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


B.S. Criminal Justice Program (Philadelphia)

West Chester University B.S. in Criminal Justice in Philadelphia. 701 Market Street, Concourse Level

West Chester University's Department of Criminal Justice offers a quality undergraduate degree program to qualified students who wish to earn a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.  We now offer a 4-year degree program as well as a degree completion program.


West Chester University in Philadelphia




Advantages of the B.S. Criminal Justice Program (Philadelphia)

Female student holding book.  Out of focus background.
  • Lowest tuition in the region
  • Convenient Center City location (see below for address)
  • Quality degree completion program for those aspiring to criminal justice careers
  • Required Practicum provides students with work experience in the discipline prior to graduation
  • Course instruction by faculty with advanced degrees in the discipline and practical experience in the field
  • WCU is in the Top 100 Kiplinger's Best Buys in Higher education (click on Kiplinger's Best on the left)

Convenient Location

Philadelphia Multi-University Center (PMUC)

Concourse Level

701 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19106

(267) 386-3001

Admission Requirements

  • A minimum grade point average of 2.5 with college-level writing skills
  • A strong commitment to impeccable standards of integrity and ethics

Criminal Justice Program Requirements

  • Successfully complete a minimum of 30 credits of upper division criminal justice courses
  • Earn a minimum grade point average of 2.5 in all criminal justice courses
  • Earn a minimum grade of C in all criminal justice courses

Course Requirements

Required courses (21 credits)

  • Criminal Law (3 credits)
  • Criminal Justice Research (3 credits)
  • Criminal Procedure (3 credits)
  • Criminal Justice Practicum (12 credits)

Criminal justice electives (minimum of 9 credits):

  • Organize Crime (3 credits)
  • White Collar Crime (3 credits)
  • Terrorism (3 credits)
  • Victimology (3 credits)
  • Animal Cruelty (3 credits)
  • Gender, Crime & Justice (3 credits)
  • Environmental Crime (3 credits)
  • Computer Crime (3 credits)
  • Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice (3 credits)
  • Interviewing & Assessing the Offender (3 credits)
  • Cutting-edge Topical Seminars (3 credits)

Degree Requirements

  • Successfully complete 120 credits of college-level courses
  • Overall minimum grade point average of 2.0
  • A minimum of 30 credits taken at West Chester University in Philadelphia

Criminal Justice Practicum (12 Credit)

All Criminal Justice students are required to work full time (37.5 hours per week) for twelve continuous weeks for an approved criminal justice agency. Over 600 federal, state, municipal, and local agencies (public and private) have been approved by the Department for Practicum students.  In addition to full time work commitment, students are also required to write several quality research papers to meet course requirements.  This course is offered only in the summer.  For more information on our Practicum program, click on the Practicum link on the left.

Benefits of the Criminal Justice Practicum

  • Gain practical work experience in the discipline prior to graduation
  • Begin networking in the field
  • Learn to apply concepts acquired in the classroom
  • Establish competency in specialized areas of the discipline
  • Acquire letters of reference from established practitioners
  • Learn of position openings in advance of publication

Approved Criminal Justice Agencies

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • United States Marshal's Office
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office
  • Philadelphia District Attorney's Office
  • Philadelphia Public Defender's Office
  • Various regional police departments
  • Private investigation firms
  • Einstein Health Network
  • Juvenile probation and treatment facilities
  • Victims' services

Admission Requirements

Individuals wishing to pursue the B.S in Criminal Justice at the Philadelphia location must apply and be accepted as a West Chester University Student. Regular admission requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5.

For more information on the B.S. in Criminal Justice Program, contact:

Dr. Mary Brewster, Chair

Department of Criminal Justice

West Chester University

(610) 436-2647



To start the WCU application process visit, Click on "Apply Now" and follow the directions. There is a $50 application fee.



Master of Science in Criminal Justice (Philadelphia)

West Chester University M.S. in Criminal Justice in Philadelphia. 701 Market Street, Concourse Level West Chester University’s Criminal Justice Department is now offering our Master of Science degree program at our convenient center Philadelphia location. Designed specifically for working professionals, this Master’s Degree program provides a great opportunity to achieve an advanced degree at the most affordable price in the region. Courses are taught by highly respected and seasoned professionals in the field. You will be learning from the very best.

The new West Chester University Philadelphia site is located at 701 Market Street (the Mellon Independence Center). It doesn’t get more convenient than that. The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) has developed the site as the Philadelphia Multi-University Center. West Chester University is the cornerstone institution at that location.

West Chester University in Philadelphia

Benefits of the M.S. in Criminal Justice

The Bachelor of Science may get you in the door, but you’ll need more to advance in the field. Most criminal justice agencies encourage and reward post-graduate degrees through promotion to higher ranks and with increased salaries. Some agencies provide educational incentives and tuition reimbursement. The best agencies recognize that this is a fast-changing discipline, and keeping abreast of the latest developments can be a challenge. Earning a Master’s Degree is a great way to keep up and stay contemporary. Some applicants may also be considering a teaching career with public or private universities, technical institutions, community colleges and police academies. A Master’s Degree will qualify professionals to work in adjunct teaching positions or in full-time positions after retirement.

Program Highlights


The Department of Criminal Justice of West Chester University is one of the oldest and most respected in the region. As other institutions compromise quality for quantity, we have steadfastly adhered to providing the highest quality education possible. Successful students possess academic credentials that are highly respected by professional criminal justice agencies. Students gain a wealth of information, and are energized by our classes. Our courses are taught by individuals who have significant experience in the subject matter. Quite simply, our students learn from the best.


The Master’s Degree program is a 30-credit program. Students take ten 3-credit courses (five required courses and five electives). We offer a variety of courses that are generally tailored to the interests and needs of working professionals who are seeking skills that are directly applicable to their careers.


Students may attend courses at our Philadelphia location. It is conveniently located at 701 Market Street, within walking distance of many center city criminal justice agencies. Our classes are offered in the evening to accommodate working professionals. There’s even a food court so you can grab dinner before class. Students may also attend classes at our West Chester campus.


If you’re not quite sure you’re ready to commit to the program, students may enroll in one or two courses as a non-degree student. The non-degree application is a simple online endeavor. Most students are “hooked” and then decide to apply for full admission to the University.


As a state-supported institution of higher education, West Chester University offers courses at the lowest cost in the region. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance rated West Chester University as one of the top 100 Best Buys in Public Colleges. Students who enroll in courses at our Philadelphia location will receive a 10% tuition discount (through 2014). The cost of a three-credit course (tuition and fees) is $1602.15. By comparison, St. Joseph’s University’s cost for a three-credit course is $2,256 ($1692 with the Philadelphia law enforcement discount). 


Admission Requirements and Application Process

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master’s Degree program requires successful completion of an undergraduate degree with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Provisional admission requires a minimum grade point average of 2.8.

Application Process

The online application process is easy and convenient. Visit and click on “Apply Now”. There is a $50 application fee.

The application requires the submission of official undergraduate transcripts, and the names and email addresses of two individuals who will recommend you for the program. College Net sends a simple electronic form to your references (no lengthy letters required). We generally waive the MAT for our applicants. After submitting your online application, contact Dr. Jane M. Tucker ( or (610) 436-2638 for the waiver.

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Contact Dr. Jane M. Tucker at or (610) 436-2638 for prompt and individualized assistance. We welcome you to our program!