Criminal Justice Department

West Chester University

Criminal Justice Department
College of Business and Public Management
Fifth Floor
Business and Public Management Center
50 Sharpless Street
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2647
Mary Brewster, Ph.D., Department Chair

Criminal Justice Minor

The minor in Criminal Justice is designed to meet the needs of those students whose central academic or vocational are in areas peripheral to Criminal Justice. Students who are majoring in accounting, communications, computer science, political science, psychology, public administration or sociology may desire a secondary expertise in Criminal Justice to facilitate particular career goals. The Department maintains a strong minor program to meet the needs of these students.

Application to the Criminal Justice Minor Program

The Department considers applications to the Minor during the first three weeks of the fall and spring semesters each year. Students may obtain an application from the Department secretary. Honor students may apply at any time.  Applicants should have an overall grade point average of at least 2.5. Students' applications will be reviewed by Department faculty and will be evaluated on the basis of: grade point average, number and rigor of courses taken, writing skills (an essay is required in the application) and suitability to the major. All students will be required to adhere to the Department of Criminal Justice Code of Conduct.


Minors are assigned to a faculty advisor to assist in course planning and selection. Copies of student advising sheets and program records are readily available to all students. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisors each semester.

Program Requirements (21 credits)

  • Required Courses (21 credits)
    • CRJ 110 Introduction to Criminal Justice
    • CRJ 210 Theories of Crime & Delinquency
    • CRJ 220 Corrections*
    • CRJ 287 Policing in America*
    • CRJ 300 Criminal Law**
    • CRJ 387 Criminal Justice Research**
    • CRJ 400 Criminal Procedure***
  •          * Prerequisite of C or better in CRJ110

            ** Prerequisites: C or better in CRJ 110, CRJ 210 and WRT 200

           *** Prerequisites: C or better in CRJ 300 and CRJ 387

  • Criminal Justice Practicum Criminal Justice minors are not required to take the Criminal Justice Practicum, but may do so during the summer. The summer Practicum may be taken as a six or twelve credit course.
  • Transfer Students Transfer students must take a minimum of twelve credits of Criminal Justice courses at West Chester University. Typically those courses must be the upper division required courses in the program: Criminal Law, Criminal Justice Research and Criminal Procedure.
  • Performance Minors must earn a minimum grade of C in all Criminal Justice courses and must maintain an overall grade point average of at least 2.0.
  • CRJ 387 (Criminal Justice Research) Students who take and earn a C or better in a social science research course in their majors may request a waiver of CRJ 387.  For instance, SOC 322 [Methods of Sociological Research], and PSY 246 [Research Methods in Psychology], may be substituted for CRJ 387. Under such circumstances, the students must take an additional upper division Criminal Justice elective.

Students & Alum

  • “West Chester University's Criminal Justice Department gave me the skills and confidence I needed in order to perform as a Police Officer. The courses, practicum, professors and staff were each an integral part of the preparation I needed to help me gain full time employment in the criminal justice field.” - Officer Nathan P. Kutz, Badge #8306, Ocean City Police Department, Maryland

  • "The West Chester University Criminal Justice Department delivers an uncompromising level of excellence and dedication, providing students with the edge needed to compete in today's difficult job market." - Paul Iffrig (Class of 2013) and President of the Criminal Justice Club

  • Brandon Oyama (Class of 2014) transferred to WCU from Green River Community College in Washington State and was a member of the Men's Tennis Team. He completed his practicum with the Pierce County Juvenile Court in his home state of Washington. Brandon states, "WCU was a good choice for me. The faculty are helpful, the courses are interesting and relevant to my future occupation."

  • Mary-Elizabeth Keeney (Class of 2013) served as the first president of Nu Beta, a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma (Criminal Justice Honor Society). She completed her practicum with the Department of Homeland Security.