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Bachelors (BACJ / BSCJ) in Criminal Justice

Reach your career goals by earning a bachelor's degree in criminal justice 100% online from the University of Kentucky. Students complete all coursework asynchronously, providing maximum schedule flexibility. Select from the options of earning a BA or BS in Criminal Justice to best align with your career goals.

Our virtual classrooms foster diverse interactions among students from various backgrounds, enriching discussions and providing unique perspectives on criminal justice issues. The online format also allows students to maintain employment or gain practical experience in the field while pursuing their degree, potentially accelerating career advancement and creating a seamless integration between academic studies and real-world applications.

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At a Glance

Fall 2024 Transfer Deadline

Application Due Date:
07/01/2024
Start Date:
08/26/2024

Spring 2025 Transfer Deadline

Application Due Date:
11/15/2024
Start Date:
01/13/2025

Summer 2024 Transfer Deadline

Application Due Date:
04/15/2024
Start Date:
05/13/2024

Credits and Tuition Cost (2023-2024)

Credits Required: 120
Cost Per Credit: $611.00

Format

Fully Online

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Bachelors in Criminal Justice overview

Program format
Format
Fully Online
Total credits
Total Credits
120
Degree awarded
Degree Awarded
BACJ
BSCJ

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What You'll Learn

Overview

Our online program emphasizes transdisciplinary processes and problem solving to ensure that graduates develop job-ready, employability skills to address and implement best practices in criminal justice settings.

By completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Recognize the impact of policies and scientific inquiry on implementation of services and associated outcomes
  • Demonstrate an understanding of systematic barriers in justice involved systems through identifying and addressing systemic injustices in the criminal justice system
  • Articulate the importance of culturally relevant practice in criminal justice settings
  • Critically examine knowledge to synthesize, convey, and articulate in a succinct, meaningful manner

Course Examples

  • CJ 312 The American Criminal Justice System
  • CJ 314 Experiential Learning in Criminal Justice
  • CJ316 Culturally Relevant Practice in Criminal Justice Settings
  • CJ 323 Criminal Justice Foundations
  • CJ 328 Forensic Investigations
  • CJ 419 Ethics in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 421 Applied Data Analysis for Criminal Justice Practice
  • CJ 429 Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 431 Application of Criminal Justice Theory
  • Plus, an additional 12 credit hours of specifically targeted criminal justice related electives at the 300 level or above
  • SPECIAL NOTE: Students seeking the BS must take 15 credit hours in a science discipline of their choosing. Students seeking the BA are not required to take the additional science related credit hours.
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How to Apply

Application Requirements

  • Completed UK undergraduate application or CommonApp
  • Essay
  • Official high school transcripts or GED diploma
  • Application fee

Transfer Students

Transferring to the University of Kentucky is made possible with any number of college credit hours, but the application requirements will differ. View transfer application criteria.

Admissions Criteria

There is no additional admission criteria for this program. 

Program Contact

Kalea Benner
Program Director

Deadlines

Fall 2024 Transfer Deadline

Application Due Date:
07/01/2024
Start Date:
08/26/2024

Spring 2025 Transfer Deadline

Application Due Date:
11/15/2024
Start Date:
01/13/2025

Summer 2024 Transfer Deadline

Application Due Date:
04/15/2024
Start Date:
05/13/2024

Frequently Asked Questions

Careers in Criminal Justice

How can a degree in criminal justice help advance my career?

A degree in criminal justice can help you begin a criminal justice career but can also help with promotion and advancement opportunities as most leadership positions in the criminal justice field require at least an undergraduate degree. 

What are some common jobs for criminal justice?

With a degree in criminal justice, you can work in a field where you can help people every day, providing the support they need to live and thrive. A criminal justice degree can prepare you for a multitude of careers including:  

  • Police Officer

  • Detective or Criminal Investigator

  • Probation Officer

  • Corrections and Parole Officer

  • Security Manager

  • Forensic Science Technician

  • Legal Assistant or Paralegal

  • Crime Analyst

  • Juvenile Case Manager

  • Victim Advocate

  • Customs and Border Protection Officer

  • Private Investigator

  • Emergency Management Specialist

  • Drug Enforcement Agent

  • Intelligence Analyst

  • Community Outreach Coordinator

About Online Learning

Can I complete a criminal justice degree online?

Yes, the University of Kentucky College of Social Work offers a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Science in Criminal Justice as fully online degree programs.  

The Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice are also available on campus. 

What should I look for in an online criminal justice program?

Does the curriculum align with your academic and career goals? Does online learning work best with your life? How much does it cost? What student support services are available? Do you have enough self-discipline to manage your time commitments?  

Program Questions

How do I know whether a program is a good fit for me?

At the University of Kentucky College of Social Work, a degree in criminal justice is for those who want to make a difference by increasing your knowledge in the justice systems to be prepared for careers in criminal justice settings.  

Our program is built upon a dynamic curriculum that goes beyond a surface-level understanding to delve deep into the underlying cultural, economic, and political connections with social harm, crime, and systems of social control. By exploring these issues, we will prepare our students to think critically, analyze situations, and develop innovative solutions to the challenges facing our society today.  

Our faculty is passionate about sharing their knowledge and experiences with our students. They bring real-world expertise to the classroom, ensuring that you receive a comprehensive education. Their dedication to your success will inspire and guide you throughout your academic journey. 

What's the difference between the BACJ and BSCJ degrees?

Students have the option to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Criminal Justice or a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice.

  • BACJ: Does not require additional science credits. To complete a BA in Criminal Justice, students must complete the following:
    • UK Core Requirements.
    • Criminal Justice Major Coursework: 27 credit hours of core criminal justice courses.
    • Guided Electives: 12 credit hours of criminal justice specific guided electives.
    • Minimum of 120 credit hours to complete a bachelor’s degree.

       
  • BSCJ: Includes an additional 15 hours of science-oriented curriculum designed to prepare students for settings that may be science oriented such as forensic investigations. To attain a BS in Criminal Justice, students must complete the following:
    • UK Core Requirements.
    • 15 credit hours of biological, physical, computer, or mathematical science course.
    • Criminal Justice Major Coursework: 27 credit hours of core criminal justice courses.
    • Guided Electives: 12 credit hours of criminal justice specific guided electives.
    • Minimum of 120 credit hours to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Guidance: The selection process is guided by the student's interests and professional goals. For example, students interested in positions such as victim advocate, probation and parole, or juvenile justice do not require any additional science background, so BACJ is a good fit. Whereas students interested in positions such as crime scene and accident reconstruction, cyber security, toxicology, and similar fields will need a science foundation and should pursue BSCJ.

Distance Learning

Licensure & Authorization

Where you live matters when completing distance education activities. If you will live outside of Kentucky while completing your program, please check the Distance Learning Authorization & Licensure page to confirm that the program can be offered in your state or country, and if relevant, that it meets professional licensure requirements in your state. Please note: Admission and enrollment in a fully-online program can NOT lead to the issuance of a J-1 or F-1 student visa. 

AUTHORIZATION & LICENSURE INFO
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University of Kentucky has been approved to participate in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Student Support

Once you become a student, you will have access to a wide variety of academic support services to maximize your success. These services are available completely online to meet the needs of our online students.

Why UK Online

One tuition rate

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Pay the same online tuition rate, no matter where you live.

UK degree

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Degrees are conferred by the University of Kentucky, an accredited university.

Flexible schedule

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Fit learning into your busy schedule with no prescribed class times.

Be Supported

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Access supporting services and success coaches to help you succeed.
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