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Criminal Justice: Bachelor of Science Degree

For students whose goal is to pursue a career in the field of criminal justice, National American University offers the criminal justice bachelor of science degree. The curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills and abilities for the career fields of criminal justice. Graduates of the criminal justice bachelor of science degree program are prepared to apply for entry-level employment in policing, courts or corrections and also to advance from entry-level employment to the supervisory and administrative levels of these career fields once they have attained the requisite entry-level experience. Policing and institutional corrections employment also will require the completion of a training academy. The criminal justice degree serves as a foundation for career positions such as police officer, deputy sheriff, state highway patrol officer, court clerk, court bailiff, correctional officer, probation officer, parole officer, as well as various federal law enforcement positions. Many criminal justice agencies today require applicants to have, at a minimum, an associate degree, if not a bachelor’s degree for entry-level employment. In addition to the bachelor’s degree being a requirement for entry-level employment in various criminal justice agencies, it is often criteria for higher skilled employment and higher pay scales. In some agencies, the bachelor’s degree can be a requirement or weighted factor in the promotion process. Promotional advancement may be attained earlier with the bachelor’s degree.

Students entering the criminal justice program should be aware that graphic images depicting violent crimes are utilized as teaching tools in various courses. Students should be prepared to view these images and to engage in discussions regarding these images as part of their required learning activities.

Program Goals

The program will:

  • Prepare learners to attain university core abilities and program learning outcomes by utilizing performance-based curriculum in a caring and supportive learning environment.
  • Measure and assess student learning and implement improvements, as needed, to ensure high quality academic programs and services.
  • Prepare learners to develop plans for the pursuit of graduate studies and/or continuing professional development activities and membership in professional and community organizations.
  • Confirm that faculty members meet university qualification guidelines, utilize effective and innovative teaching methods that promote academic excellence, and pursue opportunities for professional development.
  • Monitor the needs of the program’s community of interest and maintain the currency and relevancy of program curriculum through regular faculty and advisory committee meetings and academic program reviews.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the program will:

  • Apply legal principles to the police, courts, and correctional components of the criminal justice system.
  • Apply ethical decision-making models and professional standards to criminal justice situations.
  • Utilize management and leadership skills to achieve organizational objectives. 
  • Apply contemporary criminological theories to criminal justice policies and procedures.
  • Integrate and apply substantive knowledge and analytical skills to criminal justice operations and issues.