Program Overview

Discover how to protect and serve your community with the online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree from Point Park university. Taught by criminal justice professionals, this fully online program explores the many facets of our criminal justice system, including police departments, correctional facilities and the court system. Plus, by earning a criminal justice degree online, you’ll never have to choose between school and life commitments. With an online criminal justice degree, you’ll be prepared to start a new chapter in your career.

Curriculum Overview

The online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice provides a curriculum focused on relevant topics such as criminology, constitutional law and court procedures, preparing you with the skills you need for career advancement. Our courses are developed for professionals by professionals, with instructors bringing their real-world expertise to the classroom. Thanks to Point Park’s supportive online environment, you’ll have access to a support staff from application to graduation. Our online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice curriculum is ultimately designed to help you move forward and succeed in your professional life.

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  • Next Start Date:January 7, 2018
  • Est. Program Length:2-4 Years
  • Credit Hours:120
  • Course Length:8 Weeks
  • Cost Per Credit:$433
 

Professionals Teaching Professionals

Learn more about the personal investment Point Park makes in your future from Criminal Justice Online Program Director Sean Elliot Martin, Ph.D.

Thematic Core Courses (42 credits)
  • COMM 101 – Oral Comm. & Pres.
  • ENGL 101 – College Composition
  • UNIV 101 – City-University Life
  • Explore the World
  • Investigate Science
  • Investigate Mathematics – MATH 180 – College Algebra
  • Interpret Creative Works
  • Understand People
  • Succeed in Business
  • Appreciate & Apply the Arts
  • Discover Technology – CMPS 114 – Problem Solving with Information Technology
  • Senior Capstone – BMGT 481
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Course Description
This course included communication theory, as well as speech preparation, delivery, and communication technology. Student learning focuses on researching, composing, and delivering formal and impromptu speeches and presentations. Topics include research, analyzing and adapting audiences, message construction, outlining, delivery of messages and effective use of visual aids and technology. This course will develop each student’s ability to communicate effectively with respect to audience and purpose. The major emphasis is on the preparation and delivery of presentations ranging from one-on-one pitches, and small group discussion, to large audience speeches.
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Course Description
Students will write argument-based assignments leading to an independently researched project based on academic and professional goals. Students will be required to 1.) find and integrate a variety of sources, 2.) read and analyze these sources, 3.) develop strong thesis statements that reflect perspectives on topics or issues, and 4.) construct persuasive arguments that engage with the viewpoints of experts and commentators. As the term progresses, students will have the opportunity to re-think or revise the ideas and perspectives they explored in earlier writing assignments by engaging with peer feedback and revising earlier drafts. Placement recommendations will require students to take ENGL 101 as a three credit course OR in conjunction with an additional credit of lab or studio instruction. Students who earn F or NP grades in ENGL 101 will be required to re-take the course in conjunction with a one-credit Writing Studio course.
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Course Description
This course introduces students to the kinds of communities that people construct for themselves (e.g. social, political, artistic, etc.) and the values and dynamics that define such communities (e.g. cooperation, civility, tolerance, responsibility, etc.). The notion of what it means to be a responsible member of the “community” will actively be explored and discussed by engagement and analysis of multiple communities: the classroom community, the Point Park University community, and the Pittsburgh community. Students will also examine the responsibilities they have to their personal academic development.
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Choose two of the following courses:

  • ECON 201 – Principles of Macroeconomics
  • GCS 175 – Intro to Global Cultural Studies
  • GCS/MLNG 205 – Languages of the World
  • HIST 201 – Western Civilization I
  • HIST 202 – Western Civilization II
  • PADM 210/POLS 204 – Public Administration
  • POLS 205 – World Geography
  • POLS 250 – Intro to Study of Gov’t Systems
  • PHIL 215 – World Religions
  • SOC/MLNG 260 – Japanese Culture
  • THEA 225 – History Theatre I
  • THEA 226 – History Theatre II
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Choose one of the following courses:

  • CHEM 101 – General Chemistry I
  • NSET 110 – Intro to Natural Sciences I
  • NSET 111 – Intro to Natural Sciences II
  • NSET 120 – Environmental Science
  • NSET 122 – The Science of Light
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Course Description
This college level algebra course includes the study of linear, polynomial, rational, radical, quadratic, exponential, and logarithmic functions and their graphs. Other topics include inequalities, factoring, systems of equations, complex numbers, and applications. Students enrolling in this course should have a background in college preparatory algebra, including high school Algebra I and Algebra II or equivalent.
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Choose one of the following courses:

  • EDUC 252 – Children’s Literature
  • ENGL 120 – Introduction to Literary Studies
  • ENGL 251 – World Lit: Novels
  • ENGL 252 – The Art of Creative Nonfiction
  • ENGL 253 – The Art of Poetry
  • ENGL 254 – The Art of Short Story
  • ENGL 255 – Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Literature
  • JOUR 225 – Deconstructing the Story
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Choose two of the following courses:

  • EDUC 220 – Family and Community Diversity
  • EDUC 228 – Educational Psychology
  • HIST 206 – Foundations in Feminism: Women’s History in Western World
  • PSYC 150 – Psychological Foundations
  • PSYC 203 – Theories of Personality
  • PSYC 214 – Psychology of Emotion
  • PSYC 230 – Characterological and Psychotic in Film and Fiction
  • SOC 150 – Sociological Foundations
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Choose one of the following courses:

  • BMGT 271 – The Money Thing: Life and Finances During and After College
  • BUS 404 – Business Ethics
  • CMPS 330 – Electronic Commerce
  • ECON 202 – Principles of Microeconomics
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Choose one of the following courses:

  • ART 100 – Intro to Visual Arts
  • CINE 170 – Intro to Screenwriting for Non-Majors
  • COMM 290 – Seminar in Media Studies
  • COPA 250 – Exploring the Arts
  • EDUC 251 – Art and Music in Teaching
  • ENGL 200 – Creative Writing
  • ENGL 252 – The Art of Creative Nonfiction
  • ENGL 253 – The Art of Poetry
  • ENGL 254 – The Art of Short Story
  • MLNG 220 – French Literature in Translation
  • PHOT 101 – Photography for Non-Majors
  • THEA 230 – Introduction to Theatre
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Course Description
A course on how Information Technology impacts organizations and how to use Information Technology to solve problems. Topics include: main concepts of Information Technology at a general level, online collaboration tools, application software, and information literacy as applied to searching and using the Internet. In addition, students will become proficient at an intermediate level in using application software. The student will learn each of the four software applications (Spreadsheets, Database, Word Processing and Presentation) and be able to apply them successfully to problem solving scenarios.
Departmental General Requirements (12 credits)
  • FSCI 370 – Forensic Evidence I
  • FSCI 371 – Forensic Evidence II
  • HIST 382 – History of Pennsylvania: Focus on Pittsburgh
  • PSYC 245 – Introduction to Forensic Psychology
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Course Description
Overview of the role of criminalists from crime scene through laboratory analysis. This includes the collection of fingerprints, shoeprints, other impressions, ballistic and trace evidence (hair, fiber, glass, paint). This class will include the identification, collection, preservation, documentation and analysis of evidence. Several labs will provide practical hands-on experience as well as realistic exposure to evidence collection.
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Course Description
An expansion and broadening of the concepts learned in Forensic Evidence I. Topics to include poisoning, DNA, blunt force trauma, stabbing, time-of-death determination, issues relating to firearms, natural and man-made disasters. Course includes an introduction to the role of forensic psychology, profiling and crime-mapping. Numerous labs will provide advanced practical hands-on experience as well as realistic exposure to evidence collection. Prerequisite: FSCI 370.
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Course Description
A survey of the changing face of Pennsylvania from the colonial times to the present, with an emphasis on Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. This course addresses historical, political, military, and economic developments in the Commonwealth. Writing-in-disciplines class. Prerequisite: History 150 or permission of the instructor.
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Course Description
General introduction to the theoretical and clinical applications of the study of forensic psychology. Explores the psychological dynamics present in criminal behavior and the role of psychology in prevention and treatment. Also includes an examination of the psychological principles involved in jury selection, jury deliberation, and the treatment of witnesses and victims. Prerequisite: PSYC 203.
Departmental Major Requirements (36 credits)
  • CRMJ 150 – Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CRMJ 151 – Evolution of Policing
  • CRMJ 201 – Constitutional Law for Law Enforcement
  • CRMJ 220 – Professional Communications in Criminal Justice
  • CRMJ 230 – Professional Responsibility
  • CRMJ 250 – Criminal Law and Procedure
  • CRMJ 251 – Criminology
  • CRMJ 261 – Court Organization and Operations
  • CRMJ 262 – Corrections, Probation and Parole
  • CRMJ 361 – Criminal Evidence
  • CRMJ 362 – Criminal Investigation
  • CRMJ 403 – Federal Law Enforcement
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Course Description
Provides a general overview of the criminal justice system, including history, current role, developments, and constitutional implications of law enforcement; describes the major agencies: police, prosecution, courts, corrections and interdependence.
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Course Description
Comprehensive study of the evolution of policing in America including the political era, the Professional era and the Community and post 911 eras, through to the contemporary policing era.
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Course Description
The practical application of U.S. Supreme Court decisions on local, state and federal law enforcement. Particular emphasis is given to the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth amendments. Prerequisite: CRMJ 150 and CRMJ 151.
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Course Description
This is a report writing and presentation class geared to police, legal personnel, correctional officers and other criminal justice personnel who must write effective reports and affidavits for the court, testify before the court, and complete legal forms (writing-in-the-discipline course). Prerequisite: CRMJ 150.
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Course Description
This is a course in applied ethics for those interested in criminal justice. This course explains the criteria necessary for an ethical issue as well as a discussion of ethical systems. The class focuses on ethics for police, courtroom personnel and correctional officers as it applies to their day-to-day operations, and deals with specialized ethical issues involved in the criminal justice community. Prerequisite: CRMJ 150.
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Course Description
A comprehensive study of sources, distinctions, and limitations relating to substantive and procedural criminal law; the development of the criminal law and procedure in the United States; the principles of criminal liability; the various crimes and their elements; the criteria considered in determining capacity and defenses. Emphasis is on the role of criminal justice personnel in the criminal law process as they perform their duties within the prescribed procedural framework. Prerequisite: CRMJ 150.
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Course Description
Surveys the major trends and issues in law enforcement, including the historical and contemporary development of the police role in society. Analyzes police behavior and attitudes affecting their relationship with the community they serve, as well as the legal framework within which they operate. Prerequisite: CRMJ 150.
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Course Description
Examines the operation of state and federal courts, while examining the origin and development of the court system. Emphasis is on the role and administration of the court in criminal justice. Prerequisite: CRMJ 150.
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Course Description
Introduction into the history and use of jails, prisons, pre-trial release, corrections, community corrections programs, including those judged to be at higher risk to re-offend and thus have greater treatment needs. Prerequisite: CRMJ 150.
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Course Description
Comprehensive study of the basic principles of criminal evidence for law enforcement personnel. Includes analysis of the rules of evidence as well as other evidentiary and procedural requirements, focusing upon problems of relevancy, impeachment, burden of proof, and presumptions. Reviews some constitutional guidelines affecting evidence collection and admissibility. Prerequisite: CRMJ 150 and Junior or Senior Standing.
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Course Description
An introduction to the fundamentals of criminal investigation, crime scene search and recording, collection and preservation of evidence, scientific aids, modus operandi, sources of information, interviews and interrogation, follow-up, and case preparation. Prerequisite: CRMJ 150.
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Course Description
Comprehensive examination of criminal investigative responsibilities of the various federal law enforcement agencies in the United States. It will compare and contrast the different responsibilities and missions of the various agencies, with respect to existing criminal statutes. Prerequisite: CRMJ 150, CRMJ 151 and CRMJ 250.
Departmental Major Electives (18 credits)
Choose six of the following courses:
  • CRMJ 254 – Juvenile Justice
  • CRMJ 290 – History of Organized Crime
  • CRMJ 304 – Competitive Exams & Hiring Process
  • CRMJ 305 – Joint Task Force
  • CRMJ 313 – Sex Crimes Investigation
  • CRMJ 315 – Quantitative Method
  • CRMJ 330 – Risk Assessment & Investigation
  • CRMJ 351 – Research Methods and Design
  • CRMJ 352 – Fraud Investigations
  • CRMJ 364 – Money Laundering
  • CRMJ 396 – Act 120 (12) OR Correctional Academy (9)
  • CRMJ 400 – Transnational Criminal Activities
  • CRMJ 404 – International Criminal Law
  • CRMJ 420 – Re-thinking Rehab & Re-Entry
  • CRMJ 455 – Criminal Justice Internship
  • CRMJ 470 – Criminal Profiling
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Course Description
Examines the history and philosophy of juvenile justice in America and the impact of present societal reforms on the juvenile system. A wide array of theoretical positions will be system operates will highlight the differences in adult and juvenile law. Prerequisite: CRMJ 150.
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Course Description
Explores the origin of traditional organized crime including the Mafia, Triads, Yakusa and drug cartels in the United States over the past 80 plus years. The student will analyze the roots and organizational structure of these organizations, with particular focus on one specific organized crime group. Prerequisite: CRMJ 150.
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Course Description
Positions in law enforcement require the taking of tests for placement and extensive oral exams and interviews. This course will require the student to take multiple mock federal and state law enforcement competitive exams; participate in mock interviews and complete standard applications in order to equip the student with appropriate test taking and interview skills. Prerequisites: ENGL 101, MATH 150, CRMJ 150, CRMJ 220 and Senior Standing.
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Course Description
Examines the concept of task force investigations and their strengths and weaknesses. It explains the evolution of the task force concept and the underlying operations of task force operations. Prerequisite: CRMJ 150.
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Course Description
Comprehensive study of issues and trends to violence against women by examining a collection of twenty-three classic, groundbreaking papers that have shaped the field of violence against women. The major themes will be: Sexual Violence Against Women; Physical Violence Against Women; and Perpetrators of Violence Against Women. Each theme will seek a meaningful and thought provoking dialog concerning how violence impacts women and how perpetrators are processed through the criminal justice system. Prerequisite: CRMJ 150.
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Course Description
Introduction to mathematical and statistical tools used routinely by criminal justice and law enforcement professionals to analyze crime data. Statistical methods for data analysis will be a focus. Computer analysis using SPSS will enable students to analyze and plot data; understand the rules of probability and conditional probability, distributions, random variables, sampling, confidence interval estimates, hypothesis testing, regression analysis and correlation. Prerequisite: MATH 150.
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Course Description
The student will become familiar with the National Threat Initiative for local or national response. The course will also cover an overview of investigative techniques as they apply to terrorism including technical investigative techniques.
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Course Description
Provides an introduction and overview of the methods, designs, and measurements used in criminal justice and criminology research. Students will learn about the application of theoretical frameworks, research designs, data collection, sampling procedures and the methods used to measure crime. The evaluation of the quality of research performed by others will be a focus of the course. Students will be introduced to computer data analysis using SPSS. Students who intend to go to graduate school should take this course. Prerequisites: MATH 150, CRMJ 150 and Junior Standing.
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Course Description
This course studies the multi-faceted nature of white-collar criminal activity. It will discuss the numerous varieties of this activity, as have been discovered over thirty plus years of investigation by law enforcement at all levels in our society. The course focus is on the proliferation of political corruption concentrating on the structural features of certain institutions that facilitate malfeasance on the part of politicians and elected officials. Prerequisites: CRMJ 150 and CRMJ 361.
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Course Description
This course covers money laundering as described in Title 18 USC §§ 1956, 1957 and refers to the process of concealing the source of illegally obtained money. The various sophisticated methods by which money may be laundered and the investigative methods utilized to uncover those schemes are identified. Prerequisites: CRMJ 150 and Junior Standing.
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No Description
Throughout most of its history, criminal justice has been principally preoccupied with crime and its control as a local phenomenon. In the 21st century, criminal justice has found it necessary to expand its concern to an international perspective. Unlike International Criminal Law, these crimes have actual or potential effect across national borders. Students will cover the emergence of this global criminal threat. Prerequisites: CRMJ 150 and Senior Standing.
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Course Description
Throughout most of its history, criminal justice has been principally preoccupied with crime and its control as a local phenomenon. In the 21st century, criminal justice has found it necessary to expand its concern to an international perspective. Unlike International Criminal Law, these crimes have actual or potential effect across national borders. Students will cover the emergence of this global criminal threat. Prerequisites: CRMJ 150 and Senior Standing.
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Course Description
Comprehensive study of issues regarding crimes against a body of international law designed to prohibit certain categories of conduct commonly viewed as serious atrocities and to make perpetrators of such conduct criminally accountable for their perpetration. Principally, it deals with genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, as well as the War of aggression. Prerequisite: Senior Standing.
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Course Description
Addresses issues of how offenders should be rehabilitated and how can they be prepared for re-entry to their communities and society. These are very pressing questions that must be addressed. Prerequisites: CRMJ 150, CRMJ 262 and Senior Standing.
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Course Description
Internships offer planned programs of research, observation, study, and work in selected criminal justice agencies representing the major components of the system. Designed to supplement classroom study with constructive participation in the criminal justice system of communities, of the United States, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Prerequisites: CRMJ 150 and Junior or Senior Standing.
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Course Description
This course covers the fundamental techniques of this behavioral and investigative tool that is intended to help investigators in order to identify unknown criminal subjects or offenders. Prerequisites: CRMJ 150, CRMJ 361 and Junior or Senior Standing.
General Elective Requirements (12 credits)
  • Electives provide students with the opportunity to study content areas that meet personal, professional, or vocational interests.

Students applying for entry into Point Park University’s B.S. in Criminal Justice program must meet the following requirements:

  1. Degree admission requires a satisfactory transcript from either a high school or postsecondary institution. Transcripts from postsecondary institutions must include a minimum of 12 earned credits or six months of training. A cumulative minimum GPA of 2.0 is required. Students with a lower GPA may be considered for admission by the program director based on additional information in support of the application.
  2. The University reserves the right to require an interview or supplementary materials for any applicant (degree or non-degree) and to use these as a means for making an admission decision.

Career Outcomes

Point Park’s criminal justice program graduates have worked in a variety of settings at the local, state and federal levels. Here are a few careers available to criminal justice degree holders.
Police Officer

Police officers are responsible for deterring crime and enforcing the law. Their responsibilities include patrolling neighborhoods to prevent safety threats, responding to incidents and complaints, arresting offenders, offering educational services, testifying in court and related tasks. Those who enter the police force must complete a police academy training program in addition to their degree.

Private Investigator

Private investigators are hired to find and analyze information to help their client solve crimes, uncover evidence or document relevant events. They may be hired for services such as surveillance, fraud, employee screenings, forensics, infidelity cases, child custody issues and more. Private investigators usually must be licensed.

Security Manager

Security managers oversee the implementation of security programs for a wide range of industries. They may supervise security employee training, perform audits, ensure employee compliance with safety regulations, coordinate security measures and other related tasks. Depending on their employer, security managers may also be required to be proficient in Microsoft Office programs and advanced computer software.

Corrections Officer

Corrections officers are enforcement agents that work in jails or prisons. They are responsible for maintaining security, supervising and transporting inmates, enforcing prison rules, reporting violations and other related duties. They are often the first point of contact between inmates and prison administration, and require a great deal of patience as well as the ability to deal with a consistently stressful work environment

Customs Official

Customs officials are law enforcement officials charged with guarding national borders. They ensure that illegal cargo does not cross into the country, detain and arrest individuals of interest, participate in criminal proceedings when appropriate and confiscate items when required. Customs officials usually must attend special training for their work.

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