The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice provides you with sound knowledge in the areas of U.S. law enforcement, criminology, investigations, law, and community relations. A wide range of course offerings enable you to focus on juvenile issues, causes of crime and criminal behavior, corrections and incarceration, investigative procedures and techniques, leadership, maritime law, or forensics. This bachelor’s degree will enhance your professional career path if you are currently in the criminal justice field, or can help to prepare you for a new career as a criminologist, agent, or investigator in federal, state or local law enforcement, judicial, and other organizations.

Our criminal justice programs are among the most popular at the university, bringing you peer interactions and an expanded network of criminal justice professionals who are dedicated to safeguarding their communities and nation. Courses in this program are taught by highly credentialed and experienced instructors, many who hold key positions in government agencies or criminal justice organizations.

Note: for a more in-depth study in forensics, consider our Criminal Justice B.S. degree.

Degree Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and general education level learning objectives, the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice also seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. With reference to each of the respective areas of criminal justice, graduates in this degree program will be able to:

Criminal Justice Administration and Organization

  • Recognize and explain the major international, U.S., and localized law enforcement systems and organization.
  • Describe and analyze the political and public administrative aspects of law enforcement organizations.

Criminal Justice Theories and Concepts

  • Communicate and apply the major theories and concepts of crime, criminal justice, and criminology.
  • Conduct research associated with criminal justice and criminology theories.

Criminal Justice Operations, Practices, and Processes

  • Assess the operations, practices, and processes associated with leading standards of evidence and law.

While learning objectives that are specific to the academic discipline have been identified for each degree program, the University System also outlines general education outcomes (Level 1 and 2) that are sought throughout the institution and at each degree level.

Degree at a Glance

First Course Requirement3
General Education Requirements34
Core Requirements30
Select one of the following concentrations:15
Final Program Requirements3
Elective Requirements36
Total Semester Hours121

Degree Program Requirements

First Course Requirement (3 semester hours)

COLL100Foundations of Online Learning 13
Total Semester Hours3

Required as the first course in all undergraduate programs.

General Education Requirements (34 semester hours)

English (6 semester hours)
ENGL101Proficiency in Writing (Required)3
ENGL102Effectiveness in Writing3
or ENGL200 Composition and Literature
History (6 semester hours)
Select 2 courses from the following:6
American History to 1877
American History since 1877
World Civilization before 1650
World Civilization since 1650
Western Civilization before The Thirty Years War
Western Civilization since The Thirty Years War
African-American History before 1877
African-American History since 1877
History of the American Indian
Humanities (3 semester hours)
Select 1 course from the following:3
Arabic I
Art Appreciation
Public Speaking
French I
French II
German I
German II
Human Relations Communication
Introduction to Japanese
Music Appreciation
Introduction to Philosophy
Introduction to Ethics
Introduction to Brazilian Portuguese
Introduction to World Religions
Russian I
Spanish I
Spanish II
Literature (3 semester hours)
Select 1 course from the following: 13
World Literature through the Renaissance
World Literature since the Renaissance
English Literature: Beowulf to18th Century
English Literature: 18th Century to Present
American Literature before The Civil War
American Literature from The Civil War to Present
Mathematics (3 semester hours)
Select 1 course from the following:3
College Algebra
College Trigonometry
Introduction to Statistics
Math for Liberal Arts Majors
Political Science (3 semester hours)
Select 1 course from the following:3
International Relations I
American Government I
Science (4 semester hours)
Select 1 course from the following:4
Habitable Worlds Are We Alone with Lab
Introduction to Biology with Lab
Introduction to Chemistry with Lab
Introduction to Human Anatomy & Physiology with Lab
Introduction to Physics with Lab
Introduction to Astronomy with Lab
Introduction to Meteorology with Lab
Introduction to Physical Geology with Lab
Introduction to Environmental Science with Lab
Physics I with Lab (Prerequisite: MATH225 - Calculus )
Physics II with Lab (Prerequisite: MATH226 - Calculus II)
Social Sciences (6 semester hours)
Select 2 courses from the following:6
Introduction to Anthropology
Human Sexuality
Introduction to Geography
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Social Problems
American Popular Culture
Total Semester Hours34

All literature courses require successful completion of ENGL101 - Proficiency in Writing.

Core Requirements (30 semester hours)

CMRJ201Criminal Justice Administration3
SSGS300Research Design and Methods3
CMRJ302U.S. Law Enforcement3
CMRJ306Criminal Investigation3
CMRJ308Ethics in Criminal Justice3
CMRJ316Corrections and Incarceration3
LSTD301Constitutional Law3
LSTD302Criminal Law3
LSTD400Criminal Legal Process3
Total Semester Hours30
Students must choose a concentration for this degree program and may select from the General Concentration, Concentration in Maritime Law Enforcement, or the Concentration in Organizational Law Enforcement Leadership.

General Concentration Requirements (15 semester hours)

This general concentration allows you to select from many different concentration courses offered within this program, enabling you to create your own focused area of study.

Select 5 courses from the following:15
Introduction to Forensic Anthropology
Introduction to Law Enforcement
Evidence and Procedures
Stress Management in Law Enforcement
Patrol Methodologies & Community Policing
Rape and Sexual Violence
Juvenile Delinquency
Probation and Parole
Law Enforcement Intelligence Applications
Crime and the Family
The History of Organized Crime
Criminal Profiling
Crime Analysis
The Pathology of Death Investigations
Intercultural Communication
Independent Study
Interpersonal Communications
International Criminal Organizations
Criminal Intelligence Analysis
Introduction to the Courts
Global Terrorism
Principles and Theory of Security Issues
Total Semester Hours15

Concentration in Maritime Law Enforcement (15 semester hours)

Analyzes policy and operational strategies used to ensure the security of border and coastal access including defensive measures to protect ports from disruption. Explores laws and doctrines governing navigation and shipping, as well as the law of the sea. Looks at chemical, biological, and radiological classification and response to incidents involving hazardous materials.


Students who successfully complete this concentration will be able to:

  • Analyze various policy and operational strategies used to ensure the security of border and coastal access.
  • Examine ports to trade and their vulnerability to disruption and attack, as well as defensive measures to protect ports from disruption.
  • Identify chemical, biological, and radiological bases for classification of, and emergency response to incidents involving, hazardous material.
  • Assess the impact of terrorism on U.S. national security.
  • Explore the laws and doctrines governing navigation and shipping, as well as the law of the sea.

Concentration Requirements (15 semester hours)

EDMG240Chemistry of Hazardous Materials3
HLSS311Border and Coastal Security3
HLSS312Port Security3
INTL451Terrorism and U.S. National Security3
LSTD401Maritime Law3
Total Semester Hours15

Concentration in Organizational Law Enforcement Leadership (15 semester hours)

Provides a solid foundation in the leadership process and its benefits to law enforcement, including identifying one’s personal style, judging the value of diversity in leadership roles, and making socially responsible decisions. Topics include gender roles in leadership, conflict resolution, human resource innovation in the workplace, budgeting, and managing an organization during a paradigm shift.


Students who successfully complete this concentration will be able to:

  • Identify your personal leadership style and explain the benefits of your leadership style on the organization.
  • Analyze necessary organizational leadership skills in given situations and prepare a plan of action for improving organizational leadership abilities.
  • Contrast the value of diversity and apply its strengths in leadership roles.
  • Develop critical thinking skills about decisions in a manner that is socially responsible and responsive.
  • Demonstrate a persuasive and collaborative approach which encourages a teaming environment.
  • Employ organizational accountability to build innovative organizations that respond to ever changing environments.

Concentration Requirements (15 semester hours)

FINC405Budget Development and Execution3
HRMT407Human Resource Management3
HRMT411Dispute Resolution3
MGMT312Leadership & Motivation3
MGMT313Organizational Change3
Total Semester Hours15

Final Program Requirements (3 semester hours)

CMRJ499Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice (to be taken as the last course before graduation) 13
Total Semester Hours3

Prerequisite: Senior Standing and completion of all core and major courses prior to enrollment.

Elective Requirements (36 semester hours)

Select any courses that have not been used to fulfill core or major requirements. Credits applied to a minor or certificate in an unrelated field may be used to fulfill elective credit for the major.