The criminal justice major draws upon the perspectives of a number of academic disciplines, including social work, sociology, psychology, and political science.

You will graduate from Loras and be able to apply your knowledge, assess the consequences of alternative courses of action, and make decisions based on appropriate, legal, social, and ethical considerations.

Your learning experience culminates in a field-instruction component that puts into practice much of the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom and connects them to professionals in the field who often hire or provide letters of recommendation for our graduates.

Explore Internships & Careers

Research / Projects / Programs
Criminal justice faculty and students are currently engaged in research projects focusing on intimate partner violence (IPV) on college campuses and police emotional intelligence and de-escalation training.

Internships & Experiences
Complete an internship at a CJ agency during your junior or senior year, provides you with the opportunity to apply the knowledge you’ve acquired in the classroom while learning more about careers in criminal justice and networking with professionals in the field. Internship placements have included:

  • County Sheriff Departments
  • State Police Departments
  • Federal Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Prosecutor and Public Defender Offices
  • Juvenile Court Services
  • Juvenile Residential/Day Treatment Facilities
  • Adult Probation Services
  • Residential Facilities

What can you do?
Graduates can pursue a variety of criminal justice careers in law enforcement, court services, corrections, academics, or related fields, including:

  • Air Marshal
  • Forensic Science Technician
  • Customs and Border Patrol officer
  • Deputy Sheriff
  • Police Officer
  • Deputy U.S. Marshal
  • FBI Special Agent
  • Private Security Specialist
  • Judge
  • Courtroom Administrator
  • Lawyer* 
  • Probation Officer 
  • Corrections Officer 
  • Corrections Administrator
  • College Professor*
  • Researcher 
    *Requires additional education

Course Highlights

Law Enforcement Decision-Making and Use of Force

A Virtual Reality Training Ground
This interactive and thought-provoking course examines law enforcement accountability in use of force incidents through a number of lenses. First, the students will examine historical and current elements of accountability and contemporary issues related to accountability for law enforcement agencies. Second, the students will experience decision-making and be held accountable for decisions they make in simulations of well-known use of force scenarios. Finally, students will compare and contrast their learning experiences regarding accountability in and out of the classroom.

Crime, Justice, and Pop Culture Diplomacy

Fieldwork in South Korea
This international travel course to South Korea offers a cross-cultural perspective to the comparative study of different criminal justice systems around the world, with an emphasis on the United States and East Asia. Students will embark on an intellectual and international journey that explores the interdisciplinary nature of criminal justice by examining the interplay between criminology and other disciplines such as history, international affairs, art, and pop culture.

Criminal Investigation

This highly-interactive course examines the fundamentals of criminal investigation, including crime scene investigation, collection and preservation of evidence, the basics of forensic science, effective police report writing, interviews and interrogations, methods of surveillance, and court case preparation. During the semester, students will set up and investigate their own crime scenes, conduct a mock missing persons search, learn to take and analyze fingerprints, practice their interviewing and interrogation skills, and so much more!

graduate degree Opportunities

Loras offers a variety of dual degree & accelerated pathways such as our 3+3 LAW JD. This juris doctorate pathway is designed for high-achieving students to earn both their undergraduate and graduate degrees efficiently and economically.

Loras College Student

Clubs & Orgs

We have a variety of opportunities for you to get involved from the moment you set foot on campus.

Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honors Society
DuPeace and Justice
Moot Court

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

A criminal justice degree from Loras College is so much more than a degree. The program gives students access to every area of the professional field from law enforcement to designing home security systems. Along with the guidance of amazing professors, criminal justice students should expect endless opportunities both during their time at Loras and years after graduation.

— Keegan (’23)

Meet Your Professors

Valerie Bell PhD

Valerie Bell  PhD

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

Kenny Loui PhD

Kenny Loui  PhD

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice News

  • Dubuque Promise Grant Aims to Keep College Grads Local

    A Dubuque Racing Association (DRA) grant will fund the Dubuque Promise Grant, a scholarship program that partners Clarke University, Loras College, and the University of Dubuque in an effort to encourage graduates to live and work in the region. More

  • Learning Along the Arizona-Mexico Border

    I became interested in the Arizona-Mexico border trip because being from the Midwest, it’s a culture I’ve never experienced before. While in college, we have time and opportunities like these to see distinct parts of the country and world that might not be available to us once we graduate. I also wanted to learn more about immigration issues. More

  • Valder Gives $750,000 To Bolster Social Justice Initiatives

    A gift of $750,000 from Janet Valder will be used to bolster the existing endowed fund earlier established by Janet and her late husband, Michael (’62) in support of social justice initiatives at Loras College. More