Skip to main content
Jump to Footer

Minor & Certificate Programs

Given the growth and prominence of the criminal justice system, criminal justice has permeated many facets of society.  As such, it is beneficial for individuals working in a wide array of careers to have some knowledge of crime, victimization, and/or the justice system.  Though criminal justice may not be your central area of academic or career interest, there are still options available to allow you gain some understanding of crime and victimization that can be applied to your chosen field.  The Criminal Justice Minor and Certificate in Victimology and Victim Services allows students  to participate in a course of study that can be woven into many other major programs.

Who is a Minor in Criminal Justice Right For?         

Anyone who is interested in learning more about why some people commit crime, while others don't.  Anyone who wants to know more about the process by which society responds to crime and how we help victims. Or, just anyone who has their heart set on a career helping people.  If this sounds like you, then the CRJ Minor may be right for you!

Who Can Minor in Criminal Justice?          

Students who are currently completing another major may minor in criminal justice.  Criminal justice courses often complement courses taken in other majors, including psychology, political science, sociology, and chemistry.  In order to declare the CRJ minor, students must complete the major/minor declaration form located on the registrar's website.  You can access the form through your MyShip Portal.  In order to be accepted into the minor, students must have at least a 2.5 GPA.  Given the high demand on the Criminal Justice Department, there are a limited number of spaces available within the criminal justice minor.  Further, students interested in minoring in criminal justice must declare within the first three weeks of the semester.

What are the Criminal Justice Minor Requirements?          

To complete the minor in criminal justice, students must take 18 credit hours of criminal justice courses, passing each course with a "C" or higher. Students are required to complete 4 core courses and 2 elective courses. In order to review the required courses, please see the Criminal Justice Minor Planning Sheet below.

Criminal Justice Minor Planning Sheet

With every criminal event there are two main parties involved - the offender and the victim.  However, much of the criminal justice system and the field of criminology focus predominantly on the offender.  As a result, this leaves many students with very little knowledge of how crime impacts those who experience it.  Why are some people more likely to become victimized?  What type of impact does victimization have?  What does our system do to help crime victims.  In order to help shed light on these and many other questions, students have the opportunity to engage in a field of study that focuses specifically on victimization by participating in the Certificate in Victimology and Victims Services (VVS) program.   

What is the Victimology & Victim Services Certificate Program?      

The VVS Certificate program includes a series of classes that provide students with specialized knowledge of victimology, victim issues, and the systemic responses to victims.  Students will gain the background necessary to better understand causes, impact, and treatment of victimization. Completion of the certificate program will better prepare students for careers that directly involve working with crime victims, including careers in criminal justice, social work, teaching, counseling, and many other human service fields.

Who Can Participate in the Certificate Program?       

All undergraduates have the opportunity to participate in the VVS Certificate program, including criminal justice majors.  In order to declare the VVS Certificate, students must complete the major/minor declaration form located on the registrar's website.  You can access the form by clicking here.  Given the high demand, there are limited spaces available within the certificate program.  

What are the Requirements for the Certificate Program?

The VVS Certificate program consists of 12 credit hours of victimology-related coursework, passing each course with a "C" or higher.  Students are required to complete CRJ 326: Victimology - The Victim and the Law, CRJ 469: Victim Treatment & Services, and two other CRJ victimology-focused elective courses.  Criminal Justice students who declare the certificate must first complete CRJ 309: Theories of Crime & Crime Control before beginning the certificate courses.  In order to review the course options, please see the Victimology & Victim Services Certificate Planning Sheet below.  

VVS Certificate Planning Sheet 

Completing a minor could both enhance a student's educational experience, as well as make them more marketable upon graduation. There are numerous minors that complement the criminal justice major. The selection of a minor should be based your career plans upon graduation.  Depending on your career trajectory, certain minors may be beneficial than others. For advice on which minor may be best for you, please contact your academic advisor.

Common Minors

Contact the Criminal Justice Department 321 Shippen Hall, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1558 Fax: (717) 477-4087