Saint Louis University

SLU launches new master of science degree in criminology and professional practice

SLU Criminology and Professional Practice

Saint Louis University is expanding its offerings in the field of criminology and criminal justice to prepare students for the many complex challenges that face communities in the 21st century.

In September, the University's Board of Trustees voted to create a new graduate degree, a Master of Science in Criminology and Professional Practice, which will help further prepare students in this growing area. This new degree is offered by the criminology and criminal justice program, located in the School of Social Work within the College for Public Health & Social Justice.

"Crime is the most visible social problem of communities in despair. The places where the social determinants of health, the indicators of educational struggle, the causes and correlates of crime cluster are challenges for each of our academic disciplines and are the focal point of much research in the social and health sciences," Norm White, Ph.D, director and professor of criminology and criminal justice programs, said. "We as a college and our unique subset of majors and degree programs are well situated to become the solution makers of the 21st century."

"The problems of crime in our communities, and the social and environmental factors that allow crime to thrive, are at the core of our society's most pressing problems - the social determinants of wellbeing and health that we must address head-on with practitioners of criminology, not just with academic pursuits," Edwin Trevathan, M.D., M.P.H, dean and professor of the College for Public Health & Social Justice, said. "The problems of crime, and the factors that contribute to crime, require action and professional practice. Our new college mission, with the recognition of crime as a public health threat, make this new professional practice degree an essential part of our degree portfolio."

Unlike many traditional masters programs, the M.S. in Criminology and Professional Practice builds on the strengths of the interdisciplinary nature of the college and School of Social Work. The degree prepares graduates to be advanced practitioners in a variety of community settings, taking many different approaches to the nature of crime and justice.

"Almost all criminal justice programs in colleges and universities emphasize ‘crime' and not ‘justice,'" Don Linhorst, Ph.D, M.S.W, director and professor of the School of Social Work, said. "The Master of Science in Criminology and Professional Practice focuses on human justice and ethics and prepares students for leadership roles in the criminal justice system to address the devastating impact of the increase in offenders on the lives of these offenders, their families, and communities."

The M.S. will feature three concentration areas in administration of justice, treatment and rehabilitation and emergency response, giving students a more in-depth focus in their studies. The program offers multiple course delivery formats to assist students who are working full- or part-time. The formats for the program also include evening and some online courses within the emergency response concentration.

SLU is currently accepting applications for the degree's first cohort in the fall of 2014.


For more information on upcoming information sessions, please contact:

Kristi Richter
Director of Graduate Admission for the School of Social Work

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