Criminal Justice

Two-Year Associate in Specialized Business (ASB) Degree Program
Available in State College, Altoona, and Lewistown

The Criminal Justice program at South Hills will launch you on a career in the field of justice—from law enforcement to corrections to advocacy. The program is designed to be very hands-on, combining theory with practice and application. The CJ program provides students with an understanding of the criminal justice system and the socio-economic factors that impact the field. As a South Hills Criminal Justice student, you will learn investigative techniques, basic security skills, and the criminal legal process/procedures for the Pennsylvania court system, as well as the basics of criminal and family law. Students even receive training to earn Oleoresin Capsicum Aerosol Training (OCAT - pepper spray) and Practical and Tactical Handcuffing (PATH) certifications.

Our Criminal Justice graduates are working in careers as local and state Law Enforcement Officers and Deputies, Juvenile Justice Center Professionals, Corrections Officers, Private Security Guards, Loss Prevention Managers, and Victim Advocates.

Successful students in this program will be ethical, hard working, willing and eager to learn, and believe in the criminal justice system and the law.

Apply now

CJ Graduates Can Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Only Two Years with St. Francis University!

South Hills students graduating with the Associate in Specialized Business in Criminal Justice are eligible for a bachelor degree completion program in Behavioral Science through St. Francis University Office of Adult Degree & Continuing Studies.

Finish your Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science in only two years or less through online, weekend, and evening classes in State College or Altoona. South Hills students will be guaranteed acceptance with a 2.0 GPA and up to 64 credits from our CJ program will automatically transfer into the program. Students and alumni may transfer in additional credits through military or other colleges as applicable, accepting up to 98 credits. The customizable curriculum allows you to take as few or as many classes as you want so you can balance work, family, and life. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. This program can also be completed fully online.

For more information about Bachelor's degree completion, visit the St. Francis website or call the Office of Adult Degree & Continuing Studies at 814-472-3012.

Complete Course List

Criminal Justice Course List for 2017-18

This program information appears in the 2017-18 school catalog. Click here to download all course descriptions.

CodeCourseCreditsClock Hours
 
FIRST TERM
GE183Business English 1460
LE119Family Law for CJ2.536
CJ123Introduction to Criminal Justice560
CJ125Introduction to Law Enforcement4.548
GE213Oral Business Communications224
PD110Professional Development224
CJ128Sociology for CJ448
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS24300
 
SECOND TERM
LE118American Constitutional Law4.548
GE180Applied Psychology336
GE184Business English II460
LE120Intro to the Law of Torts336
CJ122Introduction to Corrections560
CP283Microsoft Office460
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS23.5300
 
THIRD TERM
CJ225Criminal Investigations336
CJ227Criminology560
CJ124Introduction to Criminal Law560
GE181Introduction to Statistics for CJ336
CJ126Introduction to Victimology4.560
CJ232Terrorism & Homeland Security336
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS23.5288
 
FOURTH TERM
CJ119An Introduction to the PA Criminal Justice Handbook336
CD104Career Development I224
CJ224Criminal Evidence336
CJ226Criminal Procedures560
CJ120Forensic Science336
CJ127Rehabilitation of the Offender336
GE182Writing for CJ4.560
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS23.5288
 
FIFTH TERM
CD105Career Development II224
CJ233Criminal Justice Capstone Project460
CJ234Criminal Procedures II336
 Elective336
CJ229Emergency Procedures224
GE178Human Relations in the Workplace2.536
CJ121Human Rights Issues in Criminal Justice336
CJ230Juvenile Delinquency4.560
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS24312
 
Elective Choices
CJ228Drugs, Crime and Criminal Justice(3)(36)
CJ231Media and Criminal Justice(3)(36)
 
SIXTH TERM
CD200Career Preparation0.510
CJ236Criminal Justice Internship11330
CJ235Specialized Certifications for CJ2.536
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS14376

Graduate Spotlight

"My South Hills education in CJ has helped me in so many ways…the great faculty, the small class sizes. The teachers really take time to get to know you as a person and pass along their years of experience. We had such a broad range of intensive training—very hands-on, practical training that I use every day on the job. I work every day with people with four-year degrees who just didn’t get the same level of education in the field we covered in two years at South Hills."

Cassandra McCormack
Class of 2013
Deputy Sheriff
Centre County

Careers in Criminal Justice


With two years of hands-on training and strong skillsets, our Criminal Justice graduates are prepared for a variety of career options, including:

  • Local Law Enforcement Officer
  • Corrections Officer
  • Juvenile Justice Center Official
  • Loss Prevention Specialist
  • Private Security Guard
  • Sheriff’s Deputy
  • State Law Enforcement Officer
  • Victim Advocate

Each student completes a summer-long internship before graduation, providing real world experience. We have placed interns at locations including:

  • Centre County Correctional Facility
  • Centre County Sherrif’s Office
  • Clearfield County District Attorney’s Office
  • Clinton County Correctional Facility
  • Huntingdon County Emergency Management Agency
  • Lewistown Borough Police Department
  • State Correctional Institution at Houtzdale
  • State Correctional Institution at Rockview
  • State College Police Department
  • Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police
  • Trough Creek Forestry Camp

South Hills Criminal Justice graduates are well-trained and in demand for their knowledge and work ethics. Some of the many locations employing our graduates include:

  • Abuse Network
  • Centre County Sheriff’s Office
  • Centre County Correctional Facility
  • Central Counties Youth Center
  • Centre County Youth Service Bureau/Stormbreak
  • Clearfield County Prison
  • Clinton County Correctional Facility
  • Elk County Prison
  • Payton and Associates
  • Pennsylvania State Police
  • State Correctional Institution at Rockview
  • St. Moritz Security Services

Program Advisory Committees

State College Main Campus
Member NameJob TitleCompany
Steven Godfrey Drug and Alcohol Taskforce SupervisorDepartment of Corrections, Quehanna Boot Camp
Zach Sayers Corrections OfficerCentre County Correctional Facility
Josh BrownCorrections OfficerSCI Rockview
Cassandra McCormack Detective in Narcotics Enforcement UnitLycoming County Drug Task Force
Brittany LewisProbation OfficerCentre County Adult Probation
Andrea FisherCEOYouth Service Bureau
Altoona Campus
Member NameJob TitleCompany
Bernard ChatmanOwner/CaptinKesytone Investigation & Security Specialists, LLC.
Cheryl GonsomanCommunity LiaisonFamily Services Incorparated
John SistoAttorneyThe Law Office of John D. Sisto
Missy MacIntyre Blair County District Attorney's Office
Mitch CooperSheriffBlair County Sheriff's Office
Robert DonaldsonAttorneyLaw Office of Robert Donaldson
Sue GriepVictim/Witness CoordinatorBlair County District Attorney's Office
Diana RummellOperations ManagerGittings Protective Security, Inc.
Travis ClowsonSergeantBlair County Sheriff's Office
Ashley GehrdesProgram SpecialistBlair County Children & Youth Services
Lewistown Campus
Member NameJob TitleCompany
David BarronJudgeMifflin County Court House
Michael BookWardenMifflin County Correctional Facility
Jim CriswellDeputy WardenMifflin County Correctional Facility
Andre FrenchSergeantMifflin County Reginal Police
Phil LucasDirectorMifflin County Office of Public Safety
Courtney ReedPatrolmanLewistown Police Department
Jonathan ReedMagisterial District JusticeCommonwealth
Alina ReedJudicial Law ClerkMifflin County Government
Chris ShadeSheriffMifflin County Sheriffs Office
Tom StalnakerCounselor/Work Release CoordinatorMifflin County Correctional Facility
Courtney TaylorPatrolmanLewistown Police Department

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please view the Criminal Justice Disclosures page on our website.