dcsimg
Table of Contents
Online Bachelor Programs

Students working toward a bachelor's degree in criminal justice gain an understanding of not only the different aspects of criminal justice but also of how criminal laws and procedures work. Various degree programs may offer a Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in criminal justice, justice administration, or criminal justice administration. To better prepare students for their potential careers, some schools allow students to specialize in disciplines such as corrections, homeland security, and juvenile justice.

Criminal Justice

Online bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice: coursework and overview

Full-time bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice usually last about four years and include a combination of electives and required courses for the major. Although the curriculum varies by school, there are several courses commonly found in criminal justice programs. Below are some examples:

Criminal justice degree courses

  • Criminology: Criminology courses examine causes and patterns of crimes and criminal behavior. Students also analyze the policy implications of and society's response to crime.
  • Homeland Security: Homeland security courses give an overview of the field and of how government agencies prevent and respond to threats to national security.
  • Corrections: Introductory classes may cover the different correctional institutions as well as the history and evolution of the correctional system.
  • Policing: Many criminal justice programs offer a policing course that describes the responsibilities of police officers and how law enforcement operates.
  • Criminal Law: Students learn about criminal law and legal procedures and how to apply them in different scenarios.

Courses outside of criminal justice

  • Psychology: Psychology is the study of human behavior. In psychology courses specifically geared toward criminal justice, students will likely study the psychological reasons for and effects of criminal behavior.
  • Sociology: Sociology classes examine various topics such as race, gender, and income disparity in society. Specialized courses in social deviance allow students to discuss crime and criminal behavior in more depth than general sociology courses.
  • Legal Studies: Having a thorough understanding of the law is important for law enforcement careers. Introductory legal studies courses can provide an overview of the American legal system and of topics such as court systems and legal procedures.

Potential careers for graduates of criminal justice bachelor's degree programs

Individuals pursuing a bachelor's degree in criminal justice are often interested in pursuing a law enforcement career or career advancement. The BLS notes that a bachelor's degree may be required for certain positions, depending on the occupation and the employer. Below are some examples of common careers that graduates of criminal justice bachelor's degree programs may seek:

  • Police officers enforce laws, arrest suspects, testify in court, and strive to protect citizens. Bls.gov reports that individuals typically must graduate from an agency training academy and may need college coursework or a college degree in order to become a police officer.
  • Detectives are responsible for investigative activities such as collecting evidence, gathering facts for cases, conducting interviews, examining records, and observing the activities of suspects. Detectives in law enforcement may also participate in arrests. As bls.gov states, college courses in criminal justice and political science can benefit individuals pursuing a career as a private detective or investigator.
  • Fish and game wardens enforce laws regarding fishing, boating, and hunting. Their responsibilities include patrolling hunting and fishing areas and investigating complaints and accidents. Wardens need a solid understanding of the laws so that they can educate and interact with the public. Bls.gov mentions that these specialized law enforcement officers may need a college degree, depending on the agency.
  • Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists work with offenders who are in custody, on probation, or on parole. These specialists may also develop recommendations for rehabilitation plans. According to bls.gov, individuals interested in this career typically need to complete training and earn a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, such as criminal justice.

In addition to pursuing the above careers, students may opt for a master's degree in criminal justice. Holding a graduate degree in criminal justice can help individuals expand their career options. For example, a master's degree may be useful or required for supervisors of probation officers or corrections specialists, according to bls.gov. Those who earn bachelor's degrees in the field can find opportunities to apply their knowledge of criminal justice theories and processes as they enter related careers.

More information about bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice is available in the Guide to College Majors in Criminal Justice.

Sources

"Correctional Officers," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/correctional-officers.htm

"Police and Detectives," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Protective-Service/Police-and-detectives.htm

"Private Detective and Investigators," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/private-detectives-and-investigators.htm

"Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Community-and-Social-Service/Probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm

Pursue your Major today…

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
Matching School Ads
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Awarded 21 institutional scholarships in 2013, totaling over $76,000 in tuition.
  • Offers several certificate programs where students can earn credits without committing to a full degree program.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
  • Part of the Colorado State University System.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
  • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
  • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Each year since 2004, The Princeton Review has included California University in its Best in the Northeast listing, recognizing Cal U as one of the best regional universities in the northeastern United States.
  • Ranked #35 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost.
  • Grants students in its Global Online program the same diploma as graduates from Cal U’s traditional degree programs.
  • Has an student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • Scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Offers more than 70 majors and programs, as well as several off-campus internships.
  • 94% of students in the 2014-2015 academic year qualified for financial aid.
  • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104