West Chester University's Department of Criminal Justice offers its students an opportunity that is unique among undergraduate programs. Our students are required to work full-time over one summer in an approved criminal justice agency. Criminal justice is an applied discipline making the advantages of such a program numerous. Students

  • gain valuable full-time work experience in the field of criminal justice
  • work at the federal, state, or local government level or at private agencies
  • apply knowledge gained in the classroom in a real-world setting
  • learn practical skills to prepare for a career in the profession
  • develop relationships and connections with professionals working in the field
  • receive job offers and/or earn recommendations from agency supervisors and colleagues
  • learn about job openings at agencies before they are announced to the general public
  • earn twelve academic credits toward graduation

We currently maintain a database of over 600 local, state, federal, and private organizations where are students are gladly accepted for summer practicum. Access the Criminal Justice Practicum database here (username and password required).

**For more information on practicum prep classes for summer 2023 practicum students, please review this flyer !

  • West Goshen PD

    L to R: West Goshen Township Officer Tim Reilly (alum), Officer Ryan Kenna (alum), Captain Greg Stone and 2019 intern Amanda deLuca.

  • Longwood Gardens

    L to R: Lindsay Harrison, Justin McMickle, Ben Heinbein, and Badia Daoury. This photo was taken at Longwood Gardens.

  • CID 2019

    L to R: Sgt. Joe Hackett, Bailey Naddeo (WCU practicum student), Jack Honeycutt (WCU practicum student), Lieutenant William Gordon (alum), Nayya Peterkin (WCU practicum student), and Jordan Lorah (WCU practicum student). This photo was taken at Delaware County District Attorney, Criminal Investigation Division.

  • Delaware County Adult Probation 2019

    L to R: Rachel Rockenbach (alum), Leanne Royal (WCU practicum student), Jeff Roney (supervisor), Frank Calabro (alum), and Mack Murtha (WCU practicum student). This photo was taken at Delaware County Adult Probation.

What do students think of the practicum experience?

"This was an extraordinary experience and a wonderful grand finale to my undergraduate education. It offers a real insiders view of the system."

"This has been the best class/experience of my whole college career. It is why I chose WCU over other schools."

"I chose West Chester's Department of Criminal Justice specifically because of its practicum program, and I'm so glad I did.  I would recommend this experience to every student."

What do practicum agency supervisors think of the practicum program and WCU students?

"Your students are very well-prepared for this work.  They had an excellent sense of the issues related to our agency, and a mature and respectful attitude. I was impressed by how engaged and motivated these students were."

"The practicum program at the Department of Criminal Justice is a win-win as far as we are concerned.  The student has the opportunity to gain real-world experience, and the agency has the advantage of assistance from well-educated and enthusiastic students."