Criminal Justice Department

West Chester University

Criminal Justice Department
200A Ruby Jones Hall
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2647
Mary Brewster, Ph.D., Department Chair

Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains a list of questions frequently asked by students.  Please review these frequently asked questions.

Who is my advisor?

Each student is assigned a faculty advisor upon admission to the Criminal Justice program. Advisors help students with academic planning and some aspects of career planning on an informal, individualized basis. It is the student's responsibility to arrange for conferences with their advisors, and to follow University and Department procedures and policies. You can determine who your advisor is by logging onto MyWCU and reviewing your advisor's information.  A list of academic advisors and their assigned case load is posted on the department bulletin board outside the department office in Ruby Jones 200.

When should I meet with my advisor?

You should meet with your advisor at least two weeks before scheduling for upcoming semesters and when you have any concerns about your educational career.  While meeting with an advisor is not required, prior to scheduling, it will help you keep on track and ensure that you take the correct courses at the right time to prepare for Practicum and graduation.  You may meet your advisor during his or her office hours.  Some professors require that you make an appointment with them prior to the meeting.  You should come to advisement prepared by visiting the Criminal Justice Department office and obtaining your program record before you see your advisor.  Your advisor needs your official record to properly advise you and track your progress through the program.

When are my advisors'/professors' office hours?

All faculty members are required to hold office hours.  The number of office hours depends on the number of courses they teach. Most faculty members will list their office hours on the class syllabus, others will additionally post office hours on the classroom Internet site (D2L). Office hours are posted on the bulletin board just outside the Criminal Justice Department office in Ruby Jones 200.

What is the Department of Criminal Justice Code of Conduct?

The field of Criminal Justice is multidisciplinary. Professionals work as law enforcement officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, probation/parole officers, counselors, managers, administrators, researchers, planners, corrections officers and more. In each case, the quality of our work affects the lives of many individuals, and impacts societal mores and the effectiveness of the justice system. Accordingly, criminal justice professionals must have the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Therefore, each student entering the major must sign on to a Department Code of Conduct. It is a statement of philosophy which reflects the standards to which all criminal justice professionals should enthusiastically adhere.  Our Code of Conduct can be found here.

How do I apply for graduation?

Students must apply for graduation the semester before they are eligible to graduate.  To determine your graduate application timeline, visit the registrar's office page here.  Once you establish your application timetable, you may apply through MyWCU.

Are there any CJ clubs or organizations I can join?

The criminal justice has two student-run organizations, Criminal Justice Club (Sigma Tau Omicron) and the Honor Society (Nu Beta).  Click on the links to find out about each organization. In addition to the two student-run organizations, the department will be hosting a new program called Teamfit.  More information on Teamfit is forthcoming.

Students are encouraged to get involved in any of the other organizations on campus. A list of organizations can be found here.

Students & Alum

  • “West Chester University's Criminal Justice Department gave me the skills and confidence I needed in order to perform as a Police Officer. The courses, practicum, professors and staff were each an integral part of the preparation I needed to help me gain full time employment in the criminal justice field.” - Officer Nathan P. Kutz, Badge #8306, Ocean City Police Department, Maryland

  • "The West Chester University Criminal Justice Department delivers an uncompromising level of excellence and dedication, providing students with the edge needed to compete in today's difficult job market." - Paul Iffrig (Class of 2013) and President of the Criminal Justice Club

  • Brandon Oyama (Class of 2014) is a junior at WCU. He transfered to WCU from Green River Community College in Washington State and is a member of the Men's Tennis Team. He is looking forward to completing his practicum this summer with the Pierce County Juvenile Court in his home state. Brandon states, "WCU was a good choice for me. The faculty are helpful, the courses are interesting and relevant to my future occupation."

  • Mary-Elizabeth Keeney (Class of 2013) is the current president of the Criminal Justice Honor Society and a Fast-Track student. Mary-Elizabeth completed her practicum with the Department of Homeland Security and is looking forward to graduating with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. As a Fast-Track student, she will earn her Master's Degree in 2014.