Online Courses for Criminal Justice Degree

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Curriculum for CCU's Master's Degree in Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice has been a major field of academic study – not to mention employment – for many decades. It has gained even more notoriety in recent years, sometimes for the wrong reasons. For example, when the police violate a citizen’s constitutional rights, it usually makes the headlines, even though there is scarcely any mention of the thousands of times the police protect a person’s rights. The same is true when a police officer uses excessive force, or a detective overlooks a key piece of evidence at a crime scene. Typically, one transgression seems to cancel thousands of correct decisions or successful investigations. Criminal justice professionals could, understandably, complain about the disproportionately negative media coverage. Or, they could simply accept the reality of the microscope they are under, and instead resolve to perform their duties as flawlessly as possible.

To that end, CCU’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice curriculum is designed to equip students with a wide range of legal, investigative, and ethical decision-making abilities. In addition, special attention is given to some of the most pressing issues in contemporary society, upon which those newly acquired skills can be applied. The goal is to substantially increase the professional knowledge and proficiency of current and future criminal justice practitioners, which will also make graduates much more valuable in the job market.

For online courses, CCU students utilize Blackboard Learn, a leading solution in electronic education, to participate in classes that blend the latest in eLearning technology with the latest education theory and practice. Students attend classes electronically, do research using the Internet, exchange email, and participate in online discussions. Even assignments and tests are submitted online.

Criminal Justice Courses

Students are required to complete 12 courses (36 credit hours) for the M.S. in Criminal Justice degree.

Some Foundational Courses Include:

  • Criminal Profiling (CRJ 528). Have you ever wondered what sort of person would be most likely to commit a particular crime? Are you impressed when criminal profilers are able to determine, with considerable accuracy, an unidentified suspect’s approximate age, sex, race, personality, occupation, and likely criminal history? Students will learn how to turn crime scene clues into an educated hypothesis about a suspect’s identity.
  • Crime Scenes and Forensic Evidence (CRJ 522). Do television crime dramas depict a realistic view of crime scene investigations? Students will enjoy this advanced, but practical, crime scene-processing course. The main focus will be on recognizing, collecting, and preserving various types of physical evidence, which are the building blocks of quality criminal cases.
  • Mental Health and Criminal Justice (CRJ 514). Students will gain a considerable familiarity with field-level mental health issues and crisis intervention. Substantial attention will be given to the recognition of signs and symptoms along with some of the more common causes of mental and emotional distress. Another major focus will be on adjusting the law enforcement response in light of different mental health scenarios.
  • Juvenile Crime (CRJ 518). Students will learn about the many criminological theories that seek to explain the criminal behavior of boys and girls. Special emphasis will be given to the complex issues of: family, gender, school behavior, gangs, drugs, and more. This course will be very beneficial for students who desire a career working with juvenile offenders.
  • Resolving Ethical Dilemmas in Criminal Justice (CRJ 506). Students will be presented with numerous ethical dilemmas which are commonly encountered in criminal justice work. Solidifying the student’s ethical framework in order to properly analyze future unknown ethical dilemmas is one of the course goals. However, many criminal justice practitioners and leaders keep making the same mistakes when confronted with the same old dilemmas time after time.

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