Abington police intern

Focus On: Criminal Justice

Criminology research, internships, study abroad, and learning from faculty experts prepare criminal justice majors for a broad variety of career options.
By: Regina Broscius
Penn State Abington student Brian Moore's internship with the local police department changed him: "It made me think more like a police officer."

"The internship made me look at policing in a different, more realistic way," Moore said of the 12-week program, where he learned the intricacies of policing and networked with officers. 

The Abington Township Police Department rotates interns through multiple units exposing them to a range of police work. According to Moore, riding along with one patrol officer inspired him to consider his own leap from student to a career in criminal justice.

"I rode on patrol with a newer officer," he said. "We talked about his transition to policing. I got the perspective of someone going through what I will experience."

Moore completed a stint in community policing working with a commander who is also an criminal justice instructor at Abington. While assigned to that unit, Moore led the interns and worked closely with the police chief on a project. 

Moore first connected with the township police through Lisa Morris, a senior instructor of criminal justice who encouraged students to enroll in the department's Citizens Police Academy. Moore signed up and explored SWAT, accident investigation, use of force, and crime scene processing among other police functions. 

Moore said his college experiences including study in England with Morris, managing academics, a job, and volunteering prepared him for a high-pressure career in policing. 

Global studies Abington

Penn State Abington students traveled to New Bucks University outside of London to compare and contrast the justice systems in the United States and England.

Credit: Penn State

Criminal Justice in England

Abington students enrolled in CRIMJ499 focus on a body of scholarship addressing critical issues, policies, and complexities of the criminal justice systems in the United States and the United Kingdom. And what better way to compare and contrast the two than traveling to England for one week and experiencing it for themselves?

Lisa Morris, senior instructor in criminal justice, has taught this global programs course for several years and has strong relationships with her colleagues in England. As a result, Morris' students benefit from established connections. 

Arianna Adrian

Arianna Adrian focused her undergraduate research project on the link between maternal depression and problem behaviors in teens. She collaborated with a faculty mentor.

Credit: Dan Z. Johnson Photography


Criminal justice majors participate in the thriving undergraduate research community at Abington, also known as ACURA. They work closely with faculty to research different aspects of criminal justice including the opioid epidemic in the region. 


Inside the Criminal Justice Program

The Criminal Justice program at Penn State Abington offers a broad education that is designed to teach the dynamics and functions of the American criminal justice system.

You will learn research methods for investigating issues that can help prepare you for careers with the justice system. Additionally, the program fosters skills in oral and written communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and policy analysis.

Academic Options

Abington offers both bachelor of arts (B.A.) and bachelor of science (B.S.) degrees in Criminal Justice.

The B.A. program offers diverse coursework to examine criminal justice foundations and practices, and includes foreign language study.

The B.S. degree includes skills enhancement courses, which are often used in pursuing a minor.