B.A. Criminal Justice

Criminalistics Specialization

The School of Education & Social Services offers a criminalistics specialization in our online criminal justice B.A. for students interested in using forensic science to analyze and interpret evidence in the law enforcement field.

In addition to increasing your understanding of criminal justice administration principles, your courses will explore:

  • Crime scene investigation
  • Forensic science
  • Criminal identification
  • Evidence collection and preservation
  • Scientific writing and courtroom testimony

This online program enhances the effectiveness of working professionals, provides a foundation for advancement to administrative levels, and prepares students for graduate study in criminal justice administration and related fields.

Field placements are available to all students without prior criminal justice-related professional experience. Placements and possible future employment opportunities are offered with agencies such as the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Customs, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. District Court, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

One of the leading military colleges in the United States, Saint Leo University has been educating criminal justice professionals for more than three decades. In the Catholic spirit, we base our criminal justice model on a steadfast moral consciousness that recognizes the dignity, value, and gifts of all people.


Degree Requirements

Students take six criminalistics specialization courses in place of or along with the general criminal justice concentration courses and electives.

Foundation Courses (12 credits)

  • Course
  • Course Name
  • Credits
  • ENG 121 Academic Writing I 3

    The techniques of effective writing, logical thinking and intelligent reading, with special emphasis on expository writing.

    Prerequisites: Passing grade in ENG 002 or satisfactory score on the English Placement Test

  • ENG 122 Academic Writing II 3

    A continuation of ENG 121. Expository writing based on analytical study of literary genres.

    Prerequisites: ENG 121

  • MAT 131 College Mathematics 3

    Topics include number theory, numeration systems, geometry, counting methods, probability, and statistics.

    Prerequisites: Complete MAT-131 or higher. Business majors must complete MAT-141

  • COM 140 Basic Computer Skills 3

    Required for all business majors. Students will use commercial software packages in the microcomputer laboratory to gain an advanced understanding of business functions of computers and to develop personal competency in practical applications of microcomputers for business. Provides business students with the specific knowledge and capabilities in various computer skills necessary to be effective in both business classes and the business world. Course fee may apply.

The Human Adventure (6 credits)

  • ECO 110HA Economics for Life 3

    With a focus on the fundamental economic problem of scarcity, this course will prepare students to be effective decision makers. The course focuses on the economic way of thinking that enables individuals to decide how to best allocate their time, to decide whether to spend their money or save it, and to understand the primary statistics used to measure the well-being of an economy. As a result of this course, students will acquire the critical thinking skills that are not only essential to making everyday choices but in making major life decisions such as choosing a career or choosing a life partner.

    *This course will be available starting Spring 2 - 2014.

    Prerequisites: Second semester freshman standing.

  • POL 110HA Revolution Now! Democracy in Troubled Times 3

    This course investigates the rise and spread of democracy. Democracy as a form of government and social movement will be traced from its ancient origins in Greece and Rome to the American and French Revolutions of the 18th Century, through its evolution and diffusion during the 19th and 20th Centuries to its position of global dominance at the beginning of the 21st Century. Democratic values, norms and behaviors will be examined through the use of historic video footage and core texts. Attention will be paid to governmental systems in the U.S., Western Europe, the BRIC countries, and our neighbors Canada and Mexico, as well as to the emerging democracies in the Middle East and Asia. Acquiring basic academic skills will be emphasized, as students are awakened to the significance of world historical events and the excitement of following current affairs.

    *This course will be available starting Spring 1 - 2014.

  • PSY 110HA Psychological Well Being: How to be Sane in an Insane World 3

    This course uses psychological approaches to physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. The scientific method will be used as a lens to view adjustment issues. Topics include personality and self-development, positive psychology, sex and gender, and relationships. Emphasis is on application via personal assessment and stress management techniques.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

  • SOC 110HA The McDonaldization of Society 3

    What can a fast-food chain teach us about society? Following George Ritzer’s theory of McDonaldization, this course examines the pros and cons of living in a rationalized world where standardization, predictability, and control prevail. As students learn the sociological concepts of bureaucracy, consumer society, social structures, social change, and social interaction, they will develop their sociological imagination to reclaim a place for creativity, meaning, individuality, and free will in the late modern world.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

The Human Mosaic (3 credits)

  • ART 110HM Curves Ahead: Women Artists and the Female Form 3

    Through a women’s studies lens, we will examine women as patrons, critics, and viewers of art. Visual language and art terminology will be used to examine a variety of artworks made by women from an assortment of historic, social, political, and personal contexts. The course will examine how images of women by women have functioned in the ongoing construction of identity. This course seeks to illuminate women’s contributions to the visual cultures of their societies and to recognize the relevance of these contributions to today’s global community.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

  • HTY 110HM Native American History & Life: More Than Tipis & Tomahawks 3

    What do you know about Native Americans? When you think of Native Americans do you visualize scantily clad warriors with bows and arrows, or women sitting by tee pees wearing feathers and beads? Do all Native Americans live on reservations? Do all reservations have casinos? Focusing on the lives of Native peoples prior to European contact, their interactions with Europeans and Africans, their removal to reservations, and their contemporary experiences, this course addresses the many myths and misconceptions associated with Native American history and culture within the United States.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

    Prerequisites: HTY-110HM also offered as SSC-110HM

  • HUM 110HM Television and the American Family: Your Shows, My Shows 3

    This course explores six decades and three eras of American television as it pertains to the depiction of the American family. Beginning with the early years, which saw the family as a haven, students will learn how television influenced families and how families as a whole influenced television. The course then moves on to the conflict years of television families and then to the postmodern period, in which the concept of family has become fragmented and subject to debate and redefinition.

    *This course will be available starting Spring 1 - 2014.

  • SOC 110HM Building a Multiracial Society 3

    Are multiracial societies necessarily colorblind, and should they be? This course explores how colorblindness in multiracial societies can be analyzed through sociological theories and research methods. Students will read multiracial perspectives; analyze race and colorblindness in their everyday lives; and prepare themselves for entering a multiracial/global world, using their critical thinking skills to separate myth/ideal from data/evidence.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

  • IDS 210HM Once Upon a Time: Readings in Folklore and Culture 3

    This course enables students to explore cultures around the world through the lens of folklore. These stories have helped shape their originating cultures by preserving political ideologies, standards, ethics and belief systems. Students will read a variety of folklore (folktales, fairy tales, legends, myths, etc.) as a means to analyze the cultures from which they originated.

    *This course will be available starting Spring 1 - 2014.

    Prerequisites: ENG 121 - Academic Writing I

Science in a Changing World (6 credits)

  • SCI 110SC Evaluating the Predictions of Global Warming 3

    This course presents the science behind the mechanisms that effect global climate change to enable critical analysis of the potential severity of rapid climate change on the atmosphere, the oceans and the biosphere. It includes an overview of chemistry, physics, ecology, the carbon cycle, solar system science, and how these tools will allow critical analysis of climate model forecasts and the effects of greenhouse gasses.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

    Prerequisites: MAT-003 or placement in MAT-128 or higher

  • SCI 115SC Is Evolution True? Your Inner Fish 3

    Are we humans just “souped-up” fish?! How did the human animal come to be what it is? What evidence of our evolution lies within our own bodies? How are we like fish? Worms? Even bacteria? Through paleontology (fossils), genetics, molecular biology, comparative embryology and comparative anatomy – we will reconstruct the history and examine the evidence for the building of human bodies through evolutionary adaptations. Is Evolution true? We will explore the evidence ranging from biogeography to geology, from molecular biology to physiology, so you can decide.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

  • SCI 210SC Energy and Its Impact on Global Society 3

    As an introduction to the physical principles behind energy use and its effects on our environment, this course examines different energy resources worldwide; explores the scientific principles of energy generation and investigates the environmental and economic consequences of its use.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

    Prerequisites: MAT-003 or placement in MAT-128 or higher

  • SCI 215SC Science in Science Fiction 3

    This course investigates the science behind popular science fiction literature and film. Students will sharpen their critical thinking skills to investigate science fiction plot devices to determine if they are compatible with fundamental principles in physics, chemistry, and biology. Is it possible to travel faster-than-light? Will suspended animation prolong our time in this universe? Science topics discussed include: motion, acceleration, time dilation, energy, characteristics of living things, cloning, evolution, Earth’s cycles, and climate. Students will also discuss the ethics of these new technologies in consideration of the university’s guiding core values.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2014.

    Prerequisites: MAT-003 or placement in MAT-128 or higher and ENG-121

The Creative Life (6 credits)

  • FAS 110CL Living the Theatre: Dramatic Skills for all Disciplines 3

    If “all the world is a stage,” then everyone can benefit from the skills learned in the theatre. Theatre is a collaborative art form that calls on people with a wide range of skills and abilities to work together to create something special. Through active participation, students will learn the basic principles of performance, design, and operations alongside readings from selected works of noted playwrights and theatre practitioners. By working and studying in such an environment, students learn the applicability of theatre practitioners’ skills to life in the theatre and beyond.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

  • HUM 110CL Giants of the Arts 3

    Giants of the Arts will define those artists who, through the test of time, have been recognized as true masters; whose works advanced their art form(s), who become a significant influence within their field(s), and who continue to influence contemporary artists today. Students will examine how these artists used the components of their art form(s), why these artists are considered “great,” what their greatest contributions are to our society, and how these artists affect our artists today. Students will also consider the qualities of “masterful” creative endeavors and contemplate how the artists’ gifts to our world improve and deepen our lives.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

  • MUS 110CL Spirituals to Rock and Roll: The Story of How American Popular Music Conquered the World 3

    In this course students will explore the development of American popular music beginning with its roots in African American slave music, continuing through minstrelsy, vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, American Musical Theatre, Blues, Jazz, Rock and Roll, Alternative, and Hip Hop. Students will practice critical listening skills as they are exposed to many genres of popular music, and will explore the social, economic, and philosophical paradigms that gave rise to each genre in the American experience of music.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

  • ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature 3

    A study of representations of love and desire in literature and their various manifestations in different time periods and cultures. Students will learn and apply basic tools of literary analysis while considering larger questions about the nature of love and desire.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

    Prerequisites: ENG 122 - Academic Writing II

  • ENG 215CL Monsters and the Monstrous in Literature 3

    Through reading about the monster and/or the monstrous in literature, students will question what it means to be human and understand how cultures create fictional monsters as ways to define what it means to be civilized.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

    Prerequisites: ENG 122 - Academic Writing II

  • ENG 220CL On the Proverbial Road: Journeys of Transformation in Narrative 3

    Trailblazers, pathfinders, adventurers, and even reluctant anti-heroes: When questers of any sort—whether willingly or unwillingly—take the road less traveled, why are we compulsively drawn to their tales? In this course, prepare to voyage alongside the brainchildren of global storytellers from diverse eras on literal, metaphorical, and psychological journeys. By engaging narratives in differing genres, including some in translation, and using a variety of learning strategies, such as close reading, students will both explore and consider the ubiquitous themes of overcoming adversity and transformation in characters who undertake roundtrip journeys from their familiar, ordinary worlds to unfamiliar, extraordinary destinations.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

    Prerequisites: ENG 122 - Academic Writing II

  • ENG 225CL Writing Wild: Exploring the Four Genres 3

    Students in this course will explore the four main genres of creative writing—poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama. Using their senses and memories as the primary media, students will learn first to discover and then to map their own creative aesthetics from the wild landscapes of their subconscious and conscious, using imagistic writing.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

    Prerequisites: ENG 122 - Academic Writing II

The Reflective and Spiritual Life: Philosophy (3 credits)

  • PHI 110RS Encountering the Real: Faith and Philosophical Enquiry 3

    This course examines definitions, assumptions, and arguments central to religious existence via the lens of several key classical and contemporary philosophers. Students will develop and refine their ability to think impartially and objectively about personal religious commitments, understand alternative religious points of view, and formulate and defend informed arguments and objections with respect to the subject matter. Topics include faith and reason, arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil, and responses to religious diversity.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

  • PHI 210RS Thinking and Doing Ethics 3

    The purpose of this course is to draw on a rich set of proposals concerning right action and good character that have been developed over two millennia and across various cultures in order to stimulate deliberation and mindful action. The course will emphasize comprehension of the right and the good through active deliberation about cases. It will also provide participants with the option to reflect on the right and the good in their personal experience with past or concurrent service or service learning activities.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

The Reflective and Spiritual Life: Religion (6 credits)

  • REL 110RS The Emergence of Christianity: Examination of Foundational Christian Texts 3

    The New Testament record of the development of Christianity from a sect within Judaism to becoming a world religion. This course will examine the foundational texts of Christian Scripture with attention to historical context, the intentions of the authors and the way the texts were edited.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

  • REL 123 Christian Spiritual Vision 3

    This course involves an introduction to the field of theology as an academic discipline with a body of writing, methods, and interpretations. It is concerned with how to successfully study theology, including basic library research methodology and critical thinking. Students will build a basic understanding of the whole of theology through an introduction of its parts: Old Testament and New Testament literature, Who is Jesus?, What is the Church?, Grace and the Sacraments, Christian Morality, Social Justice, Judaism and the Church, the Islamic religion and the Church, and Catholic theology in a global context.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

  • REL 210RS Many are Called, but Who is Chosen? Christian Understandings of Salvation 3

    Where do people go when they die? Who goes where? Must Christians believe in Hell? This course will enable students to evaluate the Judeo-Christian tradition concerning the question of salvation from the Old Testament to contemporary theologians. Readings will focus on Scripture and select Christian theologians.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

  • REL 223 World Religions: East and West 3

    Roman Catholicism’s Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) affirmed the innate dignity of all persons, espoused global solidarity, and recognized God’s presence and universal saving designs (a religious sense, truth, holiness and ethical conduct) in other religions and, thus, emphasized discussion and collaboration with members of other religions. Through such an ecumenical lens, this course offers a study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and provides an introduction to Jainism, Shinto, Sikhism and Bahai. The course will not only introduce students to the world’s major religions via consideration of their respective founders, seminal figures, sacred texts, central teachings, core beliefs, ethic and values system and history but, also, by examining how each of the religions, respectively, view the human condition; human inclination towards transcendence; and ethical responsibilities/tasks. Offered annually.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

Criminal Justice Core (24 credits)

  • Course
  • Course Name
  • Credits
  • POL 123 Introduction to Law and the Legal System 3

    This course is an introductory survey of the history, structures, and processes of the American legal system. It is designed to be taken as a first University-level course in law, and should precede more specialized courses such as criminal, business, or constitutional law. Covered are basic legal concepts such as due process; the structure of the U.S. court system; and the major subdivisions of law such as civil procedure, criminal procedure, or the law of torts. Understanding the role of law in society, the analysis of judicial reasoning, and the application of legal concepts to factual situations are stressed.

  • CRM 220 Survey of the Criminal Justice System 3

    An introductory overview of the American criminal justice system examines crime and victimization trends, crime prevention programs, law enforcement, prosecution, defense, adjudication, sentencing, corrections, and criminal justice policy making.

  • CRM 321 Substantive Criminal Law 3

    This course covers the creation and application of substantive criminal law. Topics covered include the nature and origins of criminal law, substantive due process, elements of criminal liability, the doctrine of complicity, uncompleted crimes, defenses to criminal liability, and the elements of crimes against: persons, habitation, property, the public order and morals.

    Prerequisites: POL 123

  • CRM 322 Law of Criminal Procedure 3

    This course concerns the laws governing procedural due process for criminal defendants. Case analyses and the interpretation of appellate court opinions are used to learn the fundamental relationships between the U.S. Constitution, courts and criminal procedure. Topics covered include remedies for state law-breaking, initial police-citizen contacts, seizures of persons, search and seizure of property, interrogations and confessions, identification procedures, decisions to charge and the first appearance, pretrial proceedings, conviction by trial and by guilty plea, and post-sentencing considerations.

    Prerequisites: POL 123

  • CRM 350 Criminal Justice Ethics 3

    This course is designed to be a comprehensive overview of ethics in the field of criminal justice. This course will address ethical issues that may arise in the criminal justice profession. Through lecture, class discussion and exercises, the student will develop a better understanding of the moral and ethical dilemmas confronting criminal justice practitioners and how these dilemmas may be successfully resolved.

  • CRM 419 Police Organization and Administration 3

    This course is designed to be a comprehensive overview of Police Organization and Administration in the United States. The history of police administration and the evolution of policing as a profession will be thoroughly explored. Current and future trends in law enforcement will be discussed in detail. Emphasis will be placed on police personnel issues and the leadership skills required to manage a professional police organization. The student will be exposed to the past, the present, and the future of police administration in this country.

    Prerequisites: POL 123 and CRM 220

  • CRM 426 Theories of Criminal Behavior 3

    This course is an interdisciplinary examination of the causes of criminal behavior. Case studies are used to illustrate the biological, psychological, social and economic correlations of crime. The focus is on understanding the major theories and applying these theoretical models to improve our understanding of criminal motivations.

    Prerequisites: SOC 121 or PSY 121

  • CRM 496 Comprehensive Exam in Criminology (Capstone Course) 0

    Final comprehensive written examination of all criminology foundation and core courses. Examination is administered in the CRM 499 Senior Seminar in Criminology course. Test fee.

    Prerequisites: CRM 499

  • CRM 499 Senior Seminar in Criminology (Capstone Course) 3

    This capstone course is designed to synthesize the information and insights from the other courses in the criminology curriculum. It includes computer based research in crime trends and causes, a research project that evaluates criminal justice policy-making, an assessment of each senior criminology major's knowledge level through the administration of a nationally based criminology achievement examination, and exposure to components of the criminal justice system through volunteer experience at local agencies.

    Prerequisites: Senior standing in Criminal Justice

Criminalistics Specialization (18 credits)

  • Course
  • Course Name
  • Credits
  • CRM 230 Introduction to Crime Scene Investigation 3

    This course covers the various methods associated with investigating a crime scene. Special emphasis is placed on sequential processing of the crime scene to avoid the loss and/or the contamination of evidence. Students successfully completing this course will be aware of the critical concerns of crime scene processing and the methods that are employed to eliminate those concerns, proper crime scene search patterns, and the appropriate methods to plot the location of evidence when it is discovered.

  • CRM 231 Forensic Science and Criminal Justice 3

    This course is a comprehensive overview of those areas of practice that are useful for determining the evidential value of a crime scene and other crime-related circumstances. The major contributions to the development of the use of the forensic sciences in criminal prosecution will be presented. The student who successfully completes this course will have obtained a working knowledge in this field and will understand the principles and techniques needed to identify or compare physical evidence in a criminal investigation.

  • CRM 341 History and Science of Criminal Identification 3

    The focus of this course is the science and history of fingerprint analysis to aid in the detection and prosecution of criminal offenders. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will understand the biology of human epidermal and dermal skin layers to include the formation of pores and the organic and inorganic materials that are commonly found in fingerprint residues; the proper recording and comparison of prints; the many basic and advanced scientific methods currently being employed to develop fingerprints; the development of the print through chemical reaction, chemical absorption, luminescence, or physical attraction; the physics of light energy and its use as a print development method; and the many chemical reactions that produce the developed print.

  • CRM 342 Evidence Collection and Preservation 3

    This course covers the methods associated with evidence collection and preservation of evidence. Upon successful completion, the student will be competent in the recording of the crime scene through photography and videotaping as one of the many methods of preserving evidence; the use of the many evidence development and recovery kits; the use of light energy to locate invisible trace materials; crime scene safety; the presentation of scientifically sound information in the courtroom; and the correct methods to collect questioned, known, and control samples related to hair standards, DNA, soil, fire debris, accelerants, and biological fluids.

  • CRM 343 Bodily Fluids as Evidence 3

    This course covers the value of body fluids found at the crime scene, the interpretation of their patterns, and methods used to locate them. The successful student will understand the science of blood stain interpretation; presumptive testing of seminal fluid and blood; the various flight characteristics of blood and the use of trigonometry to determine angles of impact and the origin of stain patterns; the chemicals associated with the location of visible and invisible stain patterns produced from body fluids; the chemical reactions associated with these and other chemicals used in connection with body fluid processing; the scientific limitations relevant to courtroom testimony on such topics as blood stain interpretation, antigen-antibody reactions, and presumptive blood and presumptive seminal fluid testing; and the history of DNA analysis and its modern-day evidentiary value.

  • CRM 344 Scientific Writing and Courtroom Testimony 3

    This course is designed to cover the effective writing and courtroom presentation of scientific reports. Students will be involved in the actual processing of a crime scene, the development and collection of evidence, the writing of the crime scene investigation report, and the subsequent testimony in moot court. The successful student will be skilled in the techniques associated with scientific report writing and oral delivery and be made aware of Frye hearings, the Daubert rules, and Rule 702, and the reality that the forensic sciences have their limitations.

Electives (36 Credits)

Total Credits 120