When Loyola University Chicago created the criminal justice and criminology major in 1975, there were 50 full-time and 29 part-time majors. By 2005, more than 1,500 students have been awarded a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology and more than 90 have earned a Master of Arts (MA) in Criminal Justice and Criminology.
Our mission is to provide a comprehensive liberal arts education that prepares students for various options after they receive their degrees, including professional school, graduate school, or a rewarding career in the criminal justice field. Our students have gone into careers that span the field of criminal justice, from police officers to judges, prosecutors to defense attorneys, probation and parole officers, investigators, and researchers across all levels of government, and in both the public and private sector.
Loyola University Chicago’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology benefits from an excellent location. The Chicago/Cook County environment offers students numerous prospects to learn firsthand what it is like working in the criminal justice arena. Our internship program directors have cultivated relationships with agencies throughout the criminal justice system and at all levels of practice (federal, state, and local) and in all practice domains (law enforcement, courts, and corrections). Many internship experiences evolve into successful careers for criminal justice graduates.
As you explore our website, you will see the diversity of the courses we offer, the wide range of activities and opportunities for students, and additional information regarding our faculty. Loyola’s criminal justice and criminology faculty bring to the classroom a wide range of practical experience in the field, as well as the scientific research they have conducted, which has made a significant contribution to criminal justice practice, policy and knowledge.
Our undergraduate curriculum consists of courses in three major areas of concentration: law enforcement, courts, and corrections. In addition to our regular course offerings, every semester there is a wide array of Special Topics courses on timely subjects such as forensic psychology, terrorism, guns & crime, alcohol & drug dependency, and ethics, discipline & liability in criminal justice. We encourage interaction and discussion by offering small classes and individualized attention. Throughout their undergraduate education, our students work closely with academic advisors who assist them in making the most appropriate course choices in light of students’ professional interests and goals. In addition, we believe that students should be given opportunities to develop themselves personally and spiritually during their time at Loyola. Hence, our program encourages majors to consider service-learning options and to contemplate the larger social and political justice issues that affect the lives of Americans, especially those living in impoverished communities.
For our most academically capable students, the department has created the five-year bachelor's/master's program, which allows students to earn graduate school credit hours while completing their baccalaureate degrees. With additional course credits earned in Summer Sessions, it is possible for students in the accelerated program to earn one-third of the total hours needed for their master's degree before the next academic year has even started.
Our master's program was launched in fall 1994 for students from a variety of professional backgrounds and with various academic interests. Regular courses and special topics courses cover are designed to prepare students for supervisory and management positions within the criminal justice system and for continued graduate education. Nearly 100 students have received their MA in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Loyola University Chicago through spring 2005. One indication of the quality of our students, program and reputation is that every student who has graduated from our master's program and applied to a doctoral program or law school has been admitted, including to some of the most highly respected schools in the country.
Our full-time faculty is multidisciplinary, greatly experienced in all fields of criminal justice practice, and highly research-active. They bring to bear in their teaching and research activities a wide range of academic perspectives including social and clinical psychology, history, law and justice studies, political science, criminology, and social services administration. These pluralistic interests enrich the learning experiences of our majors and also expose them to different perspectives and paradigms for understanding the field and its challenges. Through our research efforts, we are committed to advancing knowledge and improving practices. In addition, we strive through our own research to keep students abreast of the latest findings in the field and to afford them an appreciation for the contribution that science can make to practice.
Our part-time faculty members are also diverse in their experiences and interests. All have advanced academic degrees in a variety of disciplines, are employed in significant positions within criminal justice agencies, and have taught in our department for many years. From time to time, we also host visiting international faculty who provide a comparative criminal justice perspective for our students. Like our full-time faculty, the part-time faculty believes that students should be exposed to state-of-the-art programs and practices and the latest advances in criminal justice research and criminological theories.