Criminal Justice Classes and Coursework Online

With an online criminal justice degree, you can easily become successful in several career choices-from police officer to crime scene investigator. But what type of classes can you expect to take and what skills will you learn?

In a typical criminal justice program, you can expect to study subjects such as psychology, social work, communication, domestic violence, law enforcement, technology and crime and terrorism. After completing your degree, important skills you should learn include the knack for analytical and critical thinking, decision-making skills, a working knowledge of the American legal system and an understanding of crime, criminals and society's response to them.

Depending on the type of law enforcement career that you wish to pursue, additional training may be needed as the technology used in law enforcement becomes more advanced.

Criminal Justice Classes Online:

Some institutions allow you to specialize in a certain area of the criminal justice field as well as taking classes in core topics. Subjects that may be covered in criminal justice classes include the following:

  • Theories of criminal behavior
  • Research methods
  • Ethics
  • Human behavior
  • Crime scene investigation and management
  • Forensic sciences such as fingerprinting and analysis
  • Policy making within the criminal justice system
  • Civil, criminal and appeals court processes

Skills Obtained in a Criminal Justice Program Online:

You will learn a variety of skills through in-classroom training and internships. The skills obtained may include the following:

  • Ability to find suspects
  • Ability to process evidence
  • Understanding of legal issues
  • Law enforcement management skills

How Criminal Justice Programs Are Administered Online

The majority of online criminal justice programs take place exclusively in the online setting. You will get lecture material, assignments and feedback from professors online without attending any class sessions. Many online colleges will offer you the chance to interact with your classmates through online chat rooms, emails and discussion forums so that you can learn and network with others in your program.

Exclusively online programs aren't the only option, however, and some schools offer programs that combine the convenience of online coursework with the support and interaction that comes from a traditional classroom experience. You may attend the majority of your classes online while meeting once or twice a month in a classroom setting. 



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