School of Health & Community Service

Criminal Justice

Few people in our society are entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing laws and maintaining order. Professionals in this field must be equipped with technical knowledge and skills, and offer the strong character and personal discipline required to succeed in a demanding environment. The Criminal Justice program will help you prepare to take on this challenge.

Throughout the program, you will gain an understanding of the criminal justice system through studies in:

  • human relations,
  • psychology,
  • sociology,
  • investigations,
  • policing,
  • security,
  • criminology, and
  • law.

Exposure to an array of investigative techniques and practices including forensics, crime scene investigations, and threat and risk assessments will further prepare you for employment in the field of your choice.

Police services, industry trainers and educators have identified the key competencies required in the criminal justice community including leadership skills, ethics, analytical thinking, self-confidence, communication skills, flexibility, diligence, patience, self-control, problem solving, and physical skills. During the program, you are encouraged to attain the necessary skills and fitness level to pass the testing requirements demanded by law enforcement organizations, as well as volunteer for various groups and agencies to demonstrate community involvement. 

High School Route
60% in ELA 30-1 OR 65% in ELA 30-2 or equivalent

Mature Student Route
60% in ELA 30-1 OR 65% in ELA 30-2 or equivalent

First Year

Fall Semester

  • CJLS 101 - Introduction to Criminal Justice Careers
  • CJLS 102 - Effective Communications in Criminal Justice
  • CJLS 106 - Law and the Administration of Justice
  • CJLS 111 - Investigations and Forensics
  • CJLS 135 - Police and Security Technical Reports

Winter Semester

  • CJLS 116 - Federal and Provincial Criminal Justice Legislation
  • CJLS 120 - Lifestyles and Career Orientation
  • CJLS 126 - Criminal Code, Offence Elements and the Charter
  • CJLS 131 - Interviewing and Statements
  • ENGL 125 - Introductory Report Writing and Speech
  • SOCI 201 - Introductory Sociology

Second Year

Fall Semester

  • CJLS 231 - Forensic Science
  • CJLS 233 - Legal Evidence and Trial Presentation
  • CJLS 247 - Public Safety, Emergency Planning, and Response
  • CJLS 251 - Specialized Investigations
  • PSYC 201 - Introduction to Psychology II - Social Science
  • SOCI 225 - Criminology

Winter Semester

  • CJLS 224 - Mental Health
  • CJLS 241 - Major Criminal Investigations
  • CJLS 246 - Federal and Provincial Statutes
  • CJLS 257 - Leadership and Development
  • SOCI 321 - Youth Crime

One of:

  • CJLS 221 - Investigative Techniques
  • CJLS 261 - Intelligence, Espionage and Terrorism


The enforcement community encompasses a broad range of occupations in both government and private sectors. From government regulatory bodies to national security investigations, and specialized federal investigators to private security and consultants, the industry is extensive and growing. There are a large number of career opportunities with police agencies and studies have indicated that many agencies are in the process of replacing a large percentage of their staff in the immediate future. As a result of terrorist threats, there have been a substantial number of new opportunities created in private and government security.

Federal Corrections anticipates a need for 3,000 additional staff over the next five years. Customs, Immigration, and other specialized federal enforcement bodies continue to hire as demand warrants.

Our graduates have obtained employment with a wide range of private, municipal, provincial and federal agencies, including the RCMP, Municipal Police, Customs, Immigration, Military Police, Corrections, Solicitor General, Motor Transport, and private security providers.

Graduates of our program may apply to local, provincial, or federal police forces, other law enforcement agencies, and to federal agencies and corrections. However, you must apply to these agencies directly as Medicine Hat College does not supply graduates directly to any agency. It is imperative in this regard that you assess the hiring standards, especially the minimum physical qualifications such as eyesight, before expending extensive time concentrating on a law enforcement career.