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

student in classroom

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. Read course descriptions here

Many of our graduates choose to broaden their education in analytics, data interpretation, and crime analysis at St. Ambrose through the Master of Science in Criminal Justice program. There's also a 4+1 degree plan that enables you to earn a bachelor's and master's degree within five years. Scroll down and click on BA-MSCJ for more information.

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 officers ranges from $48,190 - $61,600 (2016).

What have alumni of this program done?

Carrie Landau '96, '02 MCJ is a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in south suburban Chicago and spent a large part of her working life battling the growing epidemic of human sex trafficking. Read this story

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

Wal-Mart VP Patricia Snyder '81 is an avowed advocate for diversity. She talks it, and she walks it. Read this story

Faculty

Nicole Pizzini, PhD, Chair and Professor

Patrick Archer, PhD, Professor
Chris Barnum, PhD, Professor
Regina Matheson, PhD, Professor
Jeffrey McCraw, JD, Lecturer
Shane Soboroff, PhD, Assoc. 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
WI-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
WI-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 9
#PHIL/THEO 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 Plan

BA-MSCJ

The BA-MSCJ program gives qualified undergraduate students the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) 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 MSCJ 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-MSCJ 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-MSCJ 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-MSCJ 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 GPA Admission 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-MSCJ

Plan to Graduate - BA-MSCJ

Once enrolled in the BA-MSCJ 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 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

FallCreditsSpringCredits
CRJU 102 Intro 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
Humanities # 3 Creative Arts 3
Natural Science 3 Philosophy/Theology 3
Kinesiology-Fitness 1-2 Elective/2nd major/minor 3
Elective 3
Total Credits 16-17 Total Credits 15

Year Three

FallCreditsSpringCredits
CRJU 430 Data Analysis in Social Research 4 CRJU 303 Police, Problems, and Practices* 3
CRJU 400 Criminological Theory* 3 CRJU 314 Probation, Parole, and Community Corrections* 3
Philosophy/Theology 3 Electives/2nd Major/minor 6
Electives/2nd major/minor 3 MSCJ 530 Research Design and Methods 3
MSCJ 680 Criticall Thinking About CJ 3
Total Credits 16 Total Credits 15

Year Four

FallCreditsSpringCredits
CRJU 411 Constitution and Criminal Justice* 3 CRJU Justice Issues Elective* 3
WI-CRJU 407 Seminar in Criminal Justice 3 Electives/2nd major/minor 9
MSCJ 500 Advanced Criminological Theory 3 MSCJ 685 Research I 3
MSCJ 531 Advanced Data Analysis and Data-Driven Decision Making 3
300-level PHIL/THEO 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Five/Graduate School

FallCRSpringCR
MSCJ 700/690 Internship or Thesis 3 MSCJ 700/690 Internship or Thesis 3
MSCJ 671 Contemporary Issues in Law Enforcement 3 MSCJ 675 Ethical and Social Responsibility in CJ 3
MSCJ 640 Contemporary Issues in Law and Juvenile Justice 3 MSCJ Contemporary Issues in Corrections 3
Comps or Defense 0
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

First-Year

St. Ambrose offers excellent scholarships and grants, work-study and other financial aid options! Full-time students may be eligible based upon your strong academic performance in college, your talent in fine arts or athletics or your demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code for the FAFSA is 001889.

First-Year Scholarships and Institutional Aid 2022-2023

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. Please note, while St. Ambrose University has a test-optional admissions policy, standardized test scores are required for both admission to specific programs and/or eligibility for top academic scholarships. Scholarships and grants are renewable for four years of undergraduate study. 

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies - up to four years - as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, achieve certain GPA requirements (see below), and remain a full-time student. 

Download helpful PDFs of this information here: First-Year Iowa Resident or First-Year Out of State Resident


IOWA RESIDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

Iowa Resident On Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Trustee Scholar
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for an Ambrose Scholar full-tuition award

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $15,000-$21,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000/year

Iowa Resident On Campus Additional Institutional Aid

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2022 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.5, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.5 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

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

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

Menke Parish Scholarship
Criteria: Diocese of Davenport parishioner, additional application required
Award: $1,000/year



IOWA RESIDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Iowa Resident Off Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000-$16,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Iowa Resident Off Campus Additional Institutional Scholarships

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2022 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.5, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.5 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

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

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year



OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

Out of State On Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Trustee Scholar
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for an Ambrose Scholar full-tuition award

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $17,000-$23,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000/year

Out of State On Campus Additional Institutional Aid

Athletic Scholarships
Critieria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Critieria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

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

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

Menke Parish Scholarship
Criteria: Diocese of Davenport parishioner, additional application required
Award: $1,000/year



OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Out of State Off Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $14,000-$17,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Out of State Off Campus Additional Institutional Scholarships

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

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

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

State and Federal Grants, Work Study

Grants are money that you don't repay, and they can come from government or private sources. SAU receives all financial aid funds directly - including loans and grants - then applies them to your account: once in the fall term and once in the spring term. Grants can be used to cover your tuition, books, and housing costs. You must apply for grants each academic year. If you have any loan funds in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. For all of these grants, you must complete the Free Application Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1.


Iowa Tuition Grant
To be eligible for the Iowa Tuition Grant, you must be a resident of Iowa as defined by the State Board of Regents and currently enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at an eligible Iowa college or university (SAU is eligible). Iowa College Aid administers need-based college financial aid for Iowans, such as the Iowa Tuition Grant. FAFSA deadline is July 1.
Award: $6,800

Federal Pell Grant
Awarded to students of the highest need based on how much your family can contribute to your education. The U.S. Department of Education sets a Expected Family Contribution (EFC) threshold. Then, when you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it computes where you land within that threshold and determines if you qualify for the grant and for how much.
Award: $6,345 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
To qualify, you must file a FAFSA by the priority deadline of March 15 and you must qualify for a Pell Grant. This grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to students who have submitted all required documents for review and in time for the review to be complete. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant or SEOG, the awards will appear on your financial aid award letter. Award: $400 maximum

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

Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant 
Provides aid to students intending to teach in a high-need field at a school that serves low-income families (as determined by the U.S. Department of Education or a state education agency). Review criteria and all details here.
Award: up to $4,000

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.


Madison Humphrey '19


Madison's interest in the criminal justice field was sparked by CSI television shows, but the experience she got was very real and very hands-on. As a student in the 4+1 Master of Criminal Justice Program, she completed two, four-week internships helping incarcerated people transition to civilian life. Madison worked closely with parole officers and supervisors who provided guidance and tips about working in the field. And, she used skills she learned in the classroom, including how to question people in a way that helps her, and them, gain insight.

Read Madison's Story
Grant Miller Cutout Mobile Image Grant Miller Cutout Image

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
Ambrose Hall 300B
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6156
PizziniNicoleJ@sau.edu

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