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BS in Criminal Justice Public Service

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Meet the evolving need for criminal justice professionals

Ready to grow as a skilled investigator and law enforcement professional? The Capella online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice can help you advance in your career with the skills to make a difference in the face of real-world societal problems. You’ll cover issues like criminal psychology and behavior, juvenile justice, ethics, and terrorism, building up an understanding of their root cause—and learning approaches to solving them. The skills you learn will be applicable to a number of criminal justice careers.

At a Glance

  • 100% Online
  • 10–13 General education courses
  • 11 Core courses
  • 11–13 Elective courses
  • 1 Capstone course
  • 180 Total quarter credits
  • 135 Max transfer credits

Classes Start April 13th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo SPRING)

Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice program highlights

Real-world experience

The criminal justice program is designed around industry standards, with curriculum crafted to help you meet the needs of today.

3 out of 4 current Capella students say they are satisfied with their experience at Capella.

Source: Ruffalo Noel Levitz Priorities Survey for Online Learners, 2016

Scholar-practitioner faculty

Faculty have extensive real-world experience in organizations such as the FBI, FEMA, IAEM, the Secret Service, and the U.S. Armed Forces.

Meet the faculty »

Credit for prior work

Earn up to 51 credits for your previous coursework, experience, and training, including Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). Source: Capella University Campus, Undergraduate PLA Center.

91% of alumni agree Capella gave them the flexibility to graduate on schedule.

Source: Alumni Employer Survey, 2016

No-wasted time

Designed to teach critical skills, knowledge, theories, and abilities that employers want.

Get the support you need for success

You’ll never go it alone at Capella. Our dedicated support teams are waiting to help you through every step of your educational journey.


Our courses are taught by distinguished faculty members who hold top credentials and have hands-on expertise in their fields. They know what you need to know today.

Enrollment counselors

These experts will set you up for success. They’ll help you find the right degree and program, and answer all your questions about Capella.


Advisors know the details of your program. Got questions about courses? Instructors? Resources? Advisors have answers.

Career center

For this team, it’s more than resumes and interview tips. It’s about thoughtful and strategic career planning—beyond graduation.

Cost & learning format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

A more structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$357 per 1000-2000 level credit $411 per 3000-4000 level credit, 180 total quarter credits, 135 max transfer credits

*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing, and it does not include fees (including application and resource kit fees).  Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. If transfer credits are allowed in this offering, the prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits and the price if you brought in the maximum allowed transfer credits.  

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Accredited & recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Ways to save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

Transfer credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.

Prior learning assessment

Earn credits by demonstrating your knowledge and/or industry certifications through our Prior Learning Assessment process.

$5K toward your bachelor's

Apply for a $5K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help fund your bachelor's degree.

Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice sample courses

The curriculum in our online bachelor’s in criminal justice program includes coursework and a one-of-a-kind simulation tool to help you practice risk assessment and scenario planning in a safe, controlled environment.

Show course with description
Criminal Procedure and Evidence

Learners in this course identify ways to obtain, qualify, and admit evidence for criminal investigation and prosecution. Learners examine the rules and procedures of the criminal justice system pertinent to the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments; evaluate criminal procedure and evidence as they pertain to law enforcement principles; and analyze the foundation and evolution of federal and state court systems. Learners also synthesize constitutional issues, criminal procedure concepts, and their real-world application. 

6 quarter credits
Criminal Psychology and Behavior

In this course, learners gain a basic understanding of the impact criminal psychology and criminal behaviors have on the law, police, and communities. Learners also examine the uses of criminal psychology relative to criminal behaviors, and theories surrounding these behaviors. In addition, learners analyze popular criminal defenses relative to criminal psychology and behaviors, and explore examples in well-known criminal cases.

6 quarter credits
Corrections, Probation, and Parole

This course introduces learners to the fields of penology and corrections. Learners analyze the evolution of corrections, probation, and parole processes and evaluate the effects associated with corrections and reform movements. Learners also examine criminal behavior assessments that help determine offender placement and incarceration alternatives.

6 quarter credits
Multiagency Investigations

In this course, learners examine the intricacies of conducting successful multijurisdictional investigations. Learners identify considerations, laws, and protocols used in multiagency investigations, including emergency and terrorism response and border security, to overcome differences in approach and role. Learners assess cross-collaboration related to crime scene evaluation and preservation practices, crimespecific investigation strategies, and the different investigation standards of various federal agencies.

6 quarter credits
Police Administration and Leadership

In this course, learners evaluate police administration concepts. Learners examine communication principles and decision-making, leadership, and human resource management skills used in contemporary law enforcement environments. Learners also analyze individual and group behavior and ethics within police organizations.

6 quarter credits

What you’ll learn

The right education can change everything. Discover your path with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice.

  • Apply evidence-based analyses of complex issues related to criminal justice.
  • Integrate theoretical, scientific, and practical methods to solve problems.
  • Assess the leadership skills required for successful criminal justice practitioners.
  • Explain the cause and effect of crime in the context of interdisciplinary knowledge.
  • Demonstrate effective conflict resolution techniques for culturally diverse groups.
  • Employ scholarly, professional, and consistent communication practices.


Concentrations let you focus on your specific area of interest to help move you closer to your exact career goals. 


Learn and apply theories, treatments, and current research techniques needed for psychological and behavioral aspects of addictions.


Explore issues related to incarceration, probation, parole, and counseling to gain an understanding of the corrections industry.

Criminal justice insights

Up Close and Personal with Public Service Leadership

See why Dean Charlyn Hilliman’s broad education background makes her a perfect fit to guide Capella’s School of Public Service Leadership.

What Can You Do with a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice?

A large variety of careers are available to individuals interested in the field.

The Growing Use of Technology in Criminal Justice

Technology has become a key factor in helping to solve crimes more efficiently and effectively.

Criminal justice professional paths

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice degree.

Related job titles to explore*

  • Private investigator
  • Computer forensics investigator
  • FBI agent
  • Park ranger
  • DEA agent
  • Correctional officer
  • Probation Officer

Employment settings to explore

  • Government- local, state, federal
  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Retail

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other programs to explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.