Fundamentals of Criminal Justice
Undergraduate Certificate Online Program

The undergraduate certificate program in the Fundamentals of Criminal Justice is designed to expose students to the fundamental facts and workings of the criminal justice system. Students will be introduced to procedures in the legal system, learn the required steps in criminal investigations, and receive an overview of general judicial principles. Students will acquire knowledge that is readily applicable to their professional interests in the field of law and criminology.

Designed For You

The California Coast University online Undergraduate Certificate in the Fundamentals of 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:

[READ MORE]

Explore The Program

The Undergraduate Certificate in the Fundamentals of Criminal Justice degree program consists of 4 total courses.
The required courses are comprised of: 4  Core Courses .
There are 12 total semester units in this program.

4 Core Courses

The online Undergraduate Certificate in the Fundamentals of Criminal Justice degree program is comprised of the following 4 courses. Click on course title to expand and read more.

[CLOSE]
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 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 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.

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: