At which campus can I study this program?
Students receiving an associate degree in criminal justice should understand each of the three main components of the criminal justice system and their interrelationships. This program 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 Associate in Science degree in Criminal Justice prepares students for entry-level positions in criminal justice or for study at the baccalaureate level.
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, or probation and parole. Students completing this course of study are prepared for entry level positions in the criminal justice system or to complete the baccalaureate level.
Entrance to Major
Students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA to change to this Associate degree after admission to the University.
For the Associate in Science in Criminal Justice, a minimum of 64 credits is required:
|Requirements for the Major||29|
12 of the 21 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 3 credits of GH courses; 3 credits of GQ courses; 6 credits of GS courses.
Requirements for the Major
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|
|SOC 119N||Race, Ethnicity and Culture||4|
|STAT 200||Elementary Statistics||4|
|Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|or SOC 207||Research Methods in Sociology|
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 associate degree 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): 3 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 3 credits
- Arts (GA): 3 credits
- Humanities (GH): 3 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits
Note: Up to six credits of Inter-domain courses may be used for any Knowledge Domain requirement, but when a course is used to satisfy more than one requirement, the credits from the course can be counted only once.
Foundations or Knowledge Domains
- Any General Education course: 3 credits
University Degree Requirements
3 credits of United States (US) or International (IL) cultures coursework are required and may satisfy other requirements
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 60 degree credits must be earned for a associates degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 60 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
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.
Program Learning Objectives
- Communicate: Demonstrate ability to effectively communicate practical and theoretical criminal justice issues through papers, posters, and oral presentations
- Do Research: Demonstrate ability to formulate research questions, implement basic quantitative and qualitative research methods, and collect and analyze limited data
- Know Context: Demonstrate understanding around the relationship between culture, social class, race and ethnicity and criminal justice involvement
- Know Structure: Demonstrate understanding around the history, structure and function of the three branches of criminal justice (Courts, Law Enforcement, Corrections)
- Know Theory: Demonstrate understanding of core theories in criminology and the sociology of deviance and their relevance to different types of offenses and offenders
- Think Critically: Demonstrate ability to solve criminal justice problems through an understanding of context, the identification of appropriate evidence, and appreciation of potential barriers and limitations
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.
101 Frable Building
4000 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132
Jennifer C. Gibbs, Ph.D.
Olmsted Building, W160
Middletown, PA 17057
Mary Ann Probst, Esq.
Program Coordinator/Assistant Teaching Professor
Cypress Building 103, 3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802
Suggested Academic Plan
The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2022-23 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contains suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).
Criminal Justice, A.S. at Greater Allegheny 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.
|ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 151||3||SOC 119N*†||4|
|CRIMJ 100*||3||SOC 12*†||3|
|General Education Course||3||CAS 100, 100A, 100B, or 100C‡||3|
|Elective||3||General Education Course||3|
|STAT 200*‡†||4||CRIMJ 250 or SOC 207||3|
|PHIL 103*†||3||CRIMJ 230*||3|
|CRIMJ 210*||3||CRIMJ 220*||3|
|Elective||3||ENGL 202A or 202D1||3|
|Total Credits 65|
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
Suggested Electives for students moving into a Baccalaureate (Bachelor of Art or Science in Administration of Justice) degree program are ENGL 15 and ENGL 202 or other General Education or major requirements in consultation with an academic adviser.
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, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GN, GA, GH, and GS). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.
101 Frable Building
4000 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132
DIVISION OF EDUCATION, HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
Elm Building 103, 3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601