Undergraduate

Criminology

The Bachelor of Arts in Criminology at St. Edward’s is a cross-disciplinary degree that helps prepare students for the scientific study of crime and its effects at both the individual and community level. Students will study the foundations of human behavior, deviance, victimology, statistical analysis and interacting institutions of the criminal justice system.

This is a fast-growing, competitive and research-intensive field. Students at St. Edward’s are provided the advantages of diverse academic perspectives, networking with local practitioners, service learning opportunities and professional conferences.

Bachelor of Arts in Criminology

Overview:

BA in Criminology majors at St. Edward’s delve into a variety of fields — including psychology, sociology, anthropology, biology, chemistry and political science — in order to explain concepts of crime, criminals and underlying motivations. Students also have the opportunity to explore the emerging academic study of victims, their experiences and how they interact with the criminal justice system. It is within this framework that phenomena such as interpersonal violence, property crime, organized crime, terrorism, hate crimes and sex crimes are examined to find explanations and develop prevention strategies.

The BA in Criminology degree is one of the most flexible for career opportunities and advancement. Our graduates work as city, state and federal law enforcement officers; victim service advocates; adult and juvenile probation/parole specialists; legal services professionals; academic researchers; and corrections staff. Utilizing area electives, criminology can be an ideal path to law school or advanced graduate degrees in criminology or related fields. Close interaction with faculty at St. Edward’s, through advising sessions, classes, research and internship opportunities, helps students target options for career and graduate work.

Course Preview:

In addition to the general education courses required of all majors, and elective courses, BA in Criminology majors take courses from these groups:

CORE COURSES
Criminology majors complete core courses to develop competency in areas of criminal behavior, causes of crime, effects of crime events, law and policy, and criminal justice system processing. In order to achieve this, students are enrolled in classes that include Crime in America, Criminology, Crime Causation, Victimology, Abnormal Psychology, Chemical Dependency, Administration of Justice and Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice.

SUPPORTING COURSES
A variety of classes have been identified from other disciplines that accentuate understanding of the core classes and provide a greater understanding of the major’s themes. Criminology majors are required to take supporting courses in Self and Society, General Psychology, Social Research, Statistics, and American National or State and Local Government.

View the Degree Plan (PDF) for sample course information for the Bachelor of Arts in Criminology.

Internships

Students majoring in criminology at St. Edward’s have the opportunity to participate in traditional internship placements with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies; judicial systems; and criminal justice organizations. Expanding internship possibilities, criminology majors may also complete placements with criminal justice victim service units, grassroots community outreach and nonprofit organizations that support the justice system. Internships are excellent opportunities to explore your passions, apply information in a practical setting and learn from experts in the field. 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, criminology 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 or a career in criminology. Students are encouraged to submit completed works to campus publication forums and appropriate regional conferences.

VICTIM SERVICES PROJECT
In an effort to expand research and internship-style placements, BA in Criminology majors have the unique opportunity to choose between a victim services historical research project or a 20-hour community service project.

Students who select the research project have the opportunity to present their research at either the World History Association of Texas (WHAT) or the Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) at St. Edward’s University.

Students who select the community service placement option contribute their skills to a range of organizations. Our students have worked with such organizations as:

  • Austin Police Department Victim Services Unit
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving
  • Texas After the Violence
  • Texas Victim Civil Legal Services
  • Travis County District Attorney’s Office

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