Saint Louis University

Master of Science in Criminology and Professional Practice

Communities and organizations in the 21st century require professionals with interdisciplinary skills and preparation to handle complex challenges

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The MSCPP degree prepares graduates to be advanced practitioners in a variety of community and agency/organizational settings. Whether students are just beginning their careers or looking to advance in their current professions, the MS in Criminology and Professional Practice provides comprehensive education and specialized training necessary for effective individuals in leadership positions in a wide variety of government agencies and community organizations.

SLU's College for Public Health and Social Justice offers the MS in Criminology and Professional Practice in full- and part-time options. Courses are offered in the evening and all courses in the Emergency Management concentration are offered online.


Students help to design their graduate degree program to develop competence in a specific concentration area of interest. Students choose 21 of their 33 credit hours of course work from one of three concentrations and two Criminology and Criminal Justice elective courses.

  • Administration of Justice: Prepares students for leadership roles in justice and other organizations through course work designed to increase knowledge about the justice system, techniques and challenges of administration and issues in jurisprudence. Students learn to integrate knowledge developed through rigorous course work with community-based learning opportunities to begin developing administrative and systematic solutions to complex social and organizational challenges.
  • Emergency Management: Students learn skills for responding to crises to which justice personnel are among the first responders. They learn critical thinking, leadership and crisis management skills through seminars and simulations that challenge them to put their academic knowledge to the test through practical application.
  • Treatment and Rehabilitation: Students gain an in depth understanding of essential human behavior, issues related to the treatment of high-risk populations, and evidence-based practices for improving the health of offenders and the communities in which they reside. Students enjoy a blend of in-class training and community-based practice experiences that prepare them to be effective treatment agents.

Real-world knowledge, outstanding faculty

Employers and organizations will benefit from employing graduates of the MS in Criminology and Professional Practice program as our students are prepared to identify, understand, and apply cutting-edge administrative, emergency management, and treatment and rehabilitative practices to challenging real world conditions.

Our nationally recognized faculty have a wide range of research interests:

  • Bio-social factors in crime
  • Communities and crime
  • Correctional treatment of offenders
  • Countering biological weapons terrorism
  • Criminal justice decision-making
  • Disparities in criminology and criminal justice
  • Juvenile justice administration and outcomes
  • Legal constraints on law enforcement


Applicants are required to complete an online application, submit a résumé, professional statement, two confidential reference letters (one academic and one professional) and transcripts. In some instances, an interview may be required. Additional factors considered in determining an applicant's eligibility include academic achievement, strength of the undergraduate program attended, work experience, previous graduate degrees, motivation, leadership and service.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. A GPA of 3.0 or above is preferred. Applicants with a GPA under 3.0 will be considered on a case by case basis. Applications are only accepted for the fall semester. The priority deadline for funding consideration is March 1; the final deadline is August 1. The GRE or other test scores are not required for the MS but may be submitted.

Explore our Admissions pages for more information on How to Apply, Application Requirements and Financial Aid.


  • Resume 
  • Professional statement (see below**)
  • Two (confidential) letters of recommendation: 1 academic and 1 professional
  • Official transcripts 
  • Interview may be required in some instances

**Guidelines for the Professional Statement:

The professional statement informs the Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJ) Committee of the applicant's background and professional goals. This is also as an indicator of the applicant's writing ability and helps the CCJ Committee acquire a broader understanding of the applicant. The content and the quality of the composition will be used to judge the applicant's preparedness for graduate school. The statement must not exceed three typed pages.

Following review of admissions materials, an on-site writing sample may be required. The following question should be addressed in the professional statement:

Why do you want to pursue a graduate degree in criminology & professional practice?


SLU offers new and continuing MSCPP students partial tuition-remission merit-based scholarships. Applicants who apply by the priority deadline can also apply for graduate assistantships.

Curriculum Requirements

MSCPP Curriculum Requirements (33 credit hours)

Core Courses

  • Applying Criminological Theory 
  • Ethics in the Administration of Justice 
  • Methodological and Statistical Literacy in CCJ 
  • Mission and Practice of Global Public Health

Students select one of the following concentrations:
Administration of Justice 
(15 credit hours)

  • Organizational Programming 
  • Introduction to Non-Profit Organization Management 
  • Introduction to Public Sector Budgeting 
  • Management of Human Resources
  • Issues in Jurisprudence

Emergency Management
(15 credit hours)

  • Fundamentals of Disaster Planning
  • Public Health and Disasters 
  • Disaster Management and Risk Analysis 
    *In addition to the above required courses for the Emergency Management concentration, students select two from the following
  • Communicable Diseases and Infection Control 
  • Disaster Communication and Media Relations 
  • Legal and Ethical Implications of Disasters 
  • Facing the Challenge of International Bioterrorism 
  • Preparing for Disasters: Resiliency and Stress Inoculation 
  • Medical and Public Health Intelligence 
  • Intelligence Theory Application 
  • Terrorist Organizations and their Motives

Treatment and Rehabilitation
(15 credit hours)

  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment 
  • Evidence-based Practice in Community Health 
  • Substance Abuse Interventions 
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy 
  • Motivational Interviewing

Elective Courses, select two: 
(6 credit hours)

  • Issues in Law Enforcement 
  • Issues in Corrections 
  • Issues in Juvenile Justice Administration
  • Intimate Partner Violence 

Additional electives from other programs will be approved on a case by case basis.

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