UST police officer speaks to University of St. Thomas - Houston Criminology majors in front of police carIf you want to influence positive change in the criminal justice system, a degree in Criminology, Law & Society from the University of St. Thomas could be the perfect choice for you. This program focuses on the challenges of crime in a free society and how we handle them, giving you the ethical insight to change the world through social justice. UST offers an array of degree options that include a Minor,  joint Associate of Applied Sciences/Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts or Master of Arts that provide options for all prospective students.

Choose from two pathways, human trafficking or terrorism and homeland security, leading to specialized careers in criminal justice. You’ll benefit from the strong Catholic ethos of caring for others and reaching out to the marginalized who are victims of crime.

Criminal justice, philosophy, international studies, communications, liberal arts and theology all come together in the study of criminology. UST’s Criminology, Law & Society program is one of just 5 of its kind in the nation, and the only one in Texas.

If you’re a licensed police officer in Texas with at least 2 years of full-time commissioned experience, you may be eligible to take Criminology subject matter examinations to receive up to 18 credit hours toward a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Law & Society degree. Learn more about the Texas Peace Officer Credit by Examination program.

Learn about American government, sociology, criminal justice, police practices, court systems, sentencing and corrections, Christian ethics, literature, forensics and much more.

Inquire into the socio-legal roots of criminal behavior and deeply examine the criminal justice system in an academic context.

Choose a pathway in human trafficking or terrorism and homeland security, completing 9 credit hours in either subject to align yourself with contemporary issues in criminology. Unique among Texas universities, this specialization gives you a unique edge in the professional sphere after graduation.

degree plan B.A. In Criminology, Law & Society

The alliance between the Criminology, Law and Society program and the Cyber Security program will provide an academic pathway for students to complete both degree with a minimum of 138 semester credit hours. The alliance will have the following pathway:

  • The 51-53 semester credit hours of academic core in the Criminology, Law and Society Bachelor degree plan will apply towards the 21 semester credit hours of the general education courses in the Cyber Security degree.
  • Fifteen semester credit hours of Cyber Security courses will serve as electives in the Criminology, Law and Society degree plan.
  • Students will receive credit for ACYB 2300 Risk Management and IT Security by successfully completing CRIM 3344 Criminal Investigation. The learning outcomes as described in the course description for CRIM 3344 are similar to ACYB 2300 in that students are taught the process of an investigation, risk management analysis and legal compliance, (Attachment #2).
  • Students will receive credit for ANET 2305 Securing Information by successfully completing CRIM 3323 Weapons of Mass Destruction. The learning outcomes as described in the course description for CRIM 3323 are similar to ANET 2305 in that students are taught the primary weapons of mass destruction which includes cybercrime and cyberwarfare. ANET 2305 addresses the vulnerabilities to our IT infrastructure and steps to confront the malicious attacks.  A portion of the CRIM 3323 course will include the security aspect of an IT infrastructure, (Attachment #3).
  • Students will complete the two degrees by successfully completing and additional eighteen semester hours of Cyber Security courses for a total of 138 hours. 

Courses taken as BA Electives

  1. ANET 1300  Hardware and Software Environment
  2. ANET 1305 Basics of Networking
  3. ANET 1350 Introduction to Servers I
  4. ANET 1355 Physical Networks
  5. ANET 1360 Introduction to Servers II

Courses taken in addition to BA

  1. ANET 2300 Introduction to Linux Networking
  2. ASFT 1305 Working with Databases
  3. ASFT 1300 Foundations of Programming
  4. ANET 2350 Basics of IP Networking
  5. ACYB 2305 Network Communications Infrastructure and Technology
  6. ANET 2375 Advanced Operating Systems

Criminology required courses taken in lieu of cyber security courses

  1. CRIM 3344 Criminal Investigation for ACYB 2300 Risk Management and IT Security
  2. CRIM 3323 Weapons of Mass Destruction for ANET 2305 Securing Information

degree plan Criminology, Law & Society (B.A./B.A./A.A.S in Cybersecurity)

Augment any major with a minor in Criminology, Law & Society. You’ll learn about criminal justice and the courts, human trafficking, victimology and issues of race and ethnicity in criminal justice.

degree plan Minor In Criminology, Law & Society

St. Thomas Aquinas defines law as "nothing other than a certain dictate of reason (rationis ordinatio) for the common good, made by him who has the care of the community and promulgated." ST. IaIIae, Q.90, art.4. Law is based upon reason, and not upon custom, will, politics, or power. While natural law applies to all humans and is unchanging, human law can vary with time, place, and circumstance.

Master of Arts in Criminology, Law and Society Master of Arts degree focus is directed towards educating students about the challenge of crime in American society and understanding the Catholic teachings of acceptable responses by the criminal justice practitioners to the incidence of crime. The courses taught by the faculty present to the students a concentrated based of knowledge with emphasis on social justice, ethics and contemporary challenges which impact victims, offenders, organizations and society. The Master of Arts in Criminology, Law and Society will actively recruit new students, educate those enrolled in the graduate level Criminology, Law and Society courses and graduate individuals who have knowledge of the Catholic ethos of behavior with a Master of Arts degree.


The cost for the program is $495 per credit hour or $14,850 once 30 credit hours have been accomplished to complete the degree requirements.

degree plan - M.A. in Criminology, Law & Society

Criminology majors talk on University of St. Thomas - Houston campusThe diverse, integrated Criminology, Law & Society curriculum gives you the skill sets and insights that will lead to a fulfilling and successful career in:

  • Community development
  • Criminal justice
  • Forensics
  • Law enforcement & corrections
  • Investigation & anti-human trafficking initiatives
  • Social & youth work

With the values instilled at UST, you’ll go far in fulfilling your career goals in the criminal justice system, education, social work and community service.

Criminology majors sit on a bench and talk in front of Chapel of St. Basil. on University of St. Thomas - Houston campusStudying criminal justice at a small Catholic university has many unique benefits you won’t find at larger universities. With theology, philosophy, history and social sciences as part of our core curriculum, you’ll gain a deep understanding of the whole human person.

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, law is based upon reason, rather than custom, will, politics or power. Liberal arts education promotes abstract thinking and equips you with the tools necessary to navigate the complexities of the world of crime. You’ll learn social responsibility and gain robust intellectual and practical skills including communication, analysis and problem-solving.

Through the study of ethics, you’ll learn how to influence criminal justice for the better.

Requirements Disclaimer:
Master of Arts in Criminology, Law & Society is an online program and international students cannot maintain or obtain F-1 student visa or status or I-20 form through this program.

The Master of Arts in Criminology, Law & Society is awaiting SACSCOC approval, the program is currently not available on the application of admissions.