University of St. Francis

The University of St. Francis is also featured in our ranking 50 Best Value Colleges for a Criminal Justice Degree.

Criminal Justice at St. Francis

The Criminal and Social Justice undergrad program offered by the University of St. Francis is a great choice for students who want to learn more about social justice. Unlike programs that focus solely on criminal justice, this program features five different concentrations that allow students to study the areas that apply to their own careers or goals. It offers a leadership concentration designed for those who currently work in law enforcement and those who want to become police officers. There are other concentrations in forensics, language and cultural diversity, psychology, social work and politics and law.

Majors must take nine credits from their concentrations and 42 credits of required criminal and social justice classes. Introduction to the Criminal Justice System is the first course that students take and goes over what the criminal justice system does and how it operates. They will also take Law Enforcement and Society to learn about the roles in law enforcement and how professionals keep the peace. Other justice courses in this program include Juvenile Justice System, White Collar Crime, Introduction to Corrections and Criminal and Social Justice Research Methods.

Students in this program must also do a Senior Capstone Practicum. Not only do they gain some experience working in corrections or another area of social justice, but they will also meet with their peers to talk about their experiences. The University of St. Francis allows students to work in different positions and areas to decide what they want to do when they graduate.

About University of St. Francis

The University of St. Francis is a private university based out of Illinois that offers classes online and at a wide variety of campuses across the nation. Founded in 1920, the university served as the Assisi Junior College for many years. As a junior college, it primarily served as a prep school that prepared students for completing a bachelor's degree. Many of its students spent two years at the college and then transferred to another school. The college then became the College of St. Francis, which is a name it kept until gaining university status. The University of St. Francis now goes by the abbreviation of USF.

USF has a main campus in the large city of Joliet. This campus has a convenient location near Chicago and offers evening and weekend courses for students living in that larger city. More than 1,700 students attend classes on this campus alone. Across its other campuses, USF has an enrollment of more than 3,300 students. More than 60% of its students are female, and most of its students are Catholic. USF has a religious affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church and the Congregation of the Third Order of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate.

University of St. Francis Accreditation Details

The main branch of USF has regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS), which is part of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Any student who wants to transfer credits from another school can do so because of this type of accreditation. NCACS accreditation also allows those who need help to both apply for financial aid and get government aid. USF has accreditation for its nursing, education and some of its other degree programs also.

University of St. Francis Application Requirements

USF offers free campus tours for those who want to learn more about the university before they apply. Not only can students see the library and other resources, but they can arrange to sit in on campuses and even spend the night in a residence hall. Incoming freshmen must take at least 16 units of college prep courses while in high school, which will include four units of English classes, three units of math classes and two units of science and social studies classes. The university also requires that students take three units of three years of either computer science, music and art classes or a foreign language. USF also requires that students have a high school grade point average of 2.5 or higher and that they score 20 on the ACT or 1020 on the SAT.

The university offers its application as a PDF form that students can print off and send back through the mail, but it also offers an online application that gives students an easier way to apply. They can fax the paper application too. The university asks that students submit a transcript request form, which will allow it to request an official transcript from their high school. They can then submit their test scores. If a student has not yet taken the SAT or ACT, he or she can use the university's school code and have their scores sent to USF once they take the exam. Students who do not meet all admissions requirements may receive provisional acceptance to the university.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergrads attending USF pay $16,000 a semester or $32,000 a year four full-time tuition. They also pay fees of $320 every year. The university offers housing for students for an extra cost of at least $9,100 per year. Students can pay more to have a private room or to live in one of the newer dorms. Those living on the Joliet campus will pay around $41,000 a year for tuition and room and board. Part-time students can take up to 11 credits and pay $825 per credit hour. This is the same rate charged for full-time students who take more than 18 credits in a semester. USF charges a lower rate during the summer session, which allows students to take classes for just $430 per credit hour.

Scholarships are just one way in which students can pay their costs. The university offers scholarships for both incoming freshmen and transfer students. USF bases the amount awarded to students on their grade point averages and test scores. A student who scored 36 on the ACT or 1600 on the SAT who also has a 3.86 GPA qualifies for an award of $18,000. Students also receive a grant of $1,000 to $2,000 that they can put towards their housing costs. Those with the lowest grades and test scores can still qualify for an $8,000 scholarship. The University of St. Francis also awards financial aid to students based on their FAFSA information in the form of loans and other grants.