Criminology and Criminal Justice, M.A.

Communities and organizations in the 21st century require professionals with interdisciplinary skills and preparation to handle many complex challenges. Saint Louis University’s Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree provides students with a core criminological knowledge foundation and the opportunity to gain additional skills.

Enhance your graduate education in criminology and criminal justice by selecting one of three diverse concentrations:

  • Administration of justice
  • Emergency management
  • Treatment and rehabilitation

SLU's Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree prepares graduates to be advanced practitioners in various community and justice agency/organizational settings. The program is offered in variable formats. Part-time and full-time degree options are available. Most classes are offered on campus in the evening, but one concentration, emergency management, is currently offered online only.

Curriculum Overview

SLU's M.A. in criminology and criminal justice prepares students to take on leadership roles in various community settings. Students must select one of the following areas as the concentration of their graduate studies:

Administration of Justice

Prepare for leadership roles in justice-serving organizations through coursework designed to increase your knowledge about the justice system, techniques and challenges of administration, and issues in jurisprudence. Students integrate this knowledge through rigorous coursework with community-based learning opportunities to create solutions to complex social and organizational challenges.

Emergency Management

Justice personnel are often among the first responders to a crisis. Students in our emergency management concentration learn critical thinking, leadership, and crisis management skills through seminars and challenging simulations that put their academic knowledge to the test. All courses in this concentration are offered online.

Treatment and Rehabilitation

Students in our treatment and rehabilitation concentration gain an in-depth understanding of human behavior, issues related to the treatment of high-risk populations, and evidence-based practices for improving the health of offenders and the communities in which they reside. A blend of in-class training and community-based practice experiences prepares students to become effective treatment agents.

Careers

Graduates of the administration of justice concentration are prepared for leadership roles in justice-serving organizations.

Graduates of the treatment and rehabilitation concentration are prepared to be effective treatment agents.

Graduates of the emergency management concentration are trained to be leaders in emergency response.

Recent graduates from SLU's M.A. in criminology and criminal justice program have accepted professional opportunities with the FBI, U.S. Marshals, Secret Service, IRS and the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.

Admission Requirements

Successful applicants to SLU's Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree program possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. Conditional admission may be considered for students with cumulative GPAs below 3.00.

Application Requirements

  • Application form and fee $65
  • Transcript(s)
  • Two letters of recommendation (one academic, one professional)
    • One academic letter of recommendation from a professor who has evaluated your academic performance in the classroom
    • One professional letter of recommendation from a supervisor who has evaluated your work in the field or related volunteer experience
    • If you have been out of school for five or more years, you may submit two professional letters
    • If you are entering the program directly from an undergraduate program, you may submit two academic letters
  • Résumé
  • A professional statement not exceed three double-spaced pages with the following information:
    • 1. What knowledge, values and skills do you have now that are critical to criminology and criminal justice?
    • Describe your strengths and areas of growth. 
    • What are your future aspirations in criminology and criminal justice?
    • Describe a social justice issue that is important to you and what you as a criminologist or criminal justice professional would do to make a difference. 
    • What are your experiences interacting with diverse populations? (Diverse populations include groups distinguished by age, race, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, and ethnicity.)

      The professional statement informs the Student Affairs Committee of the applicant's background and professional goals and is an indicator of the applicant's writing ability. The content and the quality of the composition will be used to judge your preparedness for graduate school. Following a review of admissions materials, an on-site writing sample may be required.

Requirements for International Students

SLU's M.A. in criminology and criminal justice requires a TOEFL of 92 or higher.

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students. International students must also meet the following additional requirements:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Financial documents are required to complete an application for admission and be reviewed for admission and merit scholarships. 
  • Proof of financial support that must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the student's 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 the student's study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include:
    • 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
    • Any honors or degrees received.

WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Application Deadlines

All applicants who apply are reviewed for merit-based scholarships. Applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed for admissions until August 1. 

Review Process

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. The admissions committee considers several factors to determine a candidate's eligibility:

  • Academic achievement
  • Strength of the undergraduate program
  • Application information
  • Professional statement
  • Work experience
  • Any graduate degrees earned
  • Motivation
  • Leadership and service 

The undergraduate GPA is weighted with other criteria in the admissions process.

Financial Aid

We recognize that cost can be a concern when choosing to continue your education and have identified the following financial aid resources to assist you.

FAFSA and Other Resources

All incoming students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. A step-by-step guide to submitting your FAFSA is available online. Saint Louis University Student Financial Services provides a Graduate Financial Aid Handbook that outlines the process of financing your graduate education.

The following links to resources in Saint Louis University Student Financial Services may also be helpful:

Scholarships

New and continuing students are eligible for merit-based scholarships. Prospective students will be automatically screened for scholarship eligibility. No additional application is required; awards are based on information provided in the admission application.

Please note that the terms of the scholarship are subject to change if a student petitions for a degree transfer or fails to remain in good academic standing.

Fellowships

The Doerr Fellowship for Equity and Inclusion is a full-tuition fellowship funded by the School of Social Work for new and continuing students. A separate application is required with a deadline of March 1. This fellowship requires that recipients serve as members of the School of Social Work's Equity and Inclusion Committee. Recipients will also be expected to actively participate in the diversity, equity and inclusion activities sponsored by the Doerr Center throughout the year.

Newly accepted master's or doctoral students and students in the first year of a program are eligible to apply for a University-wide Diversity, Dissertation or Presidential fellowship. You must first submit the full application minus the nomination letter to the School of Social Work by January 2 to be considered for nomination. Find more details on application components here.

Graduate Assistantships

By filling out a graduate assistantship application, you will automatically be considered for a full or partial graduate assistantship with the School of Social Work. Assistantships are appointed for one year. Students must reapply to be considered for a second year, and there are no guarantees that recipients will receive subsequent/continuing assistantships.

Full graduate assistantships are University-funded assistantships (UFA) awarded by the School of Social  Work. They are assigned and funded for two semesters, a duration of nine months, 20 hours per week, working with designated faculty. Most full assistantships are assigned to help faculty with research (GRA), and a small number may be assigned to assist with administrative work (GA) or faculty teaching (GTA).

The full graduate assistant works with one or two faculty members, depending on faculty needs. Time is divided between both faculty mentors if the student is assigned two. Students who receive a fully-funded UFA in one year may not receive a UFA in subsequent years, although they remain eligible for partial assistantships throughout their pursuit of a graduate degree in the School of Social Work.

Partial graduate assistantships are funded and awarded by the School of Social Work. They are assigned and funded for two semesters, a duration of nine months, 8-16 hours per week, working with assigned faculty. Partial assistantships may be assigned to assist with administrative work (GA), research (GRA), or faculty teaching (GTA). Depending on the hours assigned, tuition benefits will differ; health insurance and stipends are not awarded partial assistantships.

Other Funding for Current Students

Current students may be eligible for conference/training funding, graduate assistantships and scholarships. 
  1. Graduates will be able to assess relevant criminology and criminal justice literature/scholarly contributions.
  2. Graduates will be able to apply criminology and criminal justice theories, practices, policies, or research methodologies.
  3. Graduates will be able to apply knowledge from criminology and criminal justice to address problems in broader contexts.
  4. Graduates will be able to articulate criminology and criminal justice explanations/arguments to a disciplinary/professional audience in both written and oral formats.
  5. Graduates will be able to evidence scholarly/professional integrity (ethics) in criminology and criminal justice.
CCJ Core Courses
CCJ 5000Criminological Theory3
CCJ 5100Ethics in the Administration of Justice3
CCJ 5200Research Methods3
CCJ 5300Foundations of Criminal Justice3
CCJ 6400Issues in Jurisprudence3
CCJ Elective Courses
Select two of the following:6
Criminology and Criminal Justice Internship
CCJ 5990Thesis Research0-6
Issues in Policing
Issues in Juvenile Justice Administration
Social Work in Corrections
Intimate Partner Violence
Concentrations
Select one of the following concentrations:12
Total Credits33-39

Administration of Justice Concentration

Required Courses
SWRK 5785Organizational & Program Planning3
SWRK 5798Introduction to Non-Profit Organization Management3
MGT 6300Management of Human Resources3
POLS 5310Issues in U.S. Public Administration3
or POLS 5325 Public Sector Budgeting
Total Credits12

Emergency Management Concentration

Select four of the following:12
Public Health and Disasters
Fundamentals of Disaster Planning
Communicable Diseases and Infection Control
Public Health Ecology
Medical and Public Health Intelligence
Disaster Communications and Media Relations
Disaster Planning for Infectious Disease Disasters
Disaster Management and Risk Analysis
Facing the Challenge of International Bioterrorism
Emerging Infections: Epidemiology and Public Health Importance
Preparing for Disasters: Resiliency and Stress Inoculation
Business Continuity and Pandemic Planning
Total Credits12

Treatment and Rehabilitation Concentration

Required Courses
SWRK 5734Human Behavior & the Social Environment Part II3
SWRK 5742Evidence Based Practices in Community Mental Health3
SWRK 5744Substance Use Disorder Interventions3
SWRK 5772Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Social Work Practice3
Total Credits12

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

1

CCJ Core classes can be taken in any sequence and are offered on a rotating basis given a student's starting semester (Fall or Spring).  They are rotated on a four-semester basis.

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.

Administration of Justice Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
CCJ Core 3
SWRK 5785 Organizational & Program Planning 3
POLS 5310
Issues in U.S. Public Administration
or Public Sector Budgeting
3
 Credits9
Spring
CCJ Core 3
CCJ 5200
Research Methods
or Research for Evidence-Informed Research Practice
3
CCJ Elective 3
 Credits9
Year Two
Fall
CCJ Core 3
SWRK 5798 Introduction to Non-Profit Organization Management 3
MGT 6300 Management of Human Resources 3
 Credits9
Spring
CCJ Core 3
CCJ Elective 3
 Credits6
 Total Credits33

Emergency Management Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
CCJ Core 3
BSDP Elective 3
BSDP Elective 3
 Credits9
Spring
CCJ Core 3
CCJ 5200
Research Methods
or Research for Evidence-Informed Research Practice
3
CCJ Elective 3
 Credits9
Year Two
Fall
CCJ Core 3
BSDP Elective 3
CCJ Elective 3
 Credits9
Spring
CCJ Core 3
BSDP Elective 3
 Credits6
 Total Credits33

Treatment and Rehabilitation Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
CCJ Core 3
SWRK 5734 Human Behavior & the Social Environment Part II 3
SWRK 5742 Evidence Based Practices in Community Mental Health 3
 Credits9
Spring
CCJ Elective 3
SWRK 5744 Substance Use Disorder Interventions 3
CCJ 5200
Research Methods
or Research for Evidence-Informed Research Practice
3
 Credits9
Year Two
Fall
CCJ Core 3
SWRK 5772 Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Social Work Practice 3
CCJ Elective 3
 Credits9
Spring
CCJ Core 3
CCJ Elective 3
 Credits6
 Total Credits33

CCJ Core Courses

CCJ Core Courses 115
Criminological Theory
Ethics in the Administration of Justice
Research Methods
Foundations of Criminal Justice
Issues in Jurisprudence

CCJ Electives

CCJ 5910Criminology and Criminal Justice Internship3
CCJ 5990Thesis Research0-6
CCJ 6000Issues in Policing3
CCJ 6200Issues in Juvenile Justice Administration3
SWRK 5729Social Work in Corrections3
SWRK 5771Intimate Partner Violence3

Apply for Admission

For additional questions please contact:

Social Work School Graduate Admissions
socialwork@slu.edu
314-977-2752

Joseph A. Schafer, Ph.D., M.S.
Criminology and Criminal Justice Program Director
joseph.schafer@slu.edu
314-977-2114