Penn State's online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice is designed to provide you with the theoretical and practical knowledge of crime control, and the skills necessary to succeed in criminal justice and related careers. This interdisciplinary approach to the problems of crime and society can enhance your ability as a problem solver in the field of criminal justice.
The bachelor of science degree in criminal justice is a 120-credit program. To earn this degree, you must successfully complete:
- 24 credits prescribed courses
- 3–4 credits additional major requirements
- 12 credits additional upper-level criminal justice courses
- 21 credits supporting courses and related areas
- 45 credits General Education courses
- A number of credits in elective courses dependent on the amount needed to reach 120 credits
The degree's 24 credits of prescribed courses and 12 credits of additional courses focus on the history, practice, and science of criminal justice. Many different course options are available to complete the program, allowing you to customize the degree to meet your specific goals.
Students with ACT 120, Pennsylvania State Police, or Municipal Police Training transcripts may receive a total of 7.5 credits for the following courses:
- KINES 067: Physical Conditioning – 1.5 credits
- CAS 203: Interpersonal Communication – 3 credits
- NURS 203: First Aid and CPR – 3 credits
Use the Course List to find course information, including course descriptions and prerequisites.
Use the Course Schedule to see courses listed with start and end periods, registration deadlines, and semesters offered, as well as a link to sample lessons and syllabus when available, by clicking on the six-digit schedule number.
Course List - Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (120 credits)
A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better in all courses required for the major.
|Criminology||CRIMJ 012||Explanations and measurement of crime; criminal law; characteristics of criminals and victims; violent, property, white-collar, organized, and sexual crimes.||3 credits|
|Introduction to Criminal Justice||CRIMJ 100||Overview of the criminal justice system, including legal foundations, processing and correction of offenders, extent and types of crime, victims.||3 credits|
|Policing in America||CRIMJ 210||Police organization and operations in America.
Prerequisite: CRIMJ 100 or concurrent CRIMJ 100
|Courts and the Prosecution Process||CRIMJ 220||Purpose and function of criminal courts in society, organization, jurisdiction and staffing; prosecution, adjudication, and sentencing of offenders.
Prerequisite: CRIMJ 100
|Corrections in America||CRIMJ 230||Punishment and treatment of sentenced offenders, correctional institution organization, staffing, inmates, and subcultures.||3 credits|
|Research Methods in Criminal Justice||CRIMJ 250||Fundamental concepts of social science research including design, measurement, sampling, and interpretation of study of crime, law and justice.
Prerequisite: CRIMJ 012
|Senior Seminar||CRIMJ 450||Capstone course exploring past, current and future developments in criminal justice.
Prerequisite: Sixth semester standing and CRIM 100 or CRIMJ 100
|Ethics in Criminal Justice||CRIMJ 465||Ethical behavior in the criminal justice system.
Prerequisite: CRIMJ 100 or permission of program
|Statistical Analysis for the Social Sciences
|Methods of collection, presentation, and analysis of quantitative data in the social science, procedures, interpretation, and application. Prerequisite: 2 units of high school algebra, and CRIMJ 100, or permission of the program
Prerequisite: 2 units of High School Algebra and CRIMJ 100 or permission of the program
Descriptive statistics, frequency distributions, probability, binomial and normal distributions, statistical inference, linear regression, and correlation. Prerequisite: 2 units of high school algebra
Prerequisite: 2 units of high school algebra and Placement into MATH 021 or higher
|Security Administration||CRIMJ 304||Interdisciplinary analysis of security and loss prevention; its administration, role in crime control and prevention, and relationship to criminal justice.||3 credits|
|Police Administration||CRIMJ 408||Principles of administration as they relate to a police organization; and policy development.
Prerequisite: CRIMJ 100 or CRIM 100 and CRIMJ 210
|Alternatives to Incarceration||CRIMJ 430||Control and treatment of offenders in the community, probation and parole organizations, diversion programs, innovative sentences, supervision techniques.
Prerequisites: CRIMJ 100, and CRIMJ 113, and CRIMJ 230, or permission of program
|Border Security||CRIMJ 435||This course provides knowledge about government organizations charged with American border security, guiding laws, and policies.
Prerequisites: 6th semester standing
|The Juvenile Justice System||CRIMJ 441||Historical and contemporary view of juvenile justice system. Focus on analyzing components of the system, their interactions, processing, and handling of youths.
Prerequisite: CRIMJ 100
|Internship in Criminal Justice||CRIMJ 495||Experience with a criminal justice agency coordinated through readings and discussion.
Prerequisite: CRIMJ 100
|Courses taken from the following: PL SC, PUBPL, PSYCH or SOC||6 credits*|
|Courses taken in Consultation with Adviser
Learn more about the optional minor in Homeland Security.
*You may take 3 credits at the 200 level and 3 credits at the 300 or 400 level or 6 credits at the 300 or 400 level.
|Arts – GA||6 credits|
|Humanities – GH||6 credits|
|Health and Wellness – GHW||3 credits|
|Natural Sciences – GN||9 credits|
|Social and Behavioral Sciences – GS||6 credits|
|Writing and Speaking – GWS*||9 credits|
|Quantification – GQ*||6 credits|
|Integrative Studies||(6 credits)***|
*A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.
**12 credits are included in the requirements for the major.
***This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements.
Electives (Credits needed to meet the 120 credit degree requirement)
If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.