Criminal justice is the study of law enforcement, courts and corrections individually and as components of a system, plus work in theories of crime causation, and crime control policy.
Start your Penn State story
Check out our selection of open houses, application workshops, and personalized visits to discover why Penn State Shenango is the perfect place for you.
Students receiving a baccalaureate degree in criminal justice should understand main components of the criminal justice system and their interrelationships, be able to evaluate 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.
Criminal justice focuses on the interrelated components of:
- The criminal justice system
- Public and private sector enforcement
- Legal systems
- Correctional treatment
- Community services
What to expect
The study of criminal justice is approached as an applied interdisciplinary science, teaching students about 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.
- Understanding theoretical and practical aspects of crime control and the administration of justice
- Learning about the history, concepts, and critical issues related to the role of gender and race/ethnicity in the criminal justice system, victimology, and ethics in criminal justice
- Develop a theoretical foundation of the discipline, combined with a thorough understanding of the scientific method as it applies to criminal justice
- Acquiring reading, writing, and critical thinking skills rigorously applied throughout the criminal justice program
You might like this program if...
- You enjoy helping others, or doing something for the greater good
- You are interested in all aspects of the law, including the psychology behind criminal behavior and the way criminal justice and social service agencies operate
- You want to serve society and have good people skills
- You are interested in a career in law enforcement, the courts, corrections, or another part of the criminal justice system