Icon: online criminal justice degrees Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ)

Criminal Justice Generalist

AIU offers a professionally focused BSCJ program with a Generalist specialization that provides students with a broad overview of the criminal justice system and exposure to the subfields of corrections, forensic science, law enforcement, homeland security and criminology. 

This curriculum is uniquely designed for students transferring college credits into AIU’s criminal justice program. Students with college credits in criminal justice (CJ) from a regionally accredited college may have some of their earned credits applied towards this specialization on a case-by-case basis.*

The goal of the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program is to provide a well-rounded overview of the entire criminal justice system. Students can learn about criminal investigation, the impact of drug usage on crime, probation and parole. A choice of electives offers them the opportunity to delve into areas of particular interest, such as crime victim studies and issues of cultural diversity.

*Not all credits eligible to transfer. See the University’s catalog regarding AIU transfer credit policies.

  • Next Start Date

    November 9th, 2015

  • Total Credits


  • Specialization Credits


  • Program Length

    36 MONTHS

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Learning & Outcomes
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  • Successful completion of the BSCJ with a Generalist Specialization can provide students with an applicable foundation of industry-related knowledge and skills, including how to:


    • Apply foundational knowledge of criminal justice including causes of crime, criminal behaviors and victims of crime.
    • Define and identify the various components of the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems which include law enforcement, law and courts and corrections.
    • Analyze and apply law enforcement principles including the structure of police organizations, police discretion, police subculture and the legal constraints of policing.
    • Analyze and apply knowledge of law adjudication including criminal law, criminal procedures and the decision-making processes associated with the defense and prosecution of criminal offenders.
    • Analyze and apply knowledge of community-based corrections including the incarceration, treatment and alternative punishments offered in the correctional system.
    • Use critical thinking skills and apply ethical theories to ethical dilemmas faced by criminal justice practitioners in law enforcement, courts, corrections and forensics.
    • Analyze and synthesize key theories of criminology, including the causes of crime, typologies, offenders, and victimization.
    • Differentiate between the substantive and procedural aspects of the criminal and juvenile justice processes.
    • Use the knowledge and understanding of law enforcement, homeland security and crisis management principles to analyze and evaluate police organization, discretion, terrorist threats and legal constraints.
    • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of law adjudication including criminal law, prosecution, defense, court procedures, and legal decision-making processes.
    • Utilize knowledge and analytical skills pertaining to corrections including incarceration, community-based corrections, and treatment of offenders, as well as other alternatives to incarceration programs.
    • Employ knowledge and understanding of techniques, abilities, and limitations in the forensic science laboratory, the field of medicolegal death investigations, forensic psychology and computer crimes and computer forensics.

     Relevant Institutional/Programmatic Accreditation
    American InterContinental University® is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. To contact the Higher Learning Commission please visit www.hlcommission.org.

    • In this specialized curriculum, students focus on the criminal justice system, its organizational components and processes and its legal and public policy contexts. Courses are structured to assist students in the development of their goals as they can learn focused knowledge and skills common to criminal justice professionals. For example:

      • In Crime and Substance Abuse, students can examine the statistical relationship between drugs and crime, drug laws and courts, drug prevention programs and public policy concerning the use and abuse of substances.
      • In Criminal Investigation, students can explore the elements of investigation, including crime scenes, witnesses and evidence and study topics such as investigative techniques, evidence documentation, interrogation and arrest.
      • In Terrorism and Homeland Security, students can be presented with an overview of the key security issues facing the United States in both the areas of Homeland security and terrorism, while focusing on the changing dynamics of homeland security at both the national and state levels.

      Click here to download the AIU catalog for more information and a full list of courses for this degree.

    • AIU's Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program with a Generalist specialization is geared toward helping students acquire a solid foundation in criminal justice including causes of crimes, criminal behaviors and victims of crime.

      They will come away with a greater understanding of juvenile justice systems, law enforcement principles, legal constraints of policing, courts and corrections.

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