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

Criminal Justice Honor Society (Nu Beta)

  • Student Mary Elizabeth Keeney presents a poster on Prioritization and Bystander Behavior.
  • Student Elizabeth Heagen presents a poster on Team Based Learning in the Criminal Justice Classroom.
  • The Honor Society sponsored an educational trip to Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 27th to visit the Museum of Crime and Punishment and the Law Enforcement Memorial.


Alpha Phi Sigma is the National Criminal Justice Honor Society. Alpha Phi Sigma honors and promotes excellence, service, leadership and integrity.  Membership in Alpha Phi Sigma meets one of the requirements for entrance at the GS-7 level in numerous professional and technical occupations in the United States government.  Membership in Alpha Phi Sigma provides recognition, awards, educational opportunities, graduate school preparation, conferences, feeling of community, networking, and graduation with honors.  The criminal justice department at West Chester University houses the Nu Beta Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma. Nu Beta members participate in a number of educational and social activities throughout the semester, including field trips, research presentations at regional and national conferences, and charitable events. Dr. Jane M. Tucker serves as the faculty advisor for Nu Beta.

Undergraduate membership requirements:

  • Must be a criminal justice major or minor
  • Must have completed 45 credits (including at least four CRJ courses)
  • Must have completed at least four criminal justice courses
  • Minimum overall and CRJ grade point average of 3.2 or higher

Graduate membership requirements:

  • Must be a graduate student in the criminal justice program
  • Must have completed at least four criminal justice courses (3/4 may be from undergraduate work)
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.4 or higher

Students are encourage to participate in both the National Criminal Justice Honor Society and our local chapter.  Membership in the national organization is considered a lifetime membership.  More information and the application for the National Criminal Justice Society can be found at the Alpha Phi Sigma website.  All applicants must be approved by Dr. Tucker, do not remit any money with the application until approved.

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.