Criminal Justice
Associate of Science (AS)
Online Degree Program

The Associate of Science online degree program in Criminal Justice provides a foundation in the theories and principles relevant to the criminal justice field.

Designed For You

The California Coast University online Associate of Science in Criminal Justice program was designed for complete flexibility for the student. All courses are self-paced and completed 100% online.

View Program Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:

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Explore The Program

The Associate of Science in Criminal Justice degree program consists of 20 total courses.
The required courses are comprised of: 6  Core Courses > 10  General Ed Courses
(click to expand) > 4  Elective Courses
(click to expand) .

There are 60 total semester units in this program.

6 Core Courses

For the online Associate of Science in Criminal Justice (A.S.) degree program, the following 6 courses must be fulfilled. Click on course title to expand and read more.

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ID Course Name Units
BCJ 100 Introduction to Criminal Justice  3

Introduction to Criminal Justice aims to provide students with a general understanding of the criminal justice system’s response to crime in society. It is important to note that the general theme of this course involves the delicate balance between community interests and individual rights that criminal justice decision-making requires. This theme will be explored by examining the criminal justice process in some detail, focusing on how the system is structured to respond to crime.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explore the history of crime in America and corresponding changes in the American criminal justice system.
  • Explain how multiculturalism and diversity present special challenges to, and opportunities for, the American system of criminal justice.
  • Examine the development of criminological theory including the role of social research in that development.
  • Describe the development of American courts including the concept of the dual-court system.
  • Consider the history of punishments and its impact on the modern philosophy of corrections.
BCJ 210 Juvenile Justice  3

Juvenile Justice explores the history of juvenile justice, the juvenile justice system and special populations. It focuses on the system itself, the processes within it and the young people who become involved in it. A historical view of the juvenile justice system and how it relates to the entire criminal justice system is also presented.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Examine the historical context related to the field of juvenile justice.
  • Identify the risk factors associated with delinquency and other juvenile problem behaviors.
  • Examine the significance of key research and/or landmark cases impacting the field of juvenile justice.
  • Identify the key theories that underlie the field of juvenile justice.
  • Discuss the definition and attributes of crimes and punishments related to juveniles.
BCJ 230 Criminal Investigation  3

Criminal Investigation aims to provide students with an overview of the criminal investigation field. Course topics include the fundamentals of criminal investigation, follow-up investigative processes, methods for obtaining information, and how to approach the investigation of different types of crimes.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Discuss the solvability factors in a criminal investigation.
  • Identify the qualities of a good investigative report.
  • Explain how to collect and search for evidence at a crime scene.
  • Examine the role of investigative analysis to solve crimes.
  • Identify the legal guidelines for conducting searches.
  • Differentiate between interviews and interrogations.
  • Distinguish between the criminal intelligence and criminal investigation functions.
BCJ 240 Procedures in the Justice System  3

Procedures in the Justice System covers the fundamental principles and procedures employed in the investigation of crimes. The course connects criminal procedure cases to the real world through innovative pedagogy and encourages critical thinking. This course is designed to help students develop a working knowledge of the steps of investigation, beginning with the initial security of the crime scene and concluding with the presentation of evidence and proper testimony in court in such a way as to make the concepts easy to apply to any state’s specific procedural laws.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Discuss the law of constitutional criminal procedures.
  • Understand criminal procedures in its social, political, and historical contexts.
  • Review the purposes and rules that emerge from cases.
BCJ 303 Terrorism  3

Terrorism examines terrorist events and groups, analyzes responses to terrorism and the resulting changes in terrorist strategies, and looks at current and future trends for each continent. We will explore the current threat from global jihadist groups, analyze the increase in suicide bomber attacks, and assess profiles of prominent individuals involved in terrorism and terrorist networks. In addition, we will also explore ways to mitigate risks and manage incidents.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the many different definitions of terrorism.
  • Discuss how suicide terror is not a new phenomenon but one that has been used by terrorists through the centuries.
  • Explain why the war on terror will likely continue for decades to come.
  • Discuss various global terrorist threats in the context of the international political environment.
  • Discuss why intelligence is such a key ingredient in the fight against terrorism.
BCJ 351 Forensic Science  3

Forensic Science explores the forensic investigation process and procedures. Students will learn how to identify, gather, and analyze multiple types of evidence through contemporary case studies. This course is designed to make the subject of forensic science comprehensible to a wide variety of students who are, or plan to be, aligned with the forensic science profession.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define and distinguish forensic science and criminalistics.
  • Describe proper techniques for packaging common types of physical evidence.
  • Understand the difference between qualitative and quantitative analysis.
  • Understand the use of DNA computerized databases in criminal investigation.
10 General Ed. Courses

For the online Associate of Science in Criminal Justice (A.S.) degree program, the following 10 courses must be fulfilled. Click on course title to expand and read more.

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4 Elective Courses

For the online Associate of Science in Criminal Justice (A.S.) degree program, you will select 4 courses to take from the list of courses below. Click on course title to expand and read more.

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Prerequisites to Admission:

The applicant should meet the following prerequisites in order to be admitted to the program: An applicant must be at least 18 years of age and have successfully obtained a high school diploma, GED, or its equivalent.

FAQ About Coursework

Required units may be satisfied in the following ways: