Learn how to advocate and become a voice for justice with SNHU's Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice online degree with a concentration in Legal Studies and Advocacy. This highly focused concentration offers criminal justice students the opportunity to explore the various roles, functions and responsibilities of the numerous civilian positions in the American legal system. You'll come away from the program with a thorough understanding of the legal processes, sentencing alternatives, intervention, advocacy, victim support and other areas that operate in support of the criminal justice system.
If you have completed a basic police, corrections, or probation & parole academy training, you may receive up to 12 credits toward your Criminal Justice degree at SNHU.
Coursework for this specialized BS in Criminal Justice online degree program covers a wide array of current, real-world topics. You'll dive deep into the realms of psychology, American politics, criminal law and subjects specific to victim advocacy and support. Experienced, knowledgeable faculty will help you chart your course to a professional career in any number of related fields.
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission – to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of earning your bachelor’s in criminal justice at SNHU include:
Graduates with a BS in Criminal Justice online degree can start or advance careers in human services, child and family services, victim rights, parole and probation officers, and court officials. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that demand for social and community service managers, which includes careers in child and family services, humans services and victims rights advocacy, will grow by 16% through 2026.*
Our unique online criminal justice degree curriculum is taught by knowledgeable faculty members with years of real-world, hands-on experience.
SNHU's bachelor's in legal studies and advocacy program includes:
General Education Program
Our programs are designed to equip you with the skills and insights you need to move forward. In recent years, employers have stressed the need for graduates with higher order skills - the skills that go beyond technical knowledge - such as:
All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes. Through foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
This course offers a broad introduction to the structure and function of the American political system at the national level, including the roles played by the president, Congress, the courts, the bureaucracy, political parties, interest groups and the mass media in the policy- making and electoral processes. This course places special emphasis on how the efforts of the framers of the Constitution to solve what they saw as the political problems of their day continue to shape American national politics in ours.
This course provides students an introduction to the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Students prepare for more advanced concepts in upper-level Psychology courses by learning the basics of how to evaluate research and exploring various areas of specialization within the discipline.
Is one's identity individually or socially constructed? Are all stereotypes invalid or can there be value in generalizations? Is globalization widening the gaps or homogenizing the world? In this course, students will grapple with these essential questions in examining the world through the lens of a sociologist. Sociology offers an empirically-based methodology for critically evaluating society-from issues of individual agency to the roots of global institutions. Culture, norm stratification, systems, structure, social institutions, social change, the organization of social behavior and its relationship to society and social conditions are emphasized. Students will challenge their own preconceived notions and evaluate these constructs in terms of their relevancy to contemporary issues and problems.
This course examines the subject of ethics as it relates to leadership in the criminal justice profession. It provides for an in-depth understanding and application of ethical decision-making processes at all levels of the criminal justice organization.
This course will equip the criminal justice student with the skills and assets necessary for writing with the precision, coherence, and integrity that are crucial to the demands of the profession and the criminal justice system.
In an era of rigorous scrutiny from entities such as the media and the general public, it is essential criminal justice professionals make evidence-based and ethical decisions. The course is an introduction to basic social science research methods applied to contemporary issues in the field of criminal justice. Students examine the relationship between theory and research, identify patterns, and ultimately draw evidence-based conclusions.
This capstone course is the culminating experience for the B.S. in Criminal Justice program. The aim of the capstone is to assess students' ability to synthesize and integrate the knowledge and skills they have developed throughout their coursework, rather than introducing new concepts. This course is structured to support student success in fulfilling program requirements.
This course covers the nature, scope and impact of crime in the United States, independent and interdependent operations and procedures of police, courts and corrections, and introductory theories of crime and delinquency. The course introduces the justice model in a systematic way whereby students delve into the numerous components of the justice system including law enforcement, legal and judicial process and correctional operations. Career opportunities will be fully covered throughout the course.
An examination of the American judicial system, highlighting state, local, and federal tribunals, including an assessment of their hierarchy, subject matter jurisdiction, and administration. Also reviewed will be judicial reasoning, judicial process and the chief personnel responsible for judicial operations. More particularly the course will expose the various phases inherent in civil and criminal litigation including the concepts of jurisdiction, venue, parties and the pleadings that guide advocacy. Typical case calendars and dockets will be examined throughout the course so that students may acquire a complete understanding of the litigation process.
This course compares and contrasts the criminal justice system of the United States with the systems of other countries on a substantive and procedural basis. A thorough examination of other cultural models of law and justice in order that differences in justice processing and definition become apparent. Some emphasis is placed on international policing and legal enforcement, whether through INTERPOL, treaty or other regulation.
This course covers the juvenile justice system, with special emphasis on the way it procedurally differs from adult offender adjudication. The parts of the juvenile justice system, hearings, due process standards and constitutional mandates are fully reviewed. Status offenders and other youth classifications are considered, together with a historical summary of juvenile court philosophy. New trends in the procedural disposition of juveniles especially transfer to adult jurisdiction, types of punishment, suitability of the death penalty are discussed.
An introduction to substantive criminal law that reviews the social, philosophical, and legal foundations of criminal codification. In addition, the course covers the historical development of criminal law in the U.S. Other subject matters include parties to crimes including principals/accessories, criminal capacity, criminal elements, e.g. mens rea, actus rea, and the specific crimes against person, property, and public order. Lastly, the course captures criminal law from the defendant's perspective by reviewing the accuser's mental states, potential defenses and uses of mitigation.
This course encompasses a complete examination of the law, its origins, roots and underpinnings in a jurisprudential context. Coverage includes a focused examination of classical, medieval and contemporary legal thinkers. Problems of personal privacy, sexual freedom, procreative control, the imposition of penalties, and notions of good will be considered. Course participants will consider these questions: What is law? Is law related to religion and morality? What are the foundations of law in Western Culture? Can law, ethics and morality be differentiated? How can a legal system be just? Can law shape morality or does morality shape law? How does Western legal tradition resolve ethical questions such as abortion, suicide, euthanasia, and the death penalty? Is there a unified vision of law that consists of the good, of virtue and the idea of justice?
This course will examine issues surrounding the central character in a criminal act - the victim. Contents are designed to develop an understanding of what it means to be victimized, including the physical, psychological, and economic impact of crime upon victims, their families, and society in general. Special consideration will be given to specific victim populations (i.e. survivors of homicides, sexual assault, and family violence), secondary victimization by the criminal system, victim assistance programs, and future trends in this field. A full review of how the American justice system has responded to the needs of victims is part of the course content and includes a look at victim testimony at sentencing and parole and probation hearings, victim notification, Meghan's law, victim advisory and protection services, and other means in which the judicial system assures victim participation during the adjudicative phase.
A full-fledged review of the justice system's response to the establishment and maintenance of family in the American culture. How the family is defined, its heritage of rights and protections and the differentiated roles of parent and child are central considerations. Further review includes a look at family dissolution, divorce, custody and support disputes and the ongoing problems of visitation. The emerging problems of spousal and child abuse will be keenly analyzed and how the legal systems provide protection from these abuses will be closely scrutinized.
Course exposes participants to administrative law theory and the practical aspects of administrative law practice, both within and outside the administrative agency. Coverage equips the student with the necessary skills to understand, apply, and research relevant statutory and regulatory provisions at the federal and state level, to read, interpret and draft proposed rules and regulations, to become familiar with the process known as the administrative law hearing, the concept of administrative discretion and corresponding remedies. Preliminary drafts of documents, briefs, and opinions relative to the appellate stage of an administrative law proceeding will also be covered.
Students will learn how psychology, as a science and a practice, applies to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system. Emphasis will be placed on witness testimony and the social psychology of the courtroom. Topics will include recovered memories, adolescent violence and murder, strategies for interviewing witnesses, expert testimony, and factors influencing the credibility of witnesses, victims and offenders.
Total Credits: 120
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
*Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
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