The University of La Verne’s online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice and Criminology examines the sociological aspects of criminal behavior while offering insight into the workings of the American criminal justice system. In a completely online format, the program prepares interested students for a career in criminal justice, law enforcement, or rehabilitation.
This combined, dual-sided degree examines the criminal justice system from multiple angles. The criminology component examines the “why” of criminal behavior and its effects on society as a whole. The criminal justice side complements this knowledge, detailing the methods and systems for detecting crime and the structure and operation of the US criminal justice system.
Together, these disciplines equip students with the knowledge, problem-solving abilities, and critical-thinking skills needed to begin or elevate a career in law enforcement, social work, or rehabilitation. Through core, breadth, and elective courses, students:
- examine criminal and deviant behavior and the government response from scientific and sociological perspectives
- learn about crime prevention, causes, and control strategies, including theories, policies, laws, and practices
- improve their analytical, problem-solving, research, and communication skills
- learn to understand the effects of criminal behavior and the criminal justice system at individual, social, and community levels
- delve into academic topics related to juvenile delinquency, criminal procedures, the court system, corrections, and rehabilitating offenders
Flexible Online Format
La Verne allows students to work toward their bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and criminology on their own timeframe:
- Online courses use an asynchronous format, although assignments are scheduled weekly and exams may be automatically proctored and monitored with Respondus.
- Students can collaborate with each other on projects and assignments via the Learning Management System and Blackboard.
- Students have the option to take courses in person at campuses where this program is offered, including Bakersfield and Naval Base Ventura County. View the complete list of all regional campuses.
- Whether for advising, financial aid, or support, online students have access to the same services as in-person students do through phone, video conferencing, and on-campus meetings. During your time as an online student, consider scheduling an academic advising appointment or utilizing the library, study abroad resources, the Career Center, the Academic Success Center, the Sara and Michael Abraham Center for Veteran Student Success, and other support programs.
Offered through the sociology and anthropology department, the curriculum for the online BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology is rooted in human behavioral topics and intertwines practical, real-world applications throughout. For this reason, the degree begins with SOC 250: Introduction to Sociology before progressing on to criminal justice and criminology subjects.
Additionally, amongst the required general education courses, all online BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology students must also fulfill the Foreign Language and community engagement requirements and complete RCS 110: College Writing A or an equivalent course with a “C-” or better during their first semester at La Verne. To satisfy these courses and the rest of the general education requirements, students may transfer up to 88 semester hours toward their bachelor’s degree at La Verne. Learn more about transferring credits from previously completed college coursework.
Depending upon the number of credits transferred and the number of courses taken per semester, the program can be completed in as few as 18 months, provided students also meet La Verne’s 44-unit residency requirement.
For the online BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology degree, the curriculum is structured as follows:
- Supportive Courses (4 Semester Hours): Coursework exposes students to basic sociology principles, theories, and processes, setting the foundation for the major’s analytical and scientific approach to criminal behavior.
- Core Requirements (16 Semester Hours): Courses in quantitative analysis and research theories strengthen critical thinking and analytical skills and further require an internship and capstone project.
- Breadth Requirements (20 Semester Hours): Topics shift toward specific criminology and legal subjects, touching on the criminal justice system, laws, white collar crime, and the social impact of criminal behavior.
- Area 1 (8 Semester Hours): Students select two out of five possible courses examining advanced criminology topics in more detail.
- Area 2 (8 Semester Hours): Examining criminal behavior and its effects from a sociological perspective even further, students select two subjects from four possible courses covering topics like social class, inequality, social networks, and urban sociology.
Review the complete curriculum for the BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology.
Careers in Criminal Justice and Criminology
In the workforce, La Verne’s online BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology offers a versatile credential that opens up a wide-reaching range of career paths, including:
- forensic science
- law enforcement
- loss prevention
- fraud protection
- social work
Based on figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many of these career paths are expected to remain steady, if not grow, between 2018 and 2028:
- Aiding in criminal investigations by gathering and examining evidence, demand for forensic science technicians is predicted to increase by 14 percent.
- The need for police officers and detectives will grow gradually, at about 5 percent.
- In rehabilitation settings or working with former offenders during parole, probation officer and correctional treatment specialists are expected to have relatively consistent prospects over the same period, growing at a rate of 3 percent.
- A range of facilities and environments, including mental health clinics, schools, child welfare offices, human services, community development centers, and private practices, will need roughly 11 percent more social workers over the next decade.
The scope and approach of La Verne’s online BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology further sets students up for success if they decide to pursue graduate or postgraduate education at a later date. Paths to a master’s or doctoral degree may include social work, forensic psychology, statistics, or data analytics.