Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice

Can’t get enough of crime investigation shows? Dream of being a lawyer? Inspired by a relative in law enforcement? Check out our criminal justice major!


Criminal justice is the study of how criminal offenders are processed through the federal, state and local agencies that work in law enforcement, courts and corrections.

At The University of Scranton, our mission is for students to learn about how the criminal justice system operates and how it shapes our society.

Why Criminal Justice is in Demand:

  • Over the past two decades, criminal justice has been one of the leading growth areas of employment in the nation.
  • There are approximately 245 police per 100,000 citizens.
  • The challenges our criminal justice practitioners face are increasingly complex and global. The need for degree-holding professionals in the criminal justice system will become even greater.
  • The world will always need “men and women for others,” those who are willing to stand up for what they believe and make a difference in the lives of others.

Is it for me?

  • Do you have an interest in federal, state or local law enforcement?
  • Are you considering law school?
  • Are you thinking about a career as a probation or parole officer?

Five Reasons to Choose Scranton for Criminal Justice

Internships.   The proximity of our campus to the county seat – as well as accomplished alumni who hold prominent positions in local government and law – opens doors to coveted and competitive internships.
Balanced education.    Faculty members bring real-world experience as well as diverse research expertise into the classroom.
Catholic and Jesuit education.    Based on the Jesuit ideal of cura personalis, we treat each student as an individual and take into account his or her unique gifts, challenges, needs and possibilities for a transformative educational journey.
Small classes.    High level of personal attention. Faculty members care about the personal as well as professional well-being of students.
Collaborations with other departments.    Students can specialize through tracks in forensic chemistry and forensic accounting, for example. There is also a five-year BA/MS program in criminal justice/business.
  • Preparing You For Personal & Professional Successplus or minus

    You'll learn how to:

    • Analyze different aspects of crime
    • Sharpen your public speaking skills
    • Become a better writer
    • Formulate and defend compelling arguments
    • Learn how to influence others
    • Lead teams


    Our prime location, two blocks from downtown Scranton, means that there are all sorts of internship opportunities for criminal justice students at the federal courthouse, county jail or at the many law firms. Other students obtain internships with agencies in New York, New Jersey or in the federal government in our nation’s capital, just four hours from campus.

    Examples of internships include:

    • FBI (Forensic Unit, Quantico, VA)
    • Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office
    • Lackawanna County Prison
    • Scranton Police
    • Suffolk County Prosecutor’s Office
    • U.S. Attorney General’s Office
    • U.S. Federal Probation
    • U.S. Marshal
    • U.S. Secret Service
  • What You'll Learnplus or minus


    You'll get a solid foundation in the criminal justice system with courses in:

    • Criminology
    • Policing
    • Courts
    • Corrections
    • Juvenile delinquency
    • Public safety (including terrorism)
    • International criminal justice
    • White collar and organized crime
    • Crime prevention
    • Criminal investigation and analysis

    The program is flexible enough to allow students to double major or minor in fields such as forensic science, psychology, counseling, sociology and computer science. In fact, we not only offer the option to double major, but we also encourage it!

    A Jesuit education is also distinguished by an emphasis on “eloquentia perfecta” which calls for the development of effective written and oral communication skills. As such, many criminal justice classes require writing and oral reports.

    Click here to see the curriculum.

    Research Projects

    At Scranton, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in exciting faculty-mentored research projects. One example that captured the attention of prominent media is the study of bar violence in Hoboken, New Jersey, with Dr. James Roberts. Read more details in The New York Times here.

    Dr. Loreen Wolfer's Research Methods students work with the Lackawanna County probation office to assess the effectiveness of an innovative community program.


  • Pursue Your Passion and Make a Differenceplus or minus

    What differentiates Scranton from other universities? Our mission is for students to learn about the criminal justice system through the context of social justice. The Jesuit principle of being “men and women for and with others” applies to the focus of criminal justice majors. In short, we educate students to uphold not just the law, but to show genuine concern for the dignity of each person in the system. 

    During your years at Scranton, there are numerous ways to get involved in community service and outreach, including Campus Ministry, Center for Social Service and Justice and the International Service Program.

    Students and alumni make a positive difference in society through internships and their chosen career path. A Jesuit education means that students are groomed to become professionals who act with integrity.


Where Will Criminal Justice Take Me?

We’ll prepare you for a meaningful career in a wide range of occupations, including federal, state and local law enforcement, community and institutional corrections, or advanced study in law, criminology, and public administration.

At Scranton, you’ll gain an edge over other graduates due to our close proximity to the seat of county government. Our alumni hold prominent positions in the area, providing a valuable network for internships and post-graduation employment.

Here are some examples of occupations of recent graduates: 

  • Department of Defense investigator
  • FBI analyst
  • Federal agent
  • Judge
  • Probation or parole or corrections officer
  • Public prosecutor
  • State trooper

Top Graduate Schools

Majoring in criminal justice provides an excellent foundation for many graduate programs, such as criminal justice, counseling, social work, sociology and law. Here are some of the leading graduate schools and law schools that have admitted recent graduates:

  • Dickinson College
  • Georgetown University
  • New York Law School
  • Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice
  • Seton Hall University
  • Saint Louis University
  • Villanova University
  • William and Mary University

Leading Employers:

Where will you work with a degree in criminal justice from Scranton? There’s any number of possibilities. Here are some of the organizations across the country employing recent graduates:

  • Brooklyn Drug Treatment Court
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Lackawanna County (PA) Probation
  • New York City Police Department
  • Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
  • Pennsylvania State Police
  • Sheriff’s Department of Los Angeles County
  • U.S. Secret Service
  • Capital Police (Washington, D.C.)

How Scranton Gives You a Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

One of the many things students tell us they love about Scranton is that our faculty members are very active in helping them achieve their career goals. Faculty are visible and available across campus, and you’ll often see students chatting with faculty over coffee to discuss ideas. 

Whether it’s advising or providing letters of references for a competitive graduate school or that dream job, faculty make it their priority to get to know each student on an individual level. That deep level of understanding means that our faculty members are not only dedicated teachers and strong researchers, but also advocates for your professional, personal and spiritual development. 


Our department is certified by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Only five undergraduate criminal justice programs in the United States have achieved this certification in the last 10 years.

Take the Next Step

Get the Facts

View PDF with Program Overview
& Curriculum

For More Information

Office of Admissions
The Estate
Scranton, PA 18510
1-888-SCRANTON or (570) 941-7540

Department of Criminal Justice, Cybersecurity and Sociology
Michael J. Jenkins, Ph.D.
(570) 941-7455