Are you a leader with a desire to help others?

In a nation that faces many complex challenges, from human trafficking and cybercrime to gang violence and the drug epidemic, criminal justice practitioners need to be equipped with specialized intelligence and skills to fight 21st century crime and ensure that justice is served.

Alvernia University’s Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration prepares students with the education required to enter careers in enforcement, investigation, social services, law, victim services and other related professions. Experiential learning enriches the curriculum, providing students many opportunities to work in the field.

Taught by practicing professionals in law enforcement and professors with backgrounds in the FBI and as government consultants, the program at Alvernia offers current practices and timely information to its students.

Getting Started

Where You Can Get A Degree

The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration program is available at the following Alvernia University campuses:

Application Instructions

Through a rolling admission process, prospective students may apply to Alvernia at any time. Multiple start dates throughout the year allow accepted students to begin a program of study at an accommodating time. We continually review applications and accept students for each of the six term starts (August, October, February, March, May, and July).

Keeping on track is important throughout the process. We encourage you to work with an admission team member to submit all materials and meet all deadlines. Our dedicated team will work directly with you to identify the best options that work for you and your unique situation.

Once your application is complete, you will not have to wait long for a decision. We continually review applications and notify students as soon as a decision has been made.

To get started, visit our Adult Education Application page for a list of instructions and documents needed.

Financing Your Education

There are options to assist in financing your education and making the tuition affordable. Visit our financial aid page for a detailed overview of the process, including a link to complete the FAFSA application, as well as more information about the tuition payment plan and the tuition deferment program we offer. Alvernia’s Title IV code for the FAFSA is 003233. The Office of Student Financial Services is available to help with any questions you may have. Call 610-796-8201 or email

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Adult student
Why Alvernia?
• Alvernia University is a nationally ranked comprehensive regional university that has been a leader in adult education for over 35 years.
• Flexible scheduling with evening classes and in-person, hybrid and online formats meets the needs of the busy adult learner.
• Programs are offered at a growing number of convenient locations in Reading, Pottsville, and Philadelphia.
• With world-class facilities and resources and a dedicated advisor team to help you balance your studies, family, financial and work demands, Alvernia is the ideal choice for your personal and educational comeback.

Program Overview


Liberal Arts Core (54/55 credits)*
General Elective Requirements (as needed)**

Criminal Justice Administration Major Requirements (48 Credits):

  • CJ 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CJ 175 Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation
  • CJ 201 Criminal Law
  • CJ 216 Women & the Criminal Justice System -OR- CJ 218 Multicultural Issues in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 221 Research Methods I for CJ
  • CJ 272 Probation and Parole -OR- CJ 274 Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • CJ 275 Criminology
  • CJ 301 Organized Crime -OR- CJ 309 White Collar Crime
  • CJ 302 Judicial Process and Procedures
  • CJ 377 Juvenile Justice System
  • CJ 379 Ethics in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 403 Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 408 CJS Agency Practicum (6 credits)
  • CJ 422 Crisis Management
  • CJ Approved Electives (3 credits)


*Students entering the program with 70+ credits or an associates degree must complete 30/31 Liberal Arts Core credits.

**A total of 123 credits including 3 credits in a human diversity course are required to complete a Bachelor’s degree. To adhere to Franciscan Values, community service hours are also required. In addition, at least 30 credits at the 300/400 level must be taken at Alvernia University.


Experiential Learning Opportunities
  • Opportunity to attend the Reading Police Academy.
  • Internships: fraud investigations; federal, state and local law enforcement; probation and parole; juvenile institutions, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; Berks County District Attorney's Office Victim/Witness Program, government policy agencies.
  • Trips to the FBI Academy, the FBI Headquarters and Museum, PA State Police Academy, crime labs, National Law Enforcement Museum, local jails.
  • The Criminal Justice Association of Alvernia University is made up of criminal justice majors, forensic science majors and other students interested in the criminal justice field. The club focuses on all aspects of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, probation and parole, the court system, corrections, victims and forensic science. In addition to meeting regularly, the club engages in various community activities and service projects, organizes trips, and brings in outside speakers.
Program Accreditation
Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the range of jobs available with a bachelor’s degree in finance is projected to grow up to 17 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than average for all occupations. The median annual wage in those professions in 2021 ranged from $80,000 to $179,000.

  • Financial analysis
  • Banking
  • Insurance or investments
  • Financial planner 
  • Wealth management advisor 
  • Commercial real estate agent
  • Risk or financial project manager
  • Credit card officer
  • Underwriter
  • Broker of stocks, bonds and commodities
  • Positions at the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department or Internal Revenue Service
mike lanza criminal justice
Criminal Justice major connects with community
Michael Lanza '22 has always wanted to work in law enforcement. After shadowing with the Berks County Sheriff's Department, an experience made possible through Alvernia's Criminal Justice Program, his career plans are taking shape.