Online Criminal Justice Degree

The Criminal Justice system is a set of agencies and practices responsible for controlling crime, deterring criminals, and holding individuals who violate the law accountable.

The United States does not follow one specific Criminal Justice system. The laws vary according to the jurisdiction. There are however two main systems



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  • State Criminal Justice System (applicable within a particular state, includes state level and local bodies)

  • Federal Criminal Justice System (applicable nationwide and includes federal bodies)

Where the former is concerned with addressing crimes committed within a particular state, the latter deals with crimes committed on federal property or in multiple states.

Criminal Justice therefore focuses on the study of crime and the criminal justice system.

What can you study?

To further your studies in the area of criminal justice and subsequently pursue a relevant career, it is imperative to acquire formal training and education. Since Criminal Justice is such a diverse and broad field, there are many study options that you can choose from. Before finalizing which academic program to take up, you need to decide what professional position you wish to pursue. The choice of the program will essentially depend upon your career objectives.

What Criminal Justice Careers Can you Pursue?

Criminal Justice jobs tend to be related to one of the three main areas that make up the criminal justice system. Each area is essential to the effective functioning of the system.

Law Enforcement: This is mainly concerned with investigating crimes, gathering and preserving evidence, arresting offenders, testifying in courts, and following up on investigations.

Courts: The purpose of courts is to oversee trials, determine whether the accused is guilty or not, pass sentences, and ensure that the law is being followed.

Corrections: This area deals with overseeing convicted offenders in prisons, jails, or on probation or parole. It also focuses on enforcing laws within jails or prisons and ensuring that any facility that houses offenders remains safe and secure.

Graduates with a degree in criminal justice or a related concentration may look for many different opportunities within these fields. To give you a better idea as to the type of jobs that exist in the field of criminal justice, we’ve listed down five jobs that have been identified as ‘”5 of the best paying criminal justice careers” by US News:

Attorneys: These professionals are responsible for representing individuals, businesses, and governments in legal issues and cases. They may work as prosecutors or defense attorneys. Prosecutors work for the government and take action against those who break the law. Defense attorneys on the other hand represent the accused individuals or businesses.

Median Pay (2012): $113,530 (BLS)

Criminologists: They try to understand why people break the law. Criminologists work in collaboration with other criminal justice professionals and provide valuable insights into criminal behavior. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), criminology is a sub-category within the field of sociology.

Median Pay (2012): $74,960 (BLS)

Forensic Psychologists: The main responsibility of forensic psychologists is to examine and analyze the psychological aspects of different cases, and act as expert witness in trials.

Median Pay (2012): $69,280 (BLS)

Police Detectives: They are required to interview suspects, gather relevant evidence, investigate criminals, and testify in courts. Police detectives are therefore responsible for the protection of lives and properties.

Median Pay (2012): $56,980 (BLS)

FBI Agent: These are law enforcement officers who primarily deal with federal laws. Their work revolves around issues such as anti-terrorism activities and dealing with heinous crimes such as murder, kidnapping, drug-trafficking and fraud. All those applying for an FBI Agent position have to qualify under any of the five distinct Special Agent Entry Programs. These include Accounting, Computer Science/Information Technology, Language, Law and Diversified. Under the last category, a BA or BS degree is accepted in any area, but the candidate has to have three years of work experience at full-time positions.

Annual Pay (2014): $61,100 and $69,900 (FBI)

*figures for new Special Agents freshly assigned to Field offices at GS-10, step 1

According to the figures reported by BLS and US News, these jobs will experience positive growth over the next decade. After all, as long as there are instances of crime in the society, there will be a demand for these professionals.

In addition to the above mentioned careers, there are many other opportunities that you can explore. You may look for a position in the public or private sector and academics, as well as research.

What Criminal Justice Degrees and Courses are available?

Depending upon the profession you decide to take up, you may choose from various levels of study including associates, bachelors, masters as well as a doctorate. The exact duration of the degree will depend upon your enrolment status and the route you decide to take; such as accelerated coursework or self-paced programs.

There will be variations in the curriculum depending on the level and school that you enroll in. However, in most of the criminal justice programs, you’ll find courses such as:

  • Introduction to law, policing, and corrections in America
  • Security and police administration
  • Ethics in criminal justice
  • Courts, Society, and Criminal procedure
  • Social Psychology
  • Corrections: Concepts, Systems, and Issues
  • Crime and Delinquency

Most of the programs will allow you to opt for some elective modules and tailor your coursework according to your interests and career objectives. You may also find programs that focus on a particular area within criminal justice, including policing, criminal law, homeland security, and corrections.

How and When to Apply?

Admission requirements may vary depending upon the level and school that you want to enroll in. In most of the universities, you’ll be required to complete an online application form. Before you apply, you need to make sure that you fulfill all the prerequisites. For instance, in order to apply for a Bachelor in Criminal Justice degree program, you should hold a high school diploma or equivalent, and submit all official documents such as transcripts, and certificates. Some universities may also require you to submit standardized test scores and pay an application fee.

It is recommended that you apply well in advance before the deadlines. Some schools do not have fixed application deadlines and allow students to submit their applications on a rolling basis. To find the exact information regarding the right time to apply, you should visit the admissions page of your prospective school’s website.

If you are planning on pursuing a career related to Criminal Justice, keep the following points in mind.

  • Choose criminal justice as a college major related to crime, legal developments, law enforcement, and controversial matters.

  • Do your research and explore all the options before you enroll in any criminal justice program. Take into account the course structure, curriculum, and credentials of the faculty.

  • Success in a criminal justice program requires personality traits and skills such as good communication skills, effective judgment, leadership qualities, meticulous nature, and the ability to work under stress and meet deadlines.

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Q:What areas do individuals study in the Criminal Justice Programs?

A:The criminal justice degree programs comprise of various topics that make up a comprehensive curriculum. Some of the major topics studied in this degree program include criminal law, history and philosophy of justice, forensics, statistics, American constitutional law, judiciary system, and forensic technologies.

Q:Name a few jobs that can be pursued with Online Criminal Justice Programs and degrees?

A:Individuals who complete programs or degrees in the field of criminal justice can begin professional careers. There are a range of jobs that can be pursued in various government and private agencies such as in the court system, attorney general offices, narcotics bureau, police department, juvenile justice department, customs agency, department of homeland security, immigration and veteran’s affairs, and many more.

Q:What is the significance of the Criminal Justice program online?

A:Online Criminal Justice programs allow students to be able to pursue work opportunities during day time and complete their education after office timings from the ease of home. Online Criminal Justice programs also offer students the flexibility of choosing their own pace. Study only as much as they can absorb at a time. These degree programs also allow applicants to save travel time and costs. Online programs are also considered comparatively cheaper.

Q:Which are the shortest criminal justice classes I can take online?

A:The shortest Criminal Justice classes offered online consist of the Certificate in Criminal Justice Administration. It is a one year program traditionally speaking. However, it can also be completed in less than one year if it is opted in the online program. Since online programs are self-paced, students can take as long or less time as they see fit.

Q:To get good jobs with a Criminal Justice degree, do I need to have knowledge of English Composition?

A:Yes. To find good Jobs with a Criminal Justice degree you do need to present a strong understanding of English Composition. In fact, most of the degree programs in this field already have a 3 credits worth course on it which allows you to learn the skills for critical thinking, proofreading and composing the reports, techniques for organized writing, short essays and also writing the research papers.

Q:What is taught in a general Criminal Justice degree?

A:A general Criminal Justice degree is often referred to as the Bachelor in Criminal Justice. Since the bachelor's degree is an undergraduate program, students are taught the background and theories of criminal justice in general comprehensively. It is beyond the undergrad level that students can pick an area of specialization and concentrate there.

Q:As I read about the branches of criminal justice, there was highlight on torts. Can you please tell me of the contents of a course on Torts?

A:All of the branches of Criminal Justice do have substantial study of Torts. Torts is a primary course in all of the relevant programs and is of over 4 credits in total. This course focuses on understanding the violent world of torts and understanding the background to deaths, casualties, injuries, collisions, explosions as well as mishaps. International torts as well as civil wrongs are also extensively studied in this course.

Q:What are the contents of the course on College Mathematics in the best criminal justice programs?

A:The Best Criminal Justice Programs in United States have dedicated courses on College Mathematics. This course has been designed to provide students with substantial understanding of the basic levels of mathematics that also includes the manipulation of the whole numbers. Students are also highlighted on the principles of geometry along with hands on experience.

Q:Searching for criminal justice for kids mentioned a course in juvenile justice. What is included in this course?

A:Course on juvenile justice would be mentioned when searching for criminal justice for kids. This course is worth 3 credit hours and deals with the history and development of the juvenile system. This course also guides the student in social, psychological, environmental and political aspects of the juvenile system. There are a number of online institutions offering this course on our website, prospective students are advised to have a look.

Q:What are the contents of the course on Beginning English Writing in the Accredited Criminal Justice programs?

A:The Accredited Criminal Justice Programs in the United States have dedicated course on Beginning English Writing. This course is worth 2 credits in total and is designed to provide students with ample understanding of the concepts and understanding needed to improve English and get better at writing it. Students are also highlighted on the proper hands on experience.

Q:While searching for Criminal Justice programs online, I got to know about Principles of Security Administration course. Can you tell me more about it?

A:It is very common to come across the reference of various courses and programs relevant to the field while going through search like Criminal Justice programs online. Principles of Security Administration course is included in various programs related to Criminal Justice. In this course the students are taught the fundamentals of security administration and related tasks.

Q:As I went through the top online criminal justice programs, there was mention of the course on Business Analysis. What are the contents of this course?

A:It is common to get to read about the course on Business Analysis while going through the Top Online Criminal Justice Programs. This course usually is worth 2 credits in total. It is designed to provide students with ample understanding of the various concepts of algebra and how these can be used in improving the business setup of an organization or a company.

Q:What are some of the basic courses taught in the criminal justice degree program?

A:In today's world professionals with a degree in criminal justice are highly sought after by crime fighting government agencies or private agencies performing law enforcement duties in the international arena. The subjects taught in these degree programs prove to be very helpful for professionals in their careers ahead. Some of these subjects are: Criminal justice, Terrorism, Law enforcement, Judicial Process, Multicultural issues in criminal justice and Victimology to name a few.

Q:As I was looking at the curriculum of criminal justice degrees, I came across a course criminal behavior. Can you tell me about this subject?

A:Criminal justice degrees comprise of numerous subjects that provide students with in depth information about the field. Criminal behavior is one of the major areas of study in these programs. This subject focuses on criminal behavior typologies, psychological issues related to criminality, and career criminals. These programs can be earned online as well.

Q:Degrees in criminal justice are offered at which levels of post-secondary education?

A:Degrees in criminal justice are offered at levels of post-secondary education. Students who have just finished high school can enroll in an associate degree in criminal justice or a bachelor degree in criminal justice. On the other hand, graduate programs such as a master's degree in criminal justice pr a doctorate degree in criminal justice can also be earned.

Q:Tell me about the degrees available in criminal justice program?

A:Criminal justice degree programs have gained popularity since 9/11 when national security became the focus of everyday life. This program offers degrees of different levels, from Bachelors, Masters to even a Masters in arts degree in the same field. It takes about two years to complete each of these degree program, and revolves around teaching students the fundamentals of criminal justice. These skills are necessary whether the student is pursuing a degree focusing on liberal arts or sciences to a certain extent.

Q:What are my options when it comes to criminal justice degree programs?

A:If you want a degree in criminal justice there are plenty of options that you can explore. If you are a high school graduate you can look for a bachelor's or an associate degree which takes four and two years respectively. Advanced degree options include a master's and doctoral degree.

Q:What to do with a criminal justice degree?

A:With a criminal justice degree you can look for jobs in law enforcement agencies. The position you get would depend on the area of specialization and the level of degree you pursue. Those who have an associate or a bachelor degree can get entry level positions as police officers, investigation officers and corrections officer etc.

Q:What careers can you get with a criminal justice degree?

A:With a criminal justice degree you can pursue a career in law enforcement agencies. The degree level can help determine the kind of jobs you can get. People with these degrees can look for jobs in police department, courts, or work in public or private defense agencies. One can also work as a detective. There are many options open for those who take up this career line.

Q:What degrees are similar to criminal justice degree?

A:There are no degree programs similar to criminal justice degrees. Each academic principle is different from another. Criminal justice basically covers all aspects of crime and law, crime prevention, prevention techniques, and law enforcement. The area can be studied at all levels of post-secondary education and also at non-degree level.

Q:If I get a criminal justice degree, can I qualify for the police department?

A:Yes you can qualify for the police department with a criminal justice degree. You must have at least a bachelor degree in criminal justice to become a police officer. Other requirements may include physical training tests and programs. Criminal justice is a brad field and can lead to many careers in the law enforcement sector.

Q:Why is a degree in criminal justice necessary for joining the law enforcement sector?

A:Criminal justice degree programs are geared towards prepping students for law enforcement careers. The field is vast and gives students a number of career paths to choose from. Criminal justice basically covers topics related to crime prevention, security, control, and law. If you want to join the law enforcement sector, you must be fully aware of the crime control techniques and laws.

Q:As I was looking for sources for Criminal Justice degree, I came across career opportunities that are well paying. Can you tell me more about this?

A:Criminal justice degrees will help you prepare for careers in the law enforcement sector. You can work in all kinds of departments such as the police, homeland security, border patrol, correction, and more. The income level will vary from job to job and will depend upon other actors such as qualifications training, and skill.

Q:What job titles can be earned after completing Criminal Justice Degree

A:After completing a criminal justice degree, you can work with law enforcement agencies which are divided into local law enforcement and federal law enforcement agencies. You can also work in various court systems and also find work in the private sector. With an accredited criminal justice degree, you have the option of aspiring to different job titles.

Q:What job titles can be earned after completing Criminal Justice Degree?

A:With a criminal justice degree, you can pursue different kinds of jobs in the law enforcement sector. Many students opt for careers as police officers and homeland security officers. There are also other major occupations in criminal justice such as the following: probations officer, border patrol officer, corrections officer, and more.

Q:What can you do with a criminal justice degree program?

A:A criminal justice degree gives you a number of career options. You can acquire a certain criminal justice career based on factors like education level, specialization area, accreditation, and experience. You can acquire criminal justice positions such as probation officer, police officer, corrections officer, case worker, parole officer, and arbitrator.

Q:Is criminal justice a good major?

A:Criminal justice can be a good major as it opens up a wide variety of career options for you. However, you also need to know your interest and aptitude in the field. Besides, it is important that you acquire quality education in criminal justice, from an accredited program. Accredited programs will enhance your career prospects too.

Q:Can I get information regarding education in this field at a credible criminal justice site?

A:You can conduct a search online to learn about criminal justice education and colleges. If you take a look at our page, you will be able to get plenty of information about this field, and also learn about colleges currently offering degrees. Criminal justice is one of the most popular academic fields offered at associate, bachelor, and masters level.

Q:What information should I get form criminal justice resources before enrolling in any program?

A:There are many web pages ad online resources available that can help you learn about the criminal justice field. It is important that you understand what criminal justice is all about, and what career opportunities you will get with a degree in this area. Law enforcement, investigations, and homeland security are a few of the main departments that seek criminal justice graduates.

Q:How is a criminal justice major useful for me? Can you name a few job opportunities?

A:Criminal justice majors can seek career opportunities in many different departments. This field basically covers criminal law, sentencing procedures, corrections, and policing. Individuals who have a degree in criminal justice can join the police department, homeland security department, and even work in the corrections agency. Take a look at our page for more detail.

Q:Online criminal justice degrees will help me lower costs?

A:Yes, online degree programs will help you manage costs more effectively. This mode of learning has proved to be cost-friendly in many ways. You can cut down on expenses related to travelling and textbooks. All you will need is a computer and an internet connection to study. Online programs are gaining popularity fast due to the many benefits and advantages.

Q:Is the curriculum of a criminal justice online degree the same as a campus based criminal justice degree?

A:The curriculum of online and campus based degrees in criminal justice is the same. It is only the mode of learning that is different. Instead of having to travel to college based classes every day, students can study from the comfort of their home with convenience. The curriculum will cover many subjects such as law enforcement, criminal law, investigations, and criminology.

Q:What are the main criminal justice degrees online?

A:The availability of online criminal justice programs will vary from place to place. Typically, students will be able to find criminal justice degrees at associate, bachelor, and masters level. Apart from these, many institutes are offering online certifications in criminal justice. You must have a computer and an internet connection to enroll in an online program.

Q:Is a criminal justice degree online worth my time?

A:Whether earning a degree is worth your time or not will depend upon your preference, willingness to work hard, and interest. Criminal justice is one of the most popularly pursued fields in college. You can prepare for a wide range of career opportunities in law enforcement, homeland security, law, and even the border patrol agency.

Q:Can a criminal justice degree guide me to become a police detective later on?

A:Yes, you can pursue a career as a police detective after completing an accredited degree in criminal justice and meeting other requirements such as necessary trainings and fitness tests. Police detectives are required to interview suspects, gather relevant evidence, investigate criminals, and testify in courts. The median annual pay for police detectives was $56,980 in May 2012 according to BLS.

Q:Will criminal justice degrees guide me to be a criminologist?

A:Yes, you can pursue a career as a criminologist after completing an accredited degree in criminal justice. Criminologists are responsible for working in collaboration with other criminal justice professionals and providing valuable insights into criminal behavior. According to BLS, the median annual pay of criminologists in May 2012 was $74,960.

Q:After criminal justice classes online, what career can I pursue?

A:With an accredited degree in criminal justice, individuals can hope to pursue viable careers within the fields of law enforcement, homeland security, incarceration, criminal investigation, rehabilitation as well as criminal courts. Each career would have its own requirements of relevant education, skill and experience. Associate, bachelor and master's degree programs in criminal justice are offered by many accredited schools.

Q:Can you tell me about online schools with best associate criminal justice programs?

A:Many accredited schools and colleges offer online associate degrees in criminal justice, which can usually be completed in two years. The course structures are quite flexible with a mix of video courses, online discussion boards, readings, and periodic live chats used among other forms of teaching. These programs are also generally more affordable than on campus programs.

Q:Why is it important to select an accredited criminal justice degree?

A:If you are looking for a criminal justice program, a major factor to consider is the accreditation of a criminal justice degree. Accreditation indicates that the program has met the quality standards set by the relevant accreditation agency. Accreditation helps students to acquire quality education and have a secure career.

Q:How can I perform well in online criminal justice degrees?

A:If you wish to perform well in an online criminal justice degree, you will need consistency and self management. Although online programs are convenient and flexible, they require greater responsibility on your part. You must attend lectures regularly, participate in class discussions, turn in assignments on time, and have a proper study schedule that you can easily follow.

Q:What will I learn in an online criminal justice degree?

A:In a criminal justice degree online, you will learn about the dynamic criminal justice system. The course will cover areas such as criminal law, criminology, law enforcement, criminal court procedures, and more. The coursework is covered online through online lectures, videos, classroom conferencing, and tutorials. Take a look at our page for more information.

Q:What is the Criminal Justice Degree Hub?

A:The criminal justice degree hub is a website that serves as a complete knowledge source for all degrees related to criminal justice. It gives insight into the criminal justice basics as well as higher education options of the degree. The site also gives a unique perspective onto the careers in criminal justice for graduates of the program.

Q:Can I be an FBI agent after Criminal Justice Education? What do they do?

A:Upon finishing your Criminal Justice Education, if you're ambitious, smart, have a college degree and are ready to serve your country then a job with the CIA is for you. If you're a U.S Citizen and you meet the background check and qualifications then you can apply for a job with the CIA.

Q:What are the admission requirements for masters' in criminal justice programs?

A:A master's criminal justice program is a graduate level program that requires at least the completion of an undergraduate degree. Most masters programs may have GPA requirements and you will be required to fill out and submit a completed application form along with your transcripts of previous studies. The undergraduate degree must be in a related field of study such as law, legal studies or criminal justice.

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