Saint Louis University

Criminology and Criminal Justice

The College for Public Health and Social Justice offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Criminology & Criminal Justice


Professor Norm White discusses criminology and criminal justice 

The College for Public Health and Social Justice offers:

Criminology and criminal justice are fields of study that incorporate an interdisciplinary perspective to examine the causes and correlates of criminal behavior as well as institutions that respond to such behavior. A degree in criminology and criminal justice provides a well-rounded academic foundation to the nature of criminal offending, victimization, law enforcement, court administration, the law, and both community and institutional corrections.

The Criminology and Criminal Justice program prepares students to understand and effectively respond to the challenges faced by today's criminal and juvenile justice systems. CCJ students better understand and are equipped to successfully navigate the underlying human element of justice systems and the larger community forces that often function as determinants of criminal behavior and victimization. Consistent with Saint Louis University's Jesuit tradition, this holistic orientation to criminology and criminal justice will ultimately strengthen individuals, communities, and agencies through its focus on the humanity of those involved within the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

This major is an ideal fit for students interested in legal studies, law enforcement at the local, state or federal levels, working with adults and juveniles in correctional and community settings, and those pursuing graduate education or a law degree.

Why SLU?

SLU's CCJ program is innovative in its approach to improving the criminal justice system by focusing on the human aspects of violence and crime within the justice system and in communities.

SLU is founded on the Jesuit tradition of "educating the whole person." Our programs challenge and engage students intellectually with the latest in theory, research and practice. Our major offers students the opportunity to live what they learn through compassionate service.

SLU is the place you come to change the world. We are committed to our students' success.


CCJ students have the opportunity to complete an internship or externship, allowing them to gain valuable, hands-on experience and make professional contacts prior to pursuing employment. Potential careers include:

  • Correctional officer
  • Criminal investigator
  • Detective
  • Federal agent
  • Juvenile justice administration
  • Lawyer
  • Police officer
  • Policy analyst
  • Probation and parole officer
  • Researcher
  • Youth worker

Internships and Externships

SLU partners with a wide variety of agencies and organizations all over St. Louis City and St. Louis County to provide CCJ students with diverse options for internship and/or externship experiences. Placement options include working with juveniles or adults in private or public justice agencies at the local, state, or federal level and at a number of community-based agencies that work with at-risk individuals and families.

Graduates might also pursue further education in law or other social sciences in preparation for professional or research careers.

Service and Study Abroad

SLU has a strong service-learning component. Students can embody SLU's Jesuit mission by using the knowledge they gain in the classroom to serve others. Students can volunteer at organizations around St. Louis, and SLU collaborates with more than 250 social service agencies where students can explore many areas of criminology and criminal justice with guidance from seasoned professionals.

For students interested in studying abroad, we have a wide variety of programs, including a campus located in Madrid, Spain, where students can study abroad while earning credit for their degree.

Faculty and Research

SLU's Criminology and Criminal Justice faculty are nationally recognized as leaders in research and community engagement, many with years of professional experience in the field. CCJ faculty members have diverse research interests, including:

  • Communities and crime
  • Correctional treatment of offenders
  • Criminal justice decision-making
  • Disparities in criminology and criminal justice
  • Juvenile justice administration and outcomes
  • Law enforcement
  • Sentencing and punishment outcomes
  • Understanding the causes and correlates of crime

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