Criminal Justice, B.S. (Capital)

Program Code: CRIMJ_BS

Entrance to Major

The student must have a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average and an average of C (2.00) or better in any course already taken in the major.

Admission Requirements for Transfer Students

Transfer applicants must have at least a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average (4.0 scale). The evaluation of prior college work is conducted on an individual basis by the Office of Enrollment Services at both campuses.

World Campus

Direct Admission to the Major

Incoming first-year students who meet the program admission requirements are admitted directly into the major. Admission restrictions may apply for change-of-major and/or change-of-campus students.

For more information about the admission process for this major, please send a request to the college, campus, or program contact (listed in the Contact tab).

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, a minimum of 120 credits is required (12 double-counted with M.A. Requirement):

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 18
Requirements for the Major 60-61

3-4 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes 3-4 credits of GQ courses.

General Education

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 Keystone/General Education Course 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

Knowledge Domains

  • 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

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.

Cultures Requirement    

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

At least 9 credits in Additional Courses and/or Supporting Courses must be at the 400 level.

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CRIMJ 12Criminology Keystone/General Education Course3
CRIMJ 100Introduction to Criminal Justice Keystone/General Education Course3
CRIMJ 210Policing in America3
CRIMJ 220Courts and the Prosecution Process3
CRIMJ 230Corrections in America3
CRIMJ 2503
CRIMJ 450WSenior Seminar3
CRIMJ 465Ethics in Criminal Justice3
Additional Courses
CRIMJ 260Statistical Analysis for the Social Sciences Keystone/General Education Course3-4
or STAT 200 Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Select 6 credits each from sequence A and B or 12 credits from sequence C:12
Sequence A
Issues in the American Criminal Justice System
Fundamental Techniques of Scientific Criminal Investigation
Computer Applications in Public Affairs/Criminal Justice
Sequence B
CRIMJ 300
Security Administration
Gangs and Gang Behavior
Sociology of Deviance
Victimology
Police Administration
The Pennsylvania Court System
Advanced Criminological Theory
Criminal Careers and the Organization of Crime
Drug Control Policy in Comparative Perspective
Violent Crime in the United States
Sexual and Domestic Violence
Organized Crime
Special Offender Types
Alternatives to Incarceration
Offender and Prisoner Rights
The Juvenile Justice System
Women and the Criminal Justice System
History and Function of Criminal Justice Components
Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
Victimology: Predatory Crime
Internship in Criminal Justice
Independent Studies
Special Topics
Sequence C
CRIMJ 300
Security Administration
Gangs and Gang Behavior
Sociology of Deviance
Victimology
Police Administration
The Pennsylvania Court System
Advanced Criminological Theory
Criminal Careers and the Organization of Crime
Drug Control Policy in Comparative Perspective
Violent Crime in the United States
Sexual and Domestic Violence
Organized Crime
Special Offender Types
Alternatives to Incarceration
Offender and Prisoner Rights
The Juvenile Justice System
Women and the Criminal Justice System
History and Function of Criminal Justice Components
Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
CRIMJ 489
Internship in Criminal Justice
Independent Studies
Special Topics
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 6 credits: 3 credits at the 200 level and 3 credits at the 300 and 400 level or 6 credits at the 300 and 400 level from the following: AFRAS, BESC, PLSC, PUBPL, PSYCH, SOC6
Select 15 credits in consultation with an academic adviser and in support of the student's interests 115

Integrated B.S. in Criminal Justice and M.A. in Criminal Justice

Available at the following campuses: Harrisburg

Requirements for the Integrated B.S. in Criminal Justice and M.A. in Criminal Justice can be found in the Graduate Bulletin.

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Interpret behavior and social circumstances from a criminological perspective.
  2. Explain the letter and spirit of the rules that dictate what you are allowed to do as an agent of the State.
  3. Describe the operation of specific criminal justice roles and how those roles contribute to the organic function of the justice system.
  4. Apply the methods of scientific inquiry to criminal justice policy and problems.
  5. Communicate effectively with members of the community, the justice system, and the polity.

Academic Advising

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 needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

Harrisburg

Jonathan Lee, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator
Olmsted Building, W160
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-4319
jlee@psu.edu

World Campus

Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-3283
advising@outreach.psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

Criminal Justice, B.S. at Harrisburg Campus

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.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15 or 30H3CRIMJ 12*3
Quantification (GQ)3CAS 1003
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5General Education Course3
 13.5 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CRIMJ 100*3CRIMJ 220*3
General Education Course3ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5General Education Course3
Elective3Elective3
 13.5 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CRIMJ 250W*3CRIMJ 260 or STAT 200*†3-4
CRIMJ 210*3Select 3 credits of CRIMJ additional courses from list6
CRIMJ 230*3Select 3 credits in consultation with adviser3
200-300-400 level from the following: AFRAS, BESC, PLSC, PUBPL, PSYCH, SOC3Elective3
Select credits in consultation with adviser3 
 15 15-16
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Select CRIMJ additional courses from list6CRIMJ 450W*3
300-400 level from the following: AFRAS, BESC, PLSC, PUBPL, PSYCH, SOC3CRIMJ 465*3
Select credits in consultation with adviser6Select credits in consultation with adviser3
 Elective7-8
 15 16-17
Total Credits 118-120

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.

Program Notes

Internship credits do not count toward criminal justice electives, but can count toward "credits taken in consultation with adviser."

Select 6 credits from the following:

  • CRIMJ 200 - Introduction to Security and Loss Control
  • CRIMJ 201 - American Legal System (3)
  • CRIMJ 220 - Courts and the Prosecution Process (3)
  • CRIMJ 221 - Issues in the American Criminal Justice System (3)
  • CRIMJ 234 - Fundamental Techniques of Scientific Criminal Investigation (3)
  • CRIMJ 241 - Computer Applications in Public Affairs (3)

and Select 6 credits from the following:

  • CRIMJ 300H - Honors Seminar; Issues and Trends in Criminal Justice (3-6)
  • CRIMJ 301H - (3-6)
  • CRIMJ 304 - Security Administration (3)
  • CRIMJ 310 - Forensic Science I (3)
  • CRIMJ 345 - Criminal Justice and the Community (3)
  • CRIMJ 389 - Gangs and Gang Behavior (3)
  • CRIMJ 406 - Sociology of Deviance (3)
  • CRIMJ 407 - Victimology (US) (3)
  • CRIMJ 408 - Legal Aspects of Law Enforcement (3)
  • CRIMJ 410 - The Pennsylvania Court System (3)
  • CRIMJ 412 - Crime, Social Control, and the Legal System (3)
  • CRIMJ 413 - Advanced Criminological Theory (3)
  • CRIMJ 414 - Criminal Careers and the Organization of Crime (3)
  • CRIMJ 415 - Drug Control Policy in Comparative Perspective (3)
  • CRIMJ 421 - Violent Crime (3)
  • CRIMJ 422 - Victimization (3)
  • CRIMJ 423 - Sexual and Domestic Violence (US) (3)
  • CRIMJ 424 - (CRIM 424) Drugs and Crime
  • CRIMJ 425 - Organized Crime (3)
  • CRIMJ 426 - Special Offender Types (3)
  • CRIMJ 430 - Criminal Law (3)
  • CRIMJ 431 - Offender and Prisoner Rights (3)
  • CRIMJ 435 - Border Security (3)
  • CRIMJ 439 - (PLSC 439) The Politics of Terrorism (3)
  • CRIMJ 441 - (US) (CRIM 441) The Juvenile Justice System (3)
  • CRIMJ 451 - (US) (CRIM 451) Race, Crime, and Justice (3)
  • CRIMJ 453 - Women and the Criminal Justice System (US) (3)
  • CRIMJ 455 - Contemporary Issues in Law Enforcement (3)
  • CRIMJ 460 - History and Function of Criminal Justice components (3)
  • CRIMJ 462 - Comparative Criminal Justice Systems (3)
  • CRIMJ 467 - (SOC 467), CRIM 467) Law and Society (3)
  • CRIMJ 469 - (HIST 469) Drugs and Drug Policy int he United States (3)
  • CRIMJ 471 - Legal Rights, Duties, Liabilities of Criminal Justice Personnel (3)
  • CRIMJ 473 - Criminal Procedure and Evidence in the Business Community (3)
  • CRIMJ 482 - (CRIM 482) Seminar, Criminal Justice Agency Administration
  • CRIMJ 489W - Victimology: Predatory Crime (3)
  • CRIMJ 494 - Research Topics (3)
  • CRIMJ 494H - Research Topics (3)
  • CRIMJ 495 - Internship in Criminal Justice (3-12)
  • CRIMJ 496 - Independent Studies (1-18)
  • CRIMJ 497 - Special Topics (1-9)
  • CRIMJ 499 - (IL) Foreign Studies

and Select 12 credits from the following:

  • CRIMJ 300H - Honors Seminar; Issues and Trends in Criminal Justice (3-6)
  • CRIMJ 301H - (3-6)
  • CRIMJ 304 - Security Administration (3)
  • CRIMJ 310 - Forensic Science I (3)
  • CRIMJ 345 - Criminal Justice and the Community (3)
  • CRIMJ 389 - Gangs and Gang Behavior (3)
  • CRIMJ 406 - Sociology of Deviance (3)
  • CRIMJ 407 - Victimology (US) (3)
  • CRIMJ 408 - Legal Aspects of Law Enforcement (3)
  • CRIMJ 410 - The Pennsylvania Court System (3)
  • CRIMJ 412 - Crime, Social Control, and the Legal System (3)
  • CRIMJ 413 - Advanced Criminological Theory (3)
  • CRIMJ 414 - Criminal Careers and the Organization of Crime (3)
  • CRIMJ 415 - Drug Control Policy in Comparative Perspective (3)
  • CRIMJ 421 - Violent Crime (3)
  • CRIMJ 422 - Victimization (3)
  • CRIMJ 423 - Sexual and Domestic Violence (US) (3)
  • CRIMJ 424 - (CRIM 424) Drugs and Crime
  • CRIMJ 425 - Organized Crime (3)
  • CRIMJ 426 - Special Offender Types (3)
  • CRIMJ 430 - Criminal Law (3)
  • CRIMJ 431 - Offender and Prisoner Rights (3)
  • CRIMJ 435 - Border Security (3)
  • CRIMJ 439 - (PLSC 439) The Politics of Terrorism (3)
  • CRIMJ 441 - (US) (CRIM 441) The Juvenile Justice System (3)
  • CRIMJ 451 - (US) (CRIM 451) Race, Crime, and Justice (3)
  • CRIMJ 453 - Women and the Criminal Justice System (US) (3)
  • CRIMJ 455 - Contemporary Issues in Law Enforcement (3)
  • CRIMJ 460 - History and Function of Criminal Justice components (3)
  • CRIMJ 462 - Comparative Criminal Justice Systems (3)
  • CRIMJ 467 - (SOC 467), CRIM 467) Law and Society (3)
  • CRIMJ 469 - (HIST 469) Drugs and Drug Policy int he United States (3)
  • CRIMJ 471 - Legal Rights, Duties, Liabilities of Criminal Justice Personnel (3)
  • CRIMJ 473 - Criminal Procedure and Evidence in the Business Community (3)
  • CRIMJ 482 - (CRIM 482) Seminar, Criminal Justice Agency Administration
  • CRIMJ 489W - Victimology: Predatory Crime (3)
  • CRIMJ 494 - Research Topics (3)
  • CRIMJ 494H - Research Topics (3)
  • CRIMJ 495 - Internship in Criminal Justice (3-12)
  • CRIMJ 496 - Independent Studies (1-18)
  • CRIMJ 497 - Special Topics (1-9)
  • CRIMJ 499 - (IL) Foreign Studies

Career Paths

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities in criminal justice professions are projected to grow through the year 2026. In addition, the 2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that employment opportunities for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors are expected to grow 20 percent through the year 2026, much faster than the national average for all occupations. Police officers have the highest rate of projected openings each year in the criminal justice field.

Careers

Penn State Harrisburg criminal justice graduates have pursued opportunities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals’ Office, sheriffs’ departments, municipal and state police departments, security and loss prevention programs, court administration, legal aid/paralegal, delinquency prevention programs, juvenile court personnel, youth shelters and other juvenile residential institutions, victim advocate, and probation and parole offices.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROGRAM

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

While job opportunities are increasing, so is the level of qualified applicants, which makes the field much more competitive. Those interested in working at the federal level and those wishing to pursue supervisory and other upper-level positions in criminal justice are especially encouraged to obtain a graduate degree. Furthermore, a graduate degree in criminal justice, such as Penn State's Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, is a great step for those interested in doctoral studies or a career in the legal system.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Contact

Harrisburg

SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Olmsted Building, W160
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-4319 
jzl161@psu.edu

http://harrisburg.psu.edu/public-affairs/criminal-justice/bachelor-science-criminal-justice

World Campus

SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Olmsted Building, W160
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-6042
map54@psu.edu

https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/criminal-justice-bachelors/overview