Two law enforcement officer, one male one female, and a witness in a room

Criminal Justice Online Bachelor’s Degree Program

can be completed in as little as

14 terms*

*2 terms per semester; each term is 7 weeks

Tuition

$335/credit

$1,005 3-credit course

Active Duty Military

truED Preferred Tuition

Credit Hours Required

Application Deadline

Fall A: Aug. 15

Upcoming Start Dates

Fall A: Aug. 26

Get Started in Criminal Justice

In this online Bachelor's degree program in Criminal Justice, students will learn about the distinct and overlapping roles of law enforcement, the court system, and corrections in the U.S. criminal justice system. The program covers a variety of relevant topics, including terrorism, both global and domestic, as well as victimology, juvenile justice and restorative justice. Students of the BA in Criminal Justice also have the opportunity to take advanced courses from the BA in Applied Psychology and BA in Sociology programs, gaining a more comprehensive understanding of how the fields are interconnected. Graduates of the BA in Criminal Justice will be ready to make a difference in their communities.

 

Make a Difference in Your Community 

This BA in Criminal Justice degree program introduces students to the criminal justice system, corrections, and the legal industry. This degree creates pathways for careers in law, corrections. public safety, human service, and advocacy. Graduates will be able to apply classroom knowledge to real world scenarios, allowing them to drive positive change in their communities and society.

Take the next step

Academic Excellence and Recognition

New England Commission of Higher Education Logo

Regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education

US News & World Report Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs

Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News & World Report

Military Friendly Badge

Designated as a Military Friendly School for our commitment to the military community

Intelligent.com ranks Champlain College Online among best schools with accelerated bachelor's degrees

Named the among the best schools with accelerated bachelor's degrees by Intelligent.com

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

Employment of probation officers and correctional treatment specialists is projected to grow 3 percent from 2022 to 2032. About 7,400 openings for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who exit the labor force upon retirement.

Additionally, overall employment of police and detectives is projected to grow 3 percent from 2022 to 2032. About 64,500 openings for police and detectives are projected each year, on average, over the next decade. This growth may come from an increased need to protect public safety.

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm

Jobs for Bachelor’s In Criminal Justice

  • Corrections Officer
  • Human Services Caseworker
  • Probation Officer
  • Case Manager
  • Bailiff
  • Security Guard
Detective in a room looking at a bulletin board with a suspect on a computer monitor

Program Details

Having a bachelor’s degree improves your long-term career potential. Learn more about the 100% online BA in Criminal Justice.

Graduates of the program are required to complete the following courses.

Criminal Justice Core Courses (21 credits)

Behavioral and Social Science Courses (15 credits)

Applied Advanced Electives (12 credits)

General Education Courses (42 credits)

General Electives (30 credits)

Criminal Justice Courses

This course provides students with a comprehensive overview of the American criminal justice system as comprising three essential components: law enforcement, the court system and corrections. Students will recognize that the field of criminal justice is interdisciplinary and they will outline and discuss the historical foundation of the criminal justice system. They will also explore social and ethical dimensions as they review real-world case studies.

Provides a comprehensive analysis of the fundamentals of substantive criminal law. Students will learn the essential elements of crimes and the rationale underlying criminal law. The nature of jurisdiction, the criminal act, the criminal state of mind and matters affecting responsibility for criminal conduct are included.

This course focuses on the rules and procedures governing how the American criminal justice system must process individuals suspected, accused, and convicted of law violations.

In this course students will demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the corrections system and examine its role in the broader criminal justice system. They will articulate its historical development, contemporary practices and the impact on individuals and communities. With particular attention to diversity and social justice, students will analyze correctional policies and practices, including rehabilitation efforts.

Prerequisites

Take CRIM-100

In this course, students discuss the concept of delinquency as they examine the US juvenile justice system, its structure, processes, and objectives. Students will critically analyze the social, community, and environmental factors that contribute to juvenile delinquency and explore the diverse approaches employed to rehabilitate and reintegrate young offenders into society.

Prerequisites

Take CRIM-100

Criminologists study the causes of crime, as well as the consequences and prevention of criminal behavior. In this course students will compare and contrast theories of crime causation from sociological, psychological, and biological perspectives. They will interpret data on who commits crime, under what conditions. Additionally, they will assess the impacts of crime on communities and society with an emphasis on the relationship between social inequality and crime.

Prerequisites

Take CRIM-100

This course offers an exploration of victimology as a subfield of criminology. Students will deconstruct victimization from a historic and prevailing-theories standpoint of victimology. Students will evaluate a trauma-informed approach to victim services and argue ways in which victims' recall and engagement is shaped by their individual experience. Students will also critically evaluate society's responses to victims of crime including media coverage of victimization, victims' rights, and advocacy.

Prerequisites

Take CRIM-100

Students will learn about how social science research is conducted, including the research methods (quantitative and qualitative) typically used in the social sciences. Students will assess the alignment of various research methods and the research goal and ultimately practice planning, conducting, analyzing and interpreting research. Additionally, students will critically analyze existing research through the lens of ethics and social justice.

Prerequisites

Take PSYC-100 MATH-170

Students will learn how to create conditions for successful conflict engagement, a necessary skill for any professional. The course focuses on the foundational capacities to remain calm and connected with oneself and others. In this state students can access helpful ideas and responses and be their best selves regardless of environment. Improving facility for conflict creates stronger relationships and reduces fear. By the end of the course, students will understand that disagreement and difference can become a source of personal and interpersonal growth.

This course explores the intersections among race, class, gender and categories of difference. Students will explore theories of difference in their relation to topics such as education, work, poverty, and the criminal justice system. They will recognize how those intersections and structural inequalities show up in their chosen career fields and their civic and personal lives. Students will critically analyze inequality as a system rather than as an aggregation of individual identities.

Prerequisites

PSYC-100 or SOCI-110 or CRIM 100 and SOCI-200

Ethics refers to accepted standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do in various contexts, typically in relation to rights, obligations/duties, benefits to society, fairness, consequences, and virtues. In this course, students will explore both theoretical and practical dimensions of ethics in order to 1) define ethics and identify ethical positions and principles, 2) critically reflect on how ethics impacts individual and collective responsibility, decision-making, and action, and 3) apply ethics to the personal, civic, and professional contexts.

Prerequisites

ENGL-110

Students in Social Sciences programs will synthesize their program-specific knowledge and apply that perspective to a real-world problem or opportunity within the scope of their academic program. Students will create an experiential project of their own design that responds to the need of either a specific organization or the field of professional study. The project may be designed based on indirect or direct evidence, supporting a project idea that addresses a real-world problem or opportunity.

Prerequisites

111 credits toward degree completion

Take both of the following courses, plus any two 200+ level SOCI or PSYC courses. 

This course provides students with an in-depth examination of the history, development, and impact of international and domestic terrorism. The course will draw from a variety of theoretical frameworks from which students will explore the different types of terrorism strategies, tactics, and their historic origins. Students will apply those theories to real-world cases and evaluate counterterrorism strategies and policy effectiveness.

Prerequisites

12 credits of Criminal Justice successfully completed

Restorative justice is an alternative approach to the criminal justice system's punitive responses to crime. This course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of restorative justice principles and practices. Through a combination of theoretical study, case analyses, and practical exercises, students will evaluate and predict the effectiveness of restorative justice and its potential to transform traditional criminal justice approaches.

Prerequisites

12 credits of Criminal Justice successfully completed

Complete the following two courses

This course introduces students to the foundational concepts needed to communicate effectively in writing for academic study and professional development. Students will also learn to read critically to evaluate an author's message. Students will be introduced to rhetorical modes and their role in the development of written communication. Students will also learn how to use revision strategies to create written communication that meets its intended purpose for its intended audience

This course builds on students' proficiency in the writing process and rhetorical modes to introduce the use of sources in written communication. Students will practice information literacy as they learn to determine information needs from sources, develop effective search strategies, and incorporate sources in written communication, legally and ethically.

Prerequisites

Complete ENGL-100

This course draws on fundamental concepts of contemporary communication research to help students identify and develop strategies to become effective and versatile communicators across media and settings. Students will examine and respond to a range of interpersonal situations through the critical evaluation of the three essential components of all communication: its purpose, audience, and context. Students will leave the course with the ability to reflect on and adapt their strategies to successfully and consistently communicate for a range of purposes across diverse settings.

This course draws on fundamental concepts of contemporary group communication research to help students identify and develop strategies to communicate effectively in small groups and teams for the cooperative purpose of advancing common goals. Students will draw on listening and responding strategies learned in COMM-130 Interpersonal Communication and apply them to communicating as a leader or member of a small group. They will also learn how to recognize and manage the types of conflicts that can arise in small groups. Prerequisite: COMM-130 Interpersonal Communication

Prerequisites

Complete COMM-130

Students will learn and apply critical inquiry skills to analyze persuasive communication created by others and to develop persuasive communication/arguments of their own to solve problems in professional, civic, social, and personal contexts. Specifically, students will learn to recognize fallacies in logic; apply inductive and deductive reasoning strategies to the interpretation and development of persuasive communication; evaluate the validity of sources; and develop logically sound persuasive communication. Students will explore the roles of self-awareness, empathy, and ethics in the context of critical inquiry and the development of arguments.

Prerequisites

Complete ENGL-110.

Complete one of the following courses, unless your program requires a specific course:

This course is an historical overview, and examination of the evolution of digital, film, and print media, and their functions. Students will identify and analyze contemporary problems of the media such as the legal, social, economic and psychological implications of their relationships with society. They also will examine the ways in which marketing and PR professionals utilize the mass media channels to reach their intended target audiences.

This course explores the complex and evolving relationship between human beings and technology. Through a multi-disciplinary approach that draws on fields such as sociology, psychology, philosophy, and history, students will examine the ways in which technology has shaped human culture, identity, and values, as well as how humans have influenced and continue to influence the development, adoption and use of technology.

Complete six math credits

Mathematical reasoning, when applied to everyday and professional lives, has two dimensions: logic for deterministic situations and probabilities for non-deterministic situations. This course aims to help students develop these mathematical reasoning skills.

Accurate and appropriate visual data representation is increasingly critical in today's work environments. Students will develop skills in data organization, manipulation and interpretation in a way that supports data-driven decision-making and effective communication of numerical data

Complete one of the following courses, unless your program requires a specific course:

Introduces students to the biochemistry and physiology of nutrition and exercise. Emphasis will be placed on human body systems such as musculoskeletal, digestive, respiratory and circulatory, and their relationship to nutrition and fitness. Students will also study the biochemistry of energy conversion as it relates to exercise physiology. Laboratory sessions are designed to reinforce, by a hands-on approach, the principles discussed in lecture. Course includes two laboratory hours per week.

Students learn the biology, genetics, chemistry, and physics involved in the forensic investigation of crimes. A wide range of topics are studied including DNA, entomology, fingerprinting, trace evidence, serology (blood, saliva, and semen), blood spatter, and chemical analysis of drugs, alcohol, and other compounds. Students apply their new knowledge of forensic science through the use of case studies and laboratories. This course includes two laboratory hours per week.

Students will develop the ability to apply scientific methods to understand the natural world, to identify scientific aspects of daily life, and to evaluate the quality of scientific information based on its source and the methods used for its generation.

Complete the following course

This course will introduce students to major streams of social justice thought, including historical social justice movements, theoretical problems having to do with social equality, personal freedom, marginalization, and stigmatization, and the ways in which civic and professional communities respond to these issues.

Complete any two of the following courses, unless your program requires a specific course(s):

With pressure and release, a window opens and closes, recording light on a sensor. The simple action captures the instinct, judgement, and skill of the person behind the lens. This class will begin a study of the art and craft of photography. Students will develop their vision and their understanding of how to achieve it. Solid skills will be learned and many doors will be opened.

A survey of the continuing change experienced in art since the 15th century. Students will examine how an image is achieved as well as the significance of the subject represented. Individual inquiry concerning the nature of art is encouraged.

Students learn to appreciate films through the critical analysis of various elements of mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing and sound. The course introduces the conventions of classical Hollywood cinema, considers the work of one major director (auteur), and surveys selected international and independent films. Students view and discuss films each week.

Students in the course will explore the cultural history of the music genre broadly referred to as rock. Students will explore the social, economic and political contexts that are influenced by and that influenced each style in the United States. By listening, watching, reflecting upon, discussing and writing, students will explore how music takes on meaning, personally, and culturally. Topics and themes include the relationships between and among gospel, country, funk, folk, disco, rap and hip hop; the role of business and technology in those relationships, and political or transgressive elements of rock music.

Students will apply communication theory and research to address the particular challenges to communicating effectively in organizations. Students will learn how to identify organizational communication problems, analyze those problems, and generate effective solutions. Students will examine the relationship between organizational structure and specific communicative practices, and how communication practices by organizational members establish, maintain, or change organizational culture. They will also learn how to anticipate communication deficiencies in organizations, and use communication as a means to facilitate organizational development and innovation.

Prerequisites

Complete COMM-130

Specific application of common tools for writing in the working world. Students will be instructed in rhetorical strategies of professional writing including style, report formats, editing, document design, and integration of visual aids. Students will complete a semester-long writing project; oral and written reports associated with the process of problem-solving within the project will be included.

Prerequisites

ENGL-112 or COR-125

Students will learn how to create conditions for successful conflict engagement, a necessary skill for any professional. The course focuses on the foundational capacities to remain calm and connected with oneself and others. In this state students can access helpful ideas and responses and be their best selves regardless of environment. Improving facility for conflict creates stronger relationships and reduces fear. By the end of the course, students will understand that disagreement and difference can become a source of personal and interpersonal growth.

Ethics refers to accepted standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do in various contexts, typically in relation to rights, obligations/duties, benefits to society, fairness, consequences, and virtues. In this course, students will explore both theoretical and practical dimensions of ethics in order to 1) define ethics and identify ethical positions and principles, 2) critically reflect on how ethics impacts individual and collective responsibility, decision-making, and action, and 3) apply ethics to the personal, civic, and professional contexts.

Prerequisites

ENGL-110

This course introduces students to the fundamental elements of technical writing (clear, concise, and targeted)that are common among seven forms of technical communication: email correspondence, editing,employment communication, proposals, long, formal reports,oral communication, and inventions. Through peer reviews and writing workshops, students develop the ability to write and edit text that precisely targets its audience. This course emphasizes deepening and broadening students' writing, speaking, and thinking abilities in a non-lecture-based, hands-on, discussion-centered classroom.

Prerequisites

ENGL-112 or COR-125

Complete the two following courses 

In this course, students will explore broad, foundational knowledge in psychology, including its history, major theorists and a survey of psychology subfields such as developmental, cognitive and social psychology. Students will also describe and assess the role of ethics and social responsibility in the study and application of psychological theory and practices.

In this class, students will explore how social relationships, groups, societies and culture develop and change over time. From a sociological theory foundation and employing the sociological imagination, students will examine the impact of social structures, institutions, and systems on individual lives. Students will apply sociological research methods to investigate sociological phenomena in their own lives.

Graduates of the criminal justice bachelor's online program will demonstrate the following industry-specific skills, knowledge, and competencies:

  • Describe the multidisciplinary evolution of the U.S. criminal justice and corrections systems. 
  • Identify and analyze the systemic complexities of the U.S. criminal justice system, including the relationships between and among law enforcement, court systems and corrections. 
  • Examine various sociological and psychological theories about criminal behavior, including factors that contribute to criminal activity, and its impact at individual, societal and cultural levels 
  • Critically examine the ethical and social justice dimensions of challenges facing the criminal justice system, and communicate responses to those challenges. 
  • Analyze the global manifestations of criminal behavior, including terrorism.

Champlain College Online's criminal justice faculty, led by program director Dr. Janet Morrison, are expert practitioners in the field. Their industry expertise ensures that our criminal justice curriculum is aligned with the needs of employers, and reflects the skills today’s law enforcement professionals need for success. Classes led by our seasoned experts will give you real-world insight into the legal world, and create a rich community of career-focused learning.

Many students come to us seeking ways to get noticed at their current employers or to get hired in a new field. Given that, we are hyper focused on increasing the career mobility of our students and that's why we developed the Fast Start Formula Career Bundle, a suite of career offerings designed to help our students get noticed, get hired and land jobs they'll love.

Valued at over $1,000, the career bundle is offered to Champlain College Online students and includes:

  • Fast Start Formula Course: The Fast Start Formula Course for getting noticed and getting hired is taught by Jen Morris, an executive career coach that we've developed a partnership with to support our students in their job search journeys. This course is online, self-paced and full of tips and tricks to land a job you'll love.
  • Live Webinars: Log-on to ask your specific job search questions, get live “hot seat” coaching and gain valuable insights from leading career coach, Jen Morris.
  • Landing A Job You'll Love Ebook: Download this ebook full of tips and tricks for standing out from the competition. From how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, to insider information on how recruiters work and bypassing the automated application websites, you’ll be sure to learn how to rise to the top.

Upon enrollment in a degree or certificate, your access to the Fast Start Formula Career Bundle will made available to you.

Tuition & Costs

Online Undergraduate Tuition Fall '23 - Summer '25

$335 per credit
$1,005* per course
$290** per credit for Champlain alumni or associate degree graduates from any college or university
$250 per credit for military service members (family members see truED tuition)
$150 One-time graduation fee

*Based on a 3-credit course; cost will vary if course is a different number of credits

** Starts Summer 2024, not retroactive 

See the undergraduate cost of attendance and fees here

What To Expect at Champlain Online

Expect Convenience

Go to school wherever and whenever is best for you, on the device of your choice.

Expect A Career Focus

Relevant and immediately applicable coursework gets you ready for your next career move

Expect Support

Your dedicated academic advisor provides the support you need to meet your academic goals

Expect Superior Faculty

Learn from practitioner faculty working in the field, with real-world experience and knowledge.

Why Champlain

Champlain Community

"I was living in Mexico during my program, and there was a major earthquake. My advisor heard about it and called me the next day to find out how I was. It's that kind of personal touch that really makes Champlain special."

Rosi Smith Bachelor's Degree in Integrated Studies
Executive Assistant & Project Coordinator, U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, Finland
Rosie Smith, Bachelor's Degree in Integrated Studies

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Get Your BA in Criminal Justice Program Guide

Learn what you can expect from our online bachelor's in criminal justice program.

Sunset over Lake Champlain from Champlain College campus in Burlington, Vermont

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