Criminal Justice


Whether you aspire to keep your community safe using the tools of law enforcement, prevent youth from ever entering the justice system, or earn the degree needed to elevate your career, an SAU education can make it happen.

Our graduates work in law enforcement, juvenile justice, social work, home and business security, as criminal researchers, and more.


Ambrose Advantages

  • Theoretical and Practical Application
  • Experienced Faculty
  • Meaningful Mentorships and Community Connections

campus

students studying

student studying

Our professors empower students with a meaningful education and provide support through mentoring and personal relationships. You gain the confidence to take action – now and in the future. At St. Ambrose, you can work with inmates at a county jail, serve the community, and stand up for social justice. Your experiences will strengthen your voice and goals.

Read our Criminal Justice Program Fact Sheet (pdf)


More Information About the Criminal Justice Program

What will I learn?

You will learn about the nature and causes of crime; justification and means of social control; administration of the justice system; and how to evaluate justice programs. Courses include criminal law procedure, offender treatment, juvenile justice, evidence and investigation, forensics, crime theory, serial homicides, and race, gender and class.

Many of our graduates choose to continue their education at St. Ambrose and enroll in our Master of Criminal Justice program. Through our accelerated BA-MCJ program, you may be able to earn both degrees within five years.

If you'd rather broaden your education in analytics, data interpretation, and crime analysis, we also offer a Master of Science in Criminal Justice program.

What are my opportunities outside the classroom?

As early as your freshman year, you can participate in the SAU Undergraduate Summer Research Institute to dig deeper into topics relevant to you.

We've had criminal justice students research the differences between psychopaths and sociopaths and another study delved into state and federal prison data on the usage of educational programs.

Experiential learning will broaden your education. Complete an internship, or two. Our faculty can match your specific interests to their community connections. The Quad Cities region holds a number of city, county, state, and federal offices, giving you exceptional opportunities for networking, clinical placements, and jobs.

Read about the two summer internships that helped Madison Humphrey explore the professional role she wants to play in the field of criminal justice. 

Throughout the year, you can attend free community presentations, town hall meetings, and conferences hosted on campus. Many of these events focus on social justice topics and can help expand your learning and professional connections.

What are some possible job outcomes?

Criminal Justice majors can work for local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies, including law enforcement, corrections, probation, parole, or juvenile justice. Alumni also work for private and public security companies, children services, judicial offices, and some conduct social research for public, private or non-profit organizations.

You get a lot of return on your educational investment, including personal and professional satisfaction. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cities the median annual pay for law enforcement officers, detectives, and probation offices ranges from $48,190 - $61,600 (2016).

What have alumni of this program done?

Carrie Landau '96, '02 MCJ is an FBI special agent in south suburban Chicago, specializing in human trafficking.

Grant Miller '14 added a psychology minor to his criminal justice major and today is Assistant Director of Security at JLL in Chicago.

Faculty

Nicole Pizzini, PhD, Chair and Professor

Patrick Archer, PhD, Professor
Chris Barnum, PhD, Professor
Regina Matheson, PhD, Professor
Jeffrey McCraw, JD, Lecturer
Waylyn McCulloh, MA, Asst. Professor
Shane Soboroff, PhD, Asst. Professor
Grant Tietjen, PhD, Assoc. Professor

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Required:

Foundational Methods/Understanding (16 credits):
+CRJU 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice
CRJU 200 Research Methods in Sociology and Criminal Justice
WI-CRJU 400 Criminology Theory
CRJU 407 Seminar in Criminal Justice
CRJU 430 Data Analysis in Social Research (4 credits)

Legal/Courts (9 credits):
CRJU 221 Criminal Law and Procedure
+CRJU 316 Juvenile Justice
CRJU 411 The Constitution and Criminal Justice

Corrections (6 credits):
CRJU 231 Contemporary Corrections
CRJU 314 Probation, Parole, and Community Corrections

Law Enforcement (6 credits):
CRJU 102 Introduction to Law Enforcement
CRJU 303 Police, Problems, and Practices

Justice Issues Electives (Choose 6 credits from the following):
CRJU 250, 313, 342, 350, 401, 402, 403, 420, 421, 487, 499
PSYC 321, 325, 328
SOC 220, 235, 342

Read course descriptions

+satisfies general education requirement
WI writing intensive

Minor (15 credits)

Required:
+CRJU 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice
CRJU 221 Criminal Law and Procedure
CRJU 400 Criminology Theory

Electives:
An additional six credit hours of criminal justice

WI=writing intensive
+=satisfies general education requirement

Click here to read course descriptions for Criminal Justice

Plan to Graduate

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice.

This plan assumes the student has not met the foreign language requirement (three years of foreign language in high school).

Year One

FallCRSpringCR
CRJU 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3 CRJU 231 Contemporary Corrections* 3
ENGL 101 English Composition 3 CRJU Justice Issues Elective* 3
Philosophy/Theology 3 Oral Communication (COMM 129, 132, 230, 228, or 329) 3
Foreign Language 101 3 Foreign Language 102 3
NSS 101 New Student Seminar 1 Math 131 or 171 3
IL 101 Information Literacy 1 KIN 149 Wellness Concepts 1
Total Credits 14 Total Credits 16

Year Two

FallCRSpringCR
CRJU 102 Introduction to Law Enforcement 3 CRJU 200 Research Methods in Sociology and Criminal Justice* 3
CRJU 221 Criminal Law and Procedures* 3 CRJU 316 Juvenile Justice* 3
Elective/2nd Major/Minor Course 3 Elective/2nd Major/Minor Course 3
Humanities # 3 Creative Arts 3
Natural Science 3 Philosophy/Theology 3
KIN Activity 1-2
Total Credits 16-17 Total Credits 15

Year Three

FallCRSpringCR
CRJU 400 Criminological Theory* 3 CRJU 303 Police, Problems, and Practices* 3
**CRJU 430 Data Analysis in Social Research 4 CRJU 314 Probation, Parole, and Community Corrections* 3
Elective/2nd Major/Minor Course 6 Elective/2nd Major/Minor Course 6
#PHIL/THEO 3 Creative Arts 3
Total Credits 16 Total Credits 15

Year Four

FallCreditsSpringCredits
**WI-CRJU 407 Seminar in Criminal Justice 3 CRJU Justice Issues Elective* 3
CRJU 411 Constitution and Criminal Justice* 3 Elective/2nd Major/Minor Course* 12
Elective/2nd Major/Minor Course* 6
300-level Philosophy/Theology 3
Total Credits 15 Total credits 15

*Prerequisite CRJU 101
** Other prerequisite
WI=writing intensive
# Humanities course must be from two different departments

4+1 Degree

BA-MCJ

The BA-MCJ program gives qualified undergraduate students the opportunity to earn a Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) degree on an accelerated timeframe – a bachelor's and master's degree within five years.

Starting as juniors, qualified students can complete up to 12 credits of graduate-level criminal justice courses that will count toward both their BA and MCJ degrees. This will allow students to complete their master's degree in Criminal Justice in a single year following the completion of the bachelor's degree.

The importance of a master's degree

A master's degree is increasingly the minimum requirement for employment in many agencies, and with more sophisticated homeland security and law enforcement practices on the rise, advanced education is necessary for professionals to keep current and marketable. The BA-MCJ program allows qualified students the opportunity to acquire an advanced education and get a jump start on their careers.

To learn more about this opportunity, talk to Dr. Chris Barnum, Program Director at 563-333-6263.


BA-MCJ Admission Requirements

SAU Criminal Justice majors who have completed at least 60 hours of undergraduate course credit with a 3.2 cumulative grade point average are eligible for admission to the program.

Students may apply to the BA-MCJ program in the fall semester of their junior year. Applications must be completed by October 1.

Accepted students may register for a graduate class in the spring semester of their junior year.

Current St. Ambrose students and new transfer students are eligible to apply if they have met the following:

1. Currently enrolled at St. Ambrose University as a Criminal Justice major.
2. Have a faculty advisor from the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice
3. Completed 60 credit hours
4. Minimum 3.2 cumulative GPAAdmission Criteria

This program is competitive and intended for highly motivated students who excel in the classroom. Applicants will be evaluated on the following:

1. Grade point average (overall and in the major)
2. Interview with the Program Director
3. Letter of recommendation from a professor or employer

Plan to Graduate BA-MCJ

Plan to Graduate - BA-MCJ

Once enrolled in the BA-MCJ program, students take specific classes in their junior and senior year to segue into the master's program.

The plan below details which courses to take over five years at St. Ambrose.

Year One

FallCreditsSpringCredits
CRJU 101 Intro to Criminal Justice 3 CRJU 231 Contemporary Corrections* 3
ENGL 101 English Composition 3 CRJU 221 Criminal Law and Procedures* 3
Philosophy/Theology 3 Oral Communication (COMM 129, 132, 230, 228, or 329) 3
Foreign Language 101 3 Foreign Language 102 3
NSS 101 New Student Seminar 1 Math 131 or 171 3
IL 101 Information Literacy 1 KIN 149 Wellness Concepts 1
Total Credits 14 Total Credits 16

Year Two

FallCreditsSpringCredits
CRJU 102 Intro to Law Enforcement 3 CRJU 303 Police, Problems, and Practices* 3
CRJU 200* 3 CRJU 430 (Pre-req CRJU 200) 4
Humanities # 3 Creative Arts 3
Natural Science 3 Philosophy/Theology 3
Kinesiology-Fitness 1-2 Elective 3
Elective 3
Total Credits 16-17 Total Credits 16

Year Three

FallCreditsSpringCredits
CRJU 316 Juvenile Justice* 3 WI-CRJU 407 3
CRJU 400 Criminological Theory* 3 CRJU 314* 3
Philosophy/Theology 3 MCJ 510 Crime Policy Analysis 3
Electives 6 Humanities** n/a
Elective 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Four

FallCreditsSpringCredits
CRJU 411: Constitution and Criminal Justice* 3 CRJU Justice Issues Elective 3
CRJU Justice Issues Elective* 3 MCJ 620 Administration of Justice 3
MCJ 550 3 MCJ Seminar (620, 671, or 672) 3
300-level Philosophy/Theology 3 Electives 6
Elective 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Five

FallCRSpringCR
MCJ 500 Criminological Theory 3 MCJ 507 Master's Seminar 3
MCJ 531 3 MCJ 530 3
MCJ 640 3 MCJ 702 Final Paper 3
Total Credits 9 Total Credits 9

WI=writing intensive
*Needs CRJU 101 as prerequisite>
**Humanities course must be from two different departments

Scholarships and Grants

Undergraduate Scholarships

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code is 001889.

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics, contact the Admissions Office so we can help be sure you're getting what you need. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

First-Year Scholarships

Amounts are for first-year students entering St. Ambrose in the 2020-21 academic year.

There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria. The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies, for up to four years, as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, a minimum 2.0 GPA, and remain a full-time student. 

FOR STUDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

On Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Ambrose Advantage Scholarships
Criteria: Iowa resident, Pell Grant eligible, 2020 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.8, admitted to SAU and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15
Award: Full Tuition

Trustee Scholarships
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship

Presidential Scholarships
Criteria: minimum unweighted 3.8 GPA and 28 ACT or 1310 SAT score
Award: $22,500/year

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $14,000-$20,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
$12,000/year

On Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: ethnically diverse student
Award: $500-$1,000/year


FOR STUDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Off Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $12,000-$15,000/year (Iowa resident) or $13,000-16,000/year (non-Iowa resident)

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $10,000/year

Off-Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $500/year

International Student Scholarships

At SAU, our international students can qualify for university scholarships and grants based on academic achievement, merit, and their performance and abilities in fine arts and athletics.

Below, you'll find a quick summary of financial awards, and we continually look for ways to make an Ambrosian education even more affordable and attainable. Recently, we began offering athletic scholarships for Marching Band and Esports.

If you have any questions or want to apply, please contact the International Student Admissions office. 

Institutional Scholarships (2020-21)
There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students are automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria, although some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible.

Academic Scholarship – $14,000-$20,000/year

Athletic Scholarships
We have many international student-athletes who are contributing and growing their skills as valued team players. As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student-athletes. The amount varies and is based on performance and ability. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody the value of developing both the mind and body.

To qualify for an athletic scholarship you must be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

To learn more about all of our athletic teams and opportunities – including Esports – click here

Fine Arts Scholarships

These scholarships are based on your performance and ability in art, music, or theatre, and you may qualify for the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required. Contact the Admissions office to apply or for more information. 

See below to learn more about outside scholarships and we encourage you to begin your search early.

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2020-21 academic year. 

St. Ambrose scholarships are awarded for fall and spring semesters only and renewable up to 120 credits of undergraduate study, which includes credits transferred to St. Ambrose from prior attendance. For example: If you transfer in with an AA/AS degree, you would receive a scholarship for two additional years at St. Ambrose.

Scholarships

Phi Theta Kappa
Criteria: awarded to all Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society members transferring from a community college
Award: $15,500

OR

Transfer Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on GPA
Awards (Iowa residents):
3.5-4.00 GPA $15,000 
3.0-3.49 GPA $14,000
2.5-2.99 GPA $13,000 
2.0-2.49 GPA $11,000 

Awards (non-Iowa residents):
3.5-4.00 GPA $13,000 
3.0-3.49 GPA $12,000
2.5-2.99 GPA $11,000 
2.0-2.49 GPA $10,000 

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000 per year (on campus); $500/year (off campus)

Dual Admission Scholarships
Criteria: participant in SAU/community college dual admission program
Award: $1,000 maximum

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: Ethnically diverse student; FAFSA required. Additional aid available by application
Award: $1,000/year (on campus); $500/year (off campus)

Federal and State Aid

Iowa Tuition Grant
Criteria: based on financial need, Iowa residents only. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1, deadline July 1.
Award: $6,000

Federal Pell Grant
Criteria: based on financial need; file FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $6,195 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Criteria: based on financial need, priority to Pell Grant recipients. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $1,850

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student-athletes.

These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

With more than 29 varsity athletic teams and state-of-the-art facilities in which to play them, the Fighting Bees of SAU are bold contenders on any field. Watch this video

Fine Arts Scholarships

How do I qualify for a fine arts scholarship? 
Scholarships are awarded based on performance and ability in art, music and theatre. Review the various requirements below:

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.


Grant Miller

Criminal Justice and Master of Criminal Justice,Director of Security for JLL, Chicago,Class of 2013


High expectations and a deep, relevant education gave Grant Miller the skills he needed to achieve. And, our acelerated BA-MCJ program allowed him to earn both degrees in just five years.

See My Story

Apply Visit Info

Contact


Nicole Pizzini, PhD, Chairperson

Criminal Justice and Sociology
Hayes Hall 202
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6156
PizziniNicoleJ@sau.edu

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 29 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!