11 Best Online Criminal Justice Courses

If you are aspiring for a career in criminal justice, it is worth checking out these best online criminal justice courses in 2021.

Best Online Criminal Justice Courses
Best Online Criminal Justice Courses

Xscholarship has provided detailed information on everything you need to know about criminal justice and online criminal justice courses. In this article, you will get to know;

  • What is Criminal justice?
  • What is an Online criminal justice course?
  • Courses in an Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Program
  • Where do Online criminal justice degrees lead to?
  • The Requirements for a Criminal Justice Program
  • 11 Best Online Criminal Justice Courses in 2021
  • And lot’s more

What is Criminal justice?

Criminal justice refers to the laws, policies, procedures, and institutions that are involved before, during, and after the commission of a crime. It is a modern concept that expresses two central ideas: the first is that victims of crime have certain rights, while the second is that criminal conduct should be prosecuted and punished by the laws set by the state.

The goal of Criminal justice is to deter future crimes by creating penalties and punishments for criminal conduct and rehabilitating criminals through incarceration. The system delivers “justice” through punishment or penalty equal to the crime.

What is an Online criminal justice course?

An online criminal justice course is a program made up of courses that teach students the skills and knowledge needed to work in law enforcement. Online Courses in a program may include criminology, cybercrime, policing, ethics, administration, border security, and corrections.

Courses in an Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Program

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice: Introductory courses focus on topics in criminal justice institutions, law enforcement, the judicial system, and corrections. The history of the criminal justice system, common practices in different criminal justice fields, and policing and justice theories are explored. Coursework may also cover topics like law enforcement agencies, community policing, land criminal justice systems at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Criminology: Criminology classes explore the origin of crime and its impact on society. Students examine different criminal categories, causation theories, and society’s response to criminal actions. Other course topics include the victims’ rights movement, victim responses to crimes, and crime in a legal context.
  • Criminal Law: The criminal law course introduces students to classifications for the legal process, criminal acts, and defenses to criminal charges. Criminal law courses survey common law, criminal liability, and criminal codes. Students may also study the roles of prosecutors, defendants, police, and criminal courts in trying criminal offenses.
  • Police Administration: This course introduces major law enforcement management principles and is best for students interested in police leadership roles. Students study law enforcement structures, their management functions, and the relationships among units and organizations. They also learn methods to increase effectiveness, communications, and how to evaluate staff performance.
  • Correctional Case Management: Correctional case management classes focus on broad themes related to parole, probation, and community corrections. Prospective probation officers and correctional case managers study correctional counseling, supervision methods, and ethical issues in correctional case management.

Where do Online criminal justice degrees lead to?

Online criminal justice degrees lead to careers in advanced federal agencies like leaders in local police departments or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects, jobs for detectives and police are expected to grow 5% between 2019 and 2029, faster than other occupations average. Professionals in Criminal justice earn a median income of $65,170 in 2019 and typically spend their days responding to calls, patrolling areas, and collecting evidence from crime scenes.

Not every local police department requires an applicant to have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice before he/she can practice as a law enforcement officer, yet pursuing education beyond academy training such as reputable online courses qualified individuals for higher-earning jobs.   Typically, head police chief positions require a formal degree while federal agencies often require a bachelor’s degree and have higher salaries.

Other careers in criminal justice for graduates include working as detectives, forensic science technicians, and correctional officers and bailiffs. If you have a passion for entrepreneurship, you can open your own private investigating business.

Additionally, an undergraduate criminal justice program prepares students for additional education. Graduates who further their education with a master’s degree and a doctorate can choose to become lawyers.

What Are the Requirements for a Criminal Justice Program?

Aspiring learners or students must submit an application and fee, official high school transcripts, and SAT or ACT score so as to qualify for a criminal justice program. There are minimum requirements for GPAs and test scores for each program. To learn more, prospective students should check with a specific school’s admissions department.

Once enrolled, students must attend class, engage in class discussions and maintain a set GPA. A service-learning or internship component is required by some criminal justice programs. Typically, a thesis or capstone project is not required from undergraduate programs. However, a professional portfolio may be submitted by learners at the end of their studies.

11 Best Online Criminal Justice Courses in 2021

Online criminal justice courses remotely teach students hard and soft skills. soft skills involve active listening skills and interpersonal communication. On the other hand, hard skills involve record keeping and protocols for crime scene investigations.

Most criminal justice courses include 10-15 courses which in total give 30-45 credits and cover theories on the history of laws, crime prevention, and elements of restorative justice.

1. Current and Historical U.S. Laws

This criminal justice course teaches learners which laws they must uphold and how landmark Supreme Court cases influenced these laws. They also learn how lawyers influence the interpretation of these laws in court cases.

Students get to engage in classroom discussions about common offenses to the law and examine case studies. Law enforcement officers require a strong understanding of current laws and their creation. 

2. Florida International University

Florida International University is a public research institution that offers an online bachelor’s in criminal justice degree and more than 100 online programs. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The 120-credit online bachelor program focuses on criminological theory, criminal justice procedures, and homeland security.

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Each criminal justice major will be required to complete a senior capstone project that examines crime and the relationship between public policy and crime control after meeting coursework requirements. FIU offers a tuition discount for Florida residents and an online combined bachelor’s and master’s programs. 

3. The Restorative Justice Movement

The restorative justice movement was developed in the 1970s, and still heavily influences the modern criminal justice system. This online criminal justice course discusses both the history and theories that shape the restorative justice movement, and the effectiveness of meetings with the offender, victim, and community members. 

At the end of this course, students develop a strong understanding of how professionals use restorative justice in the courtroom to repair the harm caused by a crime. 

4. University of Central Florida

UCF offers an online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice as well as other online programs and 230 degrees. The university ranks among the largest public institutions in the country and has over 70,000 students.

UCF’s fully online program focuses on practical, interactive experiences. Degree-seekers can take courses in criminal justice research, the history of crime, and the prosecution process as well as choose between a BA or BS. A significant tuition discount is offered by the 120-credit degree for Florida residents.

5. Criminal Justice Ethics

This course covers topics like sexual harassment, race relations, and malpractice impact to the field and teaches the best practices and professional behavior for on-the-job activities. Case studies that illustrate criminal justice scenarios and encourage classroom discussion are also involved. 

The course teaches learners the right way to uncover evidence, document discoveries, and collaborate with professionals like detectives. Past crime scenes are investigated and case studies are used to evaluate the methods and actions.

At the end of this course, students will learn how to effectively complete a crime scene investigation without compromising an investigation or mishandling evidence. Exams usually follow an essay-based format.

6. Penn State World Campus

Penn State World Campus offers an online bachelor’s in criminal justice and other online degrees. The online bachelor’s in criminal justice was created and taught by experienced faculty and covers policing, criminology, and ethics.

The online program is flexible and combines theoretical and practical approaches to criminal justice. Core classes include interpersonal communication, courts, and the prosecution process; and CPR and first aid. A homeland security minor can prepare for specialized career paths through this program.

Pennsylvania State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

7. The University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM)

ULM offers an online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice that uses an accelerated, eight-week format. It is one of the best online criminal justice colleges.

During the criminal justice program, students acquire foundational knowledge in the courts, law enforcement, and corrections. According to the program, 88% of graduates find work in the criminal justice field within six months of earning a degree

8. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays is a public institution in Kansas that offers one of the best bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and other online courses. The university enrolls over 15,000 students annually. 

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The 120-credit program allows majors to specialize their course of study through electives and builds foundational knowledge.

FHSU criminal justice colleges are flexible and have a customizable curriculum. Enrollees can choose courses like criminology, policing, offenders and victims, cybercrime, corporate crime, and serial predators, to prepare for focused career paths.

9. Corrections

This criminal justice course focuses on modern correctional methods like parole, probation, and incarceration. Class discussion is mostly about the best practices for supervision and the daily operations of federal and state prisons.

Students are taught how to analyze each method and find out which ones judges typically apply to certain cases. They also examine data on the effectiveness of varying types of corrections. T

Some individuals with a criminal justice degree get jobs in correctional facilities.

10. Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSU)

NSU offers both on-campus and online degrees for Distance learners who want to earn a bachelor’s in criminal justice.

The 120-credit program covers interdisciplinary coursework in psychology, sociology, and political science. Majors also study police operations, forensic science, the adjudication process, and criminal investigation.

To prepare for careers in the legal system, degree-seekers can choose a pre-law and paralegal studies concentration. Each enrollee will complete 21 credits of pre-law study.

11. Trine Online

Trine now offers an online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice that combines coursework in psychology, criminal law, and criminal justice. Other multiple online degrees are also offered.

Learners can choose to concentrate on criminal justice or psychology within the major. Applicants with prior police, military, fire, or EMT experience can earn prior learning credit for their training. To earn a bachelor’s and master’s in criminal justice in four years, undergraduates can also enroll in a combined degree program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of jobs can you get with a criminal justice degree?

After completing a criminal justice program, graduates can become private investigators, apply for law enforcement positions, or work as bailiffs.

How many years does it take to complete a criminal justice degree?

A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice takes about four years to earn. Other accelerated programs may only take three years.

What is the highest-paying job in criminal justice?

Criminal justice graduates can work as lawyers. In 2019, lawyers earned a median income of $122,960 in 2019. 

Conclusion

Criminal justice refers to the laws, policies, procedures, and institutions that are involved before, during, and after the commission of a crime. 

Online criminal justice course is a program made up of courses that teach students the skills and knowledge needed to work in law enforcement. Online Courses in a program may include criminology, cybercrime, policing, ethics, administration, border security, and corrections.

Online criminal justice courses remotely teach students hard and soft skills. soft skills involve active listening skills and interpersonal communication. On the other hand, hard skills involve record keeping and protocols for crime scene investigations.

If you have any questions on online criminal justice courses, let us know in the comments below

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