At which campus can I study this program?
Any Penn State Campus
Degree Information At Additional Campuses
Students receiving a baccalaureate degree in criminal justice should understand each of the three main components of the criminal justice system and their interrelationships, be able to evaluate critically both current and future crime control policy proposals and criminal justice research, and understand the complexity of the crime phenomenon and its relationship to individual, social, and cultural factors. This major includes study in law enforcement, courts and corrections individually and as components of a system, plus work in theories of crime causation, and crime control policy. Students should expect reading, writing, and critical thinking skills to be rigorously applied and developed throughout the degree program. The Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice provides a broadly based liberal arts background for the study of crime, justice and the criminal justice system. The Bachelor of Science degree offers an opportunity for educational enrichment in fields not traditionally considered part of the liberal arts. Either degree is excellent preparation for a career in criminal justice, graduate, or professional study, or informed citizenship.
What is Criminal Justice?
Criminal justice is the study of the adult and juvenile justice systems, including law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. It is interdisciplinary and includes understanding the intersections of law, public policy, and behavioral science, in an effort to understand crime as a social problem and improve these systems for the good of society.
You Might Like This Program If...
You have an interest in working in corrections, courts, court administration, law enforcement, and probation and parole. Students completing this course of study are prepared to enter law school and graduate degree programs in more specialized areas. Every student in this degree will participate in an internship at a host agency located in a local, state or federal agency of their choice.
Entrance to Major
In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:
- attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
- have third-semester classification.
For the Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, a minimum of 120 credits is required:
|Requirements for the Major||61|
Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.
The keystone symbol appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.
Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences(GS): 6 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)
- Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits
10-13 of these 45 credits are included in the Requirements for the Major.
University Degree Requirements
First Year Engagement
All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.
Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.
First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.
6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements
- United States Cultures: 3 credits
- International Cultures: 3 credits
Writing Across the Curriculum
3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.
Total Minimum Credits
A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.
Quality of Work
Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.
Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition
The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.
Requirements for the Major
This includes 10-13 credits of General Education courses: 0-3 credits of GH courses; 4 credits of GQ courses; 6 credits of GS courses.
A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.
|Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|CRIMJ 100||Introduction to Criminal Justice||3|
|CRIMJ 210||Policing in America||3|
|CRIMJ 220||Courts and the Prosecution Process||3|
|CRIMJ 230||Corrections in America||3|
|CRIMJ 290||Introduction to Internship Experience||2|
|CRIMJ 441||The Juvenile Justice System||3|
|CRIMJ 450W||Senior Seminar||3|
|CRIMJ 495||Internship in Criminal Justice||3|
|SOC 119||Race and Ethnic Relations||4|
|STAT 200||Elementary Statistics||4|
|Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|CRIMJ 250W||Research Methods in Criminal Justice||3|
|or SOC 207||Research Methods in Sociology|
|PHIL 103||Introduction to Ethics||3|
|or CRIMJ 465||Ethics in Criminal Justice|
|Select 9 credits from any 400-level CRIMJ course that does not already fulfill another requirement in the major||9|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select 12 credits, in consultation with the adviser, in one or two of the following skill enhancement areas: accounting, computers, composition and rhetoric, counseling, education, law and legal studies, foreign language, management, public speaking, research methods and statistics, science and engineering, biobehavioral health; or in the following topics: adolescence, deviant behavior, drugs, minorities||12|
Program Learning Objectives
- Knowledge About Crime and Delinquency
- Understand and describe different levels of adult crime and juvenile delinquency.
- Understand the difference between adult crime and juvenile delinquency.
- Risk Factors for Crime and Delinquency
- Identify well-established biological, psychological, and social risk factors for adult crime.
- Identify well-established biological, psychological, and social risk factors for juvenile delinquency.
- Criminal Justice Policies to Reduce Crime and Delinquency
- Identify and summarize the most effective criminal justice policies for reducing adult criminal behavior.
- Identify and summarize the most effective criminal justice policies for reducing juvenile delinquent behavior.
- The Application of Criminological Theory for Criminal Justice Policy
- Summarize how criminological theory can inform and improve criminal justice policy.
- Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate criminal justice policies based on knowledge from criminological theories.
The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.
Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information need to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001
Mary Ann Probst, Esq.
Program Coordinator/Assistant Teaching Professor
Cypress Building 103
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
Program Coordinator, Associate Professor
Reading, PA 19610
Suggested Academic Plan
The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.
|ENGL 15 or 30||3||CRIMJ 12 or SOC 12*†1||3|
|General Education Course||3||CRIMJ 220*||3|
|Elective||3||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course||3||General Education Course (IL Cultures)||3|
|CRIMJ 100*||3||CAS 100A or 100B||3|
|General Education Course (GHW)||1.5|
|Total Credits 31.5|
|CRIMJ 210*||3||PHIL 103, BA 243, or CRIMJ 465 (PHIL 103 can also satisfy GH) *||3-4|
|CRIMJ 230*||3||ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D||3|
|General Education Course||3||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course||3||SOC 119 or CRIMJ 451 (US Cultures)*†||3-4|
|Total Credits 31-33|
|CRIMJ 441*||3||CRIMJ 400 Level Course*5||3|
|Skills Enhancement Course*3||3||CRIMJ 250W or SOC 207*||3|
|CRIMJ 290*4||2||Skills Enhancment Course*3||3|
|Total Credits 29|
|Skills Enhancement Course*3||3||CRIMJ 450W*||3|
|CRIMJ 400 Level Course*5||3||CRIMJ 400 Level Course*5||3|
|CRIMJ 495*||3||Skills Enhancement Course*3||3|
|General Education Course (GHW)||1.5||Elective||3|
|Total Credits 28.5|
* Course requires a grade of C or better for the major
‡ Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education
# Course is an Entrance to Major requirement
† Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement
University Requirements and General Education Notes:
US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).
W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.
GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.
Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.
CRIMJ 12 and SOC 12 are cross-listed courses. Only complete one course.
STAT 200: Course substitution includes PSYCH 200.
Consult with adviser.
It is strongly recommended that students enroll in CRIMJ 290 the semester prior to enrolling in CRIMJ 495.
CRIMJ 400 Level Course constitutes any Criminal Justice 400 Level course within the department that does not already fulfill another requirement in the major.
Graduates of the Criminal Justice program are prepared to enter the workforce or can continue their graduate education in Master’s and PhD programs, as well as law school. Penn State Altoona Career Services supports and serves students in all areas related to career development and preparation including: Major and Career Exploration Career Decision-Making Preparation of Employment Documents Internship and Job Search Strategies Interview Preparation Preparing for Graduate School Developing your Professional Online Brand Presentations and Workshops.
DIVISION OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001
DIVISION OF EDUCATION, HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
Elm Building 103
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
DIVISION OF HUMANITIES, ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
Reading, PA 19610