Criminal Justice Major

Whether you are considering a career in law enforcement, courts, corrections, or juvenile justice or whether you are planning to move on to law school or a graduate program, a criminal justice degree from Mercyhurst University can get you there.

Our criminal justice majors are required to take 10 core criminal justice courses in addition to their concentration courses.  Our program has concentrations in law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice, and pre-law, which allows students to tailor his/her degree to fit his/her goals and interests. The degree curriculum covers the many facets of criminal justice, from police, courts and corrections, to working with offenders and/or victims, and with adults and/or juveniles.  See the Programs Tab for more information on the specific concentrations. 

Required Criminal Justice Courses

  • CRJS 101  Justice in America
  • CRJS 104  Introduction to Corrections
  • CRJS 205  Introduction to Juvenile Justice & Delinquency
  • CRJS 207  Police Functions
  • CRJS 230  Criminology
  • CRJS 310  Constitutional Law in Criminal Procedure
  • CRJS 318  Introduction Criminal Justice Research
  • CRJS 343  Criminal Justice Ethics              
  • CRJS 410  Senior Seminar                                                                   
  • CRJS          Criminal Justice Elective (There are many options available for electives)

Our students have opportunities for on hands on learning. To prepare our students for their careers, we encourage students to complete an internship in their area of concentration.  Our faculty works directly with the student and the Career Development Center to coordinate the internship process.  Criminal Justice students have completed internships in local, state, and national agencies and we are located near several criminal justice and social service agencies that are less than 15 minutes from campus.  Internships have been completed with police departments, detectives, sheriffs, judges, law offices, juvenile and adult probation departments, residential treatment facilities, correctional institutions, and crime victim and child advocacy centers as well as other agencies. 


Our students have a record of success.  Our students have consistently scored higher than the national average on the Major Field Test for Criminal Justice.  Of the recent criminal justice graduates who participated in the First Destination survey, 88.2% had a positive placement rate, which means they were employed, in graduate school, or both.  At the same time, the majority of our students who plan to go to graduate school and law school were accepted into the program of their choice. 

Our alumni represent us well.  We have alumni working in various federal, state, and local agencies. Some of their positions include FBI, DEA, AFT, ICE agents, Homeland Security officers, local and state police officers, detectives, juvenile and adult probation officers, correctional officers, victim advocates, substance abuse counselors, and attorneys.