Penn State Beaver adds new majors, certifications

A female professor in a black t-shirt stands and interacts with a group of seated students

Mari Pierce, associate professor of criminal justice, teaches a group of students at Penn State Beaver in this 2019 file photo. Penn State Beaver has replaced the Administration of Justice major with a Criminal Justice major. The campus also has added other majors and professional certificate programs.

Credit: Cathy Benscoter / Penn State Beaver

MONACA, Pa. — With the addition of three new majors, Penn State Beaver now offers students the option of nine baccalaureate degrees.

The new majors are Health Policy and Administration, Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations, and Criminal Justice.

“We know those areas are growing in the country, and specifically in southwestern Pennsylvania,” Director of Academic Affairs Carey McDougall said. She said the administration knows a Penn State education is a significant investment, and these majors have a promise of strong careers.

Health Policy and Administration prepares students to enter careers in which they will analyze the health care system and shape policy. “They can make the world a better place in relation to healthcare,” McDougall said.

Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations prepares graduates for careers in cyber defense technology, cybersecurity risk analysis and other related modern technology issues.

“Cybersecurity has become critically important in last few years because of widespread digitalization,” Ashu Kumar, information sciences and technology lecturer, said. “We need capable cyber analysts with strong mathematical and computational skills. This program will prepare students to become cybersecurity professionals with a focus on the analysis of cybersecurity data, identification of cyber incidents and associated cyber-defense techniques and strategies.”

The new Criminal Justice major, which replaces Administration of Justice, is focused on criminology and the systems that are involved in criminal justice, including policing, courts and corrections, according to Mari Pierce, associate professor of criminal justice. Pierce said the Administration of Justice major was more focused on procedures and steps within the system.

Students majoring in Criminal Justice will have the option to earn either a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts degree.

Pierce said that while the Criminal Justice degree is not just for people who want a career in law enforcement, more and more agencies are requiring four-year degrees. She added Pennsylvania is high on the list for the number of agencies in the state that require a degree for law enforcement.

In addition to the majors, Penn State Beaver has two new certificate programs, sports administration and sports journalism. These certificate programs, which can pair with business or communications degrees, give students who are interested in a sports career a chance to get more in-depth education and experience in that field.

Penn State Beaver’s other majors are: 

  • Biology
  • Business (Accounting option and Management and Marketing option)
  • Communications (Corporate option and Digital Journalism option)
  • Information Sciences and Technology 
  • Project and Supply Management
  • Psychology

Also, registered nurses can complete their bachelor of science in nursing degree through a partnership with Penn State Shenango. 

More information about Penn State Beaver’s majors, minors and certificate programs can be found at