Why major in Criminal Justice?
Penn State Altoona’s Criminal Justice degree program offers a broad-based education in the liberal arts tradition. In addition to the breadth and depth of knowledge about criminal justice, the program helps you cultivate key skills in critical thinking, oral and written communication, issue analysis, and problem-solving. As a graduate of this program, you will be an adaptable and flexible participant in your community's civic and intellectual life, appreciate cultural diversity, and practice ethical behavior.
A criminal justice degree provides strong preparation for careers in corrections, parole and probation, law enforcement, and courts. In addition, you will be prepared to pursue graduate studies in criminal justice, law school, and related areas of graduate education.
Opportunities and Options
Our program allows you to pursue an associate degree, a bachelor of arts degree, or a bachelor of science degree. The bachelor of arts degree emphasizes proficiency in a foreign language. In contrast, the bachelor of science degree allows you to select four related courses that reflect your specific area of interest. A hallmark of our criminal justice program is the opportunity for students to participate in a criminal justice internship. This opportunity provides students with valuable experience at the federal, state, and local levels by working with various agencies involved in the criminal justice system. In addition, students experience seeing how the concepts they have learned in their studies apply to real-world situations with their internship host agency.
You may also become involved outside the classroom with the Criminal Justice Organization (CJO) and Alpha Phi Sigma (APS), the criminal justice honor society. Both CJO and APS offer plenty of opportunities for field trips and service to the local and college community and informative sessions such as self-defense courses and speakers discussing graduate education seminars.