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Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Our 42-credit-hour Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program prepares you for a professional career in the criminal justice system or for law school or a criminal justice graduate program.

  • Learn why and how the criminal justice system handles crime and offenders.
  • Gain an understanding of both the theory and the practices of the criminal justice system.
  • Explore and understand ethics within the criminal justice system.
  • Gain an understanding of policing, the courts and corrections.

Earn your criminal justice degree online. Take just one course at a time and complete the core program in approximately two years*.

*After taking the first course, undergraduate students may take two courses at a time if they have a 3.0 GPA and the courses are available.  Students will work closely with their academic advisor to develop a plan.  

Questions? Contact an Enrollment Recruiter

913.491.4432 | 800.955.7747 business.programs@bakerU.edu

Baker 360° | eBooks & More

Baker offers a comprehensive eBook and online resources package exclusively to students in the School of Professional and Graduate Studies for one low price: eBooks, eLabs, tutoring, career support, and more.

 

Learn more about Baker 360°.

Bachelor’s Program Start Dates

Veterans Education Benefits

Baker is one of America’s top military-friendly colleges and universities according to Military Advanced Education magazine.

 

Learn more about benefits for students.

YOU CAN DO THIS

You can fit college courses into your existing schedule by taking classes one night a week or online. Classes are held year-round, and new classes start every seven weeks.

PRIOR LEARNING CREDIT

Our Prior Learning and Assessment (PLA) Center offers flexible, efficient ways to recognize college-level learning you have acquired through life experiences outside the traditional college classroom. You have the opportunity to earn credit through several nontraditional methods, and to save time and money by gaining college credit for what you already know. Contact Us

PREPARE FOR GRAD SCHOOL 

The online criminal justice program is excellent preparation for master’s program in criminal justice or for law school.

BAKER BUILDS ACHIEVERS

A degree from Baker commands respect in the professional community. It signifies that you have met Baker’s high standards and have acquired the knowledge and skills to excel in your career.

TUITION & FEES

Tuition $408/credit hour
One-time nonrefundable registration deposit (applied to first-course tuition) $60
Educational resource fee (includes all required books and course materials,
Microsoft Office Suite, library services)
$99/course
Graduation fee $125

THE BAKER EXPERIENCE

“Baker University offered me a wonderful opportunity and experience obtaining my criminal justice degree through their online cohort program. If not for Baker’s online program, I couldn’t have done it. As a busy working mom, online was the only possible way I could go back to school. Thank you, Baker, for making this dream of mine to complete my bachelor’s degree a reality!”

JAMIE | BCJ ’18

“Baker University’s criminal justice program was not only very rewarding, it helped prepare me for the everyday challenges I may face in my career. All of my professors were amazing and have been influential in my growth as a professional.”

VANESSA | BCJ ’18

Requirements & Curriculum

What We Need From You

  • Completed application form
  • Official transcripts from all regionally accredited colleges or universities attended
  • For applicants whose native language is not English, a minimum TOEFL test score of 600 on the paper-based test, a score of 250 on the computer-based test, or score of 100 on the internet-based test for international applicants, or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (Additional requirements will apply.)

Enrollment Eligibility

Official transcripts from all regionally accredited institutions of higher education previously attended must indicate a minimum grade point average of 2.0. To be eligible to enroll in a major, a minimum of 36 transferable credit hours (D grades do not transfer) including 3 credit hours of college-level English composition or equivalent with a grade of C or better must be earned.

Applicants who do not meet these minimum requirements will be considered for conditional or provisional admission on a case-by-case basis.

A student seeking to earn a bachelor’s degree must complete the required course of study as prescribed in the program. If a student has completed a comparable course within the past five years, he or she may request a course waiver for a maximum of two courses. The request to waive or transfer course work must be made in writing before beginning the bachelor’s program. The student’s schedule and financial aid packaging must be factored into the approval process for waived course work.

How to send transcripts to Baker.

Based on reasonable projections of faculty availability and appropriate curriculum considerations, the following courses can change as deemed necessary by Baker University to fulfill its role and mission. Approximately 18 months are required to fulfill the core program requirements. Courses must be completed in the order recommended by the university.

BCJ 300 Introduction to Criminal Justice Concepts

This course introduces students to the various processes used to prevent and control crime, as well as to examine the nature, extent and implications of these processes on crime and American society. The bulk of this course will focus on explanations for why and how the stages of the criminal justice system handle crime and offenders. This is coupled with a goal to inform students on practical aspects of the criminal justice system. (3 credits)

BCJ 310 Writing for Social Science

This course prepares students for writing in professional settings and in future SPGS courses. Students learn to write analytically and persuasively with a reader-centered approach. Students will employ the writing process of invention, drafting, editing and revision. Students will become skilled at finding and eliminating most common writing errors and learn to write succinctly. (3 credits)

BCJ 320 Criminal Justice Research

This course introduces the logic and methods of the science that explains crime and crime control. The contributions of social science to knowledge are not mere deductions of common sense, but are conclusions drawn from thorough empirical research using a scientific process. Topics include what it means to be “correlated” and what “intervening variables” are. Topic also include conceptualization and operationalization, measurement validity and reliability, types of sampling, experimentation, survey research, ethnography, secondary data analysis, research ethics, policy and program evaluation and more. The overall goal is to help the student become an informed consumer, producer and evaluator of crime data. (3 credits)

BCJ 325 Criminology

This course introduces students to the various theories used to explain crime, as well as to examine the nature, extent and causes of crime in American society. We will consider how crime is defined and measured, explore the criminalization of deviance and discuss various types of crime and criminality. The bulk of this course will focus on theoretical explanations employed by criminologists to explain why crime occurs, who offends and who is victimized. We will briefly examine classical theories, biological theories and psychological theories before studying social theories of crime, including rational choice, strain, labeling, control and conflict theories among others. (3 credits)

BCJ 326 Victimology

Victimology is the social scientific study of criminal victimization. As a sub-field of criminology it too seeks to explain crime, but through more of a focus on the victims of crime. This course will cover three general inter-related areas. One is research and theory on victimization. Here, you will learn about rates of victimization and how they differ according to social categories (race, ethnicity, age, class, gender, etc.), theories that explain differential victimization (of individuals and social categories) and empirical tests of these theories. The second area is the consequences of victimization. Here, you will learn mostly about the impact of criminal victimization upon individuals’ mental (and physical) health, but also the macro-social costs of victimization (including economic). The third area is practical responses to victimization. Here, you will learn about the history and development of the “victims’ rights movement,” as well as social policy and services aimed at restoring victims. (3 credits)

BCJ 330 Inequality and Crime

This course examines how class, race and gender intersect with crime and the criminal justice system. The course provides an overview of class, race, ethnic and gender stratification in the United States and looks at how that stratification is reflected in judgments about crime and in treatments of various groups in the criminal justice system. Of great importance to American justice is how race, class and gender influence the ways in which individuals are treated within the criminal justice system as offenders, victims and employee. (3 credits)

BCJ 346 Policing

This course covers the fundamental principles and procedures employed in the investigation of a crime. Emphasis is placed on the investigation of specific crimes, the identification of sources of information and the procedures necessary for the proper handling of evidence. This course is designed to develop a working knowledge of the steps of investigation beginning with the initial security of the crime scene and concluding with the presentation of evidence and proper testimony in court. (3 credits)

BCJ 347 Criminal Investigations

This course covers the fundamental principles and procedures employed in the investigation of a crime. Emphasis is placed on the investigation of specific crimes, the identification of sources of information and the procedures necessary for the proper handling of evidence. This course is designed to develop a working knowledge of the steps of investigation beginning with the initial security of the crime scene and concluding with the presentation of evidence and proper testimony in court. (3 credits)

BCJ 380 Law and Society

This course is an analysis of the legal order of society. The basic premise is that law is both the product of social interaction and the impetus for social change. It emphasizes main legal theories and research techniques to study the origins, processes, functions and actors of the social reality known as Law. Students will make a combined theoretical and practical exploration into the American court system. (3 credits)

BCJ 385 Corrections

Examining and understanding the field of corrections is fundamental to the study of criminology and criminal justice. Corrections is one of the largest, most complex and controversial components of the criminal justice system. This course will examine correctional practices and reforms and their consequences. Included in the course examination will be the cultural, social and theoretical context from which various corrections reforms have emerged over the past several centuries. More recent correctional reforms and practices will be examined in detail along with the future of American corrections as we move toward what has been termed “a culture of control.” (3 credits)

BCJ 344 Youth and Crime

The class will cover four areas of the relationship between youth and crime. First, the nature and extent of delinquency will provide the foundation for the remainder of the course by asking how much delinquency is there, who is delinquent and how is delinquency measured? Next, in theories of delinquency, we will explore and critique the main theories used to explain delinquent behavior. The third section, influences on delinquency, will focus on the influence of social, individual and environmental factors on juvenile delinquency, such as gender, family, drugs and the media. In the fourth section, the response to delinquency, we will address the history of the juvenile justice system and the ways in which it prevents, treats and punishes juvenile offenders. (3 credits) BCJ 395 Criminal Justice Ethics As future employees of the criminal justice system, students will explore ethics in criminal justice. Ethical dilemmas confronting criminal justice professionals are far-reaching and prevalent in today’s criminal justice system. Inherent within the criminal justice system is the power to make discretionary decisions that affect the offenders, victims and society. Students will explore ethical issues associated with the police, prosecution, courts and correctional systems. (3 credits)

BCJ 345 White Collar Crime

This course will explore the ways in which computer technology now organizes and presents opportunities for crime in modern society. In addition to Internet crime, students will explore crimes considered to be white collar. Topics to be discussed include, among others, consumer fraud, hate groups and hate speech, illegal pornography, terrorism and threats, hacking, and identity theft. In many ways, these crimes will perhaps simply mirror the social context from which the technology or business originates. Or, perhaps, there are ways in which crime is transformed into unique forms as a result of the technology. Students will also study policy responses to these crimes. (3 credits) BCJ 494 Criminal Justice Seminar The seminar is the final course in the program’s course of study and provides an opportunity to the criminal justice major to apply the knowledge, skills and perspectives learned in the study of the discipline. Each student will study in-depth a selected topic in criminal justice. The seminar format will be dedicated to intensive readings and discussions focusing on how selected theoretical viewpoints inform our understanding of practical applications for understanding and controlling crime. Based on that reading and as a culminating experience of the criminal justice program, students will design and execute an original research project. (3 credits)

BCJ 395 Criminal Justice Ethics

As future employees of the criminal justice system, students will explore ethics in criminal justice. Ethical dilemmas confronting criminal justice professionals are far-reaching and prevalent in today’s criminal justice system. Inherent within the criminal justice system is the power to make discretionary decisions that affect the offenders, victims and society. Students will explore ethical issues associated with the police, prosecution, courts and correctional systems. (3 credits)

BCJ 494 Criminal Justice Seminar

The seminar is the final course in the program’s course of study and provides an opportunity to the criminal justice major to apply the knowledge, skills and perspectives learned in the study of the discipline. Each student will study in-depth a selected topic in criminal justice. The seminar format will be dedicated to intensive readings and discussions focusing on how selected theoretical viewpoints inform our understanding of practical applications for understanding and controlling crime. Based on that reading and as a culminating experience of the criminal justice program, students will design and execute an original research project. (3 credits)

Students must meet the following requirements to earn a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree:

  • Successful completion of at least 124 credit hours
  • Successful completion of the specified Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice upper-division courses and all other courses taken through Baker University (A maximum of 6 hours of comparable course work may be transferred into the BCJ upper-division courses with the exception of BCJ 300.)
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • A BBA core GPA of at least 2.0 in BCJ upper-division courses
  • Satisfaction of the 30 credit hours of general education requirements in arts and humanities, social science and science. Typically, an earned Associate of Arts degree or an associate of Science degree from a regionally accredited institution will satisfy the requirement
  • Satisfaction of the 9-credit-hour general education requirement in math, upper-division written English, and computer science (The upper-division written-English requirement is met with BCJ 310.
  • Submission of intent to graduate form six months before anticipated degree completion
  • Payment of all tuition and fees
  • Approval by the faculty and Board of Trustees

General Education Course Requirements | 36 credits

  • Arts & Humanities (with no more than 6 semester credits counted from any one discipline) 18 credits
  • Social Sciences 6 credits
  • Sciences 6 credits
  • Math (College Algebra or higher) 3 credits
  • Computer Science 3 credits
  • Upper-College Written English 3 credits (satisfied in the BCJ core courses)

Total 36 credits (minus the 3 credits included in the BCJ upper-division courses)

General Electives | 46 credits

BCJ Core Courses | 42 credits

Transfer Hours

We will evaluate your transcripts from other regionally accredited colleges and universities to determine what credits will transfer.

CONCENTRATIONS

Each concentration is a collection of five courses chosen from a variety of classes; they may be taken concurrently with the core courses or following completion of the core.

Requirements

  • Current enrollment in good standing or successful completion of the bachelor's program
  • Payment of all tuition and fees
  • Access to email and internet capabilities
Finance

The concentration offers an enhancement of financial decision-making skills in organizational systems thinking. Students will examine corporate finance, investment decision making, the role of financial institutions, and complexities of international financial markets through practical application.

BML 342 Financial Drivers for Sustainability (offered within core program) 3 credit hours

BUS 4400 North America & the European Union: London, England* 3 credit hours

BUS 4720 Investments 3 credit hours

BUS 4721 International Finance* 3 credit hours

BUS 4722 Financial Institutions 3 credit hours

BUS 4723 Corporate Finance 3 credit hours

BUS 4724 Advanced Financial Planning 3 credit hours

BUS 4725 Government Finance 3 credit hours

*A course cross-listed with another concentration

Total Undergraduate Credit Hour Requirement: 15

Health Care Administration

The concentration focuses on the critical role of health care administration in one of the nation’s fastest growing and most challenging industries, health care. Students will develop foundational knowledge, skills, and abilities related to leadership and management roles in the American health care industry.

BUS 4251 The American Healthcare System** 3 credit hours

BUS 4252 Fundamentals of Healthcare Administration** 3 credit hours

BUS 4254 Healthcare Policy and Politics 3 credit hours

BUS 4256 Healthcare Ethics 3 credit hours

BUS 4258 Information Systems for Healthcare Management* 3 credit hours

*A course cross-listed with another concentration **Required course Total Undergraduate

Credit Hour Requirement: 15

Human Resources

The concentration offers a deep exploration of issues related to effective management of human resources in an increasingly competitive business environment. Students will examine the role of the manager through staffing, employee development and retention, employee relations, and global HR management courses.

BML 348 Strategic Human Resources (offered within core program) 3 credit hours

BUS 4023 Employment Law 3 credit hours

BUS 4740 Employee Development and Retention 3 credit hours

BUS 4741 Staffing 3 credit hours

BUS 4742 Global Human Resources* 3 credit hours

BUS 4743 Employee Relations 3 credit hours

*A course cross-listed with another concentration

Total Undergraduate Credit Hour Requirement: 15

CONTACT US

School of Professional and Graduate Studies
Call 913.491.4432 | 800.955.7747
Text 913.270.1307
business.programs@bakerU.edu

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