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Women remain underrepresented in criminal justice and employers are continually and actively seeking graduates from schools like Cedar Crest College to join their ranks. While many criminal justice programs focus on what happens after a crime has been committed, Cedar Crest College’s Crime Science curriculum is unique because it is a behavioral-based program. 

Throughout your journey, we see you participating in multiple field experiences including a 220-hour senior experience, enabling you to apply what you have learned and, often, to secure your future employment. Your studies here will prepare you for a rewarding career in any area of the criminal justice system, from child welfare to corrections to security and beyond. 

Our interns and alumnae/i are well-known in the criminal justice community, locally and nationally, for their high ethical standards and behavioral-based knowledge. Our graduates are currently working in mental health referral and evaluation, adult probation, child welfare services and more.

Considering a career in psychology, forensic science, or social work? Adding a major or minor in criminal justice can strengthen your resume and allow you to more deeply understand human behavior.

In today’s security-conscious society, there is a high demand for graduates with a degree in criminal justice, particularly women. By earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Cedar Crest College, you will be well-prepared for positions in a broad variety of fields, including the following:

  • Child abuse investigative services
  • Child welfare services
  • Foster care services
  • Correctional management
  • Probation and parole
  • Drug and alcohol referral, evaluation and service industries
  • Mental health practitioners
  • Federal law enforcement
    • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
    • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
    • Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
    • Federal Bureau of Prisons
    • Federal probation
    • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
    • U.S. Department of Justice
    • U.S. Marshals
  • State law enforcement (such as the Bureau of Narcotic Investigation and Drug Control in Pennsylvania)
  • Pennsylvania Attorney General: Bureau of Criminal Investigations
  • Not-for-profit agencies
  • Security
    • Emergency preparedness
    • Fraud/bank investigation
    • Homeland Security
    • Intelligence analysis
    • Public safety
    • Transit, industrial and personal security

Program Highlights

  • Experienced faculty: All of our courses are taught by credentialed faculty. Our professors have more than 50 years of experience in the criminal justice field. They have literally seen it all…and they’ve specifically designed new courses that will better prepare you for a career in any area of criminal justice.
  • A behavioral-based curriculum: It isn’t enough to deal with crimes that have occurred: Today’s society demands a greater focus on the prevention of crimes. This, too, is the focus of our criminal justice program.
  • Valuable field experience: Many of our courses include classroom discussion as well as time spent in the community. You will also have the option to complete one 220-hour field experience that will be chosen specifically to suit your career goals.
  • Complementary majors and minors: Many students at Cedar Crest College choose a second major or minor. Fields of study that pair especially well with criminal justice include forensic science, our pre-law program and psychology.
  • Women’s leadership opportunities: Our program requires you to do research and present your findings, both of which will enhance your teamwork and leadership skills. The College also offers many extracurricular clubs and organizations that rely on student leaders.

Dive A Little Deeper

Course Requirements for the Criminal Justice Major

The curriculum is organized around a combination of required and elective courses.  Each student has the ability to select one of five elective packages that best suits their level of interest.  Students may select more than one elective package, with each being designed to allow the student to develop some level of specific depth to the analysis of human behavior.  The elective packages are as follows:

  • Criminal Behavior and Deviance – This elective package allows the student to examine human behavior from a social, psychological, and environmental perspective.  Each of these areas influences behavior and effective control often involves understanding aspects of each of these elements.
  • Juvenile Studies – This elective package allows the student to develop an understanding of childhood development and adolescent behavior.  Many of the students who major in criminal justice at Cedar Crest express an interest in working with juvenile offenders and this package offers the student a greater understanding of the issues surrounding juvenile behavior than what they are currently receiving.
  • Law Enforcement Administration – This elective package is designed for students who have an interest in police administration.  It is not intended to expose the student to police practices but rather is designed to better their understanding of the issues related to running a police/law enforcement organization.  All of the courses in this package are available in an online or accelerated format.
  • Self-Designed Elective package – This elective package allows the students to self-design an area of interest within the criminal justice system.  One might choose to study forensic psychology, social justice, restorative practices, or any other subject area where one’s interest exists.
  • Crime and Community Mapping – This concentration is designed to offer students the opportunity to become proficient in a skill that is highly marketable in the criminal justice and social service professions.  Understanding mapping technology allows agencies to evaluate patterns of behavior geographically, developing interventions that are responsive to the patterns that arise.

Criminal Justice Requirements – 38 credits

Core Requirements (26 credits):

CRJ 101 The Legal System 3 credits
CRJ 106 Criminology 3 credits
CRJ 202 Probation and Parole 3 credits
CRJ 206 Class, Race, Gender, and Crime 3 credits
CRJ 212 American Models of Policing 3 credits
PSY 170 Using APA Editorial 1 credit
PSY 211 Research Methods 4 credits
PSY 212 Experimental methods 3 credits
PSY 330Professional Ethics 3 credits

Elective Packages (12 Credits – the student must select at least one elective package to satisfy the requirements of the program)

Criminal Behavior and Deviance (12 credits):

CRJ 221 Victimization 3 credits
CRJ 306 Corrections 3 credits
CRJ 321 Criminal Justice Field Experience 3 credits
PSY 309 Psychopathology 3 credits
PSY 310 Forensic Psychology 3 credits
SWK 203 Addiction, Assessment & Intervention 3 credits

Juvenile Studies (12 credits):

CRJ 301 Juvenile Justice 3 credits
CRJ 321 Criminal Justice Field Experience 3 credits
PSY 210 Life Span Development 3 credits
SWK 203 Addiction, Assessment & Intervention 3 credits
SWK 303 Human Behavior & Social Environment 3 credits
SWK 304 Child Abuse Maltreatment and Neglect 3 credits

Law Enforcement Administration (12 credits):

BUA 220 Human Resources Management 3 credits
BUA 239 Employment Law 3 credits
BUA 320 Attracting, Selecting, and Retaining Talent 3 credits
BUA 325 Compensation Management 3 credits

Self-Designed Elective Package – Thematic design must be approved by faculty advisor (12 credits)

Crime and Community Mapping (12 credits):

CRJ 110 Introduction to GIS and Crime mapping
CRJ 210 Advanced Crime and Community Mapping
CRJ 212 American Models of Policing
CRJ 215 Data Management for Crime Analysts
CRJ 310 Crime and Community Development

Blaney Hall Blooms in Spring

Upcoming Admissions Events

Aug 01
  • Thu
  • 6:00PM – 7:30PM
SAGE Information Session Learn More
Aug 07
  • Wed
  • 5:00PM – 6:00PM
Master of Nutrition Online Information Session Learn More
Aug 17
  • Sat
  • 10:00AM – 3:30PM
Summer Open House Learn More
Aug 22
  • Thu
  • All Day
August Orientation Learn More

Hear From Your Peers


The curriculum includes both required courses and three options for “elective packages”: criminal behavior and deviance, juvenile studies, crime mapping, and the ability to self-design an area of study. These  packages enable you to delve deeper into one or more aspects of human behavior.

Cedar Crest Accounting Students in the Classroom

Collaborative Partnership

Building on a national movement to recognize the benefits of data-driven, research-based outcomes related to the practice of policing in our communities, Cedar Crest College, the City of Allentown, Pa., and the Allentown Police Department are entering into a new collaborative partnership.

Blaney Hall on the Cedar Crest College Campus at Sunset

How To Apply

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Cedar Crest student smiling on campus


Cedar Crest College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education; 1007 North Orange Street, 4th Floor, MB #166, Wilmington, DE 19801

Faculty & Staff

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