About the Program
- Preparation for careers in the criminal justice system
- Preparation for careers in social policy
- Preparation for career in social advocacy or criminal justice issues.
- Preparation for teaching with secondary education certification in social studies
- Preparation for graduate school
- Ability to design an individualized concentration
- Opportunities to study abroad at some of the top universities in the world
The Criminal Justice program provides students with the conceptual and research knowledge necessary to think critically about issues in criminal justice, such as corrections, juvenile justice, social policy, criminal behavior and the criminal justice system. The program creates and instills a set of values respecting human individuality and dignity that will guide the manner in which criminal justice tasks and responsibilities are performed.
Both of these goals build a base of knowledge and construct a process of evaluation and critical inquiry that prepares students for criminal justice professional training or graduate-level education.
The major program of study is committed to a solid sociological examination of the nature of crime and justice issues while introducing students to criminal justice terms, procedures, concepts, and issues. Specifically, students develop an understanding of the relationship between the criminal justice system and other social institutions, examine the roles created by such a system in American society, and think comparatively about international issues in criminal justice.
Students are encouraged to engage in one of several opportunities to learn outside the classroom, including studying abroad, internships, and participating in an “Inside/Out” course (which takes place in a Philadelphia County prison), the Cold Case Practicum or a research internship with the Innocence Project.
Required courses in Sociology provide students with the ability to think analytically and scientifically about issues within a social science framework. Included in this understanding is an awareness of the social and political implications of crime, mechanisms of control, and social and public policy.
A semester abroad can easily be incorporated into the Criminal Justice program and is strongly encouraged. Students are encouraged to explore study abroad options during the sophomore year or fall of the junior year.
A study abroad experience is invaluable for both the foundational focus on liberal arts as well as the major studies in Criminal Justice. Thinking comparatively and globally about criminal justice issues is essential for students who plan on working in the field.
University-sponsored study abroad programs are available in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Australia, France, Ireland, Greece, New Zealand, Spain and China.
Visit the University’s website for more information. Since it is important that students plan ahead for study abroad, they should consult with their advisers as soon as possible and make their intentions known to the Department Chair and the Associate Dean of International Services.
(55-60 credits as listed below, with Undergraduate Curriculum requirements and electives as listed below)
The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice fosters an awareness of the various schools of thought and social theories on the origins, nature and extent of criminal behavior, criminal justice and the justice system. Courses stress the relationship between issues of criminal behavior and criminal justice and sociological factors such as class, gender, race and other demographic characteristics.