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Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Purdue University Global's online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program allows you the opportunity to learn about processes and procedures in areas of criminal investigations, criminal law, and criminal justice management. Read on for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind of Program Is It?

What are causes of criminal behavior? How does the investigative process work? Which issues and challenges predominantly affect the U.S. criminal justice system? These are among the topics you can find addressed in the online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program at Purdue University Global. Other major courses explore criminal justice information systems, police management, approaches in crime prevention and rehabilitation, victimization, forensic psychology, and criminal justice ethics. Concentration areas within this program include socially responsible leadership, homeland security, juvenile justice, law enforcement, forensic psychology, and crime scene investigation. In the capstone, you will have the opportunity to apply concepts learned throughout the curriculum as you study and make decisions on given fact-based scenarios.

What Are the Prerequisites?

It might be helpful to have earned an associate degree in criminal justice or a related area prior to entering the BS - Criminal Justice program, as some requirements might be waived and advanced start credits earned with a two-year degree. Strong decision-making and critical thinking skills are important, as criminal justice professionals consistently make decisions about and interpret laws, conduct investigations, and ensure public safety. Applicants to Purdue University Global should have a high school diploma or GED; some programs may have additional requirements.

What Are the Course Requirements?

A total of 180 credits must be earned to successfully complete the BS in Criminal Justice program. This total reflects 45 credits in the core curriculum, 94 credits in major requirements, and 41 credits in open electives.

Core Courses

Course CodeCourse Title
CM107 College Composition I
CM220 College Composition II
CS212 Communicating Professionalism
100/200 Level Mathematics Requirement
100/200 Level Arts and Humanities Requirement
100/200 Level Science Requirement
100/200 Level Social Science Requirement
100/200 Level General Education Electives

Major Courses

Course CodeCourse Title
CJ100 Preparing for a Career in Public Safety
CJ101 Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
CJ102 Criminology I
CJ210 Criminal Investigation
CJ212

CJ233
Crime Prevention
OR
Introduction to Forensic Pathology
CJ216 Computers, Technology, and Criminal Justice Information Systems
CJ227 Criminal Procedure
CJ230 Criminal Law for Criminal Justice
CJ340 Applied Criminal Justice Ethics
CJ345

CJ444
Supervisory Practices in Criminal Justice
OR
Managing Criminal Justice Organizations
CJ346 Diversity and Inclusivity in Public Safety
CJ490 Research Methods in Criminal Justice
300/400 Level Major Electives taken in a chosen area of concentration
CJ499 Bachelor's Capstone in Criminal Justice

Open Electives

Students complete 41 credits in open elective courses

What Could I Do After I Graduate?

Career Opportunities

With a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, you could pursue entry-level or even supervisory roles in law enforcement agencies, security firms, government agencies, courts, or corporate security departments. Your duties could include patrolling communities, investigating crime scenes, creating corporate safety programs, guarding personal property, or monitoring courtroom proceedings.

Jobs that would be a good fit for you as a graduate include:

  • Police officer
  • Security manager
  • Correctional counselor
  • Criminal court officer

Advanced Degrees

For more advanced positions in the field, such as police chief or security director, you may have to complete a graduate degree program after earning the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. In addition to advanced criminology and criminological theory, you could expect to study such topics as criminal justice research methods, organizational behavior, crime analysis practices, correctional theories, and crime data analytics at the master's level.

Among graduate degree programs to consider are:

  • Master of Science in Criminology
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration