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:

  • Identify and define the study of criminal justice and examine the history of crime in America.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of policing, its history, purpose, legal aspects, and challenges.
  • Describe the process of adjudication including court systems, criminal trial and sentencing.
  • Discuss the practice of corrections including probation, parole, prisons and jails, and examine future trends.
  • Examine special issues in criminal justice related to globalization, juvenile justice, drugs and crime, terrorism, and multinational crime.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to criminal justice.
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:

  • Identify and define the study of juvenile justice and discuss its history as well as the origins of juvenile court.
  • Examine the various theories and research of juvenile crime and delinquency.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of processes related to juvenile justice including intake and processing, prosecutorial decision making, classification and preliminary treatment, and adjudication.
  • Discuss the practice of juvenile probation and juvenile corrections.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to juvenile justice.
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:

  • Identify and define the study of criminal investigation and discuss the foundations of criminal investigation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of follow-up investigative processes and analyze the legal issues involved.
  • Discuss best practices for obtaining information through interviews, interrogations, criminal intelligence and surveillance operations.
  • Examine the various types of crimes related to people, property and national security.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to criminal investigation.
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:

  • Describe the foundations of criminal procedure and define the exclusionary rule.
  • Examine the various components of search and seizure.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of criminal procedures including interrogations, confessions, and identification procedures.
  • Describe the different elements of formal proceedings.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to procedures in the justice system.
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:

  • Describe the various approaches to defining terrorism including key terms and concepts. Examine the history and study of terrorism.
  • Discuss various global terrorist threats in the context of the international political environment.
  • Describe the war on terror and discuss future trends in terrorism and risk management.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to 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 forensic science and criminalistics including commonly used terms and key concepts.
  • Examine factors related to the various types of evidence related to forensics.
  • Describe and examine best practices of collection and preservation of evidence.
  • Assess the role of forensic science in terrorism including aspects of cybercrime, computer forensics, cyberterrorism, classification of explosives, and detecting weapons of mass destruction.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to forensic science.
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: