Skip to main content

Criminal Justice, Bachelor's


How will you protect and serve your community? Discover the career possibilities available with a degree in criminal justice.

What makes DeSales different? Here you’ll receive:

  • Hands-on training in state-of-the-art professional forensic software in our new digital forensics laboratory
  • The ability to earn your bachelor's AND master's degrees in just 5 years
  • The chance to earn your bachelor’s degree AND your Act 120 police academy training in 4 years
  • Internship opportunities created specifically for DeSales students in the local coroner's office, the Lehigh Valley Digital Forensics Laboratory, the Regional Intelligence and Investigation Center, local police departments, court systems, probation and correction departments, and many more
  • Practical instruction from academics and practitioners from all segments of the criminal justice field as well as specialty hands-on classes like criminal investigation in our crime scene house

DeSales Criminal Justice Simulation

At DeSales, the Criminal Justice program provides a comprehensive education that will prepare you for both graduate school and a career in law enforcement, digital forensics, the courts, corrections, and offender rehabilitation.

Admissions Requirements

At DeSales, we not only look at your past academic achievement but also your potential for future growth to determine your admission.

We find that students who have demonstrated significant achievement within a demanding curriculum are best suited for academic life at DeSales. Quality of academic performance plays a critical role in the admissions decision making process. This helps indicate a student's potential for academic growth going forward. We welcome applications from all qualified students regardless of race, religion, sex, national, or ethnic origin.

Application Checklist

  • Application Fee: None
  • Transcripts: Official High School Transcript
  • Standardized Tests: Test-optional for students applying for Fall 2022*
  • Recommendations: Completed Guidance Counselor Form and Teacher Recommendation Form
  • Please refer to the Program Specific Requirements section for any requirements specific to this program

All materials can be mailed to:
DeSales University Admissions Office
2755 Station Ave.
Center Valley, PA 

* SAT scores are highly recommended for students applying for the Nursing and Health Science programs. Please refer to the Program Specific Requirements section for any requirements specific to this program.

Additional recommendations

High School Academics - Remember, there is no single preferred high school academic program, but a college preparatory course of study is highly recommended. Here's an example:

  • Four years of English
  • Three or four years of college preparatory mathematics
  • A minimum of two years of modern, foreign, or classical language
  • At least two laboratory science courses

Visiting DeSales - A personal, on-campus interview is strongly recommended, but is not required. We encourage you to visit so that you'll have a chance to learn more about DeSales, and we'll have the opportunity to learn more about you, too.

Learn more about Undergraduate Admissions & Aid 

When to Apply

We encourage you to apply early in your senior year. We use a rolling admissions system, which means you will be notified promptly about your admissions status—usually within four weeks of our receipt of your completed application.

Priority deadline for scholarship consideration is December 1 of your senior year.


What path do you want to pursue? At DeSales, you'll have the opportunity to choose an area of focus within the criminal justice major.

Criminal Justice-Digital Forensics

Enhance your criminal justice degree with a specialization in digital forensics. Learn how to investigate cybercrime using the latest technology. Courses provide information on how law enforcement agencies and lab experts at the local, state, and federal levels are trained to collect and analyze digital evidence. You'll receive hands-on experience with industry-accepted forensic tools.

Criminal Justice-Intelligence

If you have an interest in collecting and analyzing intelligence information to fight foreign and domestic terrorism, choose this track. You'll learn how to collect and decipher information that aids in preventing and solving crimes. You'll be taught from industry-trained faculty about relevant issues affecting national security and learn about counter terrorism efforts.

Criminal Justice-Pre Law

The pre-law track in the criminal justice program at DeSales was designed to prepare students with a foundation of the law prior to pursuing graduate school. Ideally a framework for law school with a focus in criminal law, the track includes course topics in constitutional law, ethics, and criminal procedures.

Criminal Justice-Rehabilitation

This track within the criminal justice major is designed for students who plan to pursue a career in the treatment and rehabilitation of offenders. The program helps to develop critical thinkers who are trained in areas of psychology and criminal justice to impact change in career paths related to helping inmates, parolees, juveniles, addicts, and families.

Academic Catalog

Graduation Requirements

Criminal Justice Honor Society

The National Criminal Justice Honor Society at DeSales University is a chapter named Lambda Eta of Alpha Phi Sigma. Students from traditional day, adult/accelerated, and graduate studies who have the academic requirements are welcome to join.

Learn more at Alpha Phi Sigma's website

Careers & Internships

Internships provide a real-world glimpse into the criminal justice system. 

Once you've learned the basic tenets of the criminal justice system, obtaining an internship is a great way for what you've learned to come to life. DeSales' students will have many opportunities to complete internships throughout their time at DeSales. These experiences will help shape your career interests and guide specialization within your major.

The following are some of the internship possibilities:

  • Lehigh County Digital Forensics Laboratory
  • Regional Intelligence and Information Center
  • Allentown Police Department
  • Bethlehem Police Department
  • Emmaus Police Department
  • Salisbury Police Department
  • New Jersey State Police
  • Lehigh County Adult Probation
  • Lehigh County Juvenile Probation
  • Bucks County Juvenile Probation
  • Lehigh County Prison
  • Consumer Protection
  • KidsPeace
  • Lehigh County District Attorney
  • Lehigh County Pre-trial Services
  • Pennsylvania State Attorney General's Office
  • Montgomery County Pennsylvania District Attorney's Office
  • Northampton County District Attorney
  • Northampton County Prison
  • United States Attorney's -EDPA
  • Law Offices in the Lehigh Valley area
  • Valley Youth House
  • Weaversville ITU

Tuition & Fees

DeSales can help make your college expenses affordable through a combination of grants, loans, student employment, and scholarship resources.

Cost of attendance for undergrads for 2022-2023

Resident Students

Direct Costs Tuition - $41,100

Room and Board - $13,500
Mandatory Fees - $1,500
One-time Orientation Fee for First-Year students and Transfers - $200
Total = $56,300 (including first-year/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,468
Personal Expenses - $3,706
Total cost for resident students: $61,474

Commuter Students

Direct Costs
Tuition - $41,100
Mandatory Fees - $1,300
One-time Orientation Fee for First-Year students and Transfers - $200
Total = $42,600 (including first-year/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,468
Personal Expenses - $3,706
Transportation Costs - $2,138
Total cost for commuter students: $49,912


Direct Costs
Tuition - $41,100
Mandatory Fees - $1,300
One-time Orientation Fee for First-Year students and Transfers - $200
Total = $42,600 (including first-year/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,468
Personal Expenses - $3,706
Transportation Costs - $2,138
Living Expenses - $7,870
Total cost for off-campus students: $57,782
*First-year students are required to reside on campus or commute from home.

Parking Fee - $75


Dual Degree Undergraduate-to-Graduate Programs

If you are enrolled in an undergraduate-to-graduate degree program — for example a 5-year, 3+2, 3+3, program — the undergraduate tuition and fees apply only to the undergraduate portion of the program. As you progress into the graduate phase of your program, graduate tuition and fees apply. Please see your respective graduate program for more information. 

The financial aid process may appear overwhelming at first glance, but don't worry, we'll help you through it.

Accepted students are automatically be considered for scholarships upon receipt of a completed application and are awarded regardless of financial need. Funds for scholarships are limited, so we do encourage students to apply early.

Our comprehensive financial aid packages carefully explain the types and amounts of assistance —including federal, state, and institutional — that you may be eligible for to help cover education related expenses.

Total cost of attendance includes estimates for tuition, fees, room, board, books, and personal, transportation, and living expenses.

You can estimate your total cost of attendance with our Net Price Calculator

Devon Campbell '13, M'14 - DeSales Master of Criminal Justice

The opportunity that I had here at DeSales to be working in the field was really nothing like people had ever seen... what I was learning academically really translated into the field that I wanted to go into.

— Devon Campbell '13, M'14 , Digital Forensic Analyst, Lehigh County District Attorney's Office

Crime House on Taylor Drive @Desales

Crime Scene House

In a sleepy stone house on a quiet, rural street just South of campus, DeSales social science students are about to walk into a murder scene. Or a terrorist threat. Or a national disaster ...


Investigate the Crime Scene House

Student Associations

The Criminal Justice Association (CJA) is a student organization open to all majors which focuses on networking, hosting, and attending events related to the criminal justice field. Highlights include distinguished speakers from all sectors of the criminal justice, tours of Allentown Police Academy, crime scene simulations, and an annual spring trip to cities like Philadelphia and Washington D.C. to enjoy criminal justice-related attractions and education.

Learn More about CJA

The American Criminal Justice Association (ACJA)  is a national professional society. The DeSales chapter of ACJA is open to all students enrolled in a criminal justice course, and provides opportunities for networking, training, and continued education in criminal justice. Each year, there is a regional and a national conference where students from around the country meet to enjoy workshops and speakers, compete in crime scene, written exams, physical agility, and shooting competitions as well as network with other students and professionals. 

Learn more about ACJA



DeSales Criminal Justice Association
Act 120 Police Training

Act 120 Police Academy Training

DeSales is proud to team up with the Allentown Police Academy to provide basic training for aspiring police officers. Students enter the academy as a part of the spring semester of their senior year. The cost for the academy is included in your regular spring tuition.

Learn more about Act 120 Police Academy

Contact Us

Undergraduate Admissions