Bachelor of Science
The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice offers an in-depth scientific study of crime, criminal behavior, crime scene investigation theories, and the importance of scientific analysis as evidence presented in the criminal justice system. You will study the theory of forensic science, including the nature and scope of the discipline, the application of forensic science to crime, police investigation and the adjudication process, and the legal and ethical issues associated with forensics, as you prepare for careers in complex criminal justice occupations within public safety organizations.
Our criminal justice programs are among the most popular at the university, bringing you peer interactions and an expanded network of criminal justice professionals who are dedicated to safeguarding their communities and nation. Courses in this program are taught by highly credentialed and experienced instructors, many who hold key positions in government agencies or criminal justice organizations.
The curriculum for this online bachelor’s program is reviewed by an advisory council of industry experts for relevancy to today’s marketplace. Course topics include:
- Criminal justice administration
- Criminology basics and criminal profiling and investigation
- State and federal crime laboratory operations
- Chemistry with lab techniques
- Evidence types and investigative techniques
- Fingerprint and voice stress analysis
- Firearms forensic investigations
- The pathology of death investigations
- Research, analysis, and written communications
In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:
- Describe the functions of police, courts, and corrections.
- Identify the basic methodological approaches in gaining criminological knowledge.
- Critically evaluate the various methodologies used to measure crime.
- Explain the socio-political nature of defining certain acts as criminal behavior.
- Describe and analyze the political and public administrative aspects of law enforcement organizations.
- Analyze and compare major criminology theories and trends in criminal activity.
- Conduct research associated with criminal justice and criminology theories.
- Demonstrate ethical criminal justice research practices.
- Outline theories and practices associated to crime control efforts.
- Discuss theories and practice associated with crime scene investigation.
- Evaluate different theories and techniques for recovering potential evidence.
- Discuss theories of modern analytical chemistry as applied to forensic problems.
- Describe the role of data analysis in testing criminological theories and assessing crime reduction efforts.
- Display clear knowledge of ethical concerns when physical evidence is presented to the criminal justice system.
- Describe and analyze advancements made in law enforcement forensics practices.
Degree at a Glance
- Number of Credits 121
- Max Transfer Credits 91
- Tuition Per Credit $270 | $250 with military grant
- Program Length 4 years full time
- Program Format Online | Monthly course starts
- Program Director Charles Russo
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Concentrations are designed to help you group courses together so you can further specialize in your field and pursue a more focused path to degree completion. You will be asked to select a concentration when you enroll in this program.
Explore the concentrations available for this program.
Offers an in-depth scientific study of crime, criminal behavior, crime scene investigation theories, and the importance of scientific analysis as evidence. Focuses on the nature and scope of forensic science and its application to crime, police investigation and the adjudication process, and the legal and ethical issues associated with forensics.
- LSTD400 – Criminal Legal Process
- CMRJ205 – Rape and Sexual Violence
- CMRJ330 – DNA in the Criminal Justice System
- CMRJ331 – Fingerprint Analysis
- CMRJ332 – Bloodspatter Pattern Analysis
- CMRJ333 – Firearms Forensics Investigation
- CMRJ402 – The Pathology of Death Investigations
- CMRJ334 – Voice Stress Analysis
- All AMU undergraduate programs require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. GED).
- You may be asked to complete our College Readiness Assessment before registering for courses. Learn more .
- If you have previous college experience, you will be asked to submit your transcripts from previous schools where you earned academic credit.
- Please be prepared to submit a legible copy of your valid government-issued photo ID (civilian students) or government issued JST or CCAF transcript (military students) upon request.
- There is no fee to complete the AMU admission application. View steps to apply.
Undergraduate Tuition Rates
Per credit hour: $270 | $250 with military grant*
*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, AMU offers a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans that caps undergraduate tuition at the military TA limit. See all military-affiliated student benefits .
Paying for School
Because our university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC ), (the same as the Ohio State University, Univ. of Chicago, and U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few), we can accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:
Ways to Save
Undergraduate Book Grant
Ebooks are provided at no cost if you are enrolled in undergraduate courses for credit. The undergraduate book grant is estimated to save $250 per academic semester if you are registered as a full-time student.
Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options. including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.
AMU has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.
School of Security Global Studies
This program resides in the American Military University School of Security & Global Studies where many of the university’s flagship programs were created by experts from the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, the intelligence community, and private businesses throughout the world. The programs taught in the School of Security Global Studies truly embody our Educating Those Who Serve motto because many of our students come from active-duty military and federal, state, and local government agencies.
The AMU faculty is committed to helping you apply educational theories to real-world challenges in preparation for leadership opportunities in criminal justice, public safety, public administration, national security, and more. Many of our professors are highly credentialed and respected leaders in their fields and currently work in the U.S. government.
At AMU, we understand your need for flexibility because most of our students are working adult learners who balance school around work and service commitments. This is why we offer 8-week or 16-week online courses that start monthly. Through an online virtual classroom, you’ll communicate with classmates and professors in forum communities as you work to complete your weekly assignments on your own schedule from anywhere in the world. And with our mobile application, you can work offline and upload your assignments when you reconnect – a strong benefit for deployed personnel.
We encourage you to browse the School of Security & Global Studies webpage to learn more about our what’s happening in the school and to find a program that’s right for you.
If you’re ready to move forward, we’re ready to take you there.
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American Public University System, American Public University, and American Military University are not affiliated with American University or the U.S. Military.