Campus-based and online criminal justice programs focus on career knowledge surrounding legal topics relevant to today’s society. Programs usually combine practical knowledge of law enforcement procedures and the legal system with historical and reference information, to build a solid foundation of field-ready knowledge.
Criminal justice programs emphasize oral and written communication, as communication skills are particularly important to police, forensic scientists and other criminal justice professionals. Programs tend to be concentrated in social and behavioral sciences, with core coursework in government, law, sociology, and psychology.
Some specific courses covered in most criminal justice programs may include:
- Probation and Parole
- Criminal Law
- Procedures and Evidence
- Police Administration
- Interviewing and Interrogation
- Crisis Intervention
- Domestic Violence
- Emergency Management
- White Collar and Organized Crime Investigations
- Gangs and Juvenile Justice
- The History of Violence in US Society
Finishing the Program
Many programs include an internship, which helps students gain professional experience and define their career goals. Internships may take place within government agencies, private security operations, prosecutor’s and public defender’s offices, courts, or other organizations.
Graduates of a criminal justice program often go on to enroll in a police academy or receive training from a government agency. More information on police academy can be found at Criminal Justice Training.