Format and Requirements

Earn your Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree 100% online. Do your coursework – anytime, anywhere!


New students are accepted into the online Criminal Justice program every five weeks. Students will take one class at a time and each class lasts five weeks. A term consists of twenty-five weeks and includes five classes. Ten classes, or thirty semester hours, can be completed in twelve months.


Bachelor of Criminal Justice Degree Requirements Credit Hours
Major Required Courses:

OL 101: Orientation to Online Learning (Counted in Gen Ed Hours)
CRJU 203: Introduction to Criminal Justice (3)
CRJU 213: Introduction to Legal Systems (3)
CRJU 223: Juvenile Justice (3)
CRJU 333: Crisis Management (3)
CRJU 243: Police Systems (3)
CRJU 253: Community Corrections (3)
CRJU 263: Victimology (3)
CRJU 273: Criminology (3)
CRJU 313: Criminal Law (3)
CRJU 323: Criminal Procedure (3)
CRJU 343: Statistics in Criminal Justice (3)
CRJU 393: Criminal Investigations (3)
CRJU 453: Ethics in Criminal Justice(3)
CRJU 443: Comparative Justice (3)
CRJU 483: Community Policing (3)
SOSW 400: Diversity in Criminal Justice (3)
CRJU 463: Internship/Senior Project (3)

Major Elective Courses: 24 Credit Hours

CRJU 353: Introduction to Forensic Science (3)
CRJU 383: Principles of Corrections (3)
CRJU 413: Terrorism and Counterterrorism (3)
CRJU 403: Serial Killers (3)
CRJU 423: Cybercriminal Activity (3)
CRJU 433: Drugs and Crime (3)
POSC 383: Criminal Procedure II (3)
CRJU 493: Police Administration (3)

Transfer Credit:

Approved transfer credit earned from regionally accredited colleges and universities.

Up to 62
Prior Learning Credit:

Approved credit earned from military training approved for academic credit through the American Council on Education and approved technical/professional training credit or approved credit earned from continuing education in fields related to the major: law enforcement, public safety, military investigative services, emergency services etc. This credit will have to be submitted by the student and evaluated for the appropriate credit award.

Up to 30
General Education Requirements:

Online Orientation (2)
Fundamentals of Speech (3)
English Composition I (3)
English Composition II (3)
Religions of the World (3)
Introduction to Biology (4)
College Algebra (3)
Computer Literacy and Applications (3)
Business Ethics (3)
Art History (3)
Health and Wellness (3)
Introduction to Sociology (3)
History of the United States (3)
Survey of Literature (3)
Environmental Science w/ Lab (4)
Introduction to Psychology (3)
Total Hours to Earn a Degree 124*

*All coursework listed above is required to complete the degree. A student may receive up to 62 hours of transfer credit and up to 30 hours of prior learning credit to reach 124 credit hours based on evaluation of student’s transcripts by the institution. A student must complete a minimum of 32 credit hours through Philander Smith College.


OL101: Orientation to Online Learning (2 Credit Hours)

This course is an introduction to learning in the online environment. Topics include the learning management system, library resources, and other support mechanisms within the program.

CRJU 203: Introduction to Criminal Justice (3 Credit Hours)

This course focuses is on the formal crime control process in the United States. Students will examine the agencies and processes involved in administering justice: the police, the prosecutor, the courts, and correctional systems.

CRJU 213: Introduction to Legal Systems (3 Credit Hours)

This course is an up-to-date coverage highlighting several recent trends of the court system and looks at the basic structure of the court system and court process.

CRJU 223: Juvenile Justice (3 Credit Hours)

Theoretical foundations of delinquency causation. Historical tracing of the American juvenile justice system, including the juvenile court and its jurisdiction, police interaction with juveniles, and treatment and correctional strategies for young offenders. Examination of prevention and treatment approaches.

CRJU 243: Police Systems (3 Credit Hours)

The development of U.S. policing, stressing the relationship of police to local politics and the effects of civil service, reform movements, and technological change.

CRJU 253: Community Corrections (3 Credit Hours)

This course focuses on probation, parole, and other intermediate sanctions and community treatment options. Each is examined from both punishment and treatment model perspectives.

CRJU 263: Victimology (3 Credit Hours)

Theories and history shaping the bio-psycho-social and environmental characteristics of crime and violent victimization are examined with emphasis on their intersection with issues of race, gender, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

CRJU 273: Criminology (3 Credit Hours)

This course focuses on the various theories of crime and delinquency causation, the philosophical assumptions on which the theories rest, the policy implications of the theories, their weaknesses, and the current research on each perspective. In addition to exploring the theories, students examine the philosophical assumptions on which all theories are based while exploring the policy implications of the various theoretical perspectives, the weaknesses of each theory, and the research designed to test theories.

CRJU 313: Criminal Law (3 Credit Hours)

This course is intended to provide a functioning knowledge of constitutional law as it pertains to law enforcement and criminal justice.

CRJU 323: Criminal Procedure (3 Credit Hours)

This course focuses on the constitutional aspects of criminal procedures, including investigations, arrests, search and seizures, pre-trial processes, trial rights, sentencing, and appeals. Part I focuses primarily on the rights protected by the Fourth Amendment.

CRJU 333: Crisis Management (3 Credit Hours)

The course develops managerial skills in crisis avoidance, management, and recovery. Students learn how to respond to situations creating danger to organizations, their employees, and the public.

CRJU 343: Statistics in Criminal Justice (3 Credit Hours)

This course provides descriptive and inferential statistics covering univariate, bivariate, and multivariate statistical techniques. It focuses on probability theory, significance testing, and inferential statistics used for quantitative data analysis by criminal justice researchers and administrators.

CRJU 353: Introduction to Forensic Science (3 Credit Hours)

Overview of general principles of forensic science, techniques, equipment, and methodologies as used in crime laboratories. Focus on fingerprint and firearm identification, trace evidence (hair, fiber, paint, glass), blood, DNA evidence, forensic documentation examination, crime scene kits, and forensic microscopy.

CRJU 383: Principles of Corrections (3 Credit Hours)

This course provides an analysis of major correctional systems; their objectives and programs as they relate to the rehabilitation of offenders. This course seeks to provide students with an analysis and evaluation of contemporary correctional systems. All aspects of the correctional system will be discussed, including, but not limited to, sentencing, probation, intermediate sanctions, jail and prison, parole, and inmate issues. The course will include discussion of recent research concerning the correctional institution and the various field services.

CRJU 393: Criminal Investigations (3 Credit Hours)

Students will learn to recognize the relevant components of a successful and ethical criminal investigation and to classify and summarize evidentiary procedure for several different types of investigations. After completion of this course, they will be prepared to go into the field to be trained on investigations, view an overall investigation and identify and organize evidence, evaluate evidence based upon constitutional standards, and create an investigative report.

CRJU 403: Serial Killers (3 Credit Hours)

This course outlines the cultural, family, religious, and psychological profiles of serial killers as well as how they choose their victims. Stereotypes and myths are also explored.

CRJU 413: Terrorism and Counterterrorism (3 Credit Hours)

This course examines the indigenous and external sources of terrorism, and declared and implied objectives or strategies operations, tactics, and the countermeasures that are created. This course will take an even closer look at prioritizing terrorism while trying to focus on other U.S. problems and foreign policy objectives.

CRJU 423: Cybercriminal Activity (3 Credit Hours)

This course explores legal issues and challenges faced by the criminal justice system in response to computer/ cyberspace criminal investigations. Emphasis is placed upon various forms of crime perpetrated in cyberspace. Topics include forms of electronic criminal activity, enforcement of computer-related criminal statues, constitutional issues related to search and seizure, privacy concerns, application of the First Amendment in cyberspace, and laws pertaining to electronic surveillance.

CRJU 433: Drugs and Crime (3 Credit Hours)

This class is an introduction into how drugs are related to crime looking at the variety of connections including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of drugs. Explores the relationship of crime to the effects they have on the user’s behavior and by generating violence and other illegal activity in connection with drug trafficking.

CRJU 443: Comparative Justice (3 Credit Hours)

The class will examine issues related to crime throughout the world. The student will identify, analyze, and compare the criminal justice systems in the U.S. with those of other countries. The course will explain the basic worldwide philosophies of law and justice, the arrangements for crime prevention and law enforcement, and the methods of selecting judges and juries around the world.

CRJU 453: Ethics and Criminal Justice (3 Credit Hours)

Identifies and explores ethics and values in the criminal justice system, paying special attention to issues of social inequality. Discusses remedial strategies and behavior relating to unethical behavior from an individual and group perspective.

CRJU 463: Internship/Senior Seminar (3 Credit Hours)

This course introduces varying topics of selected interest with contemporary significance, discussed in a seminar format. An independent research project will be conducted under the direction of the faculty supervisor.

CRJU 483: Community Policing (3 Credit Hours)

Explores how community policing is both a philosophy and an organizational strategy that allows police and community residents to work closely together in new ways to solve the problems of crime, fear of crime, physical and social disorders, and neighborhood decay.

CRJU 493: Police Administration (3 Credit Hours)

An organizational management and systems approach to the study of police administration. Emphasizes the administration of various police function, organizational structures, resources management, operational techniques, professional ethics, and leadership principles and their implications for generalized and specialized units.

POSC 383: Constitutional Law (3 Credit Hours)

This course focuses on the constitutional aspects of criminal procedures, including investigations, arrests, search and seizures, pre-trial processes, trial rights, sentencing, and appeals. Part II focuses primarily on the rights protected by the Sixth Amendment.

SOSW 400: Cultural Diversity (3 Credit Hours)

This course examines the interrelationship of race, class, and gender with the criminal justice system in law enforcement and the correctional system.

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