Criminal Justice

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

Career Paths

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.