Instructor helps two students in classroom

An interdisciplinary lens to better society

Penn State Shenango's new criminal justice program focuses on sharpening reasoning and judgement, and sets students up to succeed in a semester-long internship.

SHARON, Pa. — Penn State Shenango will launch four new majors to prepare students for local, state and national occupational demands. Corporate communications, criminal justice, cybersecurity analytics and operations, and health policy and administration will join Shenango’s offerings starting in fall 2021.

“These new majors complement Penn State Shenango’s existing business and health care offerings to empower students when choosing the program that best fits their strengths and interests,” said Campus Director Jo Anne Carrick.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau reports health care, computer science and management occupations among the highest paid jobs in Mercer, Lawrence, Trumbull and Mahoning counties.

“Families know the importance of their children earning a degree, but many may be facing financial uncertainty right now,” said Director of Enrollment Chuck Greggs. “Penn State Shenango offers families an incredible value with lower tuition and our competitive ‘$3,000 for a 3.0 GPA’ scholarship program.”

Penn State’s application for fall 2021 is now open. For help applying or for more information about any majors, future students should contact the Admissions Office at or by calling 724-983-2803.

Criminal justice

The study of criminal justice is approached through an interdisciplinary lens, 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.

“In 2010 our campus launched the administration of justice degree, which is now officially named ‘criminal justice,’” said Carrick. “The name and curriculum changes to our existing major both enhances and modernizes the program.”

In addition to knowledge about criminal justice, the major cultivates skills in critical thinking, oral and written communication, issue analysis, and problem-solving. Graduates of this program are prepared to be adaptable and flexible, appreciate cultural diversity, and practice ethical behavior.

“Our program focuses on sharpening students’ talents of reasoning and judgement,” said Assistant Professor Travis Milbrun. “Students participate in an internship to provide valuable experience as they prepare to be a criminal justice professional.” 

The criminal justice degree program provides the groundwork for success in corrections, protective services, parole and probation, law enforcement, the court system, prevention and support resources, and graduate studies. 

About Penn State Shenango

Penn State Shenango provides an affordable and accessible education, while prioritizing the academic quality and rigor expected at Penn State. The Shenango campus is located in Sharon, midway between Erie and Pittsburgh, near the Ohio border.

The Shenango campus offers 14 undergraduate degree programs to 400 students, in addition to a master of science in nursing. The campus also offers the first two years of study leading to more than 275 majors offered throughout the University — this path is called the 2+2 plan.