What do Criminal Justice Majors study?
Criminal justice is a career-oriented liberal arts major focusing on the dynamics of criminal and delinquent behaviors, the interaction between law enforcement, the legal system and society, and the critical issues of justice in the United States and the world.
At Chestnut Hill College, criminal justice is not just a cop-training program. With an emphasis on real-world applications of restorative and social justice, as well as faculty who bring years of experience and courses that are tailored to experiential and service learning, students not only learn about what criminal justice is but how to live it. CHC's program challenges students to think about the gap between theory and practice, question assumptions in the field, consider professional ethics and promote social justice. Through its direct relationship with the Department of Sociology and Human Services, criminal justice majors have the unique opportunity to blend their study of criminal justice with fields such as juvenile justice and child welfare.
Students are invited to take part in an experiential course called, "Inside-Out Prison Exchange." Inside-out was started at Temple University as a way to give students a new perspective and understanding of prison inmates. The course is made up of half students and half incarcerated prisoners and takes place inside the walls of a local prison. For more information on Inside-Out, please visit their official site.
Students who qualify with a 3.2 GPA in both major and overall and who have completed at least four criminal justice courses, also may be invited to join Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society.
What are the requirements?
Criminal justice majors complete 45 credits in order to earn a B.S. degree. Some of these requirements include:
- Introduction to Sociology or Social Problems
- Social Inequality
- Introduction to Criminal Justice
- Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure
- Restorative Justice
Additional electives that are offered include:
- Juvenile Deliquency
- Criminal Investigations
- Deviance and Social Control
- Inside-Out Prison Exchange
What internships are available?
Experiential learning is a very important component of the criminal justice curriculum at Chestnut Hill College. For this reason, CHC hired a professional internship director to organize the program efficiently and establish relevant requirements. Depending on their area of interest, students can choose from a variety of sites to perform their practicum field work. These experiences can lead to full-time positions post graduation and are a plus for students looking to attend graduate school. These internships include:
- Montgomery County and Philadelphia County District Attorney's Offices
- Families of Murder Victims
- Montgomery County Detectives Bureau
- Victim Services Center
- Philadelphia Crime Scene Unit
- Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire-Arms and Explosives (ATF) Division
- NJPD Department of Homeland Security
- Postal Inspection
- US Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
What are the career opportunities?
A criminal justice degree prepares graduates for a variety of occupatons within law enforcement, court systems, corrections, local, state and federal government, Human Service agencies, as well as graduate study in criminal justice, criminology, law, public policy, social work, and other related fields. Career options include:
- city or state police and task forces
- probation officer
- prison administrator
- federal law enforcement (FBI, CIA, DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), FDA (Food and Drug Administration), Secret Service)
- private security and investigation
- victim advocacy
- juvenile advocacy
- community counselor
If you are interested in becoming a criminal justice major at Chestnut Hill College, please contact John Kovach, Chair of the Sociology, Criminal Justice and Human Services Department (KovachJ@chc.edu).
To apply to Chestnut Hill College, please contact Admissions.