Law Enforcement and Justice Administration

Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Programs

Undergraduate Degree Programs

The School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration houses three separate disciplines, the study of policing and criminal justice, the study of emergency management and emergency operations, and the study of fire protection and paramedics. Each program features a robust and expansive curriculum allowing students a wide array of educational experiences. Each program culminates with a Bachelor of Science Degree.

Law Enforcement and Justice Administration

The LEJA program at WIU is the largest undergraduate law enforcement/criminal justice program in Illinois and the region. Students pursuing this course of study receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration. The program is designed to provide professional knowledge, understanding, and skills for law enforcement criminal justice practitioners and loss prevention personnel and, at the same time, develop an educational base for further development into staff and administrative positions in criminal justice and private security agencies. The program allows the student ample flexibility for liberal and professional education to meet the anticipated needs of the criminal justice network. Most majors in the program participate in an internship for one academic semester to gain firsthand acquaintance with criminal justice agencies at the federal, state, county, and local levels. Graduates find employment in city, county, state, and federal agencies, in private security, corrections, courts, and in adult and juvenile court services.

The undergraduate program is offered in Macomb and Quad Cities (Moline, IL). The program is also available fully online.

Emergency Management

The Emergency Management Bachelor of Science Degree Program will prepare students to become future leaders who will create and administer emergency plans, coordinate disaster response. and develop and utilize communication networks for addressing natural catastrophies (tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, fires, and hurricanes) technological disasters (hazardous materials spills and nuclear power plant emergencies) and weapons of mass destruction incidents including bio terrorism. The program is designed to encompass both a tactical track and an operational response to disaster preparedness. This approach will capitalize on the strength of the existing LEJA and Fire Programs and will accentuate the goals of merging FEMA and other entitites under the overriding unbrella of Homeland Security.

Additionally, WIU has established an Emergency Operation Center (EOC)  which centralizes  key emergency responding participants. This  center affords greater collaboration for research and academics,  grant seeking prospects, and highlights the importance of specialized skills, (GIS, meteorology, security, law, etc.) This EOC is unique in that it is designed for and will offer the only known available apprenticeship opportunities to Emergency Management and Public Safety students in the nation. This apprenticeship opportunity will enhance the powerful internship experience. Plus students will learn to use the Juvare, D4H and other predictive emergency management platforms used withinthe industry.

The program is offered in Macomb and online within the United States and accors the world. 

Fire Protection Services 

The Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Protection Services supports two separate fields of study. Our Fire Administration program focuses on the needs of working fire professionals who either aspire to or have acquired leadership positions in the Fire Service. To best meet, the needs of our working fire professionals, the Fire Administration curriculum is available completely online.

Our Fire Science Medic Program focuses on the needs of students preparing for a career in the Fire Service. It delivers a curriculum designed to give our students a competitive edge in acquiring a firefighting position, and the tools to excel in their careers. The Fire Science program is delivered on the Macomb campus. The program is the only B.S. fire science program in the nation to provide students with all FESHE required fire courses and all courses needed to sit for the paramedic licensing national exam. Both programs are designed to provide professional knowledge, understanding, and skills in fire protection while developing an educational base for further development of educational pursuits. For more information on Fire, Protection studies go to

Paramedic Program (Stand alone program or as part of the Fire Medic degree program) 

This program prepares competent entry-level Paramedics in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains with or without exit points at the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician and/or Emergency Medical Technician, and/or Emergency Medical Responder levels. EMT certification is required before participating in the paramedic program. 


Graduate Degree Programs

Established in 1976, the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration offers a Master of Arts in Public Safety Administration. The law enforcement and justice administration (LEJA) graduate program is internationally known for academic excellence. It provides students with a rich blend of theoretical, administrative, and practical knowledge as well as research skills. Those who have earned the degree occupy positions of responsibility and leadership across the United States and in several foreign countries.

The program is designed to provide a balanced, interdisciplinary course of study for those currently employed in criminal justice/public safety and related fields, as well as for those wishing to pursue careers in these fields of academia. Courses provide students with current information in the areas of administrative/organizational behavior; law; research and quantitative skills; and specialized areas such as policing, corrections, emergency management, fire administration, security, restorative justice, ethics, civil liability, and multiculturalism/diversity.

Graduates of the program are educationally well-rounded students who possess the skills needed to manage and lead in the increasingly complex field of criminal justice and public safety. Additionally, students are academically prepared to pursue advanced degrees in respected Ph.D. and law degree programs.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificates

Emergency Management

Due to the ever-increasing threats facing the law enforcement community the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration developed a PBC with an emphasis in emergency management. This PBC will afford students the education and knowledge on how to survive and work in a disaster zone as well as provide critical skills that will increase job possibilities and salaries with an emergency management focus. The certificate program will provide and/or substitute coursework needed for professionals in emergency management. The focus of the program is to provide students with an advanced knowledge of emergency management organizational, planning, strategies, threat assessment, evaluation and leadership.

Community Engagement and Public Safety Leadership

Public safety issues involving law enforcement officers' use of excessive force, alleged acts of misconduct and disparity in enforcement have led to a renewed call for reforms in the selection and training of police officers, and in the practice and policy guiding the behavior of public safety organizations. These developments have highlighted the often-strained relationship between public safety officials and the communities they serve, especially communities of color. Hence the School of LEJA has developed a post baccalaureate certificate program (PBC) with its primary objective to develop and improve the leadership and engagement skills of students working in, or seeking, positions in public safety administration.

Police Executive Administration

The post-baccalaureate certificate program in Police Executive Administration is designed for graduate-level law enforcement students who wish to improve their knowledge in the policing field. This program provides professional development for aspiring law enforcement executives seeking to progress through police supervisory ranks. The work required for the certificate must be completed within three calendar years.

Program Interest Form