Criminology as an academic discipline involves the study of criminal behavior and the institutions and systems established to deal with criminal offenders.
Because of the complexity of human behavior criminology examines the causes and correlates of offending from a multidisciplinary perspective, including but not limited to biology, economics, psychology, public health, sociology and social work. Criminology and criminologist provide the organizing frame for those interested in crime, criminal offenders and criminal justice institutions.
The student who is interested in studying criminology and criminal justice will have an interest in crime as a phenomenon. He or she may want to understand the causes of crime, correlates, patterns and trends. Criminal justice students are often interested in becoming law enforcement officers, profilers, lawyers, federal agents in a variety of agencies or correctional workers, probation and parole. There are a variety of employment opportunities in public and private organizations that work with offenders, victims, or youth and families in risk.
The student who wishes to attend Saint Louis University to study criminology and criminal justice is also likely to have an interest in serving people and communities as a core part of their spiritual identity. Toward that end the criminology program offers the unique dimension of human justice. Human justice represents a basic recognition of the essential humanity of all people whether they are offender, victim or employee within a justice agency. The agencies that deal with criminal events are, after all, human services agencies.