Law and Justice

Law and Justice Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Criminal Justice

About Law and Justice

Succeed as a top criminal justice professional with specialized knowledge and in-demand skills.

At PennWest California, you'll deepen your interest through in-depth study of law and justice in our comprehensive and nationally ranked bachelor's degree program in criminal justice.

Learn from faculty scholars and skilled professionals with extensive career experience. In the B.S. in Criminal Justice program, the goal is to introduce you to the major functions and operations of the criminal justice field, examine components of the justice system and understand the  legal system in America through the eyes of those working in law enforcement, courts and corrections. 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.

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

 The B.S. in Criminal Justice program brings together liberal arts and professional courses to develop your critical thinking and communication skills. Graduates are well-prepared to pursue leadership positions in law enforcement and justice-related professions; the B.S. in Criminal Justice with a law and justice concentration is excellent preparation for law or graduate school.

Learn about our accelerated bachelor's-to-master's degree program.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: Criminal Justice  

Concentration:  This program is focused on preparing law enforcement professionals and those interested in pursuing law school. Your curriculum for the law and justice concentration includes such courses as Criminal Law, Law and Evidence, Mock Trial Concepts, Applied Mock Trial and more, to give students a solid understanding of the law through application and practice. Mock Trial and Applied Mock Trial give students the opportunity to apply learned concepts in simulated "mock" trial events at the college and regional levels.

Solid foundation: The B.S. in Criminal Justice program is unrivaled in Pennsylvania, providing a comprehensive, methodical review of major justice functions and operations. 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.

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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.
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Degree Benefits

PennWest California is dedicated to teaching the latest knowledge and skills to help you succeed in a professional career, whether it is in law enforcement or a legal profession. You'll learn with a dedicated, qualified faculty with top academic and professional credentials, such as juris doctorate and doctor of science of law degrees. PennWest California's criminal justice program offers hands-on experience in our forensic labs and forensic computer investigation labs. Through the Career and Professional Development Center, [link] students meet  potential employers through networking events, job shadowing opportunities, on-campus recruiting, job and internship fairs, and organizational visits. 

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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 are prepared for graduate study and law school admission. PennWest California criminal justice graduates go on to positions in: Courts and law Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Advanced fields in forensic science, electronic fraud and white-collar crime. Correctional institutions. Probation and parole offices. Juvenile justice

Criminal Justice (B.S) Law and Justice Concentration
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Qualified Faculty

In the criminal justice program, our highly qualified and dedicated full-time professors hold the highest degrees in their fields (J.D., Ph.D. and other doctoral degrees), and have solid professional experience. Many PennWest California criminal justice 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.

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Professional Standards

PennWest California maintains 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.

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Student Resources

Students can further enhance academic study in the concentration of law and justice by joining the PennWest California Mock Trial Team. As a member of the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA), PennWest California participates in invitational and regional mock trial competitions. Students may also join  Lambda Alpha Epsilon (LAE), the national criminal justice association. LAE introduces students to the criminal justice system and to employment opportunities, and 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 Law and Justice 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 9
JUS 265  Report Writing for Criminal Justice Professionals 3
JUS 365  Mock Trial Concepts 3
JUS 397  Law and Evidence 3
Related Electives 12
Select 12 credits from the following:
  • JUS 105  Introduction to Forensic Science (3 credits)
  • JUS 201  Criminal Investigation (3 credits)
  • JUS 220  High Tech Crimes (3 credits)
  • JUS 305  International Criminal Justice (3 credits)
  • JUS 309  White Collar Crime (3 credits)
  • JUS 345  Probation and Parole (3 credits)
  • JUS 394  Problems in Policing (3 credits)
  • JUS 399  Selected Topics (3 credits)
  • JUS 465  Applied Mock Trial (3 credits)
  • JUS 485  Forensic Law (3 credits)
  • JUS 498  Criminal Justice Internship (Law) (3 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: In the "Related Electives" category, students are free to choose any of the related electives to obtain the 12 credits required. Students are recommended to choose related electives that most closely align with career goals. 42 credits (or 14 courses) of upper-division (300- or 400-level) courses are REQUIRED. Developmental courses do not count toward the 120 credits necessary to graduate, but are calculated in your overall GPA.

B.S., Criminal Justice - Minors and Concentrations

  • 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)