School: Arts and Social & Behavioral Sciences
Degree Type: Bachelors Degree | Minor
Format: Online
Student Type: Undergraduate Accelerated and Online

Criminal Justice Program for Traditional Students

Traditional Undergraduate students interested in Criminal Justice will take Warner Pacific University’s innovative Dual Degree program. This program provides an opportunity for students to graduate with two degrees, a baccalaureate degree in Social Work (BSW) and a BS degree in Criminal Justice.

Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Degree

Warner Pacific University’s Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree is geared toward individuals passionate about wanting to improve and protect their communities through reconciliation and reform. Benefitting from WPU’s diverse student body and its range of perspectives, this programavailable onlineis designed for working adults who have completed some college and are interested in advancing through law enforcement or want to pursue a career in public service, corrections, fish and game, politics, or pre-law.

About the Online Criminal Justice Degree

According to figures from the Court Statistics Project, over 80 million cases are heard per year at state and federal levels. This volume is handled by a range of criminal justice professionals working in the court system, in corrections and rehabilitation, in legal and research efforts, and in police stations.

WPU’s criminal justice degree examines the why and how of this overarching system. Criminologythe study of criminal behavior and crime trendsoverlaps with sociology and psychology to analyze why certain individuals break the law and the reasons behind their behavior. This approach examines crime as a social construct, often within the context of a pattern. In turn, criminology professionals look at criminal justice from a research and data analysis angle to determine why crime occurs, which individuals are at a greater risk, and to shape local, state, and national policies to decrease the number of offenders and the rate of recidivism.

Criminal justice, in simplified form, is the practical application of criminology’s methods. Students beginning a criminal justice degree program learn about the law enforcement system, including its history, how it functions, its structure, crime-response techniques, and relevant laws. Students, in turn, become familiar with conducting investigations, criminal profiling, the judicial process, constitutional law, and criminal justice reform efforts.

During the course of this online degree program, students:

  • learn to understand, predict, and explain crime with the goal of developing new or improving existing public policy;
  • examine the historical, philosophical, and theoretical sides of the criminal justice system;
  • find where spirituality and Christian-centered ethics fit within understanding and practicing criminal justice;
  • improve their written and verbal communication skills;
  • analyze the interactions of various human systems, including individual, interpersonal, group, family, organizational, community, and societal structures;
  • evaluate criminal justice issues in relation to national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and cultural relations;
  • learn about how mental health, addiction, and trauma can contribute to criminal activity; and
  • study the challenges of the current criminal justice system within an urban context. 

Online Criminal Justice Curriculum

WPU’s online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice degree isn’t strictly a practical program. While practicum is required to graduate, the curriculum itself is rooted in the liberal arts, particularly the social sciences.

Working adults beginning this program develop a theoretical foundation for assessing crime and a thorough understanding of the US legal system and criminal justice agencies. From this point, subjects explore ethnic and race relations in a historical context, introduce conflict-resolution techniques, and examine the circumstances, including substance abuse, addiction, trauma, and mental health, that influence certain individuals to commit crimes. As well, the curriculum spends some time on current social problems and the local, state, and federal policies for addressing them, incorporates data analysis, and involves a capstone project. In total, all criminal justice students complete 15 courses totaling to 45 semester credits. 

Major Requirements (36 credits)
CJ 300A | Criminology | 3 credits
CJ 310A | The American Legal System | 3 credits
SOC 340A | Race and Ethnic Relations | 3 credits
SOC 345A | Social Problems and Public Policy | 3 credits
SOC 360A | Urban Sociology | 3 credits
SS 380A | Conflict Resolution | 3 credits
CJ 395A | Data Analysis for Criminal Justice | 3 credits
CJ 410A | Criminal Justice Administration | 3 credits
SS 420A | Addictions, Mental Health, and Trauma | 3 credits
CJ 430A | Criminal Justice Practicum | 3 credits
CJ 440A | Professional Ethics in Criminal Justice | 3 credits
CJ 455A | Restorative Justice | 3 credits

Core Requirements
HUM 310A | Exploring the Human Condition (Prerequisite: EN 111A, 112A) | 3 credits
ILR 300A | Adv Information Literacy & Research (Prerequisite: EN 111A) | 3 credits
REL 320A | Spirituality, Character and Service (Prerequisite: EN 111A, 112A) | 3 credits

Including all major coursework, core courses, electives, and transferred college-level credits, all students must earn a minimum of 120 semester credits to graduate.

Minor Requirements (18 credits)
CJ 300A | Criminology | 3 credits
CJ 310A | The American Legal System | 3 credits
CJ 410A | Criminal Justice Administration | 3 credits
CJ 440A | Professional Ethics in Criminal Justice | 3 credits

At least 2 courses (6 credits), selected from the following:
SOC 340A | Race and Ethnic Relations (3)
SOC 345A | Social Problems and Public Policy (3)
SOC 360A | Urban Sociology (3)
SS 380A | Conflict Resolution (3)
CJ 395A | Data Analysis for Criminal Justice (3)
SS 420A | Addictions, Mental Health, and Trauma (3)
CJ 455A | Restorative Justice (3)

Adult Degree Format

For over 25 years, WPU’s Professional & Graduate Studies (PGS) programs have factored in the needs of working adult students wanting to earn a new credential or complete their bachelor’s degree. For the online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice:

  • courses last five weeks each, unless noted;
  • all subjects are taught by faculty members who work in the criminal justice field and, in turn, impart their industry knowledge in the classroom; and
  • uses rolling monthly start dates for maximum flexibility in scheduling.

Coursework is online and fully asynchronous. However, weekly lectures and assignments require students to log in at least five out of seven days per week to access materials. Furthermore, participation is essential for your success: each week, students must submit three substantive, thought-out posts over two days in class forums. 

What Can I Do with a Criminal Justice Degree?

WPU’s online BS in Criminal Justice degree prepares students for a range of career paths.

Although a high school diploma or an associate degree is sufficient for entry-level law enforcement positions, a bachelor’s is often the key to advancing in your field. WPU’s program creates a pathway to opportunities as a police officer, paralegal, probation officer, public administrator, human service professional, government official, or in forensics or corrections. 

The research-based foundation many students gain also prepares them to pursue a graduate degree in criminology, public administration, social science, law, or sociology.

Based on research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for police and detectives is expected to increase 5% between 2018 and 2028, while probation officers and correctional treatment specialists will see 3% more positions. Law enforcement, meanwhile, is expected to need 8% more private detectives and investigators. On the research end, the BLS predicts that demand for forensic science technicians will rise 14%.

Requirements for the BS in Criminal Justice Degree

Thinking about finishing your bachelor’s degree at WPU? To apply to the online BS in Criminal Justice program, students must:

  • have completed 48 to 60 semester credits at a regionally accredited college or university or through CLEP exams or ACE evaluations for military experience and job training; 
  • fill out an application and submit the application fee;
  • supply transcripts from all higher education institutions attended to date and high school transcripts if you have earned fewer than six semester credits;
  • have at least two years of full-time work experience; and
  • have earned a cumulative 2.0 GPA for all previously completed college-level coursework. 

Students whose native language is not English must also show proof of English proficiency by earning a minimum score of 70 on the TOEFL or a 6 on the IELTS.

Learn More About WPU’s Online BS in Criminal Justice Degree

Move up through the ranks of law enforcement while protecting and serving your community with an online Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from WPU.


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