If you’re considering a career in law enforcement or corrections, you might wonder about the subjects you will study in an online criminal justice degree program. Through a combination of required core classes that teach you the fundamentals and electives that allow you to pursue a concentration or area of interest, you will develop the skills and knowledge you need for a career in law enforcement or corrections.
Core Coursework for Criminal Justice Majors
Many of the subjects you study in an online criminal justice degree program are part of a major core curriculum. These are the classes all of the school’s criminal justice majors must take to graduate. Often, core classes include introductory to advanced studies in the subjects that are most essential to success in the field.
Criminal justice programs typically include core coursework in topics such as law enforcement, corrections, research methods, the justice system and criminology, according to U.S. News & World Report. Upon completing this coursework, students understand the law and practices of law enforcement, how the justice system operates, criminal behaviors and their motivations and the punishment of crime. Just a few of the core subjects you will study in an online criminal justice degree program may include abnormal psychology, criminal procedure, crisis negotiation, drugs and crime, investigating cybercrime, issues and trends in today’s criminal justice system, ethics in law enforcement, law enforcement security, crime control policies, introduction to courts, women and crime, politics of criminal justice and violence in the family, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Specializations and Concentrations in Online Criminal Justice Programs
Of course, you will take classes beyond a narrow list of core courses. In addition to general education courses that provide you with a college-level understanding of a breadth of topics, you will have electives, courses that you get to choose. Many online criminal justice programs allow students the opportunity to use these elective classes to develop in-depth knowledge of a specific subject area. This area of focus is often called an academic concentration or specialization.
Different online criminal justice degree programs offer various concentrations. Some of the specialized subjects you may study in an online criminal justice degree program include homeland security and emergency management, cybercrime security, criminal psychology, forensic crime scene investigation, juvenile justice and strategic intelligence. You might also develop an academic concentration in more general topics, like human services, supervision and management, public administration or business administration and management. The concentration you pursue can help determine the course of your career, so it’s important to find an online degree program that offers a concentration that matches your interests and ambitions.
Whether you intend to work as a police officer, a federal law enforcement agent, a private detective, a parole officer or a correctional officer, the subjects you study in an online criminal justice degree program will prepare you for success.