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....

Admissions Information

Applying to Widener is easy—and free! Simply complete our Widener Application or the Common Application. You'll also need your official high school transcript and either an admissions essay or your SAT/ACT scores. We're a test-optional school, so there's no need to submit both.

Know you're interested in applying to Widener but unsure if you're ready to zero-in on a major? You can apply as an Exploratory Studies student with an undecided major. This program will help you start your college journey on the right foot while you explore which undergraduate program is the right fit for you.

When to Apply​

We accept applications on a rolling basis—there are no hard deadlines. Apply when you're ready and we'll take a look as soon as we receive your app. 

Key dates to keep in mind:​

  • October 1: FAFSA opens for the next academic year (Widener's school code is 003313)​
  • November 1: Early Action deadline and decision notifications begin​

What to Expect After Applying​

Once we receive your application and all materials, you can expect to hear back from us quickly. Along with your application decision, you'll also find out about any merit-based scholarship awards. You're automatically considered for merit scholarships as soon as you apply—you don't need to apply separately.

Learn more about the application process

If you apply before November 1, you are considered an Early Action applicant which comes with benefits like:

  • Receiving your admissions decision by Thanksgiving
  • Early consideration for merit-based scholarships
  • Early notification of financial aid offers, including need-based awards
  • Priority enrollment for summer registration—where you sign up for classes!

All applications are non-binding, so why wait? Apply today!

Our admissions team will help you make the most of college-level credits earned after high school. We maintain strong partnerships and articulation agreements with numerous local community colleges and also accept a wide range of course credits earned at accredited colleges and universities.

Curious about how many credits may transfer? Email your transcripts to transfer@widener.edu and our transfer coordinator will personally review your coursework as an unofficial credit evaluation. Applicants are given priority during busy seasons, but you don't have to apply to work with our transfer coordinator. 

Transferring doesn't have to be a guessing game—share your stats and we'll take it from there! 

Learn more about applying as a transfer student

Widener University serves as a "second home" for students from around the world. We are located just outside of Philadelphia and close to New York City and Washington, D.C.—offering many unique professional and personal opportunities to explore.

Want to know what it's like to be an international student on campus or need assistance navigating English proficiency requirements? We're here to help, and our international admissions director will support you through the application process. 

This support doesn't end with admissions—our International Student Support team will serve as a valuable resource throughout your Widener journey—meeting Visa/immigration requirements, getting acclimated to campus, and much more.

Learn more about applying as an international student

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.

Faculty

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

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

Student Stories

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

Class of 2021
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

Class of 2020 & 2021

Take the Next Steps

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.

Get in Touch