West Chester University's Department of Criminal Justice offers its students an opportunity that is unique among undergraduate programs. Our students are required to work full-time over one summer in an approved criminal justice agency. Criminal justice is an applied discipline making the advantages of such a program numerous. Students

  • gain valuable full-time work experience in the field of criminal justice
  • work at the federal, state, or local government level or at private agencies
  • apply knowledge gained in the classroom in a real-world setting
  • learn practical skills to prepare for a career in the profession
  • develop relationships and connections with professionals working in the field
  • receive job offers and/or earn recommendations from agency supervisors and colleagues
  • learn about job openings at agencies before they are announced to the general public
  • earn twelve academic credits toward graduation

We currently maintain a database of over 600 local, state, federal, and private organizations where are students are gladly accepted for summer practicum. Access the Criminal Justice Practicum database here (username and password required).

  • West Goshen PD
  • Longwood Gardens
  • CID 2019
  • Delaware County Adult Probation 2019

What do students think of the practicum experience?

"This was an extraordinary experience and a wonderful grand finale to my undergraduate education. It offers a real insiders view of the system."

"This has been the best class/experience of my whole college career. It is why I chose WCU over other schools."

"I chose West Chester's Department of Criminal Justice specifically because of its practicum program, and I'm so glad I did.  I would recommend this experience to every student."

What do practicum agency supervisors think of the practicum program and WCU students?

"Your students are very well-prepared for this work.  They had an excellent sense of the issues related to our agency, and a mature and respectful attitude. I was impressed by how engaged and motivated these students were."

"The practicum program at the Department of Criminal Justice is a win-win as far as we are concerned.  The student has the opportunity to gain real-world experience, and the agency has the advantage of assistance from well-educated and enthusiastic students."