Program Details

Program Outline

Program Outline

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 study 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.

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

We can help you learn 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.

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*Transferability of credits is at the sole discretion of the receiving institution.



Degree Requirements

General Education
COMP101Introduction to Computers4.5
COMP102Introduction to Computers Lab1.5
CRJS 201Ethics and Criminal Justice
ENGL106English Composition I4.5
ENGL107English Composition II4.5
HUMA205Art Appreciation4.5
PHIL201Introduction to Philosophy4.5
MATH125General College Mathematics4.5
PRES111Presentation Essentials4.5
SSCI206Aspects of Psychology4.5
SCIE207Biology Lab1.5
SCIE210Environmental Science4.5
SCIE211Environmental Science Lab1.5
General Education Electives (1)4.5
Total Credit Hours:58.5

General Electives
General Elective4.5
General Elective4.5
General Elective 4.5
General Elective4.5
General Elective 4.5
General Elective0-4.5
General Elective or Internship4.5
Total Credit Hours:31.5

Lower Division Core
CRJS101Foundations of Criminal Justice Systems4.5
CRJS105Theories of Crime Causation4.5
CRJS205Introduction to Criminal Law4.5
CRJS210Introduction to Law Enforcement4.5
CRJS215Introduction to American Court System4.5
CRJS220Foundations of Corrections4.5
Total Credit Hours:27
Upper Division Core
CRJS310Crime Victim Studies4.5
CRJS315Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Theory4.5
CRJS330Constitutional Issues in Criminal Procedures4.5
CRJS405Research Methods & Statistics for Criminal Justice4.5
Total Credit Hours:22.5
Capstone Requirement
CRJS499Senior Capstone in Criminal Justice4.5
Total Credit Hours:4.5

Specialization Options


The Generalist specialization provides students the opportunity to transfer in or take specialization courses in any area of Criminal Justice. The courses below are suggestions but may be substituted for any upper level course in the Criminal Justice discipline.

CRJS270Security and Loss Prevention4.5
CRJS305Comparative Criminal Justice System4.5
CRJS325Crime and Substance Abuse4.5
CRJS345Administration of Criminal Justice4.5
CRJS370Terrorism and Homeland Security4.5
CRJS445Offender Rehabilitation4.5
CRJS455Criminal Investigation4.5

Total Credit Hours: 180

Classes Overview

Classes Overview

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 learn focused knowledge and skills common to criminal-justice professionals. At AIU, you can take more courses in your field of interest, on average, than at other similar schools. For a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a Generalist specialization, your classes can include:

Security and Loss Prevention

This course examines the theories and principles of security and loss prevention through a systematic review of key issues and concepts associated with the reduction and prevention of personal and corporate loss. This course will review the historical development of loss prevention, exposures to losses, risk assessment techniques and strategies to minimize loss and improve security.

Comparative Criminal Justice System

This course gives students a rationale for understanding and appreciating the different ways justice is conceived and administered internationally. This course serves as a basis for comparing various justice systems as they relate to the American justice system. Students will explore how various countries organize their law enforcement, judicial systems and corrections agencies, and compare them with the American criminal justice system.

Crime and Substance Abuse

This course examines drug abuse and its relationship to crime. Topics include the statistical relationship between drugs and crime, drug laws and courts, drug prevention programs and public policy concerning the use and abuse of substances.

Administration of Criminal Justice

This course focuses on the challenges administrators face in law enforcement, courts and corrections. Students will examine the various organizational frameworks in the criminal justice system and the concepts, organizational principles and models associated with these criminal justice agencies.


Criminalistics is part I of a two part series. This course is a survey course of forensic science. The course content will focus on defining "forensic science"; recognizing practices of legitimate, junk and fraudulent science; examining the properties of physical evidence; discussing the scope, potential and limitations of a variety of forensic sciences; examining analytical techniques applied by forensic scientists; evaluating the criteria for admissibility of scientific evidence; and discussing the ethical responsibilities of forensic scientists.

Terrorism and Homeland Security

This course presents an overview of the key security issues facing the United States in both the areas of Homeland Security and Terrorism. It introduces students to the changing dynamics of homeland security at both the national and state levels. Students will explore the various dynamics of providing security in different settings. Additionally, the history and future of terrorism will be examined.

Offender Rehabilitation

This course focuses on the various factors utilized to develop personalized sentencing and treatment plans for individual offenders. It examines the personality of the offender who may be diagnosed as a psychopath, sociopath, drug addict or mentally ill person. Students will learn how to develop treatment plans that will assist in the rehabilitation of the offender.

Criminal Investigation

This course explores the elements of investigation including crime scenes, witnesses and evidence and includes such topics as investigative techniques, evidence documentation, interrogation and arrest. The course addresses the particulars of investigating major crimes.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and Fees

Total tuition for this degree program may vary depending on your educational needs, existing experience, and other factors.

Estimate your costs, potential savings and graduation date.

Ways to Save

Ways to Save

From grants to military service to transfer credit, see the variety of ways you can save time and money on your degree at AIU.

  • Scholarships & Grants - AIU offers a number of institutional scholarships and grants that can help eligible students offset the program cost and help reduce out of pocket costs
  • Military Discounts– AIU Online offers a 45% tuition discount to active military undergraduate students and a 20% tuition discount to active military graduate students, including members of the Reserves and National Guard
  • Transfer Credit – AIU’s transfer-friendly policy lets you transfer in up to 75% of the qualifying credits you need toward your degree
  • Prior Learning Credit – You can receive credits for past college courses, military service, or work experience

For more information, download AIU guides below:

  • Financial Aid Guide: Our guide to financial aid can answer your initial questions and help you prepare to apply for financial aid
  • Scholarships and Grants Guide: Learn about the scholarships and grants offered by AIU along with details about eligibility
  • Transfer Credits Guide: This guide explores how to transfer your credits from other schools—and earn college credit for your past work and military experience
Related Degrees

Related Degrees

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) Degree: Specialization in Corrections and Case Management

Study how to interact with inmates, develop rehabilitation plans and study the ways corrections professionals can make a difference in inmates’ lives. With a Criminal Justice degree specialization in Corrections and Case Management, you could become an important link between incarcerated individuals, the criminal justice system and social services.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) Degree: Specialization in Forensic Science

When you pursue a Criminal Justice degree with a specialization in Forensic Science at AIU, you can study how to help investigators solve crimes, study the causes and theories of crime, and conduct a crime scene investigation.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) Degree: Specialization in Homeland Security and Crisis Management

This program is designed to help provide a solid foundation in criminal justice while studying crisis management, ethical issues in the field, critical infrastructures, terrorism and homeland security.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) Degree: Specialization in Law Enforcement

Explore the skills and knowledge you need to enter or advance in the field of law enforcement. Study the relationship between police and the communities they serve and explore the fundamentals of criminal justice, including police ethics, public policy and how to develop programs that can empower communities to reduce crime.

Career Paths

Career Paths

What can you do with a degree in Criminal Justice?

Many students believe that the only criminal-justice career path available to them is law enforcement, but in fact, this is not the case. Criminal justice is a vast area of study that encompasses many different topics, ranging from law enforcement, corrections, the courts and juvenile justice to constitutional law, criminal investigation, computer crimes and criminology. From this extensive list of topics comes a broad array of career paths.

With the prospect of steady job growth and a growing need for qualified employees possessing a knowledge base in the criminal-justice system, law enforcement, crisis management and forensic science, a career in criminal justice could be right for you. Potential criminal-justice careers include:

Probation and Correctional Treatment

In this arena, professionals work with and monitor offenders to prevent them from committing new crimes.

Private Investigation

This path focuses on finding facts and analyzing information about legal, financial and personal matters. Private detectives and investigators offer many services including verifying people's backgrounds, tracing missing persons, investigating computer crimes and protecting celebrities.

Law Enforcement

Police protect lives and property. Detectives and criminal investigators gather facts and collect evidence of possible crimes. Law enforcement officers' duties depend on the size and type of the organization.

Juvenile Justice

Juvenile justice includes working as a juvenile probation officer, a child protection investigator, or mentor for juveniles.

Victim Advocacy

Victim advocacy is an area where individuals help and guide victims through recovery and the criminal justice system.


Forensic science involves analyzing evidence in a crime lab or as a crime-scene technician.

Some use their bachelor’s in criminal justice as the foundation for a law degree. No matter which direction you choose to take, a criminal justice degree could be a great way to move forward in the profession.

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