Penn State's online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program is designed to provide you with the theoretical and practical knowledge of crime control and the skills necessary to succeed in criminal justice and related careers. This interdisciplinary approach to the problems of crime and society can enhance your ability as a problem-solver in the field of criminal justice.
The degree's 24 credits of prescribed courses and 12 credits of additional courses focus on the history, practice, and science of criminal justice. Many different course options are available to complete the program, allowing you to customize the degree to meet your specific goals.
Deputy Sheriff's Training and Act 120 Program
Students with ACT 120, Pennsylvania State Police, or Municipal Police Training transcripts may receive up to 16.5 credits for the following courses:
- CRIMJ 100: Introduction to Criminal Justice (3 credits)
- CRIMJ 220: Courts and the Prosecution Process (3 credits)
- CRIMJ 210: Policing in America (3 credits)
- CAS 203: Interpersonal Communication (3 credits)
- KINES 067: Physical Conditioning (1.5 credits)
- NURS 203: First Aid and CPR (3.0 credits)
Training from other states will be reviewed upon request.
Prescribed Courses (24 credits)
Additional Courses (select 3–4 credits)
Additional Upper-Level Criminal Justice Courses (select 12 credits)
Supporting Courses and Related Areas (select 21 credits)
- 6 credits of courses taken from the following: PLSC, PUBPL, PSYCH or SOC. You may take 3 credits at the 200 level and 3 credits at the 300 or 400 level or 6 credits at the 300 or 400 level.
- 15 credits of courses taken in consultation with adviser. Examples of relevant course topics include: Psychology, Sociology, Criminology, Human Development and Family Studies, Forensic Science, Communications, Legal Research, Law and Business Law, Organizational Leadership, Political Science and Public Policy.
Additional credits needed to meet the 120-credit degree requirement
General Education Requirements
Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
- Integrative Studies: 6 credits
This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.
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