Make sure justice is served

The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice at St. Edward’s University prepares you to work in a variety of settings including: law enforcement agencies, youth and criminal justice centers, and corporate security departments.

Coursework in this major covers all facets of the criminal justice system including: law, law enforcement, the courts and corrections. As a Criminal Justice major, you'll take Criminal Justice classes and also take supporting courses in psychology, criminology, sociology, and political science. You’ll learn to identify patterns of criminal behavior. You'll also study the legal ramifications for offenders, and the processes for rehabilitation and treatment. Strong communication and management skills, along with the ability to quickly analyze and solve problems, are key qualities for success in this field. This is a good major for students who are interested in the study of law.

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. By working closely with department faculty, students explore the fundamentals of law, investigation, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, punishment and rehabilitation. 

Through the choice of one of three areas of emphasis, students focus on Administration of Justice, Pre-Law or Law Enforcement.


The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice at St. Edward’s University provides the foundation for students interested in pursuing careers in the law, law enforcement, probation and parole, court administration, and corrections. Our mission is to prepare our graduates to be productive professionals who are competent in their field and able to compete for entry-level positions in law enforcement, court administration, probation, parole, and corrections at the federal, state, county, and municipal levels of government. We achieve this by providing a well-rounded interdisciplinary liberal arts program of study reinforced by a commitment to providing real-world experience through community-based internships. 

Many of our Criminal Justice majors apply for law school; other students pursue work in the field after graduating.

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
  • Corrections staff
  • Educators
  • Attorneys
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
  • Many large metropolitan police departments

Outside the Classroom

Students have the opportunity to participate in regional conferences and pursue internships. This helps students build knowledge and skills in preparation for careers within the field. Students are introduced to more than academic content through an ongoing array of guest speakers. Guest speakers teach students about aspects of professionalism and prepare them for post-graduation career experiences.


Students are encouraged to complete an internship with local police, jails, courts, probation or parole agencies.

Previous internship sites have included:
  • Texas Department of Public Safety, Counter Intelligence Unit
  • Austin Police Department
  • US Marshals Service
  • US District Court, probation and pre-trial services
  • Federal convict re-entry programs
  • US Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • Texas Attorney General, multiple areas to include: child support enforcement, cyber crimes, money laundering, Interpol liaison
  • Travis County State Jail
  • Gardner-Betts Juvenile Justice Center


Students may engage in self-directed research by enrolling in a credit course and working closely one-on-one with a faculty mentor.


Each year, a Criminal Justice major is awarded the Randall Vetter Memorial Scholarship. This award recognizes a current student who excels in scholarship, community service, and civic leadership. 

The scholarship honors Randall Vetter '94, a DPS trooper who was killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop near San Marcos. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Criminal Justice from St. Edward's University in May 1994. During his days as a St. Edward's University student, Vetter served as both vice-president and president of the university's chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice academic society. He was described as the "quintessential poster-boy for what professional law enforcement in our democratic society should stand for at the dawn of the new millennium," by Dr. David M Horton, who taught Vetter at St. Edward's University.

Meet the Faculty

Our distinguished faculty members are scholar-practitioners with years of industry experience and creative passions of their own. They stay active in their fields and bring their expertise to the classroom. Our faculty's commitment to excellence in teaching, public service, and research serves to nurture students' personal and career growth.

In addition to being outstanding educators with proven track records in teaching excellence, the Criminal Justice faculty also serve as advisors and mentors to students.

In this capacity our faculty are fully engaged in:
  • Academic planning, including advising and selection of an appropriate course of study
  • Career planning for internships and career options
  • Assisting with law school advising and other post-graduate educational opportunities

About the Minor

Students who are interested in doing work related to the criminal justice system can expand their knowledge and experience by getting a minor in Criminal Justice. A minor in Criminal Justice is particularly helpful for students who are interested in pursuing law, legal justice, and forensic science.

Minor in Criminal Justice, General

Required Coursework (18 hours):
  • Administration of Justice
  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure
  • Any Upper-Division CRIJ Courses
  • Any Upper-Division CRIJ Courses
  • Choose two of the following four courses (six hours):
    • Criminal Law I
    • American Court System
    • American Law Enforcement
    • Criminal Evidence and Proof

Minor in Criminal Justice, Pre-Law

Required Coursework (18 hours):
  • Administration of Justice
  • Criminal Law I
  • American Court System
  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure
  • Law of Evidence and Proof
  • Criminal Law II or Prosecution and Adjudication