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Online Criminal Justice Administration Degree Program

Program OverviewProgram DetailsWhy Choose Franklin

Protect, serve, and preserve social order and public safety

The highest crime and incarceration rates in the world belong to the United States. Couple that with an increasingly security-conscious society, and it’s easy to see why criminal justice is experiencing steady and continued occupational growth.

But deterring criminal activity of all types and rehabilitating offenders has become more and more complex. Tackling today’s criminal justice challenges requires a new generation of leaders who are equipped with the knowledge, understanding, and analytical skills necessary to develop innovative, multisystemic solutions.

Become a sought-after criminal justice leader

Franklin University’s Criminal Justice Administration degree program can help you meet the changing educational requirements of this exciting and growing field. Whether you want to start a new career or advance your current public safety or post-military career, Franklin can prepare you for a position of leadership in the criminal justice administration arena. And because our program was designated a 2014 Association for Education Communications and Technology (AECT) Division of Distance Learning Best Practice Award winner, you can be confident you’re receiving a degree from a university that’s dedicated to collaboration and innovation that impacts your learning and success.

With our online criminal justice degree program, you’ll learn to preserve and maintain social order by gaining critical skills in these key areas: law enforcement; corrections, probation, and parole; juvenile justice, delinquency, and juvenile corrections; criminology theory and crime control; and criminal justice leadership and administration.

Learn best practices that decrease crime and increase public safety

At Franklin, you’ll become a critical consumer of criminal justice and criminology research, applying best practices from across the country. You’ll learn to analyze and synthesize scientific theories of crime control, evaluating and developing models specific to various correlates of crime.

With our program, you’ll gain an understanding of both adult and juvenile justice systems, as well as the skills to apply innovative programmatic efforts. From due process to constitutional protections to the importance of case law in American criminal justice, you’ll be exposed to the specific legal and ethical challenges for each branch of the U.S. criminal justice system.

You’ll also learn new data-driven best practices to decrease crime and diminish reliance on mass incarceration practices that marginalize entire communities. Plus you’ll learn to use modern-day technologies, such as crime mapping, to prevent and control crime.  

Get practical experience with hands-on curriculum and assignments

With broad-based experiential learning tools and cutting-edge research beyond traditional classrooms, you’ll participate in unique multimedia-based learning experiences that include virtual field trips, offender accounts, and guest speakers.

In addition, you’ll apply and evaluate strategic prevention and law enforcement policies through a series of case studies, integrating your learning into an analysis that prepares you for realistic criminal justice challenges.

Designed with the inside knowledge of law enforcement professionals and U.S. court system leaders, and overseen by our expert Advisory Board including Ohio’s state inspector general, Franklin’s Criminal Justice degree program curriculum meets the high professional standards prospective employers are looking for.

Earn your degree from a university built for busy adults

Earn your degree on your terms by taking classes 100% online or pursue available coursework at one of our Midwest locations. Regionally accredited and nonprofit, Franklin was built from the ground-up to satisfy the needs of adult learners. Our seamless transfer process and team of academic advisors will help ease your transition to becoming a student, while our flexible course schedules help to balance your education with work, family, and life. Get started on your future today!

Gain The Skills Employers Desire

  • Criminology Theory & Crime Control
    • Compare and contrast theoretical frameworks of juvenile delinquency and their strengths and weaknesses
    • Discuss social structure and social process theories of criminal behavior
    • Discuss bio-social theories of criminal behavior
    • Analyze the economics of crime
    • Apply U.S. philosophies of punishment and crime control and theories of offender treatment and rehabilitation to programs that utilize alternatives to incarceration
    • Analyze the deterrence and rational choice models of crime control in light of best evidence and scientific data
    • Evaluate theoretical frameworks for criminal behavior and control utilizing scientific and critical thinking skills
  • Ethical Decision Making
    • Analyze various ethical issues and dilemmas in policing
    • Analyze various ethical issues and dilemmas in justice and law
    • Analyze various ethical issues and dilemmas in corrections and punishment
    • Apply ethical theories to specific criminal justice issues such as judicial activism, racial profiling, just wars, immigration, and other selected topics
    • Discuss ethics in criminal justice research
  • Juvenile Justice, Delinquency & Corrections
    • Investigate the background of delinquent and unruly children in order to assist the court in determining the most appropriate disposition of each case
    • Supervise and coordinate daily juvenile routines such as phone calls, showers, and meals
    • Use approved physical restraint techniques and nonviolent crisis intervention in response to emergency situations
    • Implement appropriate interventions to allow positive learning experience for juveniles, while maintaining safety and security for juveniles and staff
    • Counsel and motivate juveniles in detention and treatment facilities
    • Assist juveniles in cultivating appropriate social, behavioral, and interpersonal skills and attitudes useful in community living
    • Perform case management and probation services for delinquent, unruly or deprived children
    • Identify gang issues, creating policy and program priorities, and drafting reports and plans
  • Corrections, Probation, & Parole
    • Oversee and participate in the custody, security, and treatment of prisoners
    • Provide safe institutional operations in order to ensure the appropriate incarceration, treatment, and rehabilitation of inmates
    • Process legal and non-legal documentation such as medical instructions, commitment orders, summons, and legal writs
    • Conduct thorough inspections and searches of inmates, buildings, and grounds, intervening as necessary
    • Prepare documentation on institutional matters such as incident reports, disciplinary write-ups, counts, and logs
    • Process and release inmates, including taking photographs and obtaining a serviceable set of fingerprint impressions
    • Collect evidence and substances that provide the basis of criminal offenses or administrative violations
    • Conduct background investigations of probationers or parolees and make recommendations to the court, parole board, pardon board, or governor’s office
    • Ensure probationers are in compliance with court orders and provide direction to assist in the completion of probation requirements
  • Law Enforcement
    • Protect the lives and property of citizens, providing for their welfare through crime-prevention activities and aggressive enforcement of laws and ordinances
    • Patrol roads, highways, businesses, and residential areas, enforcing criminal and traffic laws
    • Respond to a variety of calls including theft, juvenile complaints, family disputes, and traffic accidents
    • Investigate alleged or suspected violations of laws and regulations, documenting findings, formalizing reports, and determining action plans
    • Conduct in-depth investigations including background checks, public records searches, and surveillance
    • Provide leadership and assistance in the development and implementation of policing policies and procedures
    • Prepare for and participate in evidentiary hearings
    • Arrest criminal offenders, process reports and court documents, receive and serve court orders, and execute search and arrest warrants
  • Criminal Justice Leadership
    • Define management, organization, and leadership in the context of criminal justice
    • Compare and contrast open versus closed system models of management as they relate to criminal justice agencies
    • Analyze environmental influences that impact criminal justice agencies
    • Evaluate models of motivation and leadership
    • Evaluate the importance and models of ethical leadership in the criminal justice system
    • Evaluate a criminal justice agency, department, or program for its strengths and weaknesses and develop solutions and recommendations

Career Opportunities

  • Correctional Officer

    Correctional Officers supervise the custody and treatment of adult and juvenile offenders, ensuring public safety and the security of jail, prison, and detention center facilities.

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  • Juvenile Corrections Officer

    Juvenile Corrections Officers prevent disturbances and enforce discipline in juvenile detention facilities, maintaining the safety and security of detained and convicted youth.

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  • Law Enforcement Officer

    Law Enforcement Officers prevent, detect, and investigate criminal activity, apprehending violators, making arrests, and responding to emergencies.

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  • Criminal Investigator

    Criminal Investigators obtain and verify evidence of criminal activity, observe and interview suspects and witnesses, and record and document investigative findings.

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  • Criminal Justice Administrator

    Criminal Justice Administrators oversee the daily operations of criminal justice agencies, setting and enforcing policies, overseeing budgets, and ensuring program requirements.

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  • DEA Agent

    DEA Agents control and enforce federal drug laws, investigating the manufacture, diversion, distribution, and use of illegal drug activity.

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  • FBI Agent

    FBI Agents examine interstate and national criminal activity, including bribery, cyber crime, drug trafficking and terrorist threats, investigating and solving cases involving violations of federal statutes.

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  • Victim Advocate

    Victims Advocates act as liaisons between crime victims and the court system, ensuring support, providing agency and support group referrals, and assisting in navigating the legal process.

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  • Sheriff

    Sheriffs oversee county jail operations, transport prisoners, investigate illegal activities, supervise deputies, and command field operations as necessary.

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  • Probation Officer

    Probation Officers meet with, monitor and report on the activities of convicted criminals sentenced to a period of supervision, ensuring they meet the conditions of probation.

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  • Court Clerk

    Court Clerks manage courtroom dockets, pleadings and documents filed in cases pending before the court, regulating access to filings and responding to requests for document copies.

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  • Bailiff

    Bailiffs maintain courtroom order and security, ensure that courtroom occupants abide by the rules, and protect judges and juries from public contact.

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  • Law Enforcement Intelligence Analyst

    Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts conduct research and use data to identify patterns of criminal activity to provide information useful in the prevention of crime and/or apprehension of offenders.

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Our Recipe For Your Success

Academic & Industry Experts

Classes are taught and designed by credentialed professionals with real-world experience.

  • Programs are designed by combining the insight of industry leaders with the academic expertise of our faculty, ensuring what you learn translates into on-the-job success.

  • Academic concepts and theories are brought to life through our teaching faculty’s professional expertise, and can be immediately applied in your career.

  • Faculty with industry experience teach our courses, not graduate students or life-time academics, so you learn not only the theories behind the practice but also how to apply them in real-world situations.

Relevant & Consistent Curriculum

What you learn is a reflection of the program you choose, not the format in which it’s applied.

  • All programs are designed for learning outcomes to flow from the program level into actual coursework.

  • This top-down approach allows credentialed professionals to customize assignments based on trending industry topics without deviating from a program’s core outcomes.

  • Regardless of your professor or the format of your class, you receive the same quality education.

Hands-On Learning Experience

Franklin's coursework teaches not only theories and concepts, but also how they apply to practical situations.


  • Professional course designers ensure that class activities such as learning simulations, case studies, interactive videos, and group exercises are relevant and appropriate.

  • A curriculum development team is dedicated to making sure all courses are intuitively designed so content is taught in a logical manner that facilitates your success in the classroom and beyond.

Continuously Evolving Programs

Consistent program reviews ensure our programs stay at the forefront of industry trends.

  • Survey results and feedback from student and faculty assessments are reviewed regularly so that our programs are always improving and up-to-date.

  • A structured review process helps identify industry gaps that guide curriculum enhancements allowing our academic and industry experts to regularly implement new industry trends.

  • Regular assessment provides hard data that is used to improve student learning and teaching methods.

Get the details

View curriculum, read course descriptions,
and meet program faculty.

View Program Details