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Criminology, Law and Society

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Minor

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.

Curriculum Requirements

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

    Major Requirements (48 credits):

    Required Courses (33 credits):
    CLS 101 Introduction to Criminology - 3 credits
    CLS 160 Research Writing and Advocacy - 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 315 Criminological Statistics - 3 credits
    CLS 504 Ethical Decisions and Dilemmas in Criminal Justic - 3 credits
    CLS 510 Criminological Theories - 3 credits
    CLS 590 Criminology, Law, and Society Capstone - 3 credits
    PS 100 Principles of American Politics - 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 205 Criminal Trial Evidence - 3 credits
    CLS 210 Civil Rights Law – 3 credits
    CLS 220 Criminology of Race – 3 credits
    CLS 235 Etiology of Mass Violence – 3 credits
    CLS 250 The Police: A History – 3 credits
    CLS 266 The Death Penalty – 3 credits
    CLS 269 Agency Management – 3 credits
    CLS 270 21st-Century Issues in Criminology – 3 credits
    CLS 275 Patterns of Criminal Behavior – 3 credits
    CLS 290 Mental Illness and the Criminal Process – 3 credits
    CLS 305 Violence and Victimology - 3 credits
    CLS 310 School Violence/Origins and Strategies – 3 credits
    CLS 316 Strategic/Tactical Leadership – 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 361 Urban Street Gang Prosecution – 3 credits
    CLS 367 Gender and Crime – 3 credits
    CLS 375 International Criminal Law - 3 credits
    CLS 376 Federal Criminal Law - 3 credits
    CLS 377 Addiction and Crime – 3 credits
    CLS 380 Criminology of Firearms - 3 credits
    CLS 385 Organized Crime in America – 3 credits
    CLS 399 Criminal Analytics - 3 credits
    CLS 400 Race and Justice – 3 credits
    CLS 415 International Criminal Systems – 3 credits
    CLS 420 Criminology of Hate – 3 credits
    CLS 425 Survey of Cybercrime – 3 credits
    CLS 430 Public Sector Management – 3 credits
    CLS 440 Constitutional Litigation and Analysis – 3 credits
    CLS 485 Crime Mapping – GIS – 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


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

  • Requirements for a Minor in Criminology, Law and Society

    Minor Requirements (18 credits):
    Required courses:
    CLS 101 Introduction to Criminology - 3 credits
    CLS 215 Juvenile Justice - 3 credits
    CLS 227 Criminal Law and Process - 3 credits
    CLS 504 Ethical Decisions and Dilemmas in Criminal Justice - 3 credits
    One of the following courses:
    CLS 275 Patterns of Criminal Behavior - 3 credits
    CLS 360 Prediction and Prevention of Criminal Conduct - 3 credits
    SO 240 Deviance - 3 credits
    One of the following electives:
    CLS 230 Constitutional Criminal Procedure - 3 credits
    Any 300 or 400 level CLS course - 3 credits

Program Highlights


  • 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.

Internships and Careers in Criminology, Law and Society

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.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • 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