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BA and Minor degrees offered in Traditional and Online formats

About Criminal Justice at Lindenwood University

Criminal justice is the academic study of the criminal justice system, including police, courts, and corrections. It analyzes the nature and extent of crime and the reactions of criminal justice agencies to the breaking of the law. If you plan on a career or continuing your studies in a graduate program, criminal justice is the program for you. Careers in criminal justice include law, public administration, law enforcement (local, state, and federal), court systems, corrections agencies, juvenile delinquency, probation and parole, as well as nonprofit community service organizations.

Criminal justice at Lindenwood University offers plenty of internship opportunities in areas such as police departments, probation/parole facilities, law offices, cybercrime unit, juvenile facilities, and victim assistance programs. There are also ample opportunities for field trips to various criminal justice related institutions and to hear professional speakers representing every major component of criminal justice.

The Lindenwood University criminal justice program has an active Criminal Justice Student Association and has a Partnership with St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy. A forensics program (bachelor of science in chemistry with an emphasis in forensics) is also offered.

We are proud to host a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society. Our chapter, Pi Beta Mu, was established in 2017.  The goals of Alpha Phi Sigma Pi Beta Mu Chapter are to honor and promote academic excellence, community service, educational leadership, and unity of our criminal justice students. For information on joining and becoming a member of the Pi Beta Mu Chapter, please see Dr. Billi Patzius, Prof. Darren Marhanka, or the Alpha Phi Sigma website.

Lindenwood University Criminal Justice Faculty

Criminal justice faculty at Lindenwood University has practical and professional experience within the criminal justice system, and they will pass the knowledge gained with that experience along to you. Every criminal justice faculty member is also an academic advisor who will work closely with you to help you select a career path that will suit your interests.

Earning a Degree in Criminal Justice at Lindenwood University

The criminal justice department will prepare you to enter the work force with a generalist bachelor of arts degree, which is an overall survey of criminal justice, or with a specified emphasis in criminal justice.

The criminal justice bachelor of arts (BA) generalist degree requires 48 credit hours, with 36 hours from the core group and 12 hours from the major elective group.

If you are majoring in criminal justice degree with an emphasis, you must complete 48 credit hours, with 36 hours in the core group and 18 hours within one of five concentration groups. The Concentration groups are legal studies, corrections/probation and parole, corrections/juvenile, law enforcement, and law enforcement with a police academy option.

If you would like to continue your education after you have completed your undergraduate studies, Lindenwood offers a master of arts degree in criminal justice administration. The masters degree coursework is currently conducted through Lindenwood’s School of Accelerated Degree Programs.

Earning a Minor in Criminal Justice at Lindenwood University

Lindenwood University offers a minor in criminal justice at Lindenwood University. A minor is simply a secondary academic subject to add to your knowledge, whether it is of professional or personal interest.

The minor in criminal justice requires 24 credit hours. You will study criminology, victimology, criminal justice systems, criminal law, and study a choice of subjects such as policing in America, corrections, criminal minds, and the juvenile justice system.

What You Can Do with a Criminal Justice Degree from Lindenwood University

Lindenwood University criminal justice graduates typically find careers in police and sheriff's departments, federal agencies, courts, correctional institutions, probation and parole services, social service agencies, juvenile facilities, and private enterprise. Some students also attend law school to earn their Juris Doctor. There are many career opportunities open to criminal justice graduates and options are not limited to those mentioned. For more information, see the Occupational Outlook Handbook at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website for information relevant to your chosen career path.

Contact the Lindenwood University Criminal Justice Program

For more information about the Lindenwood University criminal justice program, contact Department Chair Dr. Billi Patzius at (636) 949-4511 or or Professor Darren Marhanka at 636-949-4984 or

Lindenwood University
209 S. Kingshighway
St. Charles, MO 63301