Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Online Degree Program

The Bachelor of Science online degree program in Criminal Justice is designed to assist students to develop an understanding of the theories and principles relevant to the field of criminal justice.

Designed For You

The California Coast University online Bachelor 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 Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program consists of 42 total courses.
The required courses are comprised of: 14  Core Courses > 14  General Ed Courses
(click to expand) > 14  Elective Courses
(click to expand) .

There are 126 total semester units in this program.

14 Core Courses

For the online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (B.S.) degree program, the following 14 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 245 Computer Forensics and Cyber Crime  3

Computer Forensics and Cyber Crime explores the legal and social context of cyber crime through examination of the cultural, political, and economic environment in which computer and cyber crime occur. The course covers computer hacking, cyber terrorism, hate speech, policing the internet, and much more while also presenting and analyzing contemporary case studies involving such topics.

Course Objectives

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

  • Define cybercrime and computer forensics including commonly used terms and key concepts.
  • Discuss the various types of computer crimes.
  • Describe legal issues related to cybercrime and examine laws that address these issues.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of processes related to computer forensics and cybercrime including search and seizure, processing evidence, and report preparation.
  • Examine future trends in computer-related crime.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to computer forensics and cybercrime.
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 340 Criminal Behavior  3

Criminal Behavior provides a detailed look at the field of criminal behavior and forensic psychology. Research, theories, and the varying factors impacting criminal behavior, forensic psychology, the criminal justice system, victimology, and correctional settings are explored from a psychological and cultural perspective.

Course Objectives

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

  • Discuss the history and definition of forensic psychology.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of policing and investigative processes used in forensic psychology.
  • Describe the legal and ethical processes related to forensic psychology.
  • Examine the theoretical perspectives of criminal behavior.
  • Explain the different types of victimization, and discuss the services available to victims.
  • Analyze the processes related to correctional psychology including assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to criminal behavior.
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.
BCJ 355 Homeland Security  3

Homeland Security reviews basic issues of homeland security, the history and context of the field, and what the future of the field might hold. Central issues surrounding homeland security including policy concepts and political and legal responses will be covered.

Course Objectives

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

  • Define homeland security and discuss the history and development of homeland security.
  • Examine legal and political responses to homeland security.
  • Discuss homeland security communication and technology issues.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various security threats to homeland security and examine best practices in addressing these threats.
  • Analyze the future challenges and trends related to homeland security.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to homeland security.
BCJ 360 Criminal Law  3

Criminal Law provides students with an overview of general legal principles and an understanding of the historical development of criminal law and its contemporary form and function in American society today. This course offers a comprehensive study of the historical background, social values, moral standards, and political realities that give direction to the American system of justice.

Course Objectives

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

  • Define the study of criminal law and discuss the origins and development of common law.
  • Examine the main components of criminal liability.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various types of defenses and punishments for crimes.
  • Explain the key elements of the different categories of crime.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to criminal law.
BCJ 400 Theory and Practices of Law Enforcement  3

Theory and Practices of Law Enforcement discusses the historical background and development of the law enforcement field as we know it today. The course presents a detailed view of law enforcement philosophies, operations, tactics, strategies, and processes and highlights the essential critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills necessary for law enforcement practitioners as they provide services to increasingly diverse communities. The course emphasizes the multi-jurisdictional complexities of policing in the United States and abroad and the need for inter-agency cooperation in sharing accurate, timely, and relevant information in a post-9/11 world.

Course Objectives

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

  • Describe the role of law enforcement in the criminal justice system, and examine the origins and development of law enforcement.
  • Discuss legal issues that affect law enforcement.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of operations and conduct in law enforcement organizations.
  • Examine issues related to policing in the 21st century including, multiculturalism, community policing, and new technologies.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to the theory and practice of law enforcement.
BCJ 403 Theory and Practices of Corrections  3

Theory and Practices of Corrections provides students with an overview of our past and present corrections system, the evolving manner in which inmates have been treated, and the controversies that still remain in the corrections system today. By the end of this course, students should be more knowledgeable about the corrections system and its participants, as well as more are of the different perspectives of various members of society regarding the U.S. corrections system.

Course Objectives

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

  • Define key terms and theories related to corrections and examine the importance of studying corrections.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of correctional clients, correctional policy, and operations.
  • Examine issues related to prison life including management, prison life, prison staff, custody, and treatment programs.
  • Discuss legal issues that affect corrections, and examine current challenges as well as future trends.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to the theory and practices of corrections.
BCJ 450 Domestic Violence  3

Domestic Violence serves as an introduction to the field of family and intimate partner violence. It focuses on the criminal justice perspective, bringing together the causes and consequences, along with an in-depth examination, of this type of violence.

Course Objectives

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

  • Examine global domestic violence against women.
  • Discuss the history of violence in the family and the value of research to understanding family violence.
  • Examine the research on domestic violence including methods of research, theories, and perspectives.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various types of abuse including children, adolescents, adults, LGBTI partners, and abuse in later life.
  • Analyze the police and court response to intimate partner violence.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to domestic violence.
BCJ 470 Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology  3

Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology provides an introduction to the techniques used in criminal justice research. The goal of this course is to help students develop an understanding of the kinds of research conducted in the criminal justice field, the role of the researcher, general steps in the research process, and research design and statistical analysis. In addition, attention will be given to the ethical issues the researcher must consider when designing research. Finally, the course will explore the application of research findings to real world situations.

Course Objectives

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

  • Define social science and describe the foundations for social research.
  • Explain the fundamental aspects of research including the ethical guidelines for research.
  • Analyze the various types of research and topical research designs.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the data collection process including, analyzing, summarizing and reporting the data.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to research methods in criminal justice and criminology.
14 General Ed. Courses

For the online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (B.S.) degree program, the following 14 courses must be fulfilled. Click on course title to expand and read more.

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14 Elective Courses

For the online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (B.S.) degree program, you will select 14 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: