Field Experience & Research
Because hands-on experience is a critical component of our program, all criminal justice majors must complete an internship (also referred to as a field experience) during their senior year, unless they are currently working in the criminal justice field. You will also find numerous opportunities to participate in research and assist local prisons and law enforcement, beginning your first year here.
Student Research Opportunities
As a criminal justice major or minor, you can get involved in research projects throughout your studies here. Options include:
- Working with faculty to track and report local crime trends and share the results with local publications
- Working with local prisons to monitor inmate misconduct
- Working undercover with state law enforcement, most recently with the liquor control board posing as underage buyers
Benefits of Internships
Internships are an ideal way to:
- Build skills in a workplace environment
- Explore various fields within the criminal justice spectrum
- Gather references for your resume
- Build valuable career connections
- Secure future employment (Many Cedar Crest students have been hired by their internship site immediately after graduation.)
Customize Your Internship
Beginning your junior year, you will work closely with your academic adviser to choose an internship opportunity that best meets your career goals. You will be able to choose to work with facilities in the Lehigh Valley or in the jurisdiction in which you plan to live after graduation. You may also specify what type of criminal justice position you would like to experience.
Students may choose to work in any field of criminal justice, including:
- Adult probation programs
- At-risk youth programs
- Drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities
- Mental health facilities
Speak with your faculty adviser to determine what type of internship will best suit your career goals.