Criminal Justice
Master of Science (MS)
Online Degree Program

The Master of Science online degree program in Criminal Justice is designed to provide professionals with the theories, principles, and best practices utilized in the criminal justice field.

Designed For You

The California Coast University online Master 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 Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program consists of 13 total courses, followed by a final Comprehensive Examination.
The required courses are comprised of: 13  Core Courses .
There are 39 total semester units in this program.

13 Core Courses

For the online Master of Science in Criminal Justice (M.S.) degree program, the following 13 courses must be fulfilled. Click on course title to expand and read more.

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ID Course Name Units
BAM 515 Organizational Behavior  3

Organizational Behavior provides students with an in-depth review of various theories and research on the behavior, structure, and process of organizations. Formal organizations and their structure will be critically examined, and human motivations and their constructive application to oneself and others will be explored. Applicable behavioral science theories will be analyzed and students will be able to effectively apply the relevant concepts to the management of organizations.

Course Objectives

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

  • Define organizational behavior and describe the basic functions.
  • Examine key terms, theories and perspectives of organizational behavior.
  • Evaluate issues affecting organizational behavior including global issues, diversity, ethics and corporate social responsibility.
  • Analyze individual behaviors and the various types of processes in organizational behavior including social and group, leadership and influence, and organizational processes.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to organizational behavior.
BCJ 501 Criminological Theory  3

Criminological Theory examines crime and criminological theory by taking a direct approach to the question of why people commit crimes. It begins with an overview of the key elements of the study of crime and criminology including law, public policy, research literature and the philosophical origins of crime theories. These theories are then broken down to their basic elements and causal processes in order to be explored.

Course Objectives

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

  • Examine criminological theory and its interconnection among the social context and the criminal justice field.
  • Trace the development and evolution of criminological theory from the conservative era until the 21st century.
  • Analyze the various criminological theories including their development, key elements, future trends, and consequences.
  • Evaluate the relationship of theory and policy.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to criminological theory.
BCJ 510 Drugs, Justice and Society  3

Drugs, Justice and Society is a study of substance abuse in our society. Topics include the history and classification of drug abuse and the social, physical, and psychological impact of drug abuse. Upon completion, students should be able to identify various types of drugs, their effects on human behavior and society, and treatment modalities.

Course Objectives

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

  • Describe the history, terminology, and politics related to the drug problem in America.
  • Evaluate the theoretical perspectives on drug use and abuse.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the legally restricted drugs and legal drug regulation.
  • Analyze drug-control policy and intervention strategies.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to drugs, justice, and society.
BCJ 515 Criminal Justice Administration  3

Criminal Justice Administration explores the field from a systems perspective that looks at administrative issues and practices for all three branches: police, courts and corrections. In addition to addressing the practical aspects of justice administration, the course will examine technological advances and future trends. Issues faced by the courts and justice system will also be examined.

Course Objectives

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

  • Describe the foundations, principles, and practices of criminal justice administration and examine why it is important to study it.
  • Analyze the role of the police organization, the courts, and corrections in criminal justice administration.
  • Evaluate special considerations such as ethical issues, diversity, community relations, and labor relations that impact criminal justice administration.
  • Examine special challenges related to criminal justice administration, new technologies, and future trends.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to criminal justice administration.
BCJ 530 Multicultural Issues in Law Enforcement  3

Multicultural Issues in Law Enforcement examines the multitude of racial, ethnic and cultural issues related to law enforcement in society. In addition, the course addresses strategies for refining law enforcement attitudes, behaviors, methods and tools for social advancement, community betterment and conflict reduction.

Course Objectives

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

  • Examine the impact of cultural diversity on law enforcement.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of cultural specifics for law enforcement including historical information, demographics, myths and stereotypes, and communication styles.
  • Discuss multicultural law enforcement elements in terrorism and disaster preparedness.
  • Evaluate response strategies for crimes motivated by hate bias and racial profiling.
  • Describe best practices in cultural effectiveness for law enforcement.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to multicultural issues in law enforcement.
BCJ 545 Computer Crime  3

Computer Crime surveys the nature and characteristics of the many dimensions of digital crime and digital terrorism, terms which have emerged and grown rapidly since the World Wide Web has become the basis for global information, business, and government transactions.

Course Objectives

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

  • Discuss terminology, current issues, trends, and challenges in digital crime.
  • Describe the nature and extent of the various types of digital crime.
  • Examine best practices in controlling digital crime.
  • Analyze methods of prevention and discuss future trends in digital crime and digital terrorism.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to computer crime.
BCJ 553 Supervision in Law Enforcement  3

Supervision in Law Enforcement focuses on leadership theories and practices in police supervision. Students will develop the competencies and skills to confidently utilize these principles in their personal and professional lives. This course also emphasizes methods and techniques in leadership for successful and effective supervision in law enforcement.

Course Objectives

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

  • Define supervision and explain the supervisor’s role and basic responsibilities within the organization.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of supervisory functions including interviewing, interpersonal communications, discipline, personnel evaluation, and training.
  • Describe the importance of ethical decision-making and cultural competence while in a supervisory and/or leadership role.
  • Discuss the psychological aspects of supervision and examine the supervisor’s role in counseling and remediation.
  • Examine the supervisor’s role related to employee dissatisfaction, grievances, discipline, and complaints.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to supervision in law enforcement.
BCJ 562 Police Administration and Management  3

Police Administration and Management examines the evolution of American policing and modern organizational issues. Students will be exposed to the procedures, politics, and human relations issues that police supervisors and administrators must understand in order to succeed.

Course Objectives

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

  • Describe the evolution of police administration, and describe the current state of policing.
  • Discuss organizational theory and aspects of leadership in law enforcement.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the management of police organizations including communication, labor relations, and financial management.
  • Analyze the organizational issues in law enforcement including stress, legal issues, and organizational change.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to police administration and management.
BCJ 563 Criminal Justice Policy  3

Criminal Justice Policy addresses crime control and/or prevention and the policies that arise from the need to address crime and deliver justice. The course examines each of the various actors in the public policy process at the federal, state and local level. By the end of the course, students will be able to comprehend the justification, logic, and evidence for specific crime policies, as well as analyze the factors that influence policymaking.

Course Objectives

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

  • Analyze the relationship between criminal justice and public policy.
  • Examine the various steps by which a crime issue becomes a criminal justice policy.
  • Assess strategies used by the police, the courts and the correctional system in various crime control efforts.
  • Compare the effectiveness of various crime control policies.
BCJ 565 Deviant Behavior  3

Deviant Behavior examines deviance from key sociological perspectives and theories. The course provides real-world examples of deviance throughout to encourage critical thinking about deviant behavior and its impact at the personal level and on society as a whole.

Course Objectives

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

  • Describe the different conceptions and key terminology related to deviance.
  • Discuss societal responses to deviance.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various theories of deviance including their development, applications, criticisms, and global perspectives.
  • Describe deviant careers and career deviance.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to deviant behavior.
BCJ 575 Terrorism and Homeland Security  3

Terrorism and Homeland Security provides a theoretical and conceptual framework that enables students to understand how terrorism arises and how it functions. The most sophisticated theories by the best terrorist analysts in the world are discussed, while still focusing on the domestic and international threat of terrorism and the basic security issues surrounding terrorism today.

Course Objectives

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

  • Describe the various definitions of terrorism and examine its historical roots, conceptions and perspectives.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of typologies, organizational structures, tactics, and critial processes of terrorism.
  • Analyze the responses to the challenges of terrorism including intelligence, homeland security, and emergency management.
  • Examine best practices and future trends related to combatting terrorism.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to terrorism and homeland security.
BCJ 582 Correctional Counseling  3

Correctional Counseling offers a strong practitioner orientation, enabling students to become proficient in providing basic correctional counseling services to the offender population. This course provides basic information on underlying theoretical perspectives among a variety of counseling approaches and addresses the details of the counseling and treatment process itself, explaining exactly how correctional counseling is done in the field.

Course Objectives

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

  • Discuss the historical foundations and basic elements of the correctional counseling process, and explain the goals of offender treatment.
  • Analyze methods related to offender assessment, diagnosis, and classification.
  • Describe contemporary approaches to correctional counseling and treatment.
  • Examine effective correctional interventions for special populations.
  • Describe the accomplishments and realities of correctional treatment, and explain the importance of case planning and case management.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to correctional counseling.
GRM 597 The Research Process  3

The Research Process is a required course for all of the master’s degree programs offered at the University. This course provides an overview of the various research methods, research design, guidance in planning research strategy, and documentation of research data. It also explores and analyzes examples of research from many different disciplines, the development and use of computer-aided research, writing skills and logical argumentation techniques required in the research field.

Course Objectives

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

  • Define research, analyze its importance, and examine the different types of research.
  • Examine the role of ethics and informed consent in research.
  • Evaluate the relationship between reliability and validity, and explain its importance in the research process.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the process of writing a research proposal and a manuscript.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to the research process.
BCJ 598 Final Comprehensive Examination  0

Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program will complete a Final Comprehensive Examination. The final examination is a combination of essay, short answer and multiple choice examination questions, requiring students to integrate knowledge acquired across the educational program. The Final Comprehensive Examination is graded on a pass/no pass basis. Students may repeat any portion until they receive a passing score.

Prerequisites to Admission:

An applicant must have earned a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice or a Bachelor Degree in another field may be considered if the Admission Committee evaluation indicates that the applicant has the necessary foundation to succeed in the program.

FAQ About Coursework

Required units may be satisfied in the following ways: