Undergraduate Major

Criminal Justice Major (BA)

Jumpstart your way to a law-related career with a comprehensive understanding of theory, research, and how various components of the criminal justice system work together.

Students talking to law enforcement

Program Overview

Our criminal justice major curriculum emphasizes the development of analytical and research skills to prepare you to effectively meet the challenges of administering justice in applied settings. You'll get a comprehensive understanding of theory, research, and practice through an emphasis on the study of crime and the social and behavioral sciences.

With a focus on the criminal justice system and opportunities to get involved in internships, service learning, and clubs and organizations you'll build a range of powerful, portable skills to set you apart in the field. 

Program Options for Criminal Justice Majors

Follow your personal interests while getting a well-rounded criminal justice education. Experiential learning, unique research, and on-the-job experience is just the beginning.

View all curriculum, coursework, and internship requirements in the Loading....

  • All students are required to participate in a 200-hour internship in a criminal justice agency throughout their time as an undergraduate.
  • You'll get to choose the agency and gain valuable first-hand exposure to build upon classroom learning.

The flexibility of our curriculum allows for students to pursue a variety of double majors, minor options, or the dual degree program with social work.

We have established double majors with:

View all curriculum, coursework, and internship requirements in the .

Common minors for criminal justice students are:

  • Legal studies and analysis
  • Computer forensics
  • Modern languages

Structured to fit within the four-year curriculum, these options encompass the requirements of both programs while allowing students to tailor research courses and internships to fit intellectual interests and professional goals.

Criminal justice is one of the majors traditionally chosen by students interested in going to law school. Our students have the opportunity to participate in a pathway for pre-law.

High achieving undergraduate criminal justice majors have the opportunity to begin fulfilling requirements for a master’s degree while completing their bachelor’s degree.

For all the information on this accelerated option, view our Loading....

A certificate in accounting is also available for criminal justice students interested in an opportunity to obtain additional exposure to accounting and business law.

Courses in this program provide necessary background needed to pursue professional certification in such areas as management accounting (certified management accountant), and internal auditing (certified internal auditor).

To learn more about the certificate in accounting, view the  Loading....

Program Highlights

With a flexible curriculum, faculty mentorship, and countless opportunities to network with industry professionals, you'll prepare for a fast start and long-term career success in our criminal justice program.

Flexible Curriculum

As a student in the program, you'll learn about all aspects of criminal justice to have a comprehensive understanding of the system, but still focus on your personal interests in the field to get the most out of your degree.

Meet Your Second Family

You'll grow close to faculty, staff, and classmates through unique research opportunities, small class sizes, and regular meetings with your faculty advisor. Before long, professors and classmates will feel like your second family because on the inside track, you're never alone. 

Networking With Professionals

Along with our annual criminal justice career fair, you'll find countless opportunities to connect with alumni, learn from experienced speakers on and off campus, and network with professionals in an internship setting. 

Clubs & Organizations

Criminal justice majors have the opportunity to join various clubs and organizations across and outside of campus, including the Alpha Phi Sigma - Criminal Justice Honor Society, and many more.


Here, you'll see that our criminal justice faculty work hard to help navigate students toward personal and professional success.

Nancy Blank
Chair, Criminal Justice

"Our criminal justice programs provide students with one-on-one individualized attention to nurture the student's growth academically and professionally. I enjoy the small class sizes and teach by facilitating discussions and welcoming diverse worldviews. This pedagogy fosters student participation, listening, and critical thinking skills."

Shana L. Maier
Director of MCJ Program

I enjoy mentoring students inside and outside the classroom. It is a pleasure to watch individuals grow from being criminal justice students to criminal justice professionals, influencing and bettering the system. Seeing their success as alumni is so rewarding for me! In addition, our flexible curriculum allows students to direct their academic career in a way that makes the most sense for their career goals. I am also excited about our accelerated 4+1 program that allows strong students to complete an undergraduate and graduate degree in five years.

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

With a degree from Widener, you'll acquire skills and qualities that will set you apart in the criminal justice field.

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Law enforcement
  • Probation, parole, or corrections officer 
  • Victim advocate 
  • Attorney 
  • Cybersecurity officer/analyst

Recent Employers

  • Chester Police Department
  • US Marshals Service
  • Montgomery County Adult Probation
  • US Office of Personnel Management, Background Investigations
  • State Correctional Institute, Chester

Pride Perspectives

Hear from our students about their experience in the criminal justice program.

Samantha Peisino, holding her phone, sits outside of courthouse in Delaware County

Our criminal justice system has so many wrongs, I want to stop those wrongs.

Samantha Peisino

Samantha's Story
Samirah Thompson watches security cameras

To have people like that in your corner is amazing. They helped me gain the confidence to go into the field and to be on my ‘A’ game.

Samirah Thompson

Samirah's Story

Take the Next Steps

Join a leading university dedicated to your success.

Visit Us

To visit Widener is, more often than not, to fall in love with the place. To fit your timeline and schedule, we offer a variety of ways to get to know us.

View Tuition and Fees

When comparing costs, we encourage you to look beyond sticker price. Because Widener is a private institution, we’re able to offer financial assistance that brings our exceptional education within reach.

Financial Aid

Our financial aid team takes the guessing game out of applying for financial aid. To determine your financial aid package, including scholarships and grants, apply and complete the financial aid process. You might be surprised at how much we can offer in assistance.

Next steps to apply

Applying online has never been easier—and it’s free! We also accept the Common Application. Take the next step toward joining the Widener Pride.

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