Online Criminal Justice Degree
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
The criminal justice sector may offer a wide range of opportunities for students who want to contribute to their community in areas such as law enforcement operations, community policing and security management. The bachelor’s in criminal justice degree program emphasizes the development of communication and professional skills and technical knowledge. The criminal justice courses are designed to provide students with the opportunity to establish a foundation in the areas of corrections, administration of justice, criminological theory, law adjudication and law enforcement.
This online criminal justice degree program:
- Offers a general track or concentrations in forensic investigations (on campus only) or human services (on campus and online)
- Has CTU Fast Track™ exams available - a series of mini modules designed to test your knowledge of key course objectives, offering the opportunity to earn college credit for what you already know
- Is ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News & World Report for the ninth year in a row*
At CTU, students come first. Our flexible online course schedules are designed to help you to build a class schedule around your schedule. And with grants and scholarships available for those who qualify, a degree from CTU can be both achievable and affordable. Learn more below or fill out the form to speak with an admissions advisor.
We're Flexible So You Can Be Too
In CTU’s criminal justice degree program degree program, students come first. Our flexible online course schedule helps you to build a class schedule around your schedule. And with grants and scholarships available for those who qualify, a degree from CTU can be both achievable and affordable. Learn more below or fill out the form to speak with an admissions advisor.
* CTU programs are ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 Best Online Programs.
Relevant Institutional/Programmatic Accreditation
CTU is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission www.hlcommission.org
- January 02, 2024
- February 06, 2024
- March 19, 2024
- Colorado Springs
Estimate Tuition and Grad Date
Total tuition for this degree program will vary depending on your educational needs, existing experience, and other factors.Estimate your costs, potential savings and graduation date
Courses: General EducationCredits
Course Title Course Description Credit Hours CJUS261This course explores the ethical and legal issues as they relate to the field of criminal justice. Students will work to develop a foundational understanding of the ethical standards for criminal justice professionals. Students will explore and apply ethical decision-making to various ethical dilemmas that may confront criminal justice professionals. Ethics in Criminal Justice 4.5 COMS105This course explores the importance of effective interpersonal communication. This course covers: how interpersonal communication impacts an individual, how to recognize the different methods of communication and establishing and maintaining personal and professional relationships through effective communication. Interpersonal Communications 4.5 or COMS203This course is designed to assist in sharpening students’ skills in oral communication with a focus on presenting in professional settings. Understanding basic communication concepts: brevity, precision and adherence to common delivery methods are hallmarks of clear, consistent and concise communication. Speech Communications 4.5 GOVT201The decisions made by the government impact our lives every day. Learning about government empowers students to be active citizens who have a positive impact on their communities. This course provides the student with an overview of the framework and basic functions of the three branches of government, the role of political participation in American democracy, and the relationship between government and the rights of citizenship. Students will also explore the similarities and differences between national, state, and local governments. American Government and Public Affairs 4.5 ENGL104ENGL104 is the first course in a sequence of two composition classes designed to empower students to develop their voice, build confidence in writing, and develop both their writing and critical thinking skills. Students will have the opportunity to practice adapting their writing for different audiences, purposes, and platforms, and will be able to explore how the choices they make influence the meaning and success of their written communications. This course explores the use of the writing process to compose clear, organized writings that are appropriate for various audiences and purposes. This course introduces the importance of clear and persuasive writing in personal, professional, and academic contexts. Introductory Written Communication 4.5 ENGL105ENGL105 is the final course in the composition sequence and builds on the writing skills developed in ENGL104. In this course, students continue to practice writing for a variety of contexts, purposes, and audiences. Throughout the course, students incorporate research into their writing by using digital tools and resources to identify and cite credible sources following CTU APA guidelines. Professional Written Communications 4.5 HIST101This course focuses on the key people, social experiments, and technologies that continue to impact our lives. Particular attention is paid to the latter half of the 20th Century and the dawn of a new millennium in America – a time that, through the lens of history, both gives us pause and inspires hope for the future. Modern American History: 1950 to the 21st Century 4.5 MATH102Introduction to College Math familiarizes students with mathematical thinking and explores how a knowledge of mathematics can benefit them personally and professionally. The course is designed to give students the tools for making logical decisions and developing connections between mathematics and their fields of study and daily activities. Specifically, this course focuses on arithmetic operations, linear equations, and the use of rates, ratios, proportions, and percentages to describe relationships between given quantities. Introduction to College Math 4.5 MATH106Business algebra is designed to provide students with a critical set of tools to help them develop solutions to problems in a business environment. This course introduces students to quantitative techniques necessary to better understand the mathematical principles important to success in the professional world. Specifically, this course focuses on applied mathematical methods with a broad emphasis on business applications. Algebra for Business 4.5 PHIL101This course is designed to provide students a basic understanding of moral and ethical theories and concepts. The activities and discussions encourage students to explore and solve ethical dilemmas by identifying and applying moral and ethical theories. Students will also be encouraged to explain their reasoning from cultural, professional, and personal standpoints. A variety of ethical issues and methodologies will be explored, as students evaluate moral dilemmas in an assortment of work and life scenarios. Introduction to Ethics 4.5 PSYC102Psychology is fundamental to every field in academic study. This course is designed to teach students a basic understanding of human behavior as well as emotional and cognitive development. Coursework incorporates terminology, principles, and foundational theories that comprise modern concepts of introductory psychology. This course is designed to teach students using practical, real-world application of course concepts within their professional, personal, and relational lives. Introductory Psychology 4.5 SCI101This course introduces students to the physical, life, and Earth sciences. Students have the opportunity to explore the principles of scientific critical thinking. Utilizing the Scientific Method, as well as other quantitative and qualitative approaches, students can draw meaningful conclusions about the real world. Introduction to the Sciences 4.5 SCI103
This is a learning experience that complements the Introduction to the Sciences course. Since the course addresses how scientific thinking and the resultant technology has changed modern life, this lab will provide students with experiences in the scientific approaches of different sciences covered, such as: biology, chemistry, physics, geology and astronomy. This lab will be constructed specifically to extend the learning from each unit of the Introduction to the Sciences course, designed to provide experiences which deepen students’ familiarity with the scientific method and way of asking questions and solving problems.
Science and Technology- Laboratory Course 1.5 SCI201This course analyzes the interrelationships between the natural environment and human activities. In this course, students are taught about the preservation and conservation of natural resources and the resilience of the natural environment with respect to the carrying capacity of the earth. Furthermore, students will explore topics related to environmental ethics and apply principles of sustainability to issues impacting natural resources and biodiversity. Finally, this course will teach a holistic approach in learning about environmental problems and rehabilitation through individual and group behavioral changes and environmental regulations. Environmental Science and Sustainability 4.5 SCI203This course is designed to be a hands-on learning experience that complements the Environmental Science and Sustainability Course. Labs include both problem-based activities and critical-thinking projects and are designed to help students develop an understanding of and appreciation for the complex issues that comprise the field of Environmental Science and Sustainability. Environmental Science and Sustainability - Laboratory Course 1.5 SOCL102This course introduces students to the study of sociology and how it applies to careers, community, and family. Sociology examines the nature of society including the theories and principles of multi-cultural and social interactions. This course addresses how the concepts of social organization, social institutions, and social changes influence everyday life. Introductory Sociology 4.5 UNIV104UNIV104 is designed to provide students with a foundation for success in CTU’s undergraduate academic environment. This course introduces effective academic strategies and resources integrating them with career planning methods that can be leveraged to pursue future academic and professional goals. Academic and Career Success 4.5 Total Credit Hours: 66
Course Title Course Description Credit Hours CJUS141
This course surveys three main components of the criminal justice system - law enforcement, the courts and corrections. It includes an overview of the history, structure, functions, opportunities, and challenges faced by the current criminal justice system.
Introduction to Criminal Justice 4 CJUS201
This course is an introduction to the role of law enforcement and police processes. Students will examine organizational structure, supervision and administration of law enforcement agencies as well as the day-to-day field operations, leadership, policies, procedures, communication, information and performance evaluation process. Special emphasis is placed on writing skills such as report writing.
Law Enforcement Operations and Report Writing 4 CJUS254
An introduction to the theory and practice of homeland security in both the public and private sector at the national, regional, state, and local level. An overview of the administrative, legislative, and operational elements of homeland security programs and processes (including a review of homeland security history, policies, and programs) is provided. The course will touch on the following sub-disciplines within the enterprise: counterterrorism, emergency management, public health, transportation security, maritime security, border security, and critical infrastructure protection, as well as the agencies, organizations and institutions involved in these fields.
Introduction to Homeland Security 4 CJUS263
The student will conduct a comprehensive examination of the adult corrections process and the history, sentencing alternatives, and future direction of correction modalities. The course also explores community corrections and the various methods used outside traditional correctional institutions.
American Corrections 4 CJUS280
This course addresses victimology as an emerging area of study in the field of criminal justice, and surveys society's emotionally and politically complex issues as they relate to victims of crime. Victimology is an objective and scientific approach to the study of victims of various forms of crime, from battered women to auto theft, with special emphasis on victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.
Victimology 4 CJUS285
During this course, the student will survey the area of juvenile delinquency through the study of the theories of juvenile misconduct, the juvenile court system and methods of rehabilitation.
Juvenile Delinquency 4 CJUS290
This course is a study of the general principles of criminal law. Specifically it includes both the policy and procedure of criminal law, giving students the ability to apply the essential elements of general criminal law principles to specific substantive crimes.
Criminal Law 4 CJUS343
Criminology surveys the motivations of the criminal mind using both sociological and cognitive restructuring theories. It presents an overview of the meaning of crime, crime statistics, theories of causation, criminal thinking and major offense areas, and describes methods for changing criminal behavior.
Criminology 4 CJUS375
Criminal Procedure provides an in-depth study of the criminal court system and Constitutional law. The defendant’s Constitutional rights are explored through case-law study and includes the basic underlying concepts of search and seizure, self incrimination, the right to counsel, the exclusionary rule, privacy, probable cause, reasonableness, and the rights guaranteed by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments.
Criminal Procedure 4 CJUS440
In this course, the student will be provided a thorough examination of the laws of evidence for criminal justice professionals. Topics include circumstantial and opinion evidence, hearsay, character evidence, relevancy and materiality, privileged communications, expert witness testimony, objections to and exclusion of evidence, and chain of custody.
The Laws of Evidence 4 PBAD201
Provides an introduction to the field of public administration. The course is focused on the structure, functions and processes of the executive branch; agencies of national, state and local governments; and emphasizes nonprofit organizations as co-actors with government in the policy-making/policy-implementation area.
Public Administration 4 PSYC210
This course introduces students to the study of social psychology. The course includes an exploration of human behavior in groups and the impact on interpersonal relationships and the workplace: how individual behavior is impacted by group dynamics, and, how group identity is shaped by individual and team membership. The course will include topics such as: group processes, relationships, group thinking, conforming to group norms, individuality, as well as, stereotypes and prejudice. During this course the student will examine examples of individuals interacting within the social environment. Students will analyze theoretical perspectives and themes that have emerged in the field of social psychology and how these perspectives have influenced the modern workplace and the field of psychology as a whole.
Social Psychology 4 PSYC337
This course examines how to distinguish normal from abnormal behavior and present the major perspectives regarding psychological disorders. The medical perspective, the psychoanalytical perspective, the behavioral and cognitive perspectives, the socio-cultural perspective as well as the humanistic perspective of diagnosis and dealing with behavior label abnormal are explored. The course reviews a historical perspective regarding unusual, out of the norm and or distressed behavior in the past, linking it to superstition, witchcraft and contrasting arrays of treatments and approaches available today. Common disorders are defined such as anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, psycho-somatic disorders, dissociative disorders, mood problems, schizophrenia, depression and personality disconnects. Those who deal with human behavior in the workplace need to understand behavior and assess when it has reached a level of concern that may require outside expertise.
Abnormal Psychology in the Workplace 4 UNIV201
This course is designed to provide the knowledge and application of effective career management strategies for career development and transition; through student self-assessment and research into potential career fields. Students pursue the knowledge and skills to identify and communicate themselves as a brand.
Career Planning and Management 4 Total Credit Hours: 56
Course Title Course Description Credit Hours CJFI360
This course examines the theories and concepts of criminalistics through the application of scientific methods that are necessary to effectively examine, analyze, and reconstruct a major crime scene. Specifically, the course will address legal issues that are related to search and seizure of physical evidence; crime scene documentation techniques including (a) information gathering to enable report writing, (b) photographic composition concepts, and (c) crime scene measurement and diagramming; latent print processing and enhancement; and basic crime scene reconstruction methods. Included will be lab exercises that complement text and lecture.
Introduction to Criminalistics 4 CJUS430
This course is designed to introduce students to decision-making based on criminal justice research and data. Students will explore the use of criminal justice data in crime analysis and justice administration. Students are introduced to strategic resource and asset allocation decision making based upon statistical analysis and predictive analysis.
Data Analysis in Criminal Justice 4 CJUS448
This course examines the skills needed to become a criminal investigator and the procedures criminal investigators use to manage a criminal investigation and prepare a case for court. The course also introduces the student to interview and interrogation techniques.
Criminal Investigation 4 CJUS460
This course is designed to provide students with a knowledge base of general issues regarding effective techniques which apply to both accusatory and non-accusatory intake/interviews/interrogations. The course includes information on the legal aspects of interrogations and the admissibility of confessions. In addition to methods of achieving successful outcomes, topics include physiological and psychological aspects of interviews and interrogations, detecting deception, non-verbal behavior, and persuasion. Students will train via recorded practicum of mock interviews and interrogations in an interrogation room setting.
Interview and Interrogation 4 CJUS484
The criminal justice capstone facilitates the integration of the knowledge gained in other courses. The student will focus on the application of skills through case study, interviewing, application of law, and report writing.
Criminal Justice Capstone 4 Select 40 credit hours of electives from the list below 40 Total Credit Hours: 60
Courses: Elective ChoicesCredits
Course Title Course Description Credit Hours CJFI430
This course will provide a foundation for understanding death scene analysis. The manner, mechanism, and cause of death are explored, as well as postmortem changes. The course emphasis will be on investigation of sudden or unexpected deaths, homicides, suicides, accidental deaths, and trauma; this will include SIDS and child abuse cases.
Medico-Legal Death Investigations 4 CJHS311
This course surveys the use, abuse, and addictive nature of ethyl alcohol, and the treatment of alcoholism. The student will gain a basic knowledge of alcohol use and abuse, alcoholism, and the broad range of current approaches to prevention and treatment.
Study of Alcohol Use and Abuse 5 CJHS315
This course provides an in-depth study of child abuse in the context of the criminal justice and social welfare systems. Students will learn to identify risk factors, signs and symptoms of child abuse as well as the legal requirements for interventions in child abuse cases. Students will use case studies to analyze the problems in child abuse investigations and the treatment methods and services available to abused children.
Child Abuse 4 CJUS350
This course will provide a review of corrections in the community, including programs such as probation, parole, and other alternatives to incarceration, intermediate sanctions, and diversionary programs. Emphasis in this course will be placed on alternatives to incarceration, intermediate sanctions and diversionary programs, and offender acceptance into these programs.
Community Corrections 4 CJUS352
Examines the history of community policing as well as challenges, benefits and current, applications used by law enforcement agencies. Topics include traditional policing versus, community oriented policing, need for community policing and its benefits, problems, solving methods such as the SARA model, methods and applications, collaboration, between police and citizens.
Community Policing 4 CJUS354
What actually goes on in a criminal courtroom? Who are the players? What is the process involved in a criminal trial from start to finish? These questions and others will be answered in this course. Criminal courts will introduce the student to the issues criminal courts face, as well as the structure of the typical criminal court. The student will also walk through the entire process of a typical criminal trial from arrest through post-conviction.
Criminal Courts 4 CJUS356
This course focuses on preventing loss and protecting assets in the private sector. Retail and other losses can drive a business into bankruptcy if not dealt with properly. This course introduces the student to the realities of business losses due to theft and teaches the student the strategies necessary to develop an effective loss prevention program in a business (to include retail) setting.
Loss Prevention 4 CJUS360
This course provides an overview of the legal frameworks for addressing fraud, as well as special topics in evidence and expert witnesses as they pertain to fraud cases. Students will learn to identify different types of fraud, legal concepts relevant to fraud and the rules of evidence specific to fraud investigations.
Legal Elements of Fraud 4 CJUS380
This course introduces the student to the nature and scope of white collar and financial crimes. Students will learn how to identify the various types of financial crimes and the methods and techniques used to investigate and prosecute this type of criminal activity.
White Collar and Financial Crimes 4 CJUS420
An examination of the complex phenomenon of family and domestic violence and its impact on individuals, families, our society, and the legal system. Topics include a historical perspective, present-day approaches to combating family/domestic violence, psychological/physical abuse, abuse related to partners, elderly and children, response systems and mechanisms to prevent and treat.
Family and Domestic Violence 4 CJUS422
This course provides an in-depth evaluation of probation and parole systems in the United States. Topics include pre-sentence investigations, duties and responsibilities of parole and probation officers, and offender evaluation, supervision, treatment and release.
Probation and Parole 4 CJUS424
In this course, the student will discuss and analyze concepts of Constitutional Law as they apply to criminal justice. The student will analyze criminal justice policies in terms of their effects on civil liberties and their impact on law enforcement and correctional practices.
Constitutional Law 4 CJUS434
This course is designed to introduce the criminal justice student to terrorism, terrorist organizations and criminal organizations. Students will learn about the targets and tactics of these organizations. Students will compare and contrast these organizations and analyze the nexus between terrorism and organized crime. The student will learn how these two types of organizations function, the differences and similarities in how they function, and how law enforcement and homeland security agencies deal with these organizations today.
Terrorism and Organized Crime 4 CJUS450This course is designed to help develop an appreciation and understanding of crime scene analysis and management. Students will simulate documenting, collecting, preserving, and processing physical evidence correctly. They will analyze it thoroughly, and understand its relevance to the case with special emphasis on forensic science application and physical evidence recognition and collection. Forensic Criminology 4
Total Credit Hours: 182
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Classes start January 2, 2024 *
*Start dates may vary by program and location.
What Students Are Saying About Their CTU Experience
With CTU, you know that the teachers really care. It was very touching to me and I appreciated knowing I wasn’t alone during this journey.
CTU has some of the most amazing faculty. Without them and their willingness to help, I do not believe I would have made it this far.
I love how [the] CTU staff takes their time to make sure each student is on the right track. The professors are really nice and you can tell they love what they do.
CTU’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) Degree Program is designed to provide knowledge, skills, and abilities relevant for pursuing potential opportunities in the workforce. This bachelor’s degree program emphasizes the development of communication and professional skills and technical knowledge. The criminal justice courses are planned to provide students with the opportunity to establish a foundation in the areas of corrections, administration of justice, criminological theory, law adjudication, and law enforcement, so upon graduation students may be able to effectively contribute as professionals to a variety of roles as they work to transition into a career.
As you work to complete your BSCJ, you will be immersed in courses where you may study these topics and much more: criminal court systems; nature and scope of white collar and financial crimes; probation and parole systems in the United States; and crime scene analysis and management.
Courses for the BSCJ start online and on our Colorado Springs and Denver South campuses approximately every five weeks. Completion of the CTU admissions process will depend on how quickly you complete the steps in the CTU online application process. You may complete the application process over the phone with an advisor or you may go online. Once you’ve completed the online application, you may hear from an advisor within the following 24 hours to discuss the next steps toward starting your degree program.
The BSCJ degree program consists of 182 credits. You may be eligible for transfer credit, which is evaluated on an individual basis. Not all credits are eligible to transfer. You can also complete CTU Fast Track™ exams to receive college credit for what you already know—allowing you to complete your degree program up to 30% faster.1
1 The ability to reduce time in school and/or reduce tuition towards the full cost of a degree program depends on the number of CTU Fast Track™ exams successfully passed. Fast Track program credits are non-transferable. Not all programs are eligible for possible 30% reduction in time and money. Courses eligible are subject to change. Students should not rely on potential Fast Track savings or eligibility when making an enrollment decision.
Through innovative industry-relevant curricula and technology-enabled student-centered teaching, you will study through classroom learning and hands-on experience that aligns to industry standards and helps you work to develop skills that are applicable to the needs of law enforcement roles and potential opportunities.