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Online Bachelor's Degree inCRIMINAL JUSTICE

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Come to know the inner workings of law enforcement, corrections, and the law, and gain the knowledge and skills you need to protect people and their property.


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Do you enjoy researching ideas and thoroughly investigating problems?

Becoming a professional in the criminal justice field allows you to explore your investigative instincts and perform an important service in the process with an online criminal justice degree.

Criminal justice professionals combine their managerial skills with their knowledge of law enforcement to ensure that departments and agencies continue to run smoothly and efficiently.

As a professional in this field, you have various options of criminal justice career paths to pursue. You can choose to go into police work, social work, public safety, higher education, and more. Potential job titles include:

  • Police Officer
  • Corrections Manager
  • Security Manager
  • College Professor
  • Law Clerk
  • Counselor
  • Criminologist
  • Special Agent

Responsibilities within the criminal justice field consist of developing policies, managing records, providing law updates, advising crisis responses, among many others.

Does this sound like the career for you? If so, fill out the form on the right-hand side of this page, and we'll get you started.

Earn Your Bachelor's In Criminal Justice

Throughout this online degree program, you will learn to make informed decisions, learn how to run an effective criminal justice system, develop a complex understanding of the ethical issues and controversial policies facing criminal justice organizations and personnel, and get an overview of the theories and practices of law enforcement.

Possible Career Options - Infographic

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Colorado State University-Global Campus’s online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice prepares students to enter exciting careers in law enforcement, public- and private-sector agencies, political science, research, social work, investigations, the military, and many other fields. The online Criminal Justice degree program includes the exploration of both traditional and contemporary methods of maintaining the balance between public safety and civil liberties. In addition to gaining knowledge of crime, law, and the justice system, students achieve an understanding of the ethical issues and relevant theories that apply to criminal justice and private sector organizations today. Graduates will gain a deep understanding of the functions and relationship between the police, courts, and corrections components of the criminal justice system. This Criminal Justice degree online also explores many contemporary issues in this field such as technology, analytics, security, white collar crime, forensics, cybercrime, terrorism, and international crime.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the main components of the criminal justice system.
  • Discuss theoretical approaches to deviance and crime.
  • Determine how quantitative and qualitative research methods are used in the field of criminal justice.
  • Apply ethical standards in the criminal justice system.
  • Evaluate the balance between crime control strategies and appropriate civil liberties.
  • Describe the needs of victims, offenders, and the affected community.
  • Evaluate technology and its role in today’s criminal justice environment.

View our learning outcomes assessment data.

Career Outlook

Qualities of a successful criminal justice professional include:

  • Reliable
  • Thorough
  • Independent
  • Clear communication skills
  • Willingness to take on challenges
  • Ability to remain calm in high-pressure situations

If the above qualities describe you, a successful and rewarding career in criminal justice might be in your future.

Most careers in this field require that you meet a certain standard of physical and mental health, and that you stay up-to-date with the changes that regularly occur within the criminal justice system.

While earning your degree is essential for this profession, no matter what type of classes or degree you complete, you will may also need to complete a training program or participate in continuing education courses throughout your career. Be sure to check your local and state requirements.

Degree Optimization

We provide students with career-relevant resources to help them succeed outside of the classroom. That's why we created Awards of Completion and Skills Endorsements, specific to our programs of study, spotlighting the knowledge, skills, and abilities that hiring managers find essential to success in the field. Applied Criminal Justice and Understanding, Interpreting, and Enforcing U.S. Law are two of the awards you can receive as part of our criminal justice program.

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CSU-Global’s accredited online bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice is designed to provide you with a practical knowledge of the law enforcement field. The program consists of 10 three-credit core courses as part of a full 120-credit bachelor’s degree. Maximize your transfer credits by taking advantage of our  alternative credit options to finish faster and for less money!

  • ORG300: Applying Leadership Principles

    The opportunities for students, in this first course, for all majors are to learn personal and professional leadership styles and drivers by providing an overview of leadership basics. Leadership skills are utilized across fields of study. Regardless of the roles individuals assume in an organization, they will need to communicate effectively, influence others, and understand the way they respond to others and why. The course engages students in discussion, exploration, and application of leadership skills, principles, and practices. Students will learn about the relationships and connections leaders have with individuals and organizations. Topics include leadership communication, motivation, style, and characteristics. Course not eligible for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credit.

  • CRJ300: Introduction to Criminal Justice

    In this course, students will be introduced to the study of philosophy and history of criminal justice globally. Topics include an examination of criminal justice agencies such as police and security agencies, courts, and corrections, operating as an interacting system. Students will gain foundational knowledge about criminal justice that will prepare them for future studies in discipline and also explore exciting contemporary topics such as white collar crime, cybercrime and criminology. (This course is also offered through CBE. Credits earned using this option will appear on transcripts with an “EX” suffix.)

  • CRJ310: Law Enforcement and American Policing

    In this course, students will learn about the history of American policing, current issues and challenges, best practices, various roles and tasks, as well as legal, ethical, and public accountability. A thorough overview of the American system of law enforcement, examining the origins, development, roles, and operations of policing in a modern democratic society will also be covered. Students will develop a detailed understanding of the issues involved in policing a democratic society and examine critical issues and new advances in law enforcement. (This course is also offered through CBE. Credits earned using this option will appear on transcripts with an “EX” suffix.)

  • CRJ305: Criminology

    In this course, students explore crime, its micro and macro social context, and underlying causes. Students will be introduced to various theoretical perspectives explaining crime and, by the end of the course, apply relevant theories to explain crime and criminal behavior. Students will study victimology and learn about victimless crimes. Students will also be acquainted with the primary sources of crime statistics, which are an essential component in studying crime and testing theories. (This course is also offered through CBE. Credits earned using this option will appear on transcripts with an “EX” suffix.)

  • CRJ330: Research Methods for the Criminal Justice Professional

    In this course, students are introduced to statistical techniques most commonly encountered in the analysis of quantitative data in social and criminal justice fields. Emphasis is placed on descriptive and inferential statistics. The learning experience culminates a comprehensive report of hypothesis testing with secondary data.

  • CRJ335: Laws of Evidence

    In this course, students draw upon a mix of problems and cases to examine major evidentiary rules and standards that regulate admission of proof at criminal trial. Concepts include relevance; the use of character and scientific evidence; the definition and use of hearsay; the use of real and demonstrative evidence; the proper method of impeaching witnesses, foundation and authentication requirements; and the law of privileges. (This course is also offered through CBE. Credits earned using this option will appear on transcripts with an “EX” suffix.)

  • CRJ425: Criminal Law

    In this course, students will focus on all aspects to the fundamentals of criminal law. Major topics covered in the course include: elements of various types of crimes; requisite mental states for crimes; the nature and purpose of criminal responsibility; criminal defenses, including justification and excuse; and theories of criminal responsibility. This course also examines specific criminal cases to illustrate and apply many of the legal principles covered.

  • CRJ420: Criminal Justice and the Constitution

    This course will provide an overview of the criminal procedure under the U.S. Constitution, specifically as related to due process and crime control. Topics include the Fourth Amendment, self-incrimination, constitutional violations, court proceedings, and criminal procedures during national emergencies.

  • CRJ440: Ethics for the Criminal Justice Professional

    In this course, students explore the theory, practice, and application of ethics to the field of criminal justice. The course will focus on understanding how ethics works with the practice of criminal justice. This course prepares students for further inquiry into ethics by providing a solid foundation of its role in criminal justice policy and practice.

  • CRJ480: Capstone – Application of Criminal Justice Knowledge and Skills

    This course focuses on a criminal justice issue in-depth at the national and international levels.

  • CRJ495: Criminal Justice Practicum*

    This course is designed for students who currently participate on the staff of a criminal justice or related service agency as an opportunity to demonstrate program outcomes learned in the B.S. in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration under the supervision of both faculty and agency personnel. Assignments are designed to combine theory and professional practice and include weekly journals, a mid-term conference with the faculty practicum coordinator and on-site supervisor as well as a final report. Prerequisite: Students must successfully complete three courses (nine credits) prior to taking the practicum.
    *CRJ495 is an optional course that students may select if they currently work in a criminal justice setting. See the academic catalog for course restrictions.

* CRJ495 is an optional course that students may select if they currently work in a criminal justice setting. Students will be required to pass a criminal background check, including fingerprinting, prior to taking CRJ495. This course may not be available in all states; see the State Specific Authorization Policy under Admissions Policies.


You can customize your online degree in Criminal Justice by adding a specialization. Similar to a degree concentration, each specialization consists of five upper-division courses (15 credit hours) in a more specific area of interest. A specialization is not required to complete a bachelor’s degree, but it is an ideal way to tailor your educational experience to your professional goals and personal interests.

Explore Your Specialization Options for Your B.S. in Criminal Justice:

  • Computer Programming

    Computer Programming specialization is aimed at non-computer science majors who would like to broaden their programming capabilities. Courses cover an entire spectrum of basic programming and software development techniques for analysis, design, and implementation of software applications across various operating systems and platforms.

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  • Criminal Forensics

    The Criminal Forensics program is ideal for students interested in crime scene investigation and forensic science. Gain the knowledge and skills to pursue or advance a career as a medical examiner, crime analyst, criminal investigator, or similar position in this exciting field.

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  • Criminology

    The Criminology program focuses on the study of crime, criminal behavior, and the legal system. Students pursuing a career in law enforcement, social work, forensics, welfare, pathology, probation, or other public safety positions will gain a competitive advantage through the Criminology program.

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  • Data Management and Analysis

    The Data Management and Analysis program is designed for students interested in careers related to information systems and networking. Professionals interested in the information technology field who desire in-depth knowledge of how to manage enterprise data should consider this program.

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  • Digital Marketing

    Earn an undergraduate specialization in digital marketing with CSU-Global. Learn valuable skills to expand your career in SEO, SEM, Social Media Marketing and Content.

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  • Emergency Management

    While emergency situations cannot always be avoided, proper critical response and preparation can drastically improve public safety. The Emergency Management program provides professionals, including safety directors, emergency specialists, consultants, analysts, and direct responders, with the skills necessary in a wide array of emergencies.

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  • Foundations of Accounting

    This program provides business principles and other applied skills in the area of accounting to assist professionals at all levels. In addition to accountants and CPAs, this program provides financial understanding for budget and cost analysts, payroll specialists, auditors, tax consultants, advisors, managers, and more.

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  • Fundraising

    If you are looking to enter a career in fundraising CSU-Global offers specialization programs, learn more about your education opportunities today.

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  • Healthcare Management

    The Healthcare Management program provides professionals in clinics, hospitals, private practices, nursing homes, research facilities, and more with the focused training required to handle the unique management challenges of the healthcare industry. This program gives students a competitive edge in an ever-changing field.

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  • Human Resources and Organizational Development

    Students interested in pursuing a career in Human Resources should consider adding this specialization to their bachelor’s degree coursework. It provides a background in personnel management, staff training and development, policy and procedures, and more. When completed as part of the B.S. in Business Management degree, this specialization aligns with educational standards from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

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  • Information Technology Management

    As technology continues to advance, the need for qualified IT managers grows as well. Through the Information Technology Management Specialization, students gain the administrative knowledge needed to meet the demands of corporate technology systems including problem solving, resource allocation, networking, security, and more.

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  • Information Technology Operations

    This program provides a basic understanding of technology operations, networking, problem-solving, development, and more. Professionals interested in careers that require knowledge of information technology, including administrators, department managers, system analysts, and more, will benefit from this program.

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  • International Business

    The undergraduate specialization in International Business prepares students for international management career opportunities within multinational industries and organizations. Learners will gain an understanding of economic, legal, governmental, financial, and cultural issues related to international business.

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  • Marketing

    Students interested in the global field of marketing will benefit from this specialization, which includes promotion, creative services, public relations, research, consulting, communications, advertisement, strategy, branding, and much more. The Marketing program provides the tools necessary to be successfully employed in many areas within this field.

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  • Operations Management and Supervision

    The Operations Management and Supervision program is ideal for students who pursue careers in logistics or manufacturing and production. These courses provide knowledge and skills to improve efficiency, efficacy, and performance in organizational operations.

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  • Organizational Leadership

    If you wish to advance into a management role in your organization or further your management skills as they apply to staff, effective decision making, strategic communication, and more you should consider the Organizational Leadership program in addition to your your bachelor’s degree major or as a certificate of completion.

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  • Project Management

    Students interested in project management should consider this program to gain comprehensive theories and concepts on how to improve organizational efficiency and performance on a per project basis. Ideal for both Project Management Professionals (PMP) and those interested in entering this growing field.

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  • Public and Non-Profit Management

    Students interested in careers within the public and non-profit sectors should consider pursuing a specialization or certificate of completion in Public and Non-Profit Management. This program provides students with management and decision-making abilities necessary within these organizations.

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  • Public Relations

    Public relations specialists aim to generate a positive image for their clients by maintaining relationships with media professionals, developing campaigns, creating print and web-based materials, writing speeches, and managing digital media.

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  • Strategic Communications

    Effective communication can increase efficiency and results in a wide array of professional positions. The Strategic Communication program improves both internal and external messaging, delivery, and comprehension for managers, consultants, marketing and public relations specialists, human resources, and more.

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Cost and Schedule


We understand the sacrifice needed to invest in your education, so our promise to you is an affordable education with low tuition rates, no out-of-state tuition, and tuition guaranteed not to increase for as long as you are enrolled. Find out how you can earn your online bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and law enforcement administration without breaking the bank. 

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Get ready to hit the beat on your own time. With 100% online classes you work and study when it’s most convenient for you.

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Why CSU-Global?


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Through self-study and prior learning assessments

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Student Headshot - Elizabeth Woolven"CSU-Global is the best choice I have made in regards to my education. I have attended several other online colleges and never seemed to feel like they really cared about me as a student. Here at CSU-Global they work with me if I am having a hard time getting financials together for books or classes."

- Elizabeth Woolven, Criminal Justice


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