Criminal Justice

Dr. Charles Nemeth



The Criminal Justice major provides professional and intellectual preparation essential to the creation and maintenance of a justice system dedicated to the rule of law, constitutional and procedural regularity, and systematic justice for individuals and the common good. From its very core, Criminal Justice seeks to develop justice system leaders who operate within the expected moral domain of Catholic life and who appreciate how no human law or determination, by whatever authority, or under any specific office, finds legitimacy without deference to a higher order of law of justice. Every major will leave this program fully understanding how things work and function but more compellingly, how the system promotes justice, morality and the preservation of rights in human affairs.




The Criminal Justice major will contribute to Franciscan University’s commitment to helping students confront difficult ethical questions that surround crime and criminal justice by drawing from Franciscan values that advance social and legal justice. Integrating the values of compassion and charity into our criminal justice offerings, our students will be guided by Catholic social teaching on the ways to address injustice. The primary goals of the program are:

  • To provide Franciscan University students the opportunity for in-depth study of Criminal Justice which encompasses the fields of criminology, criminal justice, political science and law and legal studies in preparation for careers in policing and law enforcement, courts, law and legal application, correctional policy and operations, Juvenile Justice, cyber and information security, private sector justice or as a basis for continued graduate studies.

  • To utilize the interdisciplinary contributions of units at Franciscan University that are relevant to the study of Criminal Justice in an effort to provide students with a multi-faceted education that draws from Political Science, Legal Studies, Sociology, Psychology, Human Life Studies, Professional majors such as Business, Nursing and Education, as well as a strong foundation in Catholic philosophy, jurisprudence and ethics.

  • To offer a distinctive undergraduate curriculum that is simultaneously theoretical and applied—preparing highly intellectual practitioners, inculcated with a strong Catholic perspective, especially relating to law and jurisprudence, ethical outlook and professional expectations in order to serve others.

  • To provide a program that emphasizes the important practice and policy skills afforded by the liberal arts tradition at Franciscan including critical thinking, written and verbal communication, research, and problem solving.

  • To provide a program in Criminal Justice that strives for academic and professional excellence but is always guided by the Franciscan values of compassion and charity—with attention to the needs of both the victims and to the perpetrators of crime.