Where Experiential Education Meets the Liberal Arts
Arcadia University’s Criminal Justice major offers students a range of experiential learning opportunities as part of their broad-based liberal arts education.
Students get hands-on investigative experience in Arcadia’s Crime Scene House and in our Cold Case Practicum. While the murders investigated in the Crime Scene House are staged, the crime reviewed in the Cold Case Practicum is not. Working with the American Investigative Society of Cold Case (AISOCC), Arcadia students review the actual investigative file of a real cold case, offering a fresh set of eyes to an unsolved criminal case.
Still want more?
How about a course that lets you see the prison system from another perspective? Criminal Justice majors can enroll in one of several Inside/Out courses Arcadia offers. Led by an Arcadia faculty member, these courses meet once a week inside a Philadelphia County prison and feature a class composed half of Arcadia students and half of inmates from the institution.
Or would you rather your research be used by practitioners in the criminal justice system? Students in “Applied Research in the Criminal Justice System” conduct research requested and used by the Pennsylvania Innocence Project and the Philadelphia Defender’s Association.
What to Expect
Study important issues such as corrections, juvenile justice, social policy, criminal behavior and criminal justice systems
Develop an understanding of the relationship between the criminal justice system and other social institutions
Think comparatively about international issues in criminal justice
Select a concentration in Social Justice or Law Enforcement
Learn outside the classroom, through study abroad, internships, or participation in experiential courses like those described above
Take courses with the Head of the Montgomery County Bomb Squad, one of the leading civil rights attorneys in the area, and a veteran of twenty-five years of investigative work with the Philadelphia Police Department, as well as criminologists with expertise in a range of criminal justice issues
Gain a broad based and in-depth liberal arts education that provides you with an understanding of the world that will make you a better lawyer, police officer, justice reformer, or criminologist
The knowledge base and skills acquired through the process of evaluation and critical inquiry will prepare you for a criminal justice career or graduate-level education.
From the graduating class of 2018 alone, six CJ majors were enrolled in graduate studies in Criminal Justice in Fall 2018, and another was in law school.
Criminal Justice Degree Requirements
The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice fosters an awareness of the various schools of thought and social theories on the origins, nature and extent of criminal behavior, criminal justice and the justice system. Courses stress the relationship between issues of criminal behavior and criminal justice and sociological factors such as class, gender, race and other demographic characteristics.
Students take a common curriculum as well as take courses to complete a concentration in Social Justice or Law Enforcement.
The Criminal Justice minor provides students with the conceptual and research knowledge necessary to think critically about issues in criminal justice. Further, the program creates and instills a set of values respecting human individuality and dignity that will guide the manner in which criminal justice tasks and responsibilities are carried out. The criminal justice minor, in conjunction with a student’s major, also builds a base of knowledge and constructs a process of evaluation and critical inquiry upon which criminal justice professional training and/or graduate-level education can readily take place.
A semester abroad can easily be incorporated into the Criminal Justice program and is strongly encouraged. Students are encouraged to explore study abroad options during the sophomore year or fall of the junior year.
A study abroad experience is invaluable for both the foundational focus on liberal arts as well as the major studies in Criminal Justice. Thinking comparatively and globally about criminal justice issues is essential for students who plan on working in the field.
University-sponsored study abroad programs are available in England, Scotland, Wales, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, and South Africa.
Since it is important that students plan ahead for study abroad, they should consult with their advisers as soon as possible and make their intentions known to the Department Chair and the Office of Global Engagement.