In addition to the institutional and general education level learning objectives, the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice also seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. With reference to each of the respective areas of criminal justice, graduates in this degree program will be able to:
- Recognize and explain the major international, U.S., and localized law enforcement systems and organization.
- Describe and analyze the political and public administrative aspects of law enforcement organizations.
- Communicate and apply the major theories and concepts of crime, criminal justice, and criminology.
- Conduct research associated with criminal justice and criminology theories.
- Assess the operations, practices, and processes associated with leading standards of evidence and law. While learning objectives that are specific to the academic discipline have been identified for each degree program, the University System also outlines general education outcomes (Level 1 and 2) that are sought throughout the institution and at each degree level. For a comprehensive discussion of these objectives please refer to the academic catalog.
Bachelor of Criminal Justice
American Military University is part of American Public University System, an accredited university offering more than 180 degree and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. All courses are online, so students have the flexibility of taking classes any time or any place that fits their schedule. Our degree programs are designed to be challenging and relevant to working adults in both the public and private sectors and can help enhance their current career or prepare them for a career change.
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Total Credits - 121 Hours
Criminal Justice Administration
An examination of the American criminal justice system as an interdisciplinary social science involving aspects of criminology, sociology, law, and political science.This course will enable the student to grasp the complexity of the American Criminal Justice System. As we study the Administration of Criminal Justice, we will see how the several components work, their goals, organizations and how they may have different or competing philosophies.
Research Methods of Criminal Justice & Security
This course will assess the criminal justice system including research theory, inquiry structure, and modes of observation, data interpretation, program evaluation, and policy analysis. The student will approach the study of research methods through reading assignments, assessing scenarios, research readings and/or questions regarding issues in research in Criminal Justice. The student will prepare a research survey regarding a topic in the criminal justice field. Students will examine the importance of theory as it relates to criminal justice research and differentiate between major research approaches, designs, data collection techniques, and research works. Students shall be introduced to the American Psychological Association (APA) style of writing regarding basic research paper format. (This course is to be considered a prerequisite taken as one of the first three 300 level courses from the criminal justice and/or security curriculums).
U.S. Law Enforcement
This course is an evaluation of the breadth and complexity of contemporary police administration from a systems perspective, a traditional structural perspective, a human behavioral perspective, and a strategic management perspective. Students will apply terms and ideas in the study of policing; and be able to demonstrate and assess the historical development of law enforcement at local, state and federal levels. Additionally they will be able to critically analyze contemporary problems and trends facing law enforcement agencies including their functions, operations and management styles. Managerial theories and practices in organizations will be examined and assessed as to their application in law enforcement organizations.
This course explains criminal behavior in relationship to various theories and analysis through historical explanations including classic theories and current developments of crime causation as they relate to criminal involvement. Society's response to criminal behavior is reviewed through the assessment of legal approaches and the aspects of the criminal justice system. Discussions of types of crime, terrorism, and recent laws affecting violent criminal acts are distinguished. Research affecting social policy and public crime concerns are examined including social problems and social responsibility perspectives.
This course is an analytical examination of crime detection and solution, including such topics as crime scene procedures, physical evidence, interviews, field notes and reporting, follow-up investigation, interrogation, and rules of evidence. Specific detail is given to investigations involving homicide, sex-related offenses, and crimes against children, robbery, larceny, vehicle thefts, computer crime, environmental crime, arson, and drug abuse. There is an in depth analysis of investigation methodologies addressing inductive and deductive reasoning to assess the decision making process to solve crimes.
Ethics in Criminal Justice
This course has a concentration on the major functions and structure as well as processes that underline ethical issues and types associated within the American Criminal Justice System. This course will explore the structure and nature of the various types of ethical debates within the American judicial system. There will be an assessment of the ethics in criminal justice, as it explores the issues of morality, virtue, honesty, and making ethical decisions in the United States criminal justice system. Assessments of various issues will be examined as they relate to decision making and ethics.
Corrections and Incarceration
A comprehensive study of the context, practices, and special interests of corrections. Topics include the early history and current trends of correctional thought and practice, jails and other short-term facilities, intermediate sanctions, the prison experience, women in prison, institutional management, educational/treatment programs, prisoners' rights, and race/ethnicity challenges.
This course is an introduction to Constitutional Law, the Supreme Court, and other aspects of the legal system using the case analysis approach. Its concentration is on the study and analysis of United States Constitution. It emphasizes an in-depth study of the Bill of Rights, specifically those rights pertaining to Civil Liberties. Topics include: the historical events that led to the development of the Constitution; principles governing the operation of the Constitution and the role of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Judiciary; characteristics and powers of the three branches of government; development of due process and individual protections to include right to speech, freedom of religion, right to bear arms, right to vote, and right to counsel.
A study in substantive criminal law emphasizing the principles of criminal liability and the acts, mental state, and attendant circumstances that are necessary ingredients in crimes against persons or property or in offenses involving theft, fraud, drugs, morality and decency, public peace, or public justice.
Criminal Legal Process
A comprehensive overview of the processes involved in the use of criminal evidence including rules of evidence; arrests, searches, and seizures; interrogations, confessions, and non-testimonial evidence, impeachment and cross-examination of witnesses; opinion evidence; hearsay evidence; and articles and exhibits of evidence.
Introduction to Forensic Anthropology
Forensic anthropology is the application of physical anthropology in a medico-legal context; forensic anthropologists use the tools of archaeology and physical anthropology to discover, recover and identify human remains. Students will be exposed to the interdisciplinary, scientific basis of forensic anthropology, along with legal and ethical issues forensic anthropologists face. The course is designed to give students a broad overview of the field by introducing them to the process of human remains identification; the archaeological and laboratory methods incorporated in human remains recovery; and, a review of the work forensic anthropologists work do with law enforcement, forensic pathologists and odontologists in recovering and collecting victims of foul play as well as those of mass fatalities, such as the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
Introduction to Law Enforcement
This course is an introduction to the philosophy, history, and constitutional limitations of law enforcement. The course will focus on the nature and functions of public agencies responsible for law enforcement. The development of law is discussed from primitive and ancient law, through early English law and law enforcement to the beginnings of law enforcement in the U.S. Also addressed is the development of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in the U.S.
Evidence and Procedures
This course is an introduction to the collection, preservation, and basic crime scene investigations. The course will also focus on the laws and court decisions relating to the admissibility of evidence. Additionally, there will be distinctions made between the interview and interrogation methods and their appropriate uses. The essential qualities of an investigator will be identified and explained.
Stress Management in Law Enforcement
A study of the stresses of law enforcement, specific stress factors in law enforcement (i.e., shift work, hazards and dangers, dealing with death and severe injury, post-shooting trauma, testifying in court, undercover work, etc.), and methods and techniques used to control stress.
Patrol Methodologies & Community Policing
This course explores the uniformed police office’s role and responsibilities emphasizing the enforcement of laws, and traffic regulations including concepts of routine patrol and dedicated or saturated patrol concepts. Assignment methodologies based on crime trends, environmental aspects, and interrelationship between other departments is assessed. Community policing and the changing roles of law enforcement including resources are evaluated for effectiveness.
Rape and Sexual Violence
This course will explore the sociological and psychological perspectives of sexual crimes as well as examine the legal and forensic aspects of rape. The impact rape has on its victims and society's reactions to sexual violence will be analyzed not only within the United States but around the world. The class will learn to distinguish between pornography and obscenity as well as aspects of offender rehabilitation. Proper collection and preservation of sexual battery kits is an important role law enforcement has in solving rape cases. A brief look at the appropriate items of physical evidence collected in a rape case and how the evidence is analyzed in the crime laboratory will also be addressed.
This course is intended to introduce the students to the principles of delinquency. It provides a historical overview of delinquency in America. The course will look at the psychological, social, and environmental theories of delinquency. The course will also cover the juvenile court system and treatment options.
Rehabilitation, Reentry and Reintegration
This course provides a comprehensive overview of rehabilitation, reentry, and reintegration through real-life examples of successes and failures and the most current research. Using an integrated, theoretical approach, students will explore the corrections topic through original evidence-based concepts, research, and policy from experts in the field, and examines how correctional practices are being managed. Students will review interviews with 25 men and women who were recently released from prison, and explore the re-entry process and the barriers that lead to failed re-entry and a return to prison. Students are exposed to examples of both the successful attempts and the failures to reintegrate prisoners into the community, and they will be encouraged to consider how they can help influence future policy decisions as practitioners in the field.
Drug Dynamics in Criminal Justice
This course is an in-depth study of the epidemic of drug abuse and its association with crime. The course encompasses all aspects of both legal and illegal drug abuse, pharmacology, gang activity, youth, violence and behavioral pathology. It will also provide a robust examination of public policy issues associated with resolving the national drug control issue, drug trafficking, legalization, and the law enforcement response. Students will have the opportunity to discuss contemporary drug related issues of the day related to enforcement, medical treatment, harm reduction or educational responses. Professor directed research in any of these drug policy issue areas will close out the course enabling students to apply knowledge gained from the course to intelligently formulate their own opinions to develop possible societal solutions to this important national policy crisis.
Contemporary Criminal Justice Issues
This course will examine a broad range of contemporary criminal justice issues such as racism in sentencing, racial profiling, national drug control policy, police use of deadly force, sentencing guidelines, community policing, prosecutorial discretion, court authorized electronic intercepts, and other oftentimes contentious areas. Students will research current criminal justice issues from weekly/scholarly journals and exchange analytical observations employing concepts and methodologies learned in the class. Professor directed research in a student selected contemporary criminal justice issue area will allow students to recognize the broad impact of crime on society and the complexities of solutions.
Probation and Parole
An examination of the theory and practice of probation and parole, including pre-sentence investigation, supervision of probationers, parole administration and services, treatment theory, parole officers, juvenile services, and new concepts (such as community-based corrections, the justice model, and determinate sentencing) that have impacted traditional probation and parole theory.
Law Enforcement Intelligence Applications
The course will prepare students to use intelligence methodologies and templates to assist in case support or investigations, security and counterintelligence, trend development and forecasting, and efficient use of open source information to maximize resources. The course will examine the current use of intelligence in law enforcement (federal, state, and local) and its applications in support of investigations and operational planning. The intelligence cycle, collection plans, use of open source intelligence and the Internet, including Visual Investigative Aids provide credibility to intelligence information gathering. An assessment of source reliability, information validity, security applications, and intelligence sharing will be examined in-depth. The methods also have application in the private sector.
Crime and the Family
This course assesses the problems associated with domestic violence and also explores into the social, economic, political, and cultural stereotypes of causation. There will be an examination of the relationship between family life and anti-social behavior. A review of various theories as well as research regarding the effect of family structure, marital conflict, parental anti-social behavior, and parent’s child rearing practices on a child’s risk for conduct problems and delinquency are assessed. Adult anti-social behavior is also explored in terms of showing how various family socialization processes and childhood behavior problems influence probability of later adult crime. Students will also evaluate the aspects of gender, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status of victims of family abuse and their perpetrators.
The History of Organized Crime
A discussion of the evolution of organized crime in the United States, the social and legal factors that contributed to its development, and the groups involved. Also explored is how organized crime is structured and how it can be exposed and controlled. Theoretical explanations of organized crime are also covered.
Gang Theory, Practice, & Suppression
This course covers issues dealing directly with gang theory not limited to but including understanding street gangs, also graffiti, and violence. This course will help the learner by explaining gang practices, communications, structure, and enforcement techniques as well as the nature of gangs in the United States. Finally, the course will help the learner by explaining basic ways to deal with and suppress gang violence in the United States and the rest of the world.
This course explores criminal behavior, its motivation, and the environmental influences and patterns of offending. Other topics examined are the approaches to profiling and how these investigative techniques are applied to helping solve crimes. The course will address aspects of behavior, taking into consideration the definition of criminal profiling as the inference of offender traits from physical and/or behavioral evidence. Evaluations will be made of the history, theories, and investigative techniques regarding profiling crime offenders, using a unique blend of both social science, as well as psychological & legal research. It includes legal case excerpts to demonstrate the role of the profiler (investigator). This provides the student a solid understanding of the integral relationship between the profiling techniques and theories of criminal behavior and the court system. Further exploration and assessment is discussed beyond traditional investigative procedures with Current topics such as "inductive and deductive profiling", understanding modus operandi, and various other crime specific topics such as serial rape and sadistic behavior. Students will be able to explain how the science and art of profiling crime scenes, and subsequently offenders, from physical and psychological evidence as a key to the investigation of a violent serial crime e.g., sex crime etc., for which there is no known perpetrator. It is recommended students take either CMRJ101 or CMRJ306 prior to enrolling in this course.
This course will examine contemporary practices for analysis and measurement of crime including the use of geographical information systems (GIS) to map various aspects of crime. Modern crime analysis focuses on reducing crime and improving police efficiency by illustrating the impact of crime on the community and community impact on crime through the use of the SARA (scanning, analysis, response, & assessment) problem-solving model. Crime analysis facilitates informed decision making on criminal activity and prevention, thereby being instrumental in helping society learn the linkages between crime and other factors such as poverty or drug abuse.
Additionally there is a review of the crime analysis function within the law enforcement organization and a demonstration of how to develop, implement, and operate a crime analysis unit.
Students will be taught the proper recognition, collection and preservation of physical evidence at the crime scene. This course is designed to make the student aware of the services of a crime laboratory and the proper utilization of these services. The course will concentrate on the significance of physical evidence and the examination of this evidence in the crime laboratory. It includes exploration into the different tests and techniques used in the field and within the laboratory regarding the study of potential evidence and its connection in solving a criminal case. This course provides a different concept from other investigative techniques as it is scientifically oriented. Students among several evidence assessments will learn to identify the process of chromatography and determine the usefulness of trace elements for the forensic comparison of various types of physical evidence. Additionally, students will relate the advantages of linking a microscope to a spectrophotometer from the forensic scientist's point of view including an ability to apply the proper techniques utilized in the collection of fiber evidence. It is recommended students take CMRJ306 prior to enrolling in this course. This course is extensively Internet-augmented.
Crime and the Media
This upper level, undergraduate course focuses on the effect of the media on law enforcement, crime, and violence. Various theories such as strain and behaviorism and their impact will be analyzed vis-a-vis late modernity and post modernism society. Emphasis is given to the negative effects phenomenon, media construction of crime news, portrayal of law enforcement, and the “surveillance culture,” as well as the impact of the internet on deviance. It provides students with an overview of problems affecting law enforcement, crime, and the public in general in assimilating and understanding information from various media outlets. Important topics such as the media’s impact on moral panics, and portrayal of female offenders will also be explored.
Human Trafficking is an upper level undergraduate course designed to help students gain a better understanding of contemporary human trafficking and modern day slavery. In this course students will assess the different legal frameworks used to combat human trafficking around the world and analyze the different discourses used to discuss the trafficking phenomena. Students will learn important terminology in this field, the different types of human trafficking that exist and an understanding of the scope of the problem, both domestically and globally. In addition, the course will explore the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual trauma experienced by victims of human trafficking and the methods used to recruit and control them. The roles entities such as government, the criminal justice system, the media, faith-based organizations, organized crime, and culture play in this complex human rights and social justice issue.
The Pathology of Death Investigations
This course will examine contemporary practices for investigating sudden, unexpected and violent death. Two major topics will be explored: the first focusing on the manner of death (the social circumstances under which the death occurs), the second focusing on the cause of death (the particular material actions which result in death).The following types of deaths will be considered: asphyxial, blunt and sharp force, firearms, natural causes, mass disaster, child abuse, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and suicide. Estimating the postmortem interval and identification of human remains will also be considered. It is recommended that students take CMRJ306 before enrolling in this course.
Pre Reqs: Criminal Investigation(CMRJ306)
Independent Study: Criminal Justice
An opportunity for Criminal Justice students to pursue an independent research project or examine a specific area of Criminal Justice under the mentorship of a single professor. Participation is at the discretion of the faculty member. This course will require a major research paper of approximately 25-30 pages; there will be no examination. Students will submit a proposal prior to the start of the project, an annotated bibliography, and a final paper at week 8, all of which will count toward the final grade. To be eligible for an independent study, students must be enrolled in a bachelors degree program, must have completed 24 hours at APUS toward their current degree program, and should have already contacted a professor and gained approval for the independent study topic. Once these conditions are met the student should contact his/her academic advisor. Once the course is open the student must complete an official online registration for the course.
This course develops interpersonal, group, and presentational communication skills that are applicable in personal and professional cross-cultural relationships, and focuses on differences in values, message systems, and communication rules across cultural boundaries and in multicultural settings.
This course is designed to focus on communication within the workplace, personal activities, and family life in order to establish and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships. This course serves as an introduction to major theories and empirical research regarding the role of interpersonal communication as it relates to personal, contextual, and cultural variables in the development of various types of relationships.
International Criminal Organizations
This course differentiates the historical and contemporary patterns, modus operandi, capabilities, and vulnerabilities of organized crime organizations. Course content includes a review of the contemporary literature of South American, Mexican, Asian, European, & African criminal enterprises, traditional organized crime, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and transnational criminal enterprises.
Criminal Intelligence Analysis
The rapid increase in multinational analysis and transnational organized crime, corporate drug trafficking organizations, and the impact of crime on national and international policy has created a critical need for law enforcement intelligence experts in the relatively new field of criminal intelligence. The course provides the student with an introduction to the methods and techniques of criminal intelligence analysis and strategic organized crime. It will demonstrate how to predict trends, weaknesses, capabilities, intentions, changes, and warnings needed to dismantle criminal organizations. Law enforcement professionals at the federal, state, and local level, criminal intelligence analysts working in private industry, and military intelligence personnel making a transition from a military to a law enforcement career will benefit from this course. Students will be introduced to techniques such as association and link analysis, visual investigative analysis (VIA), telephone toll analysis, matrix analysis, reporting and application to violent crime, and organized crime to include drug, white collar, and money laundering. This course emphasizes criminal intelligence as opposed to criminal investigation.
Introduction to the Courts
This course is an introduction to the structure of the American court system. Topics include prosecution, right to counsel, pretrial release, grand jury process, and sentencing concepts. The course will assess the U.S Courts System and how it relates to the criminal justice system in America. Students will become familiar with the chronological events from the arrest process to sentencing and appeals. Students will be able to explain concepts of stop and frisk arrest, searches under warrant, and presentation of the case to the magistrate. Assessments of the criminal trial process and phases of pretrial and trial proceedings will be examined.
This undergraduate course will focus on the basic legal rules governing kinds of information which can be developed and received at trial, and how evidence may be considered by the trier of fact. Students will study how policies favoring probative evidence must be weighed against policies protecting against hearsay, opinion, prejudice, time consumption, and other harmful matters. Proper examination and impeachment of witnesses will also be explored.
This course examines various elements and aspects of International and Domestic Terrorism. Students explore the cultural and ideological philosophies, as well as the social, economic, political, and religious conditions of select states, groups, and individuals that comprise the phenomena of terrorism. By examining the historical and contemporary aspects of terrorism students develop a working knowledge of the current Global War on Terror and are better prepared to comprehend terrorist motives and ideologies. Topics include: History and Development, Types of Terrorism, Conventional and Unconventional terrorist tactics, the Media’s impact on terrorism including the US Counterterrorism Policies. Particular attention is addressed to the Al-Qaeda terrorist network.
Principles and Theory of Security Issues
This course is an overview of the principles and issues in business and organizational security management. It reviews the classical management functions including the role of the Chief Security Officer and the principles of organizing the security function. It assesses the traditional management theories and concepts of planning, staffing, span of control as they are applied to the organization. Students examine the challenges embodied in various aspects of physical, personnel, and information security. Principles of loss prevention and the protection of assets are also considered. The history, legal foundations, functions, operations, processes, and tools of security management are explored to ensure the student has a broad understanding of security management and its current role in government and business operations.
Foundations of Online Learning
This course is designed to provide a solid foundation for undergraduate study in the online environment. Students will be introduced to learning theory, the tools available in the online classroom and campus, and online research. Identification of personal learning style allows students to improve their study/learning techniques and prepares them to succeed in college level courses. Students will be introduced to formatting and citation styles. APUS policy and procedure is addressed. There is an emphasis on written communication to assist students in the transition to the online environment.
Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice
This seminar is a senior level course designed to allow the student to review, analyze, and integrate the work the student has completed toward a degree in Criminal Justice. The student will complete an approved academic project or paper that demonstrates mastery of their program of study in a meaningful culmination of their learning, as well as assess their level of mastery of the stated outcomes of their degree requirements. Student must have SENIOR standing to register
Electives are typically courses available at your degree level that are not currently required as a part of your degree program/academic plan. Please visit the catalog to view a complete listing of courses.
Total Credits (121 Hours)