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  • College of Arts & Sciences

    • Social Sciences Division
    • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 226
    • tel: 610-499-4365
    • fax: 610-499-4603
  • Lauren Shermer, PhD

    • Criminal Justice Chair
    • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 232
    • tel: 610-499-4529
    • fax: 610-499-4603

Criminal Justice

Why Widener?

student in suit conversing at the career fair

On-the-Job Experience

The required internship (200-hours) gives students experience in a criminal justice agency. Students choose the agency in which they work and gain valuable first-hand exposure to build upon classroom learning. Internship sites include local, state, federal law enforcement, corrections, criminal investigation, the district attorney’s office, private criminal defense firms, and social service agencies. Widener hosts an annual Criminal Justice Career Fair on campus to connect students with potential internships and full-time employers.

See Flickr gallery for photos of the on-campus career fair.

student looking over materials

Rigorous Academics

Students majoring in criminal justice are challenged to develop the analytical and research skills they will need to serve as leaders in criminal justice systems. For a strong foundation, students take classes in political science, psychology, and sociology before diving deep into upper-level coursework that focuses on topics specific to criminal justice. Students can also choose to double major in sociology, political science, or social work; minor in computer forensics; or earn a certificate in accounting to prepare for a career in corporate law or with the FBI. 

student talking to professor

Unique Learning Opportunities

Criminal justice students at Widener develop strong mentoring relationships with faculty, whose interests in criminal justice range from policing and delinquency to the psychological underpinnings of deviant behavior. Undergraduates have opportunities to work with faculty members on research as well as gain experience in putting that research into practice through initiatives like the Chester Youth Court, which aims to help troubled youth, and literacy programs focused on enhancing reading skills for youth on probation.

  • brad waltman headsbot
  • jalena jackson '16
brad waltman headsbot

Brad J. Waltman


Widener's criminal justice program gives you the opportunity to do internships with numerous departments and organizations. Take part of these and get involved. There are also professors that have many connections...These professors will go above and beyond to help you succeed.

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jalena jackson '16

JaLena R. Jackson


I chose to major in criminal justice...because I wanted to simply make a change within our system. I am also a lover of people and wanted to learn how our system worked and how people in general operate.

Read more

Majoring in Criminal Justice at Widener

Associate Professor Dr. Shana Maier talks about the unique advantage Widener gives criminal justice majors to learn from both distinguished faculty and expert practitioners in the field.

Potential Careers

  • Law enforcement (local, state, and federal)
  • Probation/parole officer
  • Correctional officer
  • Attorney
  • Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor
  • Victim's advocate
  • Youth correctional counselor
  • Cyber security
  • Public policy analyst

There is a continued demand for law enforcement, probation/parole officers, and correctional personnel to maintain and improve public safety and rehabilitate offenders. Job prospects are increasing for employment in privately run prisons, cyber security, and legal work. 

Recent Employers

  • Chester Police Department
  • Ocean City, Maryland Police Department
  • New York State Police
  • New Castle, Delaware Police
  • Montgomery County Adult Probation
  • Office of Inspector General, Bureau of Special Investigations
  • Lima, Delaware County Juvenile Detention Center
  • Delaware County Juvenile Probation
  • Diakon Youth Services, Delaware County PA
  • Zabell & Associates P.C. Law Firm
  • Essex County Prosecutor's Office