Several schools offer accelerated bachelor's and master's degree programs in criminal justice administration. In an accelerated bachelor's degree program, students might be credited for courses they completed in an associate's degree program or at another college. Many times, a bachelor's program is included in the master's degree program. Students can apply credits earned in the undergraduate degree program towards their graduate degree program, thereby shortening the time needed to graduate. Anyone can enroll in these accelerated programs, but they are designed for working professionals in the legal system.
Both the bachelor's and the master's degree programs can be earned entirely online or through a hybrid program, which includes some on-campus requirements in addition to online classes. The curriculum for a bachelor's degree gives students a broad overview of the criminal justice system, with courses covering topics such as the structure and function of the criminal justice system, criminology, leadership and the relationship of contemporary social issues to crime. A bachelor's degree, with credit applied from other courses, can be earned in as little as one year.
In an accelerated master's degree program, students build on the knowledge they already have through education and work experience. Courses show them how to master skills needed for supervisory positions. Research is also emphasized in a master's degree program.
Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice Administration
Criminal justice administration explores the entire criminal justice system, from policing and deterrence to court proceedings and detention. Bachelor's degree programs in the field cover a broad array of topics within the system and prepare students for the wide variety of professional opportunities, including careers in police departments, legal offices, prisons or public defender offices. Online programs allow students to complete coursework as their schedule may permit and to finish accelerated degrees in less time than on-campus programs require.
Program Information and Requirements
Online bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice administration cover techniques crucial to work in many aspects of the criminal justice system, including supervision, leadership, management, problem solving, laws and research. All these general principles are related to current and historical approaches to controlling crime. Some online programs offer accelerated degree options. Accelerated degree programs allow students who have completed an associate's degree, or have earned credits from another university, to apply credits to the accelerated bachelor's degree program. Programs like this tend to be ideal for people looking to complete their degree while working full time. An accelerated bachelor's degree program can sometimes be completed in less than a year.
Online courses typically provide academic resources, support services and interactive learning tools for students. Specific hardware may be required, and software downloads may be necessary for certain courses. Lectures, exams, homework and class discussion are completed through the course website.
Coursework covers a wide range of topics in criminal justice. Students will explore practical ideas and theories needed to work in criminal justice organizations, and to take on issues that may arise within the system.
Criminal Justice Administration
This course is an introduction to the structure, function and history of the U.S. criminal justice system. Students will focus on the various aspects of the administration of the justice systems.
This course looks at theories related to the causation and nature of crime. Students will examine the reactions societies have to criminal behavior and crimes committed.
This course examines management and administrative techniques. Students will study these techniques in relation to criminal justice organizations and agencies.
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Master's Degree in Criminal Justice
Many students who earn a bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration go on to pursue a master's degree in the field, and online programs tend to be readily available. Accelerated master's degree programs are available in the field, allowing students to complete graduate coursework within their bachelor's degree program. Online master's degree programs in criminal justice administration are typically meant to expand upon the knowledge a student already possesses, and increase proficiency within the professional working environment of the field. In comparison to bachelor's-level programs, special emphasis is placed on enhancing supervisory and research skills, to prepare graduates for higher-level management positions.
Program Information and Requirements
Accelerated master's degree programs allow students to apply course credit that they earned while completing a bachelor's degree toward their master's degree. Students who complete their bachelor's degree and are accepted into the master's degree program will already have completed a number of courses required for the master's program. This accelerates the time it takes to complete both the bachelor's and master's degree programs.
Coursework is completed online, and everything from lectures to discussions take place through the course website. Students explore criminal behavior and how to research and address crime as a social phenomenon.
Students will study legislation and law at the state and federal level. Courses focus on the structure of criminal justice organizations, management techniques, research and data evaluation, criminal procedure, civil rights and law enforcement.
This course analyzes criminal behavior and its causes throughout the world. Students also look at ethics and legal issues involved in dealing with criminal behavior.
Legal Issues in Criminal Justice
Students study recent laws and legislation, as well as administration of the criminal justice system. This course explores areas of law enforcement, criminal procedure and civil rights.
Students explore research processes and how to better conduct research within the field of criminal justice. This course covers theories and methods in causation, validity and data analysis.
A popular career option for someone who has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration is to become a parole officer. As of May 2015, the average annual wage for probation officers was $54,080, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS (www.bls.gov) reported that between 2014 and 2024, job opportunities in the field are expected to grow by 4%.
People who hold a master's degree in criminal justice often work as paralegals. As of May 2015, the average annual income for paralegals was $52,390, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that between 2014 and 2024, job opportunities in the field are expected to grow by 8%.
Accelerated bachelor's and master's degree programs are available online in criminal justice administration. These programs train students for careers such as probation/ parole officers and paralegals.