Criminology and Criminal Justice, B.A.

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

Consistent with Saint Louis University’s Jesuit tradition, the criminology and criminal justice program seeks to strengthen the criminal justice systems and, more importantly, communities by focusing on the factors that cause crime and violence and on the humanity of victims, offenders and practitioners. This major is a good fit for students interested in legal studies, law enforcement at the local, state or federal levels and working with adults and/or juveniles in correctional settings as well as those pursuing graduate education or a law degree.

Faculty within the program are great mentors and easy to connect with. Each professor I have had has always been more than willing to meet with me whether to answer any questions about the course or for any career advice." - Kalie Yeager-Thompson, Class of 2021

Program Highlights

  • The program is innovative in its approach to improving the justice systems by focusing on the humanity of those involved in and impacted by crime and violence in communities.
  • The program challenges and engages students intellectually with the latest in criminological and criminal justice theory, research and practice.
  • The major offers students the opportunity to live what they learn through compassionate service.

Curriculum Overview

The criminology and criminal justice curriculum covers a wide array of topics including theories of crime, criminal justice ethics, law enforcement, corrections, legal procedures and criminal justice research. In addition, students tailor the major to their individual needs and interests by selecting from courses focused on criminal justice systems and courses examining the nature of crime.

The B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice requires a minimum of 120 credits for graduation. The program offers coursework that provides students with a foundation for understanding the causes and correlates of crime and the systems that respond to criminal and delinquent behavior. The program’s unique focus on human justice supports students’ understanding of the humanity of all who are involved in the justice system including victims, offenders and practitioners. Through rigorous academic coursework, students become educated consumers of information and research that can be applied to justice settings. Community-based experiential learning opportunities train students to be effective and transformative practitioners and citizens. Through an integration of scholarship and community-engaged service, students become aware of issues related to human and social justice in an increasingly diverse and globalized world.

Additional degree options include:

  • Accelerated program: High achieving students may apply to this selective program during their junior year of study. This accelerated program allows students to begin taking graduate courses in their senior year of undergraduate studies. 
  • Honors courses: The criminology and criminal justice program offers advanced coursework approved for Honors credit.
  • Minor: For those pursuing other majors but who are also interested in criminology and criminal justice, the program offers a minor that provides students a foundation for understanding a variety of criminology and criminal justice professions and the core values of the field.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Benefits of the program also include internship and job opportunities. Students have the opportunity to complete an internship and/or externship, allowing them to gain valuable hands-on experience and make professional contacts prior to pursuing employment. Partnerships with a wide variety of agencies and organizations all over St. Louis City and St. Louis County provide students with diverse options for their internship and/or externship experiences. Placement options include working with juveniles or adults in private or public agencies at the local, state or federal level and a number of local community-based agencies working with at-risk individuals.

Saint Louis University has a strong service-learning foundation. Students embody the Jesuit mission by using the knowledge they gain in the classroom to serve others. Service learning also provides valuable field experience for criminology and criminal justice students, and enhances their connectedness with the St. Louis community.

Students can also volunteer at organizations around St. Louis as the criminology and criminal justice program collaborates with more than 250 social service agencies where students can explore criminology and criminal justice professions with guidance from seasoned experts.

For students interested in studying abroad there are a wide variety of programs, including a campus located in Madrid, Spain.


A CCJ degree opens doors to employment in the criminal and juvenile justice systems and many nonprofit organizations. Graduates might also pursue further education in law or other social sciences in preparation for academic, research, or other professional careers.

Career opportunities in criminology and criminal justice include:

  • Correctional officer
  • Criminal investigator
  • Detective
  • Federal agent
  • Juvenile justice staff/administrator
  • Lawyer
  • Police officer
  • Policy analyst
  • Private security
  • Probation/parole officer
  • Researcher
  • Youth worker

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.


All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 


Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at

  1. Graduates will be able to apply criminology/criminal justice theory.
  2. Graduates will be able to conduct criminology/criminal justice research.
  3. Graduates will be able to identify multicultural criminology/criminal justice competence.
  4. Graduates will be able to apply criminology/criminal justice theories and/or practices/policies of social, human, and criminal justice.
  5. Graduates will be able to assess the ethical implications of criminology/criminal justice and practice ethical principles.
Core Requirements 142
Criminology and Criminal Justice Courses
CCJ 1010Introduction to Criminal Justice3
CCJ 2050Multiculturalism for Criminal Justice Professionals3
or CCJ 2051 Multiculturalism for Professionals
CCJ 2150Criminology: Nature of Crime 23
CCJ 3200Ethics in Criminal Justice3
CCJ 3700Research Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice 23
CCJ 3750Statistics in Criminology and Criminal Justice3
CCJ 4960Criminology and Criminal Justice Capstone3
Criminal Justice Systems Courses
Select three of the following:9
Policing & Society
Institutional & Community Corrections
Juvenile Justice & Delinquency
Violence Against Women
Criminal Law & Procedure
Criminal Investigations
Criminology and Criminal Justice Internship
Nature of Crime Courses
Select three of the following:9
Juvenile Justice & Delinquency
Contemporary Theories of Crime
Corporate & White Collar Crime
Understanding Serial Killers
Victimology & Victimization
Race, Ethnicity, and the Criminal Justice System
The Science of Evil
Mental Health & Crime
Violence Against Women
Externship in CCJ
General Elective Courses
Select an additional 39 credits of general electives to achieve the minimum 120 credits for graduation.39
Total Credits120

A more detailed explanation of core curriculum requirements can be found in the BACCJ Student Handbook.


Students are advised to take CCJ 2150 Criminology: Nature of Crime (3 cr) prior to CCJ 3150 Contemporary Theories of Crime (3 cr) and CCJ 3700 Research Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice (3 cr) prior to CCJ 3750 Statistics in Criminology and Criminal Justice (3 cr).

Continuation Standards

  • Cumulative GPA of at least 2.00.
  • Minimum grade of “C” in all Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJ) Courses.
  • Minimum grade of “D” in all remaining general elective courses counting toward the minimum 120 credits required for graduation.

Core Requirements

English & Communications
CMM 1200Public Speaking3
ENGL 1900Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research3
ENGL 2XXX-3XXXLiterary Studies3
HIST 1120Origins of the Modern World (1500 to Present)3
HIST 1610History of the United States Since 18653
Philosophy & Theology
PHIL 1050Introduction to Philosophy: Self and Reality3
THEO 1000Theological Foundations3
THEO 2XXX-4XXX: Theology Elective3
MATH 1200College Algebra3
Natural Science3
Select from BIOL, CHEM, PHYS or EAS
Fine & Performing Arts3
Select from ART, ARTH, DANC, THR or MUSC
Foreign Language 6
Students select two foreign language courses to total up to six credits. At minimum, courses can be Level I for two different languages or through Level II for one language.
Global Health
PUBH 2100Introduction to Global Health3
Total Credits42

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
CCJ 1010 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3
ENGL 1900 Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research 3
MATH 1200 College Algebra (or higher) 1 3
PHIL 1050 Introduction to Philosophy: Self and Reality 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
English 2XXX+ 3
Fine & Performing Arts 3
CMM 1200 Public Speaking 3
History Course 3
General Elective 3
Year Two
Foreign Language Course 3
THEO 1000 Theological Foundations 3
PUBH 2100 Introduction to Global Health 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
Criminal Justice Systems Course 3
Foreign Language Course 3
Natural Sciences Course 3
THEO 2XXX+ Elective 3 3
History Course 3
Year Three
CCJ 2150 Criminology: Nature of Crime 3
CCJ 3200 Ethics in Criminal Justice 3
CCJ 3700 Research Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice 3
Criminal Justice Systems Course 3
General Elective 3
CCJ 2050
Multiculturalism for Criminal Justice Professionals
or Multiculturalism for Professionals
CCJ 3750 Statistics in Criminology and Criminal Justice 3
CCJ Nature of Crime Course 3
General Elective 3
Year Four
Criminal Justice Systems Course 3
CCJ Nature of Crime Course 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
CCJ Nature of Crime Course 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
CCJ 4960 Criminology and Criminal Justice Capstone 3
 Total Credits120

Prerequisite: MATH 0260 Intermediate Algebra (can be waived per department assessment) 


Prerequisite: PHIL 1050 Introduction to Philosophy: Self and Reality 


Prerequisite: THEO 1000 Theological Foundations 

Apply for Admission

For additional admission questions please contact:
Shannon Cooper-Sadlo, Ph.D., M.S.W., LCSW
Program Director
School of Social Work

2+SLU programs are formal  transfer agreements for students seeking an associate degree at a partner institution.