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B.S. Criminal Justice Administration

Enforce your career goals with an online criminal justice degree

As a security-conscious society with one of the highest crime and incarceration rates in the world, the U.S. criminal justice system is on the precipice of a new era -- one that requires smart and savvy leaders who can challenge old conventions. With a transfer-friendly B.S. Criminal Justice Administration degree from Franklin, you'll be equipped to launch or advance your criminal justice career while helping deter criminal activity, resolve disputes or help those impacted by crime. 

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Award-Winning Curriculum

Learn from an AECT best practice distance educator.

Customizable Program

Tailor your program by choosing from a variety of electives.

Real-World Practitioners

Learn from in-the-field criminal justice adminstrators.

100% Online Classes

Earn your degree around your schedule.

Hands-On Curriculum

Go beyond the classroom with broad-based, experiential learning tools.

Accredited Online University

Nearly 80% of our students take online courses.

Program Overview

Protect, serve, and preserve social order and public safety

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. 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.

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Curriculum & Course Descriptions

120 Semester Hours
Fundamental General Education Core (24 hours)
English Composition

Choose a minimum of 3 semester hours from:

WRIT 120 - COLLEGE WRITING (4)
In this course, students acquire the writing competence necessary for conducting and presenting research. A variety of assignments, beginning with personal reflections, build upon one another, as students develop ideas that respond to, critique, and synthesize the positions of others. Students systematize and organize knowledge in ways that will help them in all of their courses. The course also emphasizes the elements of good writing style, appropriate grammar and mechanics, clarity of language, and logical and cohesive development. It culminates in submission of a documented research paper.

*If the course does not have a research paper component, WRIT 130 Research Paper, two semester credits, is also required.

Mathematics

Choose a minimum of three semester hours from*:

MATH 160 - COLLEGE ALGEBRA (4)
This course is designed to prepare students for Applied Calculus and Discrete Mathematics and to provide the mathematical background needed for the analytic reasoning used in other courses. Topics include functions and their graphs, including exponential and logarithmic functions; complex numbers; systems of equations and inequalities; matrices; basic principles of counting and probability; and other selected topics.
MATH 180 - APPLIED CALCULUS (4)
This course is designed to meet the needs of the Computer Science Program. Topics include limits, the derivative, rules for differentiation, graphing strategy, optimization problems, differentials, implicit differentiation, related rates, exponential and logarithmic functions, antiderivatives, definite integrals, areas, and methods of integration. Applications are emphasized.
MATH 210 - FINITE MATHEMATICS (4)
This course includes such topics as matrices, solutions of simultaneous linear equations using matrix methods, graphic and simplex solutions to linear programming problems, set theory, counting problems (including permutations and combinations), probability theory (including Bayes' theorem), Markov chains, and the mathematics of finance. Game theory may be discussed if time permits. Applications in business, economics, and management are emphasized. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
MATH 215 - STATISTICAL CONCEPTS (4)
This course introduces the student to statistics with business applications. The course covers both descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics included are: measures of central tendency; measures of dispersion; graphical displays of data; linear regression; basic probability concepts; binomial and normal probability distributions; confidence intervals; and hypothesis testing. These topics will be covered using a basic knowledge of algebra and Microsoft Excel. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
MATH 220 - BUSINESS CALCULUS (4)
This course may not be taken by students who previously received calculus credit. Topics include limits, the derivative, rules for differentiation, graphing strategy, optimization problems, differentials, implicit differentiation, related rates, exponential and logarithmic functions, antiderivatives, definite integrals, areas, and methods of integration. Applications in business, economics, and management are emphasized. This course should be taken as soon as possible after acquiring the necessary algebra skills and concepts, preferably within the first 60 hours of any degree program.

Choose MATH 150 Fundamental Algebra as the prerequisite. This course can count as a general education or University elective.

*At least one mathematics or statistics course beyond the level of intermediate algebra.

Sciences

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from:

SCIE 210 - UNDERSTANDING SCIENCE: PRINCIPLES, PRACTICE, & THEORY (2)
Understanding Science: Principles, Practice & Theory is a two credit hour course that introduces students to the major themes, processes, and methods common to all scientific disciplines. Students will develop critical thinking skills necessary to analyze and evaluate all kinds of phenomena, scientific, pseudoscientific, and other. The focus is on the nature of science so students will develop an understanding of how science works and develop an appreciation for the process by which we gain scientific knowledge.
SCIE 211 - INTRODUCTION TO SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS & REASONING (4)
Introduction to Scientific Analysis and Reasoning is a four credit hour course consisting of three credit hours of lecture and one credit hour of laboratory. This course is an introduction to critical thinking on statistical and scientific claims. The student will develop the critical thinking skills necessary to analyze and evaluate popular sources of (mis)information and to better understand and evaluate all sorts of scientific claims and arguments. The focus of the course is on students developing thoughtful and critical use of scientific information and research to be able to separate truth from deception and make decisions that affect their personal lives and roles as informed and engaged citizens.

*Two science courses, with one having a laboratory component.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from:

PUAD 295 - AMERICAN GOVERNMENT IN ACTION (4)
The course examines the American system of government and how government affects and interacts with individuals and organizations in society. Students learn how politics, law, and the structure and principles of American government impact citizens, public policy, and the administration of public and private organizations. Students apply fundamental political theories and administration law principles in personal and professional contexts.
  • Choose additional coursework from the Anthropology, Psychology, or Sociology disciplines.

*The six semester hours must come from at least two different disciplines

Arts and Humanities

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from:

HUMN 211 - INTRO TO ETHICAL ANALYSIS AND REASONING (2)
The goal of this course is to help you improve your ethical analysis and reasoning skills. You will be introduced to the art of formulating and assessing ethical arguments according to the standards of logical thinking and critical analysis. In this course, you will discover how to apply the following questions to your job and everyday life. Why do we need ethics if we have laws to govern our behavior' Does the majority view determine what is ethical and what is not' Are feelings, desires, and preferences reliable ethical guides' Is it ever appropriate to criticize another individual's (or culture's) ethical judgment' Are people always responsible for their actions' Do human beings have a natural tendency to good, a natural tendency to evil' both' neither' Is there a single moral code that is binding on all people, at all times, and in all places'
  • Choose additional coursework from the Humanities discipline.

Additional General Education Requirements (12 hours)
PF 321 - LEARNING STRATEGIES (2)
This course prepares students to be successful lifelong learners both academically and in their chosen careers. Franklin courses require a high level of self-directed learning and focus on skills required in the workplace and the classroom that are easily transferable between the two environments. The course includes strategies for advancing communication skills, including the use of electronic tools to participate in virtual environments. The assignments and activities in the course are created to closely simulate teamwork found in the workplace.
COMM 150 - INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION (4)
By using applied critical and creative thinking, students in this course will develop a set of communication skills that will enhance their personal and professional relationships and endeavors. This course will focus on skill development in key areas such as self, perception, listening, verbal messages, conversations, relationships, conflict management, persuasion, and public speaking. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
OR SPCH 100 - SPEECH COMMUNICATION (4)
A basic public speaking course intended to improve the student's ability to think critically and to communicate orally. Theory and practice are provided in various speaking situations. Each student is required to speak before an audience, but class work also involves reading, gathering and organizing information, writing and listening.
WRIT 220 - RESEARCH WRITING: EXPLORING PROFESSIONAL IDENTITIES (4)
This is an intermediate course focusing on the composition of research papers. Students in this course prepare to be active participants in professional discourse communities by examining and practicing the writing conventions associated with their own fields of study and work. By calling attention to the conventions of disciplinary writing, the course also prepares students for upper-division college writing and the special conventions of advanced academic discourse. Course activities include three extended research papers, semi-formal writing addressing interdisciplinary communication, and readings fostering critical engagement with disciplinary conversations.
  • General Education Electives (2)

Professional Core (12 hours)
CJAD 210 - INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION (4)
This is an introductory course designed to expose students to the various Major elements of the criminal justice system (police, courts, and corrections). Students will learn about the ways in which the various systems interact, the processing of offenders, the various forms of punishment and the alternatives to punishment. The future of the criminal justice system will also be discussed.
CJAD 240 - INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINOLOGY (4)
This course will focus on theories of crime and types of offending. Topics related the causation, control and prevention of criminal behavior will be addressed in this course.
CJAD 340 - EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE & RESEARCH METHODS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSIONS (4)
This innovative approach to research describes best practices and data driven solutions in criminal justice research including quantitative, qualitative, and program evaluation research. Students will be good consumers of research and will have the fundamental knowledge necessary to evaluate research studies, evaluate their value toward their field of interest, and evaluate their usefulness for making sound decisions in the field.
University Electives (36 hours)
  • Any undergraduate courses offered by the University except developmental education courses.

Major Area (28 hours)
CJAD 310 - COURTS AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE (4)
This course addresses the requirements for processing criminal offenders through the court system. Topics include structure of the court system in the U.S., evidentiary standards, constitutional protections, the role and importance of case law, and the role of the prosecutor and defense attorney in the courts.
CJAD 315 - POLICING IN AMERICA (4)
This course will provide the student with an overview of the philosophy and history of policing in America. Students will learn about personnel and management issues related to policing. Students will also be exposed to topics including police discretion, police use of force, civil liability, police culture, and the impact of the war on terrorism on police operations and practices.
CJAD 320 - CORRECTIONS IN AMERICA (4)
This course considers contemporary corrections in America. This course will include a review of recent corrections-related research and a discussion of the role corrections plays in the criminal justice system. Topics covered will include a historical overview of corrections in America, alternatives to incarceration, types and functions of various prison systems in corrections, and various categories of inmates within the corrections system.
CJAD 330 - JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY (4)
This course will address the history of the U.S. juvenile justice system and the nature and extent of youth crime. It will focus on the correlates and theoretical perspectives used to explain juvenile delinquency all within a framework of current research and strategies used to prevent, treat, and control youth crime. Students will analyze and apply these concepts to the structure within which juveniles are taken into custody, treated, processed, rehabilitated or punished in an integrated and collaborative environment. Finally, students will examine basic criminal justice research methods and the role of science and inquiry in criminal justice.
CJAD 450 - CRIMINAL JUSTICE MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION (4)
This course will examine the basic concepts of management and administration as applied to agencies in the criminal justice system. Emphasis will be placed on issues related to the effective management and administration of criminal justice agencies. Topics covered will include environmental influence; conflict, power, and ethical issues; motivation, leadership, and communication. The concept of the service quality approach will also be considered.
CJAD 455 - ETHICS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM (4)
This course will address the topics of ethical and moral values as they pertain to the criminal justice system. Topics covered will include ethics and the police, racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, the purpose of punishment, ethics in corrections, and the ethics of criminal justice policy making.
CJAD 495 - CRIMINAL JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION CAPSTONE (4)
The Criminal Justice Capstone will be the final course completed by students in the Criminal Justice Program. The capstone course will include a practicum that will allow students to apply the theories, principles and knowledge obtained throughout the criminal justice program to a real-life problem or project in a criminal justice agency. For students who may not be associated with a criminal justice agency; an alternative to the practicum will be a research project that identifies and examines a current criminal justice issue or problem. Students will complete a research paper with recommendations for addressing the identified problem. The recommendations will be based on the theories, principles and knowledge obtained throughout the criminal justice program. Prerequisites: Completion of all Professional Core Courses.
Major Electives (8 hours)

Choose a pathway

Corrections
CJAD 425 - PROBATION AND PAROLE (4)
This course addresses the role of probation, parole and community corrections in the U.S. corrections system. Topics include management and supervision of a full range of intermediate alternatives to prison and jail including pretrial release, diversion, economic sanctions, probation, residential supervision, and other unique alternatives. Philosophies and theories of offender treatment and punishment will be analyzed within the context and application of public policy. Parole will be examined and various programs will be compared and contrasted in light of best evidence and economic policies in the U.S. A particular focus will be paid to successful reentry and wraparound programming. Risk assessment will be integrated throughout as a contemporary and data-driven means of individualized rehabilitative and treatment models that seek to lower recidivism and improve public safety.
CJAD 430 - JUVENILE CORRECTIONS (4)
This course will present students with an introduction and history of juvenile corrections. More in-depth coverage will focus on contemporary sentencing and correctional strategies including alternative sanctions. Students will be exposed to treatment and rehabilitative programmatic trends both inside and outside secure institutions. Additional topics will include correctional staff training, risk assessment, and evaluative studies both quantitative and qualitative.
Homeland Security
CJAD 360 - INTRODUCTION TO TERRORISM & INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS (4)
This course examines intelligence analysis and its indispensable relationship to the management of terrorist attacks, man-made disasters and natural disasters. It also explores vulnerabilities of our national defense and private sectors, as well as the threats posed to these institutions by terrorists. Students will discuss substantive issues regarding intelligence support of homeland security measures implemented by the United States and explore how the intelligence community operates.
CJAD 420 - CYBERCRIME (4)
"Most assets escape exploitation not because they are impregnable but because they are not targeted." (Herley, 2014 p.70) Cybercrime is perpetrated all over the world and results in tremendous financial loss to many individuals, businesses, and countries of the World. This course sets out to accomplish several learning outcomes but also to develop a level of literacy about cyber related crime that will help to diminish or mitigate the problems associated with these types of crimes. The awareness of cybercrime-related activity as it pertains to your everyday life is important to your ability to navigate away from this serious criminal activity that is just beginning to grip our society. This course is designed as a literacy course and although it has critical terminology is not fundamentally a computer forensics or technical course. Herley, C., (2014). Security, Cybercrime, and Scale. Communications of the ACM, 57,(9). DOI:10.1145/2654847
Law Enforcement
CJAD 360 - INTRODUCTION TO TERRORISM & INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS (4)
This course examines intelligence analysis and its indispensable relationship to the management of terrorist attacks, man-made disasters and natural disasters. It also explores vulnerabilities of our national defense and private sectors, as well as the threats posed to these institutions by terrorists. Students will discuss substantive issues regarding intelligence support of homeland security measures implemented by the United States and explore how the intelligence community operates.
CJAD 415 - CONTEMPORARY POLICING STRATEGIES AND ISSUES (4)
Students will review contemporary policing strategies to include: Community policing, Problem Oriented Policing and other strategies related to crime prevention and crime reduction. Students will also be exposed to current issues related to both the internal and external environments of police agencies. Issues related to police deviance and ethical issues will also be addressed.
Public Administration
PUAD 420 - GOVERNMENT & NONPROFIT BUDGETING (4)
Students learn fundamental budgeting, accounting, and financial management concepts and techniques necessary for planning, analysis, and decision making in government and nonprofit organizations. Students also examine the competing values and politics that underlie and impact the budget process and financial decisions. Finally, students apply skills for effectively communicating financial analysis methods and conclusions with colleagues, elected officials, the media, and the public.
PUAD 305 - INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (4)
Students are introduced to the field and profession of public administration. Students learn to think and act as ethical public administration professionals by developing a broad understanding of the political and organizational environment in which public administrators work and by applying fundamental analytical, decision- making, and communication skills. The professional knowledge and skills explored in the course provide a foundation for subsequent public administration courses.
Additional Requirements

All students are required to pass College Writing (WRIT 120), either Basic Learning Strategies (PF 121) or Learning Strategies (PF 321) and either Speech Communication (SPCH 100) or Interpersonal Communication (COMM 150) prior to enrolling in any other course at the 200 level or above. Either PF 121 or PF 321 must be taken prior to the first BLF course, or it may be taken concurrently with the first 15-week BLF course. Students who enroll at Franklin with 30 or fewer hours of transfer credit are required to pass Basic Learning Strategies (PF 121) in place of Learning Strategies (PF 321). Students must also meet the University algebra competency requirement.

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Program Details

Career Opportunities

Bailiff

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

Correctional Officer

Correctional officers plan, develop and coordinate rehabilitative programs in order to prepare offenders for release from the justice system.

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.

Criminal Investigator

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

Criminal Justice Administrator

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

DEA Agent

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

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.

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.

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.

Law Enforcement Officer

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

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.

Sheriff

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

Victim’s Advocate

Found in a variety of settings including police stations, courts or nonprofit organizations, victim’s advocates present options and information in order to support decision making.

Knowledge & Skillsets

Gain in-demand skills sought by employers with curriculum that teaches you:

Frequently Asked Questions

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