What Topics Are Covered in College Criminal Justice Classes?

College-level courses in criminal justice instruct students in a variety of materials related to law enforcement, criminology and the court system. This article discusses topics covered in many of these classes. Schools offering Criminal Justice degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Types of Coursework in Criminal Justice

Students can earn degrees at the associate's, bachelor's or master's degree level in criminal justice. Most of the coursework centers around issues and theories related to crime, law and judicial administration. The organization of the particular program determines whether a course is offered to undergraduate students or graduate students. College criminal justice classes commonly deal with topics such as the following:

  • The judicial process
  • Legal issues in criminal justice
  • Juvenile delinquency

Important Facts About Criminal Justice Programs

Degrees/Certificate Levels Associate's degree, bachelor's degree major or minor, master's degree, certificate
Possible Careers Social work, welfare caseworker, law enforcement, detective, police administration, legal administration, parole officer, correctional officer
Degree Fields Justice Studies, Criminal Justice-Crime Control and Prevention, Criminal Justice-Institutional Theory and Practice
Skills Analytical, creative thinking, ethical reasoning, problem solving

The Judicial Process

In this class, students learn about the function and organization of the courts at the state and federal levels. It also illustrates to students the differences between civil and criminal trials, and it addresses the appeals process. Students also learn about the various special-interest lobby groups and how they try to influence court decisions.

Legal Issues in Criminal Justice

This class teaches students about the ways that the U.S. Constitution influences law enforcement and legal proceedings. It also covers subjects like the Constitution's restriction of various law enforcement techniques used to investigate crimes. In addition, students explore concepts pertaining to suspects' rights once they are in police custody, how the Constitution affects the sentences imposed on people found guilty of committing a crime and the legal requirements established to prove a suspect's guilt.

Juvenile Delinquency

While exploring topics in juvenile delinquency, students learn the current theories about the causes and effects of juvenile delinquency. The courses also incorporate instruction on the methods used to prevent young people from committing crimes and those used to punish juveniles who do break the law.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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