The Criminology, Law and Society Program

The Criminology, Law and Society program aspires to be much more than a traditional criminal justice major. CLS features a curriculum that is challenging and broad-based. It gives students a solid foundation in the theoretical core of Criminology, a thorough understanding of the legal system that enacts criminal laws and processes cases through the investigative, prosecutive and corrections phases, and a broad, societal context for the criminal system that only a rigorous liberal arts regimen can supply.

Those who complete this curriculum will recognize that they have enjoyed a true liberal arts experience while learning the art of practical scholarship. Students will become scholars, learning to critically analyze problems, conduct effective research and write with clarity and force. They will appreciate the important specifics of their discipline but never lose their appreciation of the larger societal, political and scientific contexts in which the issues they will study arise. 

What Can I Do With a Major in Criminology, Law and Society?

The ambitious scope of this program reflects the fact that the criminal justice system invites professionals of varying interests and talents to contribute in many ways to the cause of justice. It is an enterprise in which legislators, judges, lawyers, investigators, criminalists, corrections officials, parole/probation officers, agency administrators and academics who study the system in macro terms all play a role. CLS becomes a platform from which graduates may pursue law school, graduate school, a career in high-level federal and state law enforcement agencies, positions as a probation/parole officer, assistant warden or warden in the corrections system or a professional position in any field in which critical analytical skills, professional writing proficiency and administrative prowess are valued.

  • Since the fall of 2011 when the Criminology Program began at Saint Vincent, we have been honored to have a number of our graduates enter law schools throughout the country.  Some have already graduated from law school and are now successfully in the practice of law.
  • Another group of our graduates have taken positions in the criminal justice system as probation officers and juvenile counselors.
  • Still another contingent have directly entered the field of law enforcement.  We currently have over 10 of our graduates as members of the Pennsylvania State Police.  Others have been offered positions in law enforcement agencies in various jurisdictions including the Pittsburgh Police Department.
  • A final group of graduates have entered into some of the top graduate programs in Criminology and related fields of national security studies and cybersecurity studies. 

The Criminology Program takes as it its most important measure of success the successful placement of our graduates into positions in which they may become significant contributors in the criminal justice area on a wide variety of levels.

Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology, Law and Society

Major Requirements (42 credits):

Required Courses (30 credits):
CLS 101 Introduction to Criminology - 3 credits
CLS 215 Juvenile Justice - 3 credits
CLS 227 Criminal Law and Process - 3 credits
CLS 230 Constitutional Criminal Procedure - 3 credits
CLS 245 Corrections, Probation, and Parole - 3 credits
CLS 404 Ethical Decisions and Dilemmas in Criminal Justice - 3 credits
CLS 410 Criminological Theories - 3 credits
CLS 490 Criminology, Law, and Society Capstone - 3 credits
One of the following:

PY 203 Statistics I - 3 credits
BA 350 Statistics I - 3 credits
Electives - Five of the following (15 credits):
CLS 155 American Judicial System - 3 credits
CLS 176 The Investigation and Prosecution of Urban Street Gangs - 3 credits
CLS 205 Criminal Trial Evidence - 3 credits
CLS 269 Agency Management - 3 credits
CLS 305 Violence and Victimology - 3 credits
CLS 320 White Collar Crime - 3 credits
CLS 340 Principles of Homeland Security - 3 credits
CLS 344 Financing Criminal Organizations - 3 credits
CLS 355 Sentencing - 3 credits
CLS 360 Prediction and Prevention of Criminal Conduct - 3 credits
CLS 375 International Criminal Law - 3 credits
CLS 376 Federal Criminal Law - 3 credits
CLS 380 Criminology of Firearms - 3 credits
CLS 400 Constitutional Ligation and Analysis (formerly Advanced Constitutional Law) - 3 credits
CLS 550 Internship* - 3 credits
PS 341 Global Terrorism - 3 credits
SO 200 Race and Ethnicity - 3 credits
SO 204 Deviance - 3 credits
SO 235 Inequality and Social Problems - 3 credits
AN 360 or SO 356 Qualitative or Quantitative Research Methods - 3 credits

Requirements for a Minor in Criminology, Law and Society: (18 Credits) 
SO 204 Deviance, 3 credits
CLS 101 Introduction to Criminology - 3 credits
CLS 215 Juvenile Justice - 3 credits
CLS 227 Criminal Law and Process - 3 credits 
CLS 404 Ethical Decisions and Dilemmas in Criminal Justice - 3 credits
One of the Following Electives: 
CLS 230 Constitutional Criminal Procedure - 3 credits
Any 300 or 400 level CLS course - 3 credits

*Internships with various social/criminal justice agencies are available for qualified students. 

Internships and Careers

The career paths our graduates have taken are reflected in the Results section of this website.  Many of these individuals have achieved their first exposure to aspects of the criminal justice system in the variety of internships we offer.  We have had individuals intern in police departments, probation offices, juvenile counseling facilities, public defender’s offices, county detective offices, sheriff offices, private law firms and other locations not only in Western Pennsylvania but in their home areas to facilitate their internship work over the summer.  Given the years of experience many of the faculty of the Criminology program have within all aspects of the criminal justice system, our contacts enable our students to obtain high quality internships which give them an in-depth perspective of the areas in which they may contribute upon their graduation.  Indeed, we encourage students to have two internships during the course of their matriculation. 

  • Learning Objectives

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the criminal justice system and its components
    • Demonstrate an understanding of criminological theories and their application to contemporary public policy
    • Demonstrate an ability to integrate and apply analytical skills and substantive knowledge to specific problems in criminology
    • Demonstrate an ability to use skills in critical thinking, synthesis and analysis of informational sources about criminal law, policing, corrections, research, and social justice
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the role of ethics, morals, and values in the field of criminology
    • Demonstrate an understanding of basic research methodology