The criminal justice system is an integral part of any society and offers persons with good character and proper academic preparation challenging and rewarding career opportunities. Proper training for the field requires analysis of the criminal justice system from multiple disciplinary perspectives (political, sociological, legal, psychological, historical, ethical, etc.). Students also benefit from practical training in techniques for preventing crime, investigating crime, and dealing with persons in the corrections system. Direct exposure to the field through a substantive internship rounds out a student’s training and prepares the student for a transition to a successful career in criminal justice.
Strengths of the criminal justice program at Edinboro include:
- Faculty members who possess wide-ranging academic expertise as well as significant real-world experience;
- A broad range of challenging courses that expose students to all facets of the criminal justice system and allow for in-depth training in a student’s particular area of interest;
- An internship program with a long and successful record of placing students with a wide range of agencies;
- Active student organizations and exciting extracurricular activities for criminal justice students.
Earning a B.A. degree in criminal justice
Students in the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program take 51 semester hours of major-specific courses in addition to general education and open elective courses. Their coursework is a combination of required courses; electives primarily in criminal justice but also in political science, sociology, psychology, and history; and an internship for academic credit or additional criminal justice courses.
Regarding required courses, the Department encourages students to take American Government (POLI 201), Introduction to Sociology (SOC 100), and Introduction to Criminal Justice (CRIM 100) during their first year; Introduction to Policing (CRIM 230), Introduction to Corrections (CRIM 210), Introduction to Courts, Criminal Law and Procedure (CRIM 265), and Elements of Statistics (MATH 260) in their second year; and Criminal Justice Research Methods (CRIM 475), Criminal Justice Ethics (CRIM 295), Introduction to Criminology (SOC 232) and the Seminar in Criminal Justice (CRIM 500), a capstone course, in their third or fourth years. Elective courses in criminal justice are taken as appropriate from the student’s second year to completion of the program. Elective courses examine in depth various facets of the criminal justice system.
After a student has completed 60 semester hours of work, he or she may apply with the University to conduct an internship for academic credit. Students who wish to conduct an internship for academic credit must hold a minimum 2.0 QPA overall or 2.5 QPA in their major courses. Students are strongly encouraged to complete an internship if possible, and may earn up to 12 semester hours of credit toward the major for the internship. Students may alternatively take up to 12 semester hours of additional criminal justice courses.