Criminology Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Criminal Justice

About Criminology

Become a top criminal justice professional with specialized knowledge and in-demand skills

If you want in-depth study in criminology, PennWest California can provide you with a strong foundation in this specialized field. Choose PennWest California's comprehensive, nationally ranked and widely respected bachelor's degree program in criminal justice with a concentration in criminology.

In the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program, you'll learn from faculty scholars and skilled professionals with extensive career experience. Their goal is to introduce you to the major functions and operations of the criminal justice field and examine criminal behavior in the field of criminology. PennWest California offers four other concentrations within the B.S. in Criminal Justice degree program:

Gain a career advantage with PennWest California's highly ranked, hands-on program.

In 2016, ranked PennWest California's B.S. in Criminal Justice at #18 in Best Online Bachelor of Criminal Justice Degree Programs.

The B.S. in Criminal Justice program at PennWest California brings together liberal arts and professional courses to develop students' critical thinking and communication skills. You'll be well-prepared to pursue leadership positions in justice-related professions; the B.S. in Criminal Justice also is an excellent foundation for law or graduate school.

Learn about ouraccelerated bachelor's-to-master's degree program.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: Criminal Justice  

Concentration:  Your curriculum for the criminology concentration includes such courses as Behavioral Analysis of Violent Crime, Victimology, Sex Crimes and Predators, Criminological Theories, and more. Criminology courses focus on the study of crimes, criminals, causes of criminal behavior and victimization issues. Learn how the classical, psychological, sociological, economic, biological and political theories of crime explain criminal behavior, and understand the impact of these theories on the work of the criminal justice system.

Solid foundation: The criminal justice curriculum consists of a required core of 11 courses that are based on the six content areas identified by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences: administration of justice, corrections, criminological theory, law adjudication, law enforcement, and research and analytic methods. The B.S. in Criminal Justice program is unrivaled in Pennsylvania, providing a comprehensive, methodical review of major justice functions and operations.

Learn about applying

Student-to-faculty ratio at PennWest California.
Credit hours for the bachelor's degree in criminal justice, which can be completed in eight semesters or four years.
Degree icon

Degree Benefits

PennWest California helps you prepare for the professional world by developing the latest knowledge and skills. You learn with a dedicated, qualified faculty with top academic and professional credentials. Our criminal justice program also offers hands-on experience in our forensic labs and forensic computer investigation labs. Through the Career and Professional Development Center, students get connected to potential employers through networking events, job shadowing opportunities, on-campus recruiting, job and internship fairs, and organizational visits. 

Cap icon.

Graduate Outcomes

Earning your bachelor's degree in criminal justice equips you with the education, skills and training to fulfill your individual and career goals. With the help of highly qualified professors who have strong professional contacts, criminal justice students get access to valuable internships. PennWest California criminal justice graduates go on to positions in: Courts and law offices. Correctional institutions. Probation and parole offices. Juvenile justice agencies. Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Emerging fields of forensic science, electronic fraud and white-collar crime.

Criminal Justice (B.S) Criminology Concentration
Criminology bachelors programs Professor

Qualified Faculty

The criminal justice program is led by highly qualified and dedicated full-time professors who hold the highest degrees in their fields (J.D., Ph.D. and other doctoral degrees), and have solid professional experience. Many of our faculty members are also part of the team for the Pennsylvania Institute of Criminological and Forensic Sciences, which provides an array of investigative consulting activities along with professional training programs for police officers, detectives, district attorneys, public defenders and others involved in the administration of justice

Criminology bachelors programs Student

Professional Connection

PennWest California is attuned to professional standards through faculty who are members of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. ACJS is an international association established in 1963 to foster professional and scholarly activities in the field of criminal justice. ACJS promotes criminal justice education, research, and policy analysis within the discipline of criminal justice for both educators and practitioners.

Students learning about Criminology Criminology bachelors programs in the classroom.

Student Resources

You'll have the opportunity to enhance your academic study in criminal justice at PennWest California by joining Lambda Alpha Epsilon (LAE), the national criminal justice association. LAE introduces students to the criminal justice system and to employment opportunities, and it also offers excellent networking with practitioner members. Alpha Phi Sigma is the national honor society for criminal justice majors. The society recognizes scholastic excellence by undergraduate and graduate students in criminal justice.


B.S., Criminal Justice Courses Criminology Concentration


Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
Any Public Speaking Course
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
Any Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy Course
Health and Wellness
Any Health and Wellness Course
Technological Literacy
Any Technological Literacy Course
Any Humanities Course
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
Any Natural Sciences Course
3 or 4
Social Sciences
Any Social Science Course
General Education Options
  • Any Ethics and Multicultural Awareness Emphasis Course
  • Any Technological Literacy Course
  • Any General Education Courses (two courses)
Required Major Courses 33
JUS 101  Intro to Criminal Justice Studies 3
JUS 102  Intro to Law Enforcement 3
JUS 103  Correctional Systems 3
JUS 331  Juvenile Justice 3
JUS 361  Court Systems 3
JUS 375  Criminal Law 3
JUS 376  Criminal Procedure 3
JUS 466  Leadership and Ethics in Criminal Justice 3
JUS 495  Research Methods in Criminal Justice 3
JUS 496  Criminological Theory 3
JUS 499  Seminar in Criminal Justice Studies 3
Concentration Courses 6
JUS 215  Victimology 3
JUS 459  Behavioral Analysis of Violent Crime 3
Related Electives 15
Select 15 credits from the following:
  • JUS 201  Criminal Investigation (3 credits)
  • JUS 211  Organized Crime (3 credits)
  • JUS 309  White Collar Crime (3 credits)
  • JUS 385  Violence and the Media (3 credits)
  • JUS 395  Death Penalty (3 credits)
  • JUS 399  Selected Topics (Criminology) (3 credits)
  • JUS 429  Terrorism (3 credits)
  • JUS 430  Criminal Intelligence Analysis (3 credits)
  • GIS 303  Crime Mapping (3 credits)
  • JUS 460  Sex Crimes and Predators (3 credits)
  • JUS 470  Crimes Against Children (3 credits)
  • JUS 498  Criminology Internship (3-12 credits)
Additional Electives 25 or 26
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): JUS 499 Seminar in Justice Studies
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): Any two JUS approved Writing-Intensive Menu courses
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): Any Laboratory Course

Program Notes: 42 credits (or 14 courses) of upper-division (300- or 400-level) courses are REQUIRED. Any related electives not listed must be approved by adviser.

B.S., Criminal Justice Concentration and Minors

  •  Minor in criminal justice

    Take two required courses (6 credits) plus five Justice electives (15 credits)

  • Minor in forensic science

    Take four required courses (12 credits) plus three Justice electives (9 credits)