"The criminal justice degree offers many opportunities for success, including a variety of courses that will help you gain more knowledge on a specific field you are interested in, and the opportunity to develop connections with different criminal justice professionals. Professor Dreisbach has helped me find job opportunities that will allow me to reach my career goals. She’s willing to find and reach out to different professionals in careers you are interested in to help you get that connection."
“Criminal justice is a great degree to pursue for many reasons. The professors are extremely knowledgeable of the material and most of them have hands-on experience within the criminal justice field. This allows students to gather better insights on what area of the criminal justice system they would like to pursue. The program also gets students out of the classroom as often as possible, since the best way to learn about the criminal justice system is to get out in the field and meet professionals from a wide variety of agencies. We took several field trips, including visits to a prison, courthouses, and Washington, D.C., where we toured the FBI building. And each student completes an internship, which is a great way for students to make connections and ‘get their foot in the door.’”
Chase Schlappich ’20
“The Penn State criminal justice curriculum is built with the future criminal justice professional in mind. It is crafted with high expectations and extensive learning opportunities that prepare you for the professional world after you graduate. The coursework is complemented by experienced educators like Professor Dreisbach, who enhance the students’ ability to learn.”
Andrew Vance ’22
“Being a criminal justice student at Penn State was hands down the best experience of my life. There were so many rewarding classes offered as part of the program. My favorite by far was Drug Policy because the class included a study abroad trip to the Netherlands, where we were able to see firsthand how drug policies impact society. Additional trips to Graterford Prison and SCI Phoenix in conjunction with our Corrections class were enlightening because we were able to compare a prison that was built in 1929 to one that was built in our lifetime. After those trips, we toured Eastern State Penitentiary and realized how far criminal justice reform has come and how much further we must go. Above all else, the program opened my eyes to the world in ways I never thought possible.”
Kevin Nyce ’20
“The courses in the criminal justice program are so immersive and interactive. Classes such as Juvenile Justice System and Courts Processes and Procedure often have students visit a local court, which gives students the opportunity to see the court proceedings up close and in real time. Other courses such as Violent Crime and Organized Crime break with traditional expectations and allow the student to step into a specific faction of criminal justice and take an in-depth look at aspects of the major that most people wouldn’t expect. The Organized Crime class even allows students to travel to Palermo, Sicily, and receive instruction from Italian professors who specialize in the criminal history of the Italian Mafia. But the best part of the program are the professors – every single one is a subject matter expert with decades of experience. They were all very influential and crucial to my success.”
Carlos Luciano Jr.
“The criminal justice program set me up for the successful career I have had so far -- I’m currently a Gastonia, North Carolina, police officer and part of the department’s specialized mobile field force. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of Professor Dreisbach, who advised me throughout my college adventure. I loved the program because I was honored to have professors like her who had prior experience in the jobs that I was looking at. Professor Dreisbach was able to guide me towards my ultimate goals because she and all of the other professors actually listened to what my goals were and continued to guide me in the direction I needed. Take it from me, it is an excellent program.”
Madison Sanders ’18