The Loras College Criminal Justice major draws upon the perspectives of a number of academic disciplines, including criminal justice, social work, sociology, psychology, and political science. Students who graduate from Loras with a Criminal Justice degree are able to apply their knowledge, assess the consequences of alternative courses of action, and make decisions based upon appropriate, legal, social, and ethical considerations. The Criminal Justice learning experience culminates in a field instruction component that puts into practice much of the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom.
Criminal Justice courses include traditional classroom activities and experiential components such as police ride-along, courtroom observations, field trips, and presentations by criminal justice professionals. Majors receive individual assistance in designing their educational experiences. Criminal Justice students regularly present their research at the Midwest Criminal Justice Association meetings. Internship opportunities include a wide variety of settings at city, county, and state agencies throughout the Midwest.
Many graduates are employed in traditional criminal justice careers including law enforcement and community-based corrections. A significant number of students also pursue graduate-level education or law school programs.
Loras College not only values and provides quality education in the classroom but also understands the importance of real-world experience when it comes to being prepared for life after graduation. The Criminal Justice program provides a variety of opportunities for students to get involved in their area of interest.
"Throughout my time with the San Diego Police department, I learned valuable information and knowledge that I believe I would not have been able to get in other places. I look forward to sharing and putting this knowledge toward my schooling, and, hopefully, my future career with the San Diego Police Department. I could not be more grateful for my experience throughout the summer.” Robert Agerbeek (’19)
"For three years I have wondered what to do with this degree in criminal justice and this internship helped me find out what I wanted to do. I do not just want to catch criminals and punish them. I want to help those that are struggling to get back on their feet. I want to make society better by helping to form criminals into good and productive members of society.” Joseph Janouch (’19)
"I experienced many situations that taught me more than what a classroom can teach like how to investigate certain scenes or how to properly emotionally and factually appeal to a jury. I learned the most valuable lesson almost anyone working in the criminal justice system should know, that there are many sides to a story. Most importantly, I learned to be independent and professional. When speaking about the public defender’s office internship, I would recommend it to anyone who is seeking a job in the criminal justice system.” Brendan Nugent (’19)
"After 200 hours I can confidently say this is my dream job and I am hoping to be a part of the next academy class. This is the one job that I see myself doing. Every time I got to come in and do a ride-along or learn more I would be so excited the entire day or night. You get to help people attempt to get their life in order. One of the biggest strengths I have discovered in this internship is how driven I am. I noticed throughout the process all I would do is think “How can I better myself to apply for the police department?” I would try every day to better myself as a candidate for the job. After 200 hours there is not a doubt in my mind that this is what I want to do.”Stephanie Wehr (’20)
Success Stories from Criminal Justice Alumni
Through instruction in the classroom and real-world experiences via internships, the Criminal Justice program at Loras College is committed to preparing students for work in their field. Hear from Loras alumni about how their time here set them up for success in their careers.
"The lesson I learned through my experiences in my field instruction at the Madison Police Department is that there are things that simply cannot be taught in a classroom. It gave me a chance to apply all that I had learned in the classroom to see how criminal justice actually works in comparison to how it is said to work in class. These hands-on experiences will stick with me for a lifetime as I have learned many important lessons in this instruction that will greater prepare me for a future in law enforcement.” John McMahon (’18)
"The criminal justice program at Loras made me realize my passion for the law and put me on a path that I am excited to start after I graduate. I feel confident in my abilities to make decisions based on ethical considerations, knowledge of the law and apply it in my internship at the United Marshal’s Service this summer!” Emma Cooke (’18), Patrol Officer, Highland Park Police Department
"The biggest thing that the internship did for me showed me a different realm of criminal justice that I was unfamiliar with. My entire time here at Loras, I was focused on becoming a police officer in a small community. In looking through internships, I came across the Residential Facility on Elm St. I had remembered touring it my freshman year at Loras but I did not know what happened there on a daily basis. I knew it was a community corrections program but I did not know where that path would lead me. After completing this amazing experience, I realized that a place like the Residential Facility is where I am supposed to be. My whole focus for joining the criminal justice field was to help people in my own community. The Residential Facility offered me a great experience to understand that it was the perfect platform for me to showcase my skills and abilities to help others. Overall this experience has shown me the way to my future and I plan on working at the residential facility full time in the near future.” Ryan Kelley (’18), Elm Street Residential Officer, Dubuque, Ia
Student Learning Outcomes – Criminal Justice
Students will reflect on diversity and differences through writing and speaking.
Students will exhibit a working knowledge of CJ policies and professional standards
Students will illustrate the components and functions of the CJ system.
Students will apply knowledge of CJ systems and criminological theories.
Students will describe factors in conformity and deviance.
Students will explain the value of contributing knowledge to the community.
“What can you do with a Criminal Justice degree?”
As a Criminal Justice major, you will be prepared for a variety of interesting careers:
Customs and Border Patrol