Criminal Justice programs are fascinating and most higher learning institutions offer both undergraduate and graduate programs. Many online programs are available for working individuals in areas such as the criminal court system, public safety, corrections and law enforcement. An Associates of Arts in Criminal Justice will serve you well and can prepare you for advanced criminal justice programs in the future. Many of the institutions that have criminal justice programs online offer all their criminal justice coursework online providing for flexibility for students who need a quality degree yet be able to fit it into their busy schedules.
Criminal Justice Associate’s Degree
The Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice program will build a solid background in criminal justice theories with presentations of legal issues, law enforcement objectives, administrative duties and the impact of terrorism. You will learn skills and various techniques that are commonly used in criminal justice and related systems. This will make you a part of a powerful network of public safety and homeland security professionals. In general, courses are presented by practitioner instructors many of which have experience as sheriffs, legal counselors, police chiefs along with military and homeland security individuals.
Many institutions of higher learn who offer a wide variety of criminal justice courses allow students to specialize in certain areas such as juvenile justice, criminal behavior causes, maritime law, forensics, investigative procedures and modern techniques, corrections and incarceration to name a few. So this gives you some latitude if you want to specialize.
Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree
A number of institutions have programs leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in the criminal justice area including the global context of crime and justice itself and a strong emphasis on profession ethics. Theses degrees provide potential for employment in areas such as law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice, court administration and a number of other related areas within federal, state and local government agencies. This also includes the private sector as well.
Criminal Justice Graduate Degree
Once you have a bachelor’s degree, you can continue to the graduate level in some institutions. Some of these institutions offer coursework leading to a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. Certificate programs are also available that offer police related programs leading to a Law Enforcement Academic Certificate.
Associate of Arts or Science degree requirements for Criminal Justice
This is a two year program that can lead to a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or just for employment. Most schools require intro to criminal justice, American corrections system, intro to juvenile justice, criminal law, into to criminology, principles of criminal investigation, ethics in criminal justice along with English composition I, intercultural communication and nonverbal communication. Then you’ll have a choice of technical or expository writing coursework or perhaps writing a research paper (generally choose one) and another communication course such as intro to communication or interpersonal communication. As you can see, communication skills are very important here.
As with any other major you need to take some math coursework and each system has its own requirements. Humanities and social science is big and you generally have to take two courses and they can range from anthropology, forensic anthropology, political science, American government, psychology, abnormal psychology. Sociology, social problems and possibly deviance. Have your pick.
Don’t forget about your natural sciences and you have a wide choice here of which only two courses are usually required. So consider, biological anthropology with or without a lab (lab is preferable and interesting), astronomy, marine biology, general biology (survey), plant biology, environmental science, weather, oceanography and probably physiological psychology.
Criminal justice requires criminal justice electives such as policing operations, criminal evidence and procedures , constitutional law, community-oriented policing and possibly law and the police in a multicultural society (of which we are). Generally you only need 1 of the above courses.
Bachelor of Arts or Science degree requirements for Criminal Justice
Assuming you already have your associate’s degree, you’ll need to concentrate on fulfilling the bachelor requirements. It is possible to go for a straight bachelors degree which will alter the way you take some of the coursework. A counselor will help you with this so not to worry. If you already have an associates degree, you’ll need to add 3rd and 4th year coursework.
So, you’ll need to tack on major core requirements such as professional ethics and legal liabilities, criminology, methods and statistics in criminal justice and theory and control of crime.
Criminal justice electives include juvenile delinquency, domestic violence, community-based corrections, substance abuse, criminal investigation, forensic investigation, criminal evidence, criminal procedure, psychology of criminal justice practice, and eventually an internship in criminal justice. Other courses that are required include intro or intermediate computers along with possibly business applications and software (usually taken at the associate’s level).
You may be also required to take U.S. government and politics (2nd year) and judicial process and behavior during your 3rd year. The requirements listed here are not complete but give you a good idea of what your are getting into.
If you are interested in the criminal court system, public safety, corrections or law enforcement, criminal justice is for you. If you have a family and are working, there is no problem in registering for online coursework. All the criminal justice courses can be done online and you can start out in an associate’s program and work your way up slowly. There’s is no time like the present to increase your skills and get a better job. This is the way to go.
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Susan has studied at the University of Texas Medical Branch Marine Biomedical Institute in Galveston, Texas and the University of South Florida in Tampa and received a Ph.D. in Biology with a major in Neuroscience and minors in physics and mathematics. Area of research is in brain transplantation and behavior testing with twenty years of teaching experience. Fields of interest include the physical basis of memory and learning, brain repair and regeneration as well as neuro-development. As an educator, has taught thousands of students at the college level in anatomy and physiology, biology, microbiology, marinebiology, nutrition, communications, radiography, ultrasound, mathematics and physics. She enjoys reading current scientific literature and simplifying the material making it readily available to the public.