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Gain the Knowledge and Skills Needed to Protect People and Property with an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice

Getting your Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from CSU Global will help you develop a deep understanding of the inner workings of law enforcement, corrections, and the law itself, providing you with the skills and knowledge needed to serve as a criminal justice professional.

As a dedicated public servant, a service member transitioning from the military, or someone who’s simply interested in law enforcement administration and criminal justice, your next career move could start with a B.S. Degree in Criminal Justice from CSU Global.

If you’re seeking employment with State or Federal agencies, local police and sheriffs departments, correctional and government facilities, private sector investigation, security, and risk-assessment firms, insurance, banking, or other financial-sector companies, our online Criminal Justice program is the perfect way to gain the knowledge, skills, and credentials you need to advance your career and improve your potential value on the job market.

This fully-accredited bachelor’s degree program provides students with a complex understanding and knowledge of the criminal justice system, ensuring you’ll be on the cutting edge as a leader in criminal justice.

Completing your online Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree with CSU Global will prepare you to bring value to any organization from day one, ensuring you’re well prepared to protect the safety and security of the United States and beyond.


Career Outlook

QUALITIES NEEDED FOR SUCCESS IN THE FIELD Reliable, thorough, independent, clear communicator, willing to be challenged, and able to remain calm in high-pressure situations.


POLICE OFFICER, PRIVATE DETECTIVE, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR Potential career opportunities for alumni of Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree programs alumni.

$65,170 ESTIMATED MEDIAN SALARY Average annual salary for Police Officers and Detectives in 2019, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Criminal Justice Responsibilities







Watch a Quick 2-Minute Overview

This quick video covers a variety of topics, including:

  • Why you should consider getting a B.S. in Criminal Justice.
  • What you’ll learn in our online Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
  • Why you should pick CSU Global’s Criminal Justice Bachelor’s program.

What Will I Learn from CSU Global’s B.S. in Criminal Justice Program?

Our Criminal Justice program includes an exploration of both traditional and contemporary methods of maintaining the important balance between ensuring public safety and protecting civil liberties.

This program provides students with detailed knowledge of crime, law, the justice system, as well as important ethical issues and relevant theories that apply to public and private sector criminal justice organizations.

As a student in our program, you’ll explore important contemporary topics like cybercrime, terrorism, international investigations, forensics, white-collar crime and technology, ensuring you’re able to serve on the front line to help protect the safety and security of the United States.

Whether you already have some experience in criminal justice and simply need a degree or credential to take the next step in your career, or you have no prior experience, our online B.S. Degree in Criminal Justice is designed to train you to pursue a successful career in the industry.

This program was designed to provide you with practical knowledge of the law enforcement field needed to ensure that you are fully prepared to serve as an effective criminal justice professional by giving you:

Real-world experience in criminal justice situations through interactive simulations used to improve your deciding-making skills.

  • Detailed knowledge about how to run an effective criminal justice system, and an overview of the theories and practices of law enforcement. 
  • A deeper understanding of the impact that criminal justice has on communities and society, as a whole, including the necessary balance between safety and civil liberties.
  • A complex awareness of the ethical issues and controversial policies facing criminal justice organizations and personnel.
  • Knowledge about how related jobs in criminal justice and investigations will be changing and evolving due to cyberthreats and increased access to information through improving technology.

lawyers in front of a building

woman on her computer

What Criminal Justice Skills Will You Develop?

Our online criminal justice program will provide you with the skills and abilities that could serve as an important foundation for an exciting career in law enforcement, at a public- or private-sector agency, or in political science, research, social work, investigations, the military, or another related field.

The courses you take as part of our online bachelor’s in criminal justice will give you a deep understanding of the functions and relationship between the police, courts, and corrections components of the criminal justice system, while also allowing you to explore important contemporary issues facing criminal justice professionals.

Specific learning outcomes for this program include building the skills and knowledge required to:

  • 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.

Finally, CSU Global’s partnership with important criminal justice agencies and associations ensures that our program and related specializations will provide the very latest information from the field, while also helping to build your professional network.

Our partner agencies include:

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM)
  • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)
  • Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (CAIF)
  • Alpha Phi Sigma Honors Society


CSU Global’s Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree requires the completion of 120 total credits, including a mix of core degree courses, general education courses, elective courses, and optional degree specializations and certificates.

Classes Start Feb 14th

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General Education Courses (31 Credits)

CSU Global’s General Education Courses are more than a bachelor’s degree requirement. They are designed to help you develop and strengthen valuable skills demanded in the workplace.

Already taken some courses? Up to 90 total credits (and 64 from community colleges) can be transferred into a bachelor’s degree at CSU Global. Request a Transcript Evaluation Summary to see how close you already are to graduation!

Learn More About General Education

Core Degree Courses (30 Credits)

  • 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.
  • 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.

Degree Specialization (Optional) (15 Credits)

When you earn your bachelor’s degree through CSU Global, you can choose to customize it with an undergraduate specialization in a subject that matches your professional goals or personal interests. 

Most Popular Specializations:

Additional Available Specializations for this Program:

Download the Specializations Chart
View a list of all CSU Global specializations and the degree programs they can be paired with.

Elective Courses (Remaining credits to reach 120 total credits)

The remainder of your degree is comprised of courses of your choice that support your educational goals and needs. Including a specialization reduces the number of elective credits you'll need to complete your bachelor's degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Criminal Justice?

Criminal justice is an extremely important sector that has a significant impact on communities and society, as criminal justice professionals are effectively responsible for protecting everyone and everything from criminal activity, terrorism, and other threats.

The criminal justice system is made up of law enforcement agencies and personnel, courts, and the corrections department, who must collaborate to prevent, deter, and address crime.

There are many other components to the criminal justice system, however, and other important elements include the military and specifically certain types of military personnel, as well as private-sector investigators, and technology experts who play significant roles in ensuring the safety and security of people, companies, and property. 

To be successful in the field, you’ll need to be capable of combining managerial skills with knowledge of law enforcement best practices to ensure that the department or agency you work for can continue to run smoothly and efficiently, allowing it to complete its core mission of protecting people and their property.

Why Should I Consider a Career in Criminal Justice?

There are all sorts of interesting, exciting, and rewarding career opportunities in criminal justice, especially for people who are reliable, thorough, independent, clear communicators, and who are willing to be challenged, yet who can remain calm under pressure.

Whether you’ve already got experience in the field or you’re looking to start a career from scratch, getting your bachelor’s degree in criminal justice could help set you up for lifelong success in the industry.

According to The Balance Careers, top-rated reasons to consider working in criminal justice include getting to help others on a daily basis, enjoying job stability and security, getting to engage your brain in complex, challenging work situations, and enjoying excellent health and retirement benefits.

If you’re the type of person who wants to have a positive impact on society, then a career in criminal justice could be the perfect fit for you.

What Do Criminal Justice Professionals Do?

Criminal justice professionals are tasked with a huge variety of responsibilities, with duties being dramatically different depending on the specific role.

The criminal justice system encompasses a huge number of different types of roles, and is not at all limited to jobs working as police officers or corrections personnel, as is commonly thought.

As a criminal justice professional, you’ll have the opportunity to explore careers in a whole series of related sectors, institutions, and organizations, including:

  • State and federal agencies, including, but not limited to law enforcement agencies.
  • Local police and sheriff departments, or other related organizations.
  • Correctional and government facilities.
  • Private sector investigative, security, and risk-assessment firms.
  • Insurance, banking, and other companies in the financial sector.

Because there are so many different options for criminal justice professionals, it’s difficult to say exactly what any given professional is responsible for doing on a daily basis, but some typical responsibilities across different positions in the field include:

  • Developing policies.
  • Advising on crisis response.
  • Providing law updates.
  • Managing records.

Depending on what specific role you pursue, your work functions and duties may be similar, or significantly different from the list above.

The great thing about getting into the criminal justice industry is that you’ll have lots of different options for the types of roles you choose to pursue, so no matter what you’re interested in doing, as long as you’re keen on having a positive impact, you should be able to find a compelling and rewarding position in the field.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice?

CSU Global’s Criminal Justice Bachelor’s program prepares alumni to lead criminal justice, law enforcement, and related organizations by providing them with a strong foundation of competencies in a range of related skills, including: 

  • Learning how to run an effective criminal justice system and how to serve as a professional who is capable of making excellent decisions even while under a great deal of pressure.
  • Developing a detailed understanding of the role and impact that the criminal justice system has on communities and society as a whole, including a sophisticated awareness of addressing safety concerns and protecting civil liberties.
  • Awareness for how the criminal justice system and investigation-related jobs and processes are changing due to cyberthreats and rapid improvements in technology.

Our online B.S. in Criminal Justice introduces students to the theories and practices of law enforcement, helping them to develop a complex understanding of the ethical issues and controversial policies facing criminal justice organizations and personnel, setting them up for success in pursuing roles in:

  • Law enforcement.
  • Public- and private-sector agencies.
  • Political science.
  • Research.
  • Social work.
  • Investigations.
  • Military personnel.
  • Corporate security.
  • Executive protection.
  • Global security specialist.
  • Government contractor.
  • Other related fields.

With the detailed understanding our program provides of the functions and relationship between the police, courts, and corrections component of the criminal justice system, our graduates emerge from their bachelor’s program fully-prepared to provide value to any organization from day one.

Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Really Worth Getting?

Yes. While it may take hard work and dedication to complete your bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, CSU Global’s 100% online program is one of the best ways to prepare for a career in the field.

Earning your bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can contribute to your overall career advancement, preparing you for employment in some of the industries top roles, like:

It really is worth getting a bachelor’s in criminal justice, because the skills, knowledge and abilities you develop by learning about criminal justice best practices will set you up to pursue lifelong success in the industry.

What is the Best College for Criminal Justice?

CSU Global is one of the best online colleges for criminal justice, and you should consider studying with us because:

  • Our B.S. in Criminal Justice program earned a #1 ranking for 10 Best Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Degree Programs from Online Course Report.
  • Our partnership program with important criminal justice agencies and organizations could help build your professional network
  • Our online criminal justice program is nationally and professionally recognized, and regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

We also recently earned several prestigious awards, including:

  • A #3 ranking for Best Colleges in Colorado from Best Value Schools.
  • A Gold School of Distinction award from Best Colleges, making us one of only 15 schools to receive gold rankings, out of more than 2,000 online degree programs.

How much will my degree cost?

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You may be eligible to receive financial aid to help cover the cost of your education.

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Credit By Exam

You can get credit by taking exams for what you have already learned.

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Self-Study Assessments

Earn course credits for taking a proctored exam for specific content areas.

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Prior Learning Assessment

Earn credit for what you’re learned in your career or other educational experience.

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Why Should You Choose CSU Global?

CSU Global provides more than just a diploma. Our career-driven programs are based on real-world concepts designed to help you excel in the workplace from day one. Our Tuition Guarantee ensures that your rate won’t rise from enrollment to graduation, and because we know how hard it can be to juggle education, work, and family responsibilities, our programs can be completed entirely online, with no set times or locations, monthly class starts and accelerated courses.

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The Best Schools selected CSU Global based on curriculum quality, faculty excellence, rankings, awards, and reputation.

"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."


Criminal Justice

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