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Hendon Publishing

California University of Pennsylvania

Located in California, Pa., the California University of Pennsylvania (CALU) offers online undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs of particular interest to law enforcement and homeland security students.



The university’s Bachelor of Science Technology degree in Legal Studies degree is for students who possess an Associate degree or who have completed an equivalent amount of credit hours. The program is Web-based to accommodate the job, family and time demands many students face.

A relatively new degree program at the school, the curriculum focuses on constitutional, criminal, family, real estate, administrative, probate, elder, and labor law; legal research and writing; conflict resolution; and ethics. The broad base of courses makes it practical for the variety of career options that are directly or indirectly related to law.

The Master of Arts in Social Science in Applied Criminology includes analysis of crime, geographical profiling, and legal, sociological, psychological and criminological perspectives of the judicial and police processes. The program is cohort based, meaning students start together in a fall semester and take all the required courses as one group until they finish the program.

The curriculum includes coursework in theory, research methods, analysis, ethics, legal aspects of criminology, plus thesis research, internship or studies abroad. The program is open to those who have a 3.0 or better GPA from their undergraduate work. The school’s Master of Arts in Social Science has an emphasis on Forensic Linguistics. It is the first of its kind in the US and includes studies in offender profiles, threat and risk analysis, authorship analysis and authentication, sociological analysis and socio-linguistics.

A Master of Science degree is offered in Criminal Justice, in which students pursue studies in law, public policy, ethics, civil liberties, constitutional law, legal methods, financial investigation, criminal justice organization and management, justice studies, executive protection, lie detection, homeland security/terrorism, biological/chemical/nuclear threat, intelligence, forensics and thesis research.

A Master of Science with emphasis on Homeland Security includes study in law, terrorism, threat and vulnerability analysis and protection, litigation, corrections, police processes, forensics, environmental law, business law, and thesis research.

A Master of Science in legal studies centers on law and public policy concerns, and includes coursework in ethics, the constitution, legal methods, corrections, litigation, international law, forensics, the environment, business, and other public policy aspects of research and theory. Thesis research is also included.

CALU offers a certificate program in Spanish for law enforcement and correctional officers, and security personnel. The program requires four courses in accelerated 8-week sessions within a regular 16-week semester. In this way, a student is able to complete the entire certificate program in one academic year.

This curriculum moves from basic, practical language skills to specialized language skills that assist in criminal justice settings, particularly as language skills are needed in dealing with suspects, victims, witnesses, prison populations, and border and immigration settings. Studies also include Hispanic culture and customs, the better to understand the needs of members of the community.

A similar certificate requiring 12 credits is designed to provide students with skills and experiences in Arabic language and culture. Subject matter covers Arabic culture, geography, religion, and the enhancing of Arabic language skills.

The CALU “Leader For Life” process encourages career and life preparation, especially as they relate to leadership qualities and skills. The program offers a certificate and graduation cord upon completion of three “Leader For Life” courses and a “Capstone Project” in leadership and service. The process is linked to CALU’s stated philosophy of “Building Character. Building Careers.”

CALU is located 35 miles south of Pittsburgh and serves nearly 10,000 students. Tuition at CALU ranges from about $280 to $420 per credit, plus other academic/administrative fees, depending on the particular program and academic level.

Published in Law and Order, Mar 2012

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