medical doctor, require graduate school.

For the Community and Public Health degree, what careers are available to graduates?
Because Community and Public Health is a broad, interdisciplinary field, it prepares you for a wide variety of different positions. Our graduates have been employed as everything from community health workers to health educators, in government agencies, non-profits, and private organizations. Additionally, Community and Public Health makes an excellent springboard from which to pursue graduate and/or professional programs, such as Master of Public Health programs, Physician’s Assistant programs, or nursing.

Why should I study Tourism and Hospitality Management (THM)?
THM provides an important background for pursuing careers throughout the service industry from operations in hotels, restaurants, attractions, and more, to owning your own business, to working in top level corporate teams and consulting firms. It all starts with a foundation in best practices, innovation, and building key relationships here at MTSU.

THM is an applied and theoretical degree. Students learn theory-driven best practices with hands on opportunities for application. Students are taught skills in critical thinking, strategic planning, communication, interpersonal development, and leadership while learning basic best practices in operations and management, marketing, finance, technology, and general tourism and hospitality industry knowledge.  

What is Leisure & Sport Management, and is the degree online?
The leisure and sport management field is a collection of professionals and agencies that assist individuals in achieving their best possible quality of life through enriching leisure and sport experiences. Our graduates serve the public directly in a diverse range of agencies, including municipal recreation centers, professional sport franchises, national and state parks, collegiate and university athletic programs, day and summer camps, wilderness leadership and education schools, and for-profit recreation and sport businesses.

While our traditional in-person degree continues to thrive, our program also offers a stand-alone Bachelor of Science in Leisure and Sport Management that is completely online.

What is Athletic Training, is it available for undergraduates, is it online, and what kind of jobs can I get with this master’s degree?
Athletic Trainers are allied health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses that occur to athletes and the physically active.

The athletic training degree is offered at the master’s degree only and in a face-to-face format with students beginning Summer 2023.

Traditional job settings (secondary schools, colleges, and professional athletic programs); Clinic outreach; Physician offices; Industrial settings; performing arts settings; military and tactical settings; educational settings (HOSA in secondary or collegiate positions); and city government settings (wellness centers, parks & recreations). 

Human Sciences

When and/or how can we see the facilities?
Tours are available by appointment Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. through the Program Coordinator/Director

Child Development & Family Studies (CDFS): Claire Cook, Coordinator: Claire.Cook@mtsu.edu

Dietetics (DPD): Liz Smith, Director Elizabeth.Ann.Smith@mtsu.edu

Interior Design (IDES): Kristi Julian, Coordinator: Kristi.Julian@mtsu.edu

Nutrition & Food Science (NFS): Janet Colson, Coordinator: Janet.Colson@mtsu.edu

Textiles, Merchandising, & Design (TXMD): Gina Pisut, Interim Coordinator: Gina.Pisut@mtsu.edu

What scholarships are available to incoming freshman?
Two scholarships are available to incoming Freshmen within the Human Sciences Department. Official high school transcripts must be submitted with applications. Available through the University Financial Aid application process. 

Mary Neal Alexander Scholarship

Recipient must graduate from a high school in Tennessee; an incoming freshman majoring in Human Sciences (Home Economics); a minimum high school GPA 2.5 and ACT 25; and enrolled full-time student during the semesters for which the scholarship is funded.

Christine & Roddy Memorial Scholarship

Preference is given to Rockvale or Lascassas graduate; the recipient must be an incoming freshman majoring in one of the Human Sciences programs; a minimum high school GPA 2.8 or ACT 18; and enrolled full-time student during the semesters for which the scholarship is funded.

What study abroad opportunities are available, either for taking courses or for a summer cultural tour experience?

Textile Merchandising: Rotating International Study Tour with varied locations every other year. Currently confirming location & partnership for 2023.

Interior Design: Partnership with Tony Johnston in Agriculture/Fermentation Science for Peru & Argentina Study Tour. Currently confirming dates & schedule of events.

Nutrition and Food Studies: In the development stages of a Food and Culture Study Tour

Education Abroad: Available for any semester in various locations through MTSU University partnerships. We recommend working with the Education Abroad Office, the Program Coordinator, and their advisor to ensure courses count toward the program courses that keep them on track for their anticipated graduation date. 

What courses can I take now as a high school student to prepare me for or to get ahead for classes in the major?

For Interior Design & Textile and Merchandising

Adobe Creative Suite: general education through Dual Enrollment and AP Exams

Apparel Design Major: sewing construction courses and/or experience is helpful but not required. 


How many students apply and/or get accepted?

This varies from semester to semester. Fortunately, MTSU admits a new group every Fall and every Spring. We can accept 64 students twice per year, fall and spring. Currently, applicant numbers are down, so competition is less than a few years ago. We are limited on numbers of admissions primarily because of the lack of clinical sites.

When should I take the Entrance Exam?

Wait until you have had at least one semester of Anatomy and Physiology, preferably both semesters is ideal. This increases your opportunity to achieve the required score on the exam – 75%. There is no limit on the number of times you can take the exam, and there are lots of good resources for study.

Why are students not admitted as Freshmen?

We found that these students are not necessarily the best prepared to be successful in Nursing. The effort that is made, and the grades earned the first 3 semesters in college are much more predictive of success in Nursing, especially grades in Anatomy and Physiology and Microbiology for Nurses.

Why is there only one opportunity to repeat a Nursing course?

First, this is pretty much a national standard. Second, the degree must be completed in a timely manner because knowledge and information about healthcare changes so rapidly now. Multiple opportunities to repeat would be a barrier to passing the state board exam on the first attempt.

Can you specialize at the BSN level?

No, the BSN degree is intended to provide a generalist education with the opportunity to gain experience in multiple clinical areas so that the graduate is qualified to work in various settings. Specialization comes at the master’s level.

 What is your Psychiatric Mental Health program like?

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) are specialized providers trained in holistic care for individuals, families, and groups with chronic and acute psychiatric and mental health issues across the lifespan. Awareness of mental health is increasing and employment opportunities in both the public and private sectors continue to rise. The PMHNP concentration in the Nursing program at MTSU is offered in an asynchronous virtual environment, which increases access to graduate education for practicing nurses. In this fast-growing career, you can complete your online degree with the flexibility you require as a busy nurse with high-quality, affordable, and time-efficient studies.  The PMHNP concentration is within the MSN Nursing program and prepares graduates to take the certification exam required to practice as a PMHNP. Students are required to have an unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse in Tennessee and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Program coursework is completed online, except for clinical rotations through approved preceptors (in the student's home area when possible). Accelerated and part-time study is available for this program. The baccalaureate degree program in nursing/master's degree program in nursing and post-graduate APRN certificate program at Middle Tennessee State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org) and approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing.




Physicians Assistant Studies Program

What is a Physician Assistant (PA)?
PAs are highly trained and licensed medical professionals who practice medicine as an integral part of modern healthcare teams with physicians and other clinicians. PAs are graduates of accredited PA educational programs who have passed a nationally certified board exam and are state licensed to practice medicine in collaboration with a physician(s).

What is the class size?
The MTSU PA Studies Program will enroll a cohort of thirty (30) students annually.

How long is the program?
The MTSU PA Studies Program totals twenty-seven (27) months in length. The curriculum is divided into four (4) semesters of didactic education and three (3) semesters of supervised clinical practice experiences and associated coursework.

Does the MTSU PA Studies Program have a geographically distant campus?
The MTSU PA Studies Program does not have a geographically distant campus.

Does the MTSU PA Studies Program award or grant advanced placement to students?
The MTSU PA studies program does not award or grant advanced placement to students. Please refer to the Transfer Students and Advanced Placement Policy in the MTSU PA Studies Program Student Handbook for further clarification and details.


What can I do with a Psychology major?
Psychology is a versatile degree. You can get a job in multiple settings such as human resources, sales, research, and healthcare, to name a few. You also can go to graduate school in psychology, or to professional schools such as medical school, law school, dental school, or other health professional schools. The Seminar on Careers in Psychology course is designed to provide students with a number of options regarding possible careers and careers paths. The American Psychological Association (APA) has panels on careers in applied psychology.

How would I get involved in research?
The best way to get involved in research is to talk with the psychology faculty whose research interests you. You can also ask your faculty advisor for guidance. Some research areas will require that you have background courses, whereas others will not. The faculty appreciate it when students approach them to talk about their research.

What is Psi Chi/Psychology Club and how do I get involved?
Psi Chi is the international honor society in psychology, and psychology club is the social group for students interested in psychology. Our Psi Chi/Psychology Club do activities together. It is a fantastic way to get involved with others who have a passion for psychology.

Does the Psychology Department offer scholarships?
Scholarship deadlines are February 15. The department has five different scholarships that are administered annually. Students must be psychology majors, have at least a 3.0 G.P.A., and be eligible to receive need-based aid. This is the link to information about the different scholarships as well as information on how to apply.

As a transfer student from a community college, who should I talk to about course transfers and getting involved in research?
If you have questions about how your courses will transfer, talk with one of our academic advisors.  The best way to get involved in research is to talk with the psychology faculty whose research interests you.

What do I need to know about graduate school?
Your faculty advisor can guide you in this process. If you do not have a faculty advisor, contact your academic advisor or the department. 

What is your Applied Behavior Analysis program like?

Behavior Analysis is the science of learning and behavior. Our curriculum prepares students to conduct behavior analytic research, practice Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in clinical settings, and use behavioral principles in their own lives. There is an increasing demand for high-quality ABA clinicians who can provide services to support individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, individuals with developmental disabilities, teachers, students, and more. Undergraduates who complete behavior analysis courses may be eligible to pursue certification as a Registered Behavior Technician® (RBT). Graduate students in the Experimental Psychology MA program have the option to specialize in Behavior Analysis and complete the coursework needed to pursue certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA) (https://www.mtsu.edu/programs/experimental-psychology-ma/requirements). At MTSU, we are committed to training behavior analysts to use inclusive evidence-based practices and make ethical, data-based decisions to help clients. If you have any questions about studying Behavior Analysis at the undergraduate or graduate level, please contact Annie Galizio (ann.galizio@mtsu.edu) for more information. 

Social Work

What is the job outlook for social workers?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the overall projected growth for social workers is expected to increase by 11% between 2018 and 2028.

What is the difference between a pre-social work major and social work major?
A pre-social work major is a student who is completing the required pre-requisite courses for the BSW degree (usually freshman and sophomore students).  Once the pre-requisite course are completed, pre-social work majors are eligible to apply to the BSW Program for formal admission to the social work program.  Once a student is formally admitted to the program, their major is social work.

How do you become a social worker?
Social workers must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work. They can then obtain state licensure and other relevant certifications

Is social work a good career?
Factors that make social work a good career choice include: many job opportunities, a versatile career path, helping people through difficulties such as poverty, substance abuse and addiction, and being the voice of marginalized groups of people in society.

Who receives help from social workers?
Nationally, professional social workers are the nation’s largest provider of mental health services. They provide more mental health services than psychologists and psychiatrists combined. While many professional social workers work directly with clients, others conduct research, identify social problems, and advocate for policy solutions. Social workers’ services are especially crucial for disaster relief efforts. More than 40% of all disaster relief mental health volunteers trained by the American Red Cross are professional social workers


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