Undergraduate

Criminal Justice

The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice at St. Edward’s provides the foundation for students interested in pursuing careers in the law, law enforcement, probation and parole, court administration, and corrections. 

This program offers a robust and comprehensive selection of courses designed to introduce students to the law, judicial philosophy and the institutions of crime control within the United States and internationally. Students have the opportunity to explore interesting special topics courses, participate in regional conferences and pursue internships as they acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare them for careers within the field.

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Overview:

BA in Criminal Justice majors at St. Edward’s become focused in their academic pursuits once they declare their area of interest. By working closely with department faculty, students explore the fundamentals of law, investigation, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, punishment and rehabilitation. Students are introduced to more than academic content through an ongoing array of guest speakers, from whom they learn aspects of professionalism and preparation for their post-graduation career experiences. Close interaction with faculty, through advising sessions, classes, research and internship opportunities, helps students target options for careers and graduate work.

With a BA in Criminal Justice, our graduates have obtained work as city, state and federal law enforcement officers, adult and juvenile probation/parole specialists, court administrators, legal professionals, crime analysts, death investigators and corrections staff. Criminal justice graduates have secured positions with a variety of agencies, including the United States Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Prisons, United States Border Patrol, Federal District Courts, the Texas Attorney General’s Office and many large metropolitan police departments.

Degree Plan:

For detailed descriptions and timing of courses, please see the Undergraduate Bulletin (course catalog).

I. FOUNDATION COURSES (21 CREDIT HOURS):
• Rhetoric and Composition I and II*
• College Mathematics
• Computational Skills
• Oral Communication
• Modern Language

II. CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS (18 CREDIT HOURS):
• Literature and Human Experience
• Understanding and Appreciating Arts
• American Experience
• American Dilemmas*
• History and Evolution of Global Processes
• Contemporary World Issues

III. MISSION COURSES (15 CREDIT HOURS):
• The Human Experience
• Ethics*
• Religious Studies/Philosophy
• Science in Perspective
• Science in Depth

IV. MAJOR CORE COURSES (30 CREDIT HOURS):
• Administration of Justice
• American Court System
• Criminal Law I
• American Law Enforcement
• Corrections
• Juvenile Delinquency and the Juvenile Justice System
• Constitutional Criminal Procedure
• Criminology
• Comparative Legal Systems
• Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice

V. SUPPORTING COURSES (12 CREDIT HOURS):
• Self and Society
• American National Government
• State and Local Government
• General Psychology
Electives
Choose 12 hours minimum of electives

VI. CAREER EMPHASIS (9 CREDIT HOURS):
Students must select one of the following career emphases:
Criminal Justice Emphasis
In addition to the major’s core requirements, all students must take a minimum of 9 hours of electives, at least 3 hours of which must be upper division, in Criminal Justice, Criminology or Forensic Science. Selection of these electives can be matched to the student’s career interests.
Pre-Law Emphasis
In addition to the major’s core requirements, all students must take the following upper-division courses:
• Criminal Evidence and Proof
• Criminal Law II
• Prosecution and Adjudication

VII. CAPSTONE COURSE (3 CREDIT HOURS)

VIII. GRADUATION CERTIFICATION:
You must register for this course in your graduating term to be certified for graduation.

* These courses are prerequisites for Capstone. 

Internships

Students majoring in criminal justice at St. Edward’s have the opportunity to gain valuable field experience through traditional internship placements with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies; the judicial system; and allied criminal justice agencies. Internships are excellent opportunities for criminal justice majors to see the theories and methodologies they have studied in the classroom at work within their community. Through these placements, students can further explore areas of interest and evaluate their career goals more accurately. In the competitive career environment, an internship can prove to be a critical addition to your résumé and provide key networking opportunities.

Our students have gained on-the-job training through internships at local, state and federal organizations, including these:

  • Austin Police Department
  • Child Support Enforcement Unit (Texas Attorney General)
  • Gardner-Betts Juvenile Justice Center
  • Internet Child Pornography Prosecution Unit (Texas Attorney General)
  • McCabe Center (federal convict re-entry)
  • Specialized Units of Cyber Crimes, Fugitive Apprehension, Money Laundering (Texas Attorney General)
  • Travis County State Jail
  • United States District Court
  • United States Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • United States Marshals Service

Research

At St. Edward’s, criminal justice students are encouraged to pursue research in areas of their interest. Easily approachable faculty members help guide independent studies and research to fulfill Capstone or class-related assignments, or to expand students’ knowledge base outside the classroom. These investigations help build students’ confidence and skills and prepare them for graduate studies, law school or the professional work environment. Students are encouraged to submit completed works to appropriate regional conferences and campus publication forums, such as the World History Association of Texas (WHAT) and the Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) at St. Edward’s University.
 

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