Criminal Justice students in a classroom setting

Criminal Justice

Associate of Science

Mercyhurst University’s Associate of Science in Criminal Justice program affords students the ability to take a broad spectrum of courses designed to provide a basic understanding of the criminal justice system, theorize why people commit crime, review judicial processes and constitutional safeguards, as well as examine the effectiveness of correctional systems. Thus, our program encompasses all aspects of the criminal justice system. Our curriculum prepares students for entry-level positions in public and private sectors, safety and protective services, legal and victim service arenas, correctional facilities, and re-entry agencies. 

Fast Facts

  • Students who are interested in policing can apply to Mercyhurst University’s police academy after completing their associate's degree.
  • Students who continue toward their bachelor’s degree at MU can transfer their associate degree credits and complete a bachelor's in two years! 
  • Graduates are prepared for entry-level positions in local and state police agencies, juvenile justice agencies, victim services, corrections, and other social service agencies.    
  • We offer students a solid curriculum in law enforcement, courts, corrections, victim services, and juvenile justice. Courses include: 
    • Criminal Investigation
    • Criminology
    • Introduction to Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
    • Introduction to Corrections

    Are you interested in being a part of your local police force or exploring the intricacies of law enforcement? Students who enroll in the Law Enforcement Concentration of our A.S. in Criminal Justice have the unique opportunity to enroll in the Mercyhurst Municipal Police Academy in their final semester. This full-time intensive course satisfies the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officer’s Education and Training Commission (MPOETC) minimum training requirements for Pennsylvania entry-level law enforcement officers. Enrollment in the Academy replaces a series of Criminal Justice courses, providing students with hands-on experience in law enforcement before graduation.

Learning Outcomes

Students will synthesize and apply basic knowledge of sociological issues affecting criminals, as well as demonstrate the following:

  • Knowledge of the historical context of the criminal justice system and profession
  • Synthesis, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills
  • Basic knowledge of legal aspects of criminal justice operations
  • An understanding of methodological concepts for conducting and analyzing research
  • Knowledge of professional skills in criminal justice

Departmental Goals

The department's goals for students after completing this program include:

  • Gaining an understanding of the history and current state of affairs in criminology and criminal justice
  • Critically analyzing methodologies and theories based on their discipline
  • Gaining proficiency in oral, written, and electronic communication skills
  • Making an active commitment to justice, prudence, civility, and appreciation for diversity

Mission and Vision

The Department of Social Justice & Community Health is dedicated to developing critical thinking, diversity appreciation, civic responsibility, leadership, and social justice in our students. We prepare students for careers in the helping professions, leadership in criminal justice and community affairs, and pursuit of advanced degrees. Engaging students in sustained and civil conversations about the relationship between individual and community well-being is both an objective and a means for realizing other objectives. The vision of the Department of Social Justice & Community Health is to provide associate degree students with a liberal arts background that will enable them to live rich and fulfilling lives with the capability of personal responsibility, professional development, and civic responsibility. 

Program Requirements

A minimum of 60 credits is required for the completion of this associate degree program. Students must earn an overall 2.0 GPA and grade in all required courses.