Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Online

This 100% online bachelor's program is designed to prepare you for new career opportunities working in the private or public sector as you become well-versed in the foundations of the criminal justice system—police, courts, and corrections.

Apply by 2/29/24
Start class 3/11/24 Apply Now

Now lower tuition to make your undergraduate journey even more affordable! $275 per credit hour with Path to Success Scholarship*

Program Overview

Learn what our online B.A. in Criminal Justice can do for you

Develop your theoretical background in criminal behavior and the legal system by earning your Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice online from Northern Kentucky University. In our 100% online degree program, you will explore many facets of the American justice system, including the investigation, prosecution, and defense of crimes as well as courtroom rules and procedures.

Curriculum for this CJ program is designed to strengthen your research and analytical skills. Add another dimension to your degree with a minor or area of focus. You will graduate qualified for a broad range of positions that require a bachelor's degree. You will also have a solid foundation to pursue law school.

Those who have graduated from Federal Bureau of Prisons training or the Police Academy will receive credit for completion.

In this online program, you will:

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of criminal justice institutions and processes, theories of crime and punishment, criminal law, and social science research methodologies
  • Explore the philosophy and history of law enforcement; crime and police problems as well as the organization and jurisdiction of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies
  • Analyze the American court system, including the structure, functions, and roles of incumbents in the courts
  • Examine the concepts of morality and law and their relationships—especially the ethical underpinnings of justice and the law
  • Experience a multidisciplinary approach to understanding theories of crime as well as the theories, issues, and traditions underlying criminal justice and criminal behavior
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of criminal justice institutions and processes, theories of crime and punishment, criminal law, and social science research methodologies
  • Explore the philosophy and history of law enforcement; crime and police problems as well as the organization and jurisdiction of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies
  • Analyze the American court system, including the structure, functions, and roles of incumbents in the courts
  • Examine the concepts of morality and law and their relationships—especially the ethical underpinnings of justice and the law
  • Experience a multidisciplinary approach to understanding theories of crime as well as the theories, issues, and traditions underlying criminal justice and criminal behavior

Potential career outcomes:

  • Police Officer
  • Forensic Science Technician
  • Fish and Game Warden
  • Immigration and Customs Agent
  • U.S. Marshal
  • Federal or State Law Enforcement Officer
  • Detention or Custodial Officer
  • Victim's Advocate
  • Sheriff's Deputy
  • Police Officer
  • Forensic Science Technician
  • Fish and Game Warden
  • Immigration and Customs Agent
  • U.S. Marshal
  • Federal or State Law Enforcement Officer
  • Detention or Custodial Officer
  • Victim's Advocate
  • Sheriff's Deputy

Also available:

Northern Kentucky University offers value in a broad range of online undergraduate programs.

Tuition $275 per credit hour*
Transfer Credits Up to 90
Credit Hours 120
Apply Now

Need More Information?

Call 800-985-7215

Call 800-985-7215

Launch Your Career in Criminal Justice

At NKU, we have small classes, we are student centered, we have professors who are experts in their fields, and we care about our students.

What Makes NKU Unique?

NKU students are changing their lives and making big changes to their future.

Tuition

Our online program is cost-effective

The B.A. in Criminal Justice online program tuition is affordably priced and can be paid by the course. NKU offers the same rate to in-state and out-of-state students. Financial aid may be available to students who qualify. For additional information, visit the Financial Aid section on our FAQ page.

Tuition Breakdown:

$275 Per Credit Hour*

Calendar

Note these important dates for our online students

The B.A. in Criminal Justice is delivered in a convenient online format with 7-week courses that start six times a year. View the full calendar to see all upcoming dates. When you're ready to get started, be sure to submit your application, registration, documents, and tuition by the corresponding deadlines.

SessionProgram Start DateApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlineRegistration DeadlinePayment Due
Spring 11/8/241/2/241/4/241/5/241/8/24
Spring 23/11/242/29/243/4/243/8/243/11/24
Summer 15/6/244/24/244/30/245/3/245/6/24
Summer 26/24/246/12/246/18/246/21/246/24/24
Fall 18/19/248/7/248/12/248/16/248/19/24
Fall 210/16/2410/3/2410/8/2410/11/2410/16/24

Now enrolling:

Apply Date 2/29/24
Class Starts 3/11/24
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Admissions

View the admission requirements for the criminal justice program

The admission process is the first step toward earning your B.A. in Criminal Justice degree online. Please reach out to one of our enrollment specialists for any questions you might have.

Admission Requirements:

  • Official transcripts from each college attended
  • 2.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Online application fee waived for active/veteran military

B.A. in Criminal Justice Online Admission Requirements

Applicants for the B.A. in Criminal Justice online program are evaluated on a holistic basis and must meet the following requirements:

Transfer Admission

Transfer applicants are students who have graduated from high school and have previously attempted coursework for credit (other than college credits taken while in high school) at another accredited college or university.

Students with a minimum 2.0 GPA from an accredited institution and 24 or more transferable credit hours must submit the following:

  • Complete online application and pay $40 non-refundable application fee
    • If you are an NKU alum or active/veteran military member, your application fee will be waived. Simply submit the online application without payment of the application fee. The fee will be waived when your credentials are verified. No further action is required.
  • Official transcripts from each college attended
    • if applicable, transcripts from accredited Federal Bureau of Prisons or Police Academy program

Students with a minimum 2.0 GPA and fewer than 24 transferable credit hours are evaluated based on the freshman admission standards and must supply the following:

  • Complete online application and pay $40 non-refundable application fee
    • If you are an NKU alum or active/veteran military member, your application fee will be waived. Simply submit the online application without payment of the application fee. The fee will be waived when your credentials are verified. No further action is required.
  • Official transcripts from each college attended
    • if applicable, transcripts from accredited Federal Bureau of Prisons or Police Academy program
  • Final and official high school transcript or GED scores
  • New transfer students who apply to the University with fewer than 24 college credit hours earned and a 2.75 and greater unweighted high school GPA will be offered admissions regardless of ACT/SAT scores. Please note: Nursing and respiratory care programs require ACT/SAT scores.
  • New transfer students with a 2.7499 unweighted high school GPA and less will be required to submit ACT or SAT test scores:
    • Required ACT scores:
      18 (English, math, reading)
    • Required SAT scores:
      Prior to March 2016: 430 (math, writing); 450 (critical reading)
      March 2016 to present: 480 (evidence-based reading and writing); 470 (math)

Freshman Applicants

A freshman applicant is a prospective student who has not attempted coursework at an accredited college or university (other than college credit earned while in high school or during the summer immediately following high school graduation).

Students who are 21 years or older and have never attended college (other than college credits taken while in high school) must supply:

  • Complete online application and pay $40 non-refundable application fee
    • If you are an NKU alum or active/veteran military member, your application fee will be waived. Simply submit the online application without payment of the application fee. The fee will be waived when your credentials are verified. No further action is required.
  • Official high school transcripts or GED scores

Students who are under 21 years old and have never attended college (other than college credits taken while in high school) must supply:

  • An online application form
  • A $40 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official high school transcripts or GED scores
  • Freshmen applicants must have at least a 2.0 unweighted high school GPA to be considered for admissions.
    • Freshman applicants with a 2.75 and greater unweighted high school GPA will be offered admissions regardless of ACT/SAT scores. Please note: Nursing and respiratory care programs require ACT/SAT scores.
    • Freshman applicants with a 2.7499 unweighted high school GPA and less will be required to submit ACT or SAT exam scores:
      • Required ACT scores:
        18 (English, math, reading)
      • Required SAT scores:
        Prior to March 2016: 430 (math, writing); 450 (critical reading)
        March 2016 to present: 480 (evidence-based reading and writing); 470 (math)

NKUWrite (English and reading) and ALEKS (math) scores are encouraged for placement. Some courses may require placement testing depending on transfer credit or ACT scores. Our Testing Services office can help you schedule these tests.

Official documents may be mailed or emailed to:

Northern Kentucky University
Office of Admissions
Lucas Administrative Center
400 Nunn Drive
Highland Heights, KY 41099

[email protected]

Have a question? Call us at 800-985-7215.

Joseph Euton - NKU Testimonial
“I highly recommend the online learning program for individuals in the criminal justice field.”

Joseph Euton, B.A. in Criminal Justice online student

Read More

Courses

Read about our online B.A. in Criminal Justice curriculum

In order to earn the B.A. in Criminal Justice online, you must complete a total of 120 credit hours, including 24 core credit hours, 24 major elective credit hours, 37 general education credit hours, 12 credit hours from a declared minor, and an additional 23 credit hours of free electives. Consult with your academic advisor to devise an individual degree plan and to get answers to questions about required and elective courses.

Students must take the following courses:
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course provides an overview of the criminal justice system; organization and operation of police, courts, and corrections; race, ethnicity, gender, and criminal justice decision-making, current trends, and future prospects.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course covers the philosophy and history of law enforcement; crime and police problems; organization and jurisdiction of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies; professional career opportunities and qualifications.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course is an interdisciplinary examination of all areas of corrections in the U.S. informed by law, psychology, sociology, and public policy. Topics explored include: history and philosophy of punishment, prisons and jails, institutional programming, management of various offender populations, incarceration trends, intermediate sanctions, and parole.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course is an analysis of the American courts; structure, functions, and roles of incumbents in the courts; emphasis on political and economic contexts within which the court works. Includes survey of research on American legal system.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course examines the structure and format of the juvenile justice system; police, courts, and corrections; analysis and description of the organizational structure of each of the subsystems of the justice process; introduction to juvenile justice research findings.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course examines the concepts of morality and law and their relationships—especially the ethical underpinnings of justice and the law. It analyzes the nature of ethics as it bears on social problems and the law, including philosophical analysis and theories of ethics, and students are encouraged to view society and the law philosophically.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course covers the application of basic research methodologies for criminal justice. Topics include research design, sampling, validity, reliability, and experimental designs, with a primary emphasis on survey and evaluation research techniques.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course is a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the theories, issues, and traditions underlying criminal justice and criminal behavior; biological, psychological, economic, and sociological theories of crime; crime measurement.

Prior Learning Credit will be provided for those who have graduated from either Federal Bureau of Prisons training or the Police Academy. You will receive credit for the following courses once we have received your transcript.

Take 9 credit hours from the following:

Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course covers the kinds, degrees, and admissibility of evidence; collection and handling of evidence; introduction to forensics and criminalistics; application of investigative techniques to specific offenses; types of investigations such as wiretapping, undercover, and sting operations; current trends and future prospects.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course covers methods of research in establishing authoritative legal opinion and the processing of legal activities.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course examines the political formulation of race and gender; race and gender issues related to criminality, victimization, prosecution; adjudication, sanctions, and employment within the legal system; antecedents of contemporary practice; prospects for change.

Prior Learning Credit will be provided for those who have graduated from either Federal Bureau of Prisons training or the Police Academy. You will receive credit for the following courses once we have received your transcript.

Choose 15 credit hours from the following:

Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course looks at major crimes; classification, elements of proof, intent, conspiracy, responsibility, parties, and defenses; common law and adaptations.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Collaboration between police and community to identify and solve community crime problems; strategies and procedures to incorporate community opinion into policing and management; methods of increasing community responsibility in law enforcement.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course looks at legal requirements, management issues, and proper procedures in administering correctional operations in the U.S.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course is an overview of the American correctional system; law of sentencing; corrections; constitutional rights of prisoners; laws, cases, significant changes in judicial policy toward prison litigation; legislative trends toward curtailment of prisoners' rights and benefits.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
The media play important roles in shaping public perceptions of criminals and criminal justice professionals as well as public attitudes towards crime, violence, and "appropriate" methods of social control. This course is intended to enhance awareness and understanding of accurate and inaccurate filmic depictions of criminal justice.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course is a multidisciplinary approach to studying alternatives to incarceration. The history of probation, parole, and the emergence of intermediate sanctions are explored. Topics include boot camps, electronic monitoring, drug courts, halfway houses, intensive supervision. Finally, empirical research evaluating the effectiveness of these alternatives will be discussed.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course looks at the criminal justice professional’s role in collection, analysis, and preparation of evidence for criminal trials and hearings; establishing witness credibility in hearings, trials, depositions; knowledge of federal and state laws, and court decisions governing expert witness status; presenting evidence and testimony at criminal hearings.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course is an overview of methods of crime prevention (approaches outside the confines of the CJS). Theory and research related to neighborhood, school, and other situational efforts of crime prevention are explored, providing an understanding of the objectives and effectiveness of various crime prevention strategies.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course analyzes the criminal justice policies that are considered less than desirable and impacts, or unintended consequences they have on the criminal justice system and society. How policies are developed, evidence-based policy making, and best practices in policy-making will be addressed. An analysis of particular criminal justice policies including, but not limited to, the drug war, immigration, mandatory minimums, the death penalty, mothers in prison, and sex offender registries.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course is an overview of capital punishment including: history, important Supreme Court decisions, methods of execution, the comparative costs of incarceration and execution, miscarriages of justice, philosophies, and public opinion.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
The life course paradigm includes examination of sociology, psychology, and behavioral genetics to investigate the initiation, escalation, duration, and termination of the criminal career. The importance of genetics and biology, abuse in infancy and childhood, the role of parents and peers in adolescence, and the causes of de-escalation will be discussed in examining the offending trajectory and turning points of criminals.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Intensive study of a specific topic or issue in criminal justice. Topics vary as new issues arise. May be repeated when topics vary.
You must declare a minor (12 credit hours) in a discipline outside of criminal justice/criminalistics for an area of focus.
You must take up to 23 credit hours of electives in order to reach the bachelor's degree minimum of 120 credit hours for graduation.

You must take 37 credit hours of general education courses, selected from the following categories. Note, some general education courses may be part of the major/minor/focus requirements. If so, those courses may be used to count for both general education and the major/minor/focus.

  • General Education Courses:
    • Communication; Written (3)
    • Communication; Written II (3)
    • Communication; Oral (3)
    • Scientific and Quantitative Inquiry;
  • Mathematics and Statistics (3)
    • Scientific and Quantitative Inquiry;
  • Natural Sciences with lab (4)
    • Scientific and Quantitative Inquiry;
  • Natural Sciences without lab (3)
    • Self and Society;
  • Cultural Pluralism (3)
    • Self and Society;
  • Individual and Society (3)
    • Self and Society;
  • Individual and Society (3)
  • Culture and Creativity (3)
  • Culture and Creativity (3)
  • Global Viewpoints (3)

Prior Learning Credit

Prior Learning Credit will be provided for those who have graduated from either Federal Bureau of Prisons training or the Police Academy. You will receive credit for the following courses once we have received your transcript:

  • PHE 108 Aerobic Conditioning
  • PHE 109 Strength Training
  • HEA 135 Safety and First Aid
  • JUS 100G Individual and Society General Education Credit
  • JUS 201 Corrections in America (Federal Bureau of Prisons training)
  • JUS 200 Police in America (Police Academy)
  • JUS 204 Criminal Investigation
  • JUS 294 Topics: Justice Studies

Credit for prior learning acknowledges your experiences and can save you time and money on your degree.

You might be closer to graduation than you think!

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