A degree in Criminal Justice from Western New England University will prepare you to take advantage of expanding career opportunities in this diversified and fascinating field. You may elect to take the general Criminal Justice curriculum or select one of three specialized tracks offered within our program. These tracks in Crime and Society, Criminal Investigation, and Terrorism and Homeland Security enable you to focus your academic pursuits in key growth areas in criminal justice.
Why Choose Criminal Justice?
Our major is approved by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Higher Education as a qualifying PCIPP (Police Career Incentive Pay Program) participant.
Criminal Justice today is much more than law enforcement. Whether working in social services, policing, in a correctional facility, as a court administrator, or in any of the other related fields, criminal justice professionals must possess strong communication skills, including research presentation skills and technical report writing. They must understand current technology, human behavior, and have management skills to advance into roles of increasing responsibility. Criminal justice professionals serve the public interest and must also recognize the importance of upholding the highest ethical and professional standards in their chosen career path.
What Will You Study?
In the Crime and Society track, you will focus on courses such as Domestic Violence; Children, Family, and the State; and Juvenile Delinquency. Students opting for the Criminal Investigation track will take courses taught by experienced investigators. These classes range from Evidence to Criminal Investigations to Interviewing and Interrogation. With a growing focus on anti-terrorism training in criminal justice, the Terrorism and Homeland Security track will provide insight into contemporary issues through such courses as Counter-terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction.
This major provides excellent preparation for careers in law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole, security, court administration, social services, private security, or working with youthful offenders. Additionally, the demand for specialists in homeland security is creating new opportunities for experts in this field.
Clubs & Organizations
Criminal Justice students may have interests in: Alpha Lambda Delta (First-year honor society), Alpha Phi Sigma (Criminal Justice Honor Society), and Criminal Justice Association. Many of our students also participate in varsity and intramural sports, special interest groups, and student government.
Our faculty is unique among Criminal Justice programs as a result of the combination of professional experience and academic proficiency. All of our faculty members have earned a terminal degree (Ph.D. or J.D.). Many have published in respected academic journals and authored books in this field. They range from a police supervisor with a law degree, who is the former director at the Western Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Academy; to a retired Massachusetts State Police investigator; to a gang specialist; to an expert in urban crime and gentrification. All of our adjunct faculty members are accomplished practitioners in their respective professions.
Unique Learning Opportunities
Internships and Field Work
In your junior and senior years, you will have the opportunity to complete up to two internships, working side-by-side with practitioners in various criminal justice-related agencies. Some of the most popular internship sites include federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies; state and federal courts; state and federal probation offices; victim/witness advocate programs; pre-release programs; correctional facilities; state and municipal police training academies; social service agencies; and offices of local criminal attorneys.
Study Abroad: Become a Global Citizen
Our shrinking world requires students to think from a global perspective. The College of Arts and Sciences will help you to expand your worldview to think like a citizen of the world. Whether you participate in the London Study Abroad semester, a short seminar course abroad, or in another semester-long trip, the experience will broaden your horizons and help you compete in the global landscape.