Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Criminology is a field of study that incorporates an interdisciplinary perspective to examine criminals and criminal behavior as well as institutions that respond to criminal behavior. The criminal justice major incorporates the scientific study of criminal behavior, the law and institutions such as law enforcement, the courts, probation and parole, and corrections Faculty research and teaching includes the nature of crime (causes, correlationa and theories of crime), justice system processes and procedures, and issues related to inequality and justice.
We offer a major and minor in criminology and criminal justice. The major requires 30 credit hours of required courses and 6 hours of elective courses. In addition to offering undergraduate courses, the department maintains an active internship program that provides interested students with research and work experience in local, regional and state organizations.
The Criminology and Criminal Justice Program provides a well-rounded and sound academic orientation to understanding the nature of criminal offending, law enforcement, the law and court administration, and both community and institutional corrections. The program also offers the student the opportunity to examine the practical application of research and to obtain invaluable experience in the criminal justice system. A criminal justice degree provides the foundation for employment in the criminal justice system and nonprofit organizations. Graduates of our program also pursue graduate education in law and other social sciences in preparation of research careers or academic positions.
Unique Features of the Major
The St. Louis metropolitan area provides an extraordinary opportunity for students who choose an academic career at Saint Louis University. The surrounding communities provide opportunities to not only engage in and participate in research, they also offer the student with an opportunity to examine and experience the social realities of urban inequality. As a University that prides itself on teaching students to become men and women for others, our students engage in community-based collaborative research that allows them to understand the human experience of social inequality and outcomes associated with it. More than a laboratory, St. Louis provides a window into the lived experience of urban life opening the door to our students becoming transformative leaders of social and institutional change.
Students arrange a required fieldwork placement with our director of field placement and work under the direction of a supervisor from the agency. The fieldwork practicum is a significant learning experience and a source of professional contacts for the future. Students undertake their fieldwork either over the summer or during one of their final two semesters.
The Criminal Justice major requires 36 hours of course work. Several major areas of emphasis run through the substantive areas of the courses, to include understanding theory, the development of policy, critically assessing the status quo, concern for individual rights, ethical practices and continuous improvement of the system. Specific course offerings are divided into the following areas.
Required Courses (30 hours):
Credit hours are showin in parentheses.
SOC 115: Introduction to Criminal Justice (3) OR
SOC 116: Introduction to Criminal Justice/Service Learning (3)
SOC 200: Research Methods (3)
SOC 215: Classical Theories of Crime (3)
SOC 232: Law Enforcement (3)
SOC 233: Introduction to Corrections (3)
Applied Methodology Course (choose one):
SOC 301: Quantitative Research Methods (3) OR
SOC 302: Qualitative Research Methods (3)
SOC 390: Theories of Crime (3)
SOC 400: Criminal Justice Practicum (3)
SOC 439: Criminal Law and Procedure (3)
SOC 496 Criminal Justice Capstone (3)
Examples of Electives (6 hours from the following list):**
SOC 260 Introduction to Forensic Sciences (3)
SOC 261 Forensic Biology and LAB (4)
SOC 262 Chemical Analysis of Crime and LAB (4)
SOC 301 Quantitiative Analysis (only if not used as requirement) (3)
SOC 302 Qualitative Analysis (only if not used as requirement) (3)
SOC 330 Social Psychology (3)
SOC 333 Corporate and While Collar Crime (3)
SOC 355 Juvenile Delinquency (3)
SOC 358 Sociology of Deviant Behavior (3)
SOC 359 Law and Society (3)
SOC 380 Juvenile Justice (3)
SOC 446 Criminal Investigations (3)
SOC 462 Probation, Parole and Community Corrections (3)
SOC 498 Independent Study (3) (Requires permission of instructor & department chair)
TOTAL: 36 hours
(OTHER ELECTIVES MAY QUALIFY - Talk to your mentor for updated courses that may qualify.)
**With the approval of the student's mentor and department chair, a student may take other upper division courses in the department as electives.
We recommend students achieve a C- or better in all required courses for the major, minor, or certificate. Students must maintain an average GPA of at least 2.0 in the courses taken to satisfy their major, minor, or certificate. Students must maintain an overall GPA at SLU at or above 2.0.
Our department maintains a variety of links to agencies of criminal justice and social services in the community, the city and county of St. Louis, and beyond, and our curriculum includes internships in those agencies. We offer students opportunities to gain valuable on-site, hands-on experiences.
Students are to meet with the internship director prior to contacting any of the agencies listed. Before meeting with the internship director, students should familiarize themselves with the internship process. The internship director in collaboration with agency personnel supervises the Criminal Justice Internship (SOC400-01 and 400-02).