Students in front of research boards for various studies in the Criminal Justice program

Criminal Justice (Minor)

The Criminal Justice program at Commonwealth University prepares students for a career in criminal justice and the legal systems, as well as entry into graduate or law school. Through a career-focused curriculum, students will learn the fundamentals of criminology and criminal justice systems and explore the latest trends and contemporary issues in crime and criminal justice.

Degrees & Offerings
  • Minor
  • Bloomsburg
  • Clearfield
  • Lock Haven
  • Mansfield
Illustration of Mountain

Through a combination of classroom study and experiential learning, students will gain an understanding of crime and criminal justice organizational systems while acquiring the ability to analyze and critique emerging research and current trends. The program's core curriculum covers areas such as law enforcement, criminal law, corrections and research methods, with a number of electives based on trends and contemporary issues in crime and criminal justice. The program encourages extra-curricular activities that provide opportunities for students to develop leadership skills which includes national clubs and organizations along with special events with the program. Criminal justice brings together people who are interested in learning and pursuing an academic and professional career in criminology, law enforcement, homeland security, juvenile justice system, corrections, courts, victimology, criminal investigation, criminal law, and other fields under the broad coverage of criminal justice.

Courses and Curriculum

SLO #1 (History): Describe the history and legal development of the criminal justice system and relate the impact of historical forces to the current roles of the police, courts, and corrections in administering justice.

SLO #2 (Communication): Construct coherent arguments, narratives, or explications of issues, problems, or processes to achieve shared understanding of meaning depending on the effective use of language across multiple expressive modes including digital platforms.

SLO #3 (Ethics): Describe basic ethical reasoning perspectives, articulate the origins of personal core beliefs, and critique the influence of ethical perspectives on issues within the criminal justice system.

SLO #4 (Diversity): Identify the ways in which power differentials operate, are experienced, and are reinforced at individual, group, community, institutional, and global levels and how they impact the criminal justice system.

SLO #5 (Theory): Compare and contrast criminological theories to evaluate the causes/correlates of crime as well as how society perceives and responds to criminal behavior.

SLO #6 (Research): Propose a researchable question, identify relevant sources in the academic literature, and formulate hypotheses to explain the causes and correlates of criminal behavior.

SLO #7 (Analysis): Interpret data and apply appropriate analytical techniques to critique criminological research and public policy.

Applying to This Program


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