Loyola University Chicago

The Graduate School

Criminal Justice

 The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology is dedicated to providing a comprehensive, analytic, and rigorous education.

Graduates will possess a broad knowledge of the social and political foundations of the field and its practical issues and central problems; an understanding of the inter- and intra-organizational relations and processes of criminal justice practice; and an ability to critique critically and independently the implementation and evaluation of programs and policies. The department is well-connected to local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies, which provide students with rich and diverse opportunities to pursue internships in a wide variety of agencies. 

The degree offers part- and full-time enrollment

Average time to completion: 16 months (full time with a summer class), 2 years (part time)

Classes are conducted one evening per week, making it convenient for you to work and earn your degree. The program allows flexibility to pursue special topics. A master’s thesis is not required.

The department has strong, collaborative connections with many criminal justice agencies, non-profit organizations, social service agencies, and policymaking bodies. Faculty and graduate students routinely use their research skills to address important and timely practical issues that have an impact on criminal justice system operations or address why people commit crimes.

We encourage you to develop and maintain a close professional relationship with your advisors and faculty. Such relationships enhance the educational experience and assist in job placement and related professional opportunities. The department is committed to assisting you in your job search. The University’s Office of Career Counseling and Placement can also help you make informed decisions about career-related issues.

Graduates are employed in all areas of the criminal justice system, across all branches and levels of government, including agencies such as municipal police departments, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, county adult and juvenile probation departments, the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, Federal Probation, Homeland Security, and the DEA. Graduates have also moved on to continue their studies in PhD programs or law schools.


Career services are available—learn more at LUC.edu/career.

Some of our distinctive features include:


• A DEDICATION TO INTELLECTUAL AND SCHOLARLY DEVELOPMENT. You will accumulate a broad knowledge of the foundations of the field, an understanding of the organizational relations and processes of criminal justice practice, and an ability to critique the implementation and evaluation of programs and policies.

• A CLOSE CONNECTION TO LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE AGENCIES. The department is well-connected to local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies, giving you the opportunity to pursue internships in a wide variety of agencies.

Many of our students participate in campus life. Various symposia and seminars, featuring leading professionals from the field, are sponsored by the department each year. We encourage you to attend these important events as well as related symposia held off campus.

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDE: Criminal Justice Graduate Student Organization and Alpha Phi Sigma, The National Criminal Justice Honor Society

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the field, the department’s faculty members have earned their PhD degrees in various disciplines such as criminology, justice studies, law, psychology, political science, and sociology. Their varied backgrounds add diversity and strength to the department and provide students with different insights and perspectives.

You need a bachelor’s degree to apply. A background in criminal justice is not necessary, but those without criminal justice experience may be required to take additional courses.

Begin the financial aid process by completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov.


The Graduate School has limited funds available for financial assistance, but the department has been able to provide graduate research assistantships to an average of 4 to 5 students per year. Financial aid from Loyola’s Financial Aid Office will not impact your ability to apply for financial aid through the Graduate School. To learn more about these financial aid opportunities, visit LUC.edu/finaid/graduateschool.

Learn more about faculty, curriculum, and how to apply.