Police detectives reviewing documents

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Transfer up to
113 Credits
A median of 70 credits accepted
Receive credit for military training

Prep for Career Success with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice Online

This fully online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program prepares you to meet the requirements and responsibilities related to jobs in law enforcement, probation and parole, federal investigation, victim advocacy, security analysis, and crime scene investigation.

Learn about the laws, processes, and administration of the U.S. criminal justice system by studying topics associated with crime-fighting procedures, police accountability, prevention of police corruption, legal processes of court trials, and the management of criminal justice agencies.

Coursework for this program teaches you how psychological, sociological, and criminological theories inform criminal justice policies and procedures, and provides job-related knowledge of the causes of criminal behavior such as violent crime, property crime, and white-collar crime.

The curriculum covers U.S. constitutional law and amendments, criminal procedural laws related to police custody and confinement procedures and interrogation, and pre-trial court proceedings to conviction, sentencing, and appeals.

Concentrations

Homeland Security, Without Concentration

Fast Facts:

Top jobs in criminal justice include correctional treatment specialists, forensic science technicians, and criminal investigators (Source: BLS)


The average median forensic science technician salary is $57,850 (Source: BLS)


The benefits of a four-year college degree are equivalent to an investment that returns 15.2% per year (Source: Brookings Institute)


120

credit hours

Online BS in Criminal Justice Program Details

Transfer up to 117 credits and receive credit for certain military and police academy training. If you completed your AS in Criminal Justice at Excelsior College, you can transfer all 60 credits to this bachelor’s program.

Of the 120 credits required for the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, a total of 30 credits must be earned at the upper level (21 credits in the arts and sciences and 9 credits in electives). As part of these credits, for the core component, a minimum of 33 credits must be earned in the field of criminal justice, of which 18 credits must be upper level. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in the major.

• Written English Requirement: 6 credits
• Ethics: 3 credits
• Humanities: 6 credits
• Social Sciences/History: 9 credits
• Natural Sciences/Math: 9 credits (must include at least 2 credits in each area)
• Information Literacy: 1 credit

Core criminal justice courses: 18 Credits

Introduction to Criminal Justice

This course introduces you to the history, organizational structure, and laws and legal procedures of criminal justice in the United States. Learn about the full spectrum of police, courts, corrections, and juvenile justice systems and processes, from criminal arrest to conviction, incarceration, and reentry into society. Readings and assignments delve into topics such as: the limitations of policework in relation to constitutional law; individual rights versus public order; criminal law; definitions and measurement of crime; plea bargaining; court trials and sentencing processes; prisons and jails; and probation, parole, and community corrections.

Introduction to Law Enforcement

Study the evolution of law enforcement agencies, the roles and purposes of police in American society, and legal issues and challenges that police officers face at work in peacekeeping, patrol, and order maintenance. In this course, you learn about criminal justice jobs and employee recruitment, hiring, and training, and gain basic managerial and leadership skills. Material covers practical information about how to develop crime reduction strategies; foster positive community relations; stop corruption; and ensure individual and organizational accountability in law enforcement.

Criminal Justice Administration

Improve your understanding of the criminal justice system and the ways law enforcement agencies are managed. This course examines different types of criminal justice jobs and teaches you how to apply best practices in the ethical operations of police, court, and correctional organizations. Topics include: federal, state, and local court systems; the structure and staffing of jails, prisons, and parole and probation facilities; law enforcement personnel management, workplace culture, and police socialization; organizational change; leadership and decision-making skills; and effective tactics for internal communication and employee motivation.

Criminology

Explore the nature of crime by studying theories of the biological, social, and psychological causes of criminal behavior. Learn about criminal topologies, criminological models, and criminality such as white-collar crime, violence, property theft, and public offenses. Gain experience using multidisciplinary approaches to analyze the outcomes and effectiveness of criminal justice policies and procedures, and learn how to express crime data in ways that support specific recommendations for policy and procedural change.

Research Methods in Criminal Justice

Learn how to design a criminal justice research project, gather and assess the validity of crime data, conduct a quantitative and qualitative analysis of your findings, and present a formal report that includes clear, well-documented explanations of your conclusions. Assignments for this course include weekly readings and discussion posts and a research proposal, annotated bibliography, and a final research paper that includes an abstract, hypothesis, literature review, description of research design methodology, references, and appendices.

Criminal Justice Capstone

In this criminal justice capstone writing-intensive course, you analyze how legislative, enforcement, judicial, and correctional agencies interface with one another. Learn how to use criminological, legal, and sociological theories to evaluate criminal justice policies and procedures, and how to solve ethical problems in the field. Written projects allow you to demonstrate your understanding of changing social demographics and contemporary court decisions that impact the criminal justice system.

Transfer credits may be applied to satisfy these elective requirements (15 credits).
You can fulfill this requirement with transfer credits or Excelsior course credits in these and other subjects:

  • Multicultural Issues in Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Procedure and Evidence
  • Juvenile Delinquency and Justice
  • Family Law
  • Gangs in America
  • Deviant Behavior
  • Judicial Process
  • Forensic Pathology
  • Police and The Community
  • Ethics in Criminal Justice
  • Drugs and Crime
  • Child Abuse and Neglect

Non-concentration: 15 Credits

You select criminal justice courses with the assistance of your academic advisor and with approval of the faculty program director.

Homeland Security: 15 Credits

  • Introduction to Homeland Security
  • Domestic Terrorism
  • Emergency Management

Plus, two courses from the following or other applicable courses:

  • International Terrorism
  • Counterterrorism
  • Infrastructure Security and Policy

The curriculum requires 53 credits beyond the general education credits (34 credits) and the major requirements (33 credits) that can be satisfied with applied professional and additional arts and sciences credit.

Analyze the legislative, enforcement, judicial, and correctional components of the criminal justice systems and their interactions.


Apply the major legal, criminological, and sociological theories to policies and procedures within the criminal justice system.


Analyze the ethical issues that arise in the criminal justice system.


Analyze the ethical issues that arise in the criminal justice system and generate possible solutions.


Assess contemporary literature in the field of criminal justice.


Evaluate the changing demographics of society and their impact on the criminal justice system.


View additional details about programs and courses:

Download the Undergraduate Studies Catalog

Common Careers with an
Online BS in Criminal Justice

Correctional Officer

Federal Law Enforcement Agent

Forensic Specialist

Information Security Analyst

Parole/Probation Officer

Peace Officer

Police Officer/State Trooper/Deputy Sheriff

“You can use your experience and all or a lot of the training you’ve done until this point (as credit) at Excelsior.”
Thomas Drake
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, 2014

Accreditations

Middle States Commission on Higher Education logo

Institutional Accreditation

Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. (267-284-5000).

All of Excelsior College's academic programs are registered (i.e., approved) by the New York State Education Department.

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