Study people who commit crimes, and the causes and effects of crime

The Bachelor of Arts in Criminology at St. Edward’s University draws from multiple disciplines to study the causes of crimes, the effect of crime, and the impact on people and society. 

You will study:
  • Concepts of crime, criminals and underlying motivations
  • Victims, their experiences, and how they interact with the criminal justice system
  • Measurement and detection of crime
  • The relationship between law and human behavior
  • The scholarly, scientific and professional knowledge concerning the causes and prevalence of crime 
  • The prevention, control and treatment of crime and delinquency
  • Legislation and policy
  • The practice of criminal law
  • The criminal justice system
  • Interacting with institutions of the criminal justice system
  • Phenomena such as interpersonal violence, property crime, organized crime, terrorism, hate crimes and sex crimes

Criminology is a social science, drawing from the fields of sociology, psychology, social work and political science. It is closely related to criminal justice, which is the study of the criminal justice system and all of its different parts. This field is quickly expanding, and its growing popularity means competition is intense. It's also a field that demands considerable research. Our students benefit from diverse academic perspectives, networking with local professionals, service learning opportunities, and professional conferences. 


Students who graduate with a degree in Criminology from St. Edward's University are well-equipped for many career paths.

 Graduates who go directly into the workforce can work in:
  • Law enforcement, including intelligence
  • Corrections
  • Probation, including juvenile
  • Court services
  • Victim services
  • Advocacy
  • Military, especially intelligence
  • Parole
  • Immigration
Our St. Edward's University alumni work in the following areas in either the public or private sector:
  • City, state and federal law enforcement officers
  • Victim service advocates
  • Adult and juvenile probation/parole specialists
  • Legal services professionals
  • Academic researchers
  • Corrections staff

Criminology is a research-based discipline, and graduates often go to law school or graduate school to get a Masters in Social Work (MSW) or a Masters in Counseling (MAC). Students interested in pursuing graduate studies are encouraged to take electives in the area they plan to study.

Outside the Classroom


Explore your passions, apply information in a practical setting, and learn from experts in the field. An internship can help you boost your resume and network with professionals. 

Our students have interned in Organizations Including: 
  • Austin Police Department
  • Gardner-Betts Juvenile Justice Center
  • McCabe Center (federal convict re-entry)
  • Travis County State Jail
  • U.S. District Court
  • U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • U.S. Marshals Service
  • Texas Attorney General
  • Child Support Enforcement Unit
  • Internet Child Pornography Prosecution Unit
  • Specialized Units of Cyber Crimes, Fugitive Apprehension, Money Laundering

You may also complete placements with criminal justice victim service units, grassroots community outreach, and nonprofit organizations that support the justice system.

Victim Services Project

Criminology majors have the unique opportunity to choose between a victim services historical research project or a 20-hour community service project. If you do the research project, you can present your research at either the World History Association of Texas (WHAT) or the Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE).

If you choose to do community service, you may participate in organizations such 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

Meet the Faculty

The Criminology faculty are dedicated to helping students learn and grow. Faculty members are dynamic and have expertise in a variety of areas and are actively engaged in scholarly activities. They exude excellence in teaching, research, and service.

"I live for the 'ah-ha' moment when my students understand the concept I am trying to convey.
When you combine the understanding of theoretical concepts and how they can be used in the practitioner’s world, it is learning at its best."  Michelle Richter, PhD, assistant professor

About the Minor

A minor in Criminology can help students expand their knowledge about crime. This program can be particularly helpful for students interested in pursuing a law degree. 

The following coursework is required for a minor in Criminology: 

Causes of Crime (select one)
  • Chemical Dependency Issues
  • Theories of Crime Causation
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Race, Class and Gender
Crime and Society
  • Crime in America
  • Criminology
Law, Legislation and Policy (select one)
  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure
  • Crime Victims (Victimology)
Specific Types of Crime and Criminals (select one)
  • Juvenile Delinquency and the Juvenile Justice System
  • Topics in Criminology
  • Introduction to Forensic Psychology
  • Serial Killers
  • Violent Sex Crimes
Upper-Division Criminology (select one)
  • Topics in Criminology
  • Internship in Criminology 
  • Or any other upper-division course with a CRIM prefix