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Bachelor of Arts in
Criminal Justice

Develop the skills you need for a meaningful career in public service with Salem International University. Our Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice offers you the opportunity to develop the skills you need for a variety of criminal justice career paths. The curriculum develops a holistic sense of the criminal justice system as it continues to evolve and change, and prepares you to function professionally in corrections, law enforcement, crime scene investigation, and more.

This 40-month, 120-credit degree program is available at our West Virginia campus or via convenient online study.

Objectives of This Program

The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice aims to prepare you with the knowledge, critical thinking skills, and practical capabilities you need to succeed in a criminal justice career.

You also have the option to pursue a concentration in Crime Scene Investigation, although this option is only available on campus. Click here to read more about the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice – Crime Scene Investigation program.

Career Opportunities

This program prepares you with the background knowledge you need to pursue careers in:

  • Law enforcement
  • Corrections
  • Private investigation
  • The court system
  • Rehabilitation and social service programs

Additional training, such as police academy training, may be required after graduation. You may also need to pass criminal background checks and other tests before qualifying for certain career roles.

Program of Study

In our criminal justice degree program, you’ll develop a general knowledge base designed to hone your critical thinking skills, along with scientific theory and laboratory skills in biology, chemistry, and physics.

General Education Courses:
  • UNV100 Student Success & Orientation
  • ENG101 Written English
  • ENG102 Written English 2
  • ENG200 Technical Writing
  • COM104 Principles of Human Communication
  • ECO252 Macroeconomics
  • ECO253 Microeconomics
  • PSY100 Introduction to Psychology
  • SOC110 Introduction to Sociology
  • IT105 Computer Applications
  • HIS153 U.S. History
  • HIS154 U.S. History 2
  • MAT109 College Algebra
  • MAT140 Statistics
  • BIO101 Basic Principles of Biology
  • HED120 Core Concepts of Personal Health
  • PSC100 American Government & Society
International Focus Courses:
  • ICO100 Foundations of Intercultural Understanding
  • ENG203 Multicultural Literature
  • HIS125 World Civilizations
  • HIS126 World Civilizations 2
  • HIS210 World Geography
  • HIS215 Society and the Individual
  • HIS305 American Foreign Policy
Core Criminal Justice Curriculum:
  • CJU100 Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CJU205 Criminal Law
  • CJU210 Criminal Evidence & Constitutional Procedure
  • CJU230 Criminal Investigation & Forensics
  • CJU240 Use of Technology in Criminal Justice
  • CJU280 International Perspectives on Criminal Justice
  • CJU350 Criminology
  • CJU405 Constitutional Law
  • CJU408 Criminal Justice Research and Statistics
  • CJU499 Senior Capstone Project

You will also complete an additional five courses (or 15 credits) in a concentration area. Our general criminal justice concentration includes the following additional classes:

  • CJU215 Police Operations
  • CJU220 Corrections System & Operations
  • CJU221 Juvenile Justice
  • CJU325 White Collar Crime
  • HED320 Substance Use & Abuse

It takes ten consecutive academic semesters of 12 semester credit hours each or 3 credit hours per month to complete the program—40 months in total.

Course Format

SIU offers the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice online or on campus in West Virginia. Both programs feature:

  • A professionally-focused curriculum and accelerated course sequence
  • Experienced faculty who support your goals
  • A diverse learning community
  • Comprehensive preparation for career opportunities or graduate study in criminal justice

Course Descriptions

UNV100 – Student Success & Orientation (3 Credits)
This course introduces new students to tools for success in and out of the classroom. Students learn about college life, academic success, and intercultural communication to help with their transition to Salem International University. Prior learning is assessed for each student. Students will focus on the skills needed for successful completion of the general education curriculum and their major.

ENG101 – Written English (3 Credits)
Helps students develop the skills necessary for effective written communication. Instruction centers in exemplary nonfiction prose and in writing expository paragraphs and essays.

ENG102 – Written English 2 (3 Credits)
This course builds on Written English I to emphasize objective, public forms of exposition including description, analysis, and argument, the conventions of formal written English and basic scholarly research skills. The development of creative, critical, and analytical thinking skills are emphasized. Prerequisite: ENG101.

ENG200 – Technical Writing (3 Credits)
Teaches clarity and directness in writing for business and the professions. Students use a problem-solving model of goal and audience analyses in producing reports, organizational correspondence, and instructions.

COM104 – Principles of Human Communication (3 Credits)
An introduction to intra-personal, interpersonal, small group, and public communication skills.

HIS153 – U.S. History (3 Credits)
From the European colonization of North America to independence, the Civil War, and the industrial revolution, this course analyzes the social, economic, and political forces behind the United States’ rise to world power by the latter half of the nineteenth century.

HIS154 – U.S. History 2 (3 Credits)
By describing the domestic and foreign policies of the United States throughout the twentieth century, the course analyzes the reasons behind its rise to superpower status by the turn of the twenty-first century. At the same time, it sketches the causes and effects behind the labor, African-American, and women’s right movements.

IT105 – Computer Applications (3 Credits)
This course will provide students with basic computing concepts and applications, and will offer a useful foundation upon which students can develop skills necessary to become effective users of operating systems, application software, and utility software. The primary focus of this course will be on productivity software applications, including word processing, spreadsheet, database, the Internet and presentation software.

MAT109 – College Algebra (3 Credits)
This course provides a review of the real number system and algebraic expressions, linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, complex numbers, graphing, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, systems of equations, and basic matrix algebra. This course meets part of the mathematics general education requirement for graduation.

MAT140 – Statistics (3 Credits)
This course provides development of basic concepts in statistics including descriptive statistics, probability, central tendency measures, distributions, correlation, and hypothesis testing. This course meets part of the mathematics general education requirement for graduation.

PSC100 – American Government and Politics (3 Credits)
Survey of American government and politics, including federal, state, and local governments, with consideration of the constitutions, civil liberties, partisan voting behavior, and functions of executive, legislative, and judicial branches of our government.

PSY100 – Principles of Psychology (3 Credits)
This course consists of the study of the mind, behavior, biopsychology, psychological development, sensation, perception, learning, remembering, cognitive processing, emotion, motivation, stress, personality, intelligence, social psychology, psychopathology, and therapies for mental disorders.

SOC110 – Introduction to Sociology (3 Credits)
This course is designed to give a broad overview of the field of sociology. It focuses on all aspects of society: culture, social interaction, institutions, group processes, social control, diversity and inequality based on race, ethnicity, class, gender, and all causes and the nature of social stability and social change.

HED120 – Core Concepts of Personal Health (3 Credits)
Designed to acquaint students with concepts of health including total fitness and evaluation, nutrition, stress management, and current health topics.

ECO252 – Macroeconomics (3 Credits)
The examination of macroeconomic theory, the law of supply and demand, market equilibrium, operations of the market system, basic money transactions, and circular flow of money. Study of economic institutions and the methods and tools used to balance the economy as a whole.

ECO253 – Microeconomics (3 Credits)
An analysis of the microeconomic theory. Topics include the investigation of individual businesses, consumers and small segments of the economy; the study of price and output decisions in competitive, monopolistic, and oligopolistic market conditions; and an examination of wage policies and unions, urban and farm problems, and antitrust regulations. The role of international trade and specialization is emphasized.

BIO101 – Basic Principles of Biology (3 Credits)
A study of biological principles and their relevance to human issues. Topics include scientific methods and societal oversight, cell biology, biomolecules and structure and function of living cells, nutrition, genetics and genetic engineering, the evolutionary process and loss of diversity, and plant and animal reproduction and modern manipulations. Critical thinking, lab exercises, and written expression are emphasized. This course encourages better-informed life-style, medical, and community decision-making.

ENG203 – Multicultural Literature (3 Credits)
Living in the twenty-first century is living in a multicultural world. Reading and discussing literature form many different cultures helps students develop understanding of those cultures. To this end, students in this class will read and discuss the works of authors from many different cultures, past and present, in the light of background information about the lives of those authors and about their cultures.

HIS125 – World Civilization (3 Credits)
The course deals with the origin and development of early civilizations throughout the world from earliest times until the seventeenth century. Special attention will be given to the political, economic, social, and cultural forces still existing today.

HIS126 – World Civilization 2 (3 Credits)
History 126 deals with the development of the various aspects of modern civilizations around the world. Special consideration will be given to the interaction between other cultures and modern America.

HIS210 – World Geography (3 Credits)
Global geography and climate and their influences upon the economy, political structure, and general culture of the nations of the world.

CJU100 – Introduction to Criminal Justice (3 Credits)
Provides an overview of the criminal justice process in the United States and the world. Topics include with the roles of police, courts and correctional institutions.

CJU205 – Criminal Law (3 Credits)
A study of the history and sources of criminal law coupled with an analysis of the substantive elements of specific offenses.

CJU210 – Criminal Evidence and Procedure (3 Credits)
A study of criminal procedure from arrest to post-conviction remedies and laws of evidence. Laws of arrest, search and seizure, right to counsel, due process, civil remedies and other topics are discussed.

CJU215 – Police Operations (3 Credits)
This course will introduce students to the basic police functions. It will include exploration of the philosophical and historical development of the police, police roles, types of patrol, community oriented policing, volunteer policing, and crime prevention techniques.

CJU220 – Corrections Systems and Operations (3 Credits)
Analysis and evaluation of contemporary institutional and community based corrections systems, along with probation and parole. Topics include the basic concepts for influencing and changing human behavior; a study of correctional management, structures and operations including treatment, security, custody, and discipline of the inmates; the legal responsibilities of the state from conviction to release; pre-sentence investigations, sentencing, loss, and restoration of civil rights.

CJU221 – Juvenile Justice (3 Credits)
This course will cover the juvenile justice system within the United States and around the world. The course will explore the legal issues associated with juvenile justice, including how juveniles enter the system, progress through the various stages of the system, and exit the system. Students will learn about unique challenges faced by criminal justice professionals in juvenile lockup facilities, probation, and intermediate sanctions such as residential treatment, wilderness/challenge programs, and intensive outpatient programs.

CJU230 – Criminal Investigation and Forensics (3 Credits)
A study of the logical and scientific principles necessary for the detection and investigative analysis of criminal activities. Topics include wiretaps, undercover operations, use of informants, video surveillance and extradition. The study of elements of microscopy, spectroscopy and basic chemistry as they apply to the study of firearms, hair, fibers, blood, paint, tools, glass, documents, and other materials that comprise physical evidence.

CJU240 – Technology in the Criminal Justice System (3 Credits)
A study of the many uses of modern technology in criminal justice today. Included are the uses of technology in the areas of crime prevention, criminal investigation, rehabilitation, and incarceration.

CJU280 – International Perspectives in Criminal Justice (3 Credits)
This course serves to introduce and familiarize undergraduate students with general criminal justice and legal traditions of the world. This course includes an exploration of police, courts, and corrections and provides a basic explanation of the four main legal traditions found in the world. Students will learn how those legal traditions transform into different criminal justice systems.

CJU325 – White Collar Crime (3 Credits)
An examination of corporate and occupational deviance issues will be introduced in this course. Topics include the history of white collar crime in America, governmental and political corruption, organized crime, employee deviance, computer crime, and corporate negligence.

CJU350 – Criminology (3 Credits)
The purpose of this course is to provide an understanding of the discipline of criminology through an examination of its theories, basic assumptions and definitions. The course also examines the causes of crime.

CJU405 – Constitutional Law (3 Credits)
This course will take an in-depth look at important cases that have passed through the U.S. Supreme Court. Their historical and political impact on the criminal justice system will be explored.

CJU408 – Criminal Justice Research and Statistics (3 Credits)
This course is designed to give students a basic understanding of the research design and statistical methods currently employed in the field of criminal justice. Students will be able to identify and access criminal justice research publications and databases at state, national, and international levels.

CJU499 – Senior Capstone Project (3 Credits)
Summary research/experiential project required for graduation.

Overview of Admission Requirements

Anyone who wishes to apply to our Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age;
  • High school graduate or equivalent (such as a GED or international secondary institution).

High school transcripts (and/or college transcripts for transfer students) must be provided before the end of the first semester of study. International students will need to provide results of credential evaluation and English language capability.

Please see the application page for more details.

Earn Your Criminal Justice Degree

Set yourself on the path for a rewarding public service career with your Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. Talk to a Salem International University admissions advisor for more information today!

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