McNeely Hall's exterior

Criminal Justice examines how law enforcement, courts and corrections deal with adult offenders and juvenille delinquents.

What are recent graduates doing now?

“D” graduated three years ago. During his time at UST, he worked with a faculty member on research and completed an internship. After graduation he attended Georgetown University and earned a masters degree in security and terrorism studies. He works for a firm that does consulting work on security and terrorism issues for the U.S. government.
“J” graduated about six years ago. After graduation he obtained an entry level position with a private security company. He continues to work in the area of security and is in charge of hiring security personnel for a company that secures assets for corporations across several different states.

Learning opportunities outside of the classroom:

Internships. Criminal justice majors have interned with local law enforcement agencies including the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and both Hennepin and Ramsey counties. Majors also have interned with corporations including Target and Gander Mountain. While an internship is not required, it is essential for students who want to work in the criminal justice system immediately after graduation.

Law Enforcement. Students who are interested in becoming police officers in the state of Minnesota must pass the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). The University of St. Thomas and the criminal justice major is POST accredited and approved to prepare students for the POST licensing exam. Completing the criminal justice major successfully is only one step in the process for qualifying to take the POST exam.

Faculty–Student Research. Faculty members have presented papers at professional meetings with student co-authors, organized poster sessions at professional meetings to showcase student research, and published papers in professional journals with student co-authors.

Study abroad. While we do not have a freestanding study abroad program, we have faculty with active interests in researching and teaching abroad. We strongly encourage our students to take advantage of opportunities to learn in and from a different culture. Recently, criminal justice majors have studied abroad in Australia and Ireland.

Faculty at work

The criminal justice faculty have active research agendas, many of which include student researchers. For example, one member of the department is examining the criminalization of cell phone use. Another is examining social disorganization of neighborhoods and crime. 

What jobs are possible with a Criminal Justice major?

  • Local and state police
  • Probation/parole
  • Corrections
  • Federal agencies
  • Victims-assistance programs
  • Private security
  • Community organization
  • Public administration
  • Nonprofit agency administration and planning
  • Human resources management
  • Personnel
  • Job placement
  • Marketing
  • Public relations


  • Day care teacher
  • Special education aide
  • Corporate training specialist
  • College admissions recruiter
  • Administrative assistant
  • Financial planner
  • After-school program coordinator
  • Undercover investigator for a private security firm
  • Alcohol, drug or rehabilitation counseling Social work
  • Working with the mentally / developmentally disabled
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