Criminal Justice Classes

Criminal justice classes are prevalent in all criminal justice degree programs, from forensic psychology to law enforcement and beyond. If you plan to pursue a degree in criminal justice, you will inevitably come across some of these courses at one point or another. The specific courses you take will depend on the specialization you pursue, assuming you choose to specialize your degree in general. Nevertheless, a lot of these classes overlap from one degree to the next. Here is a look at some of the many courses you may come across in your criminal justice degree so you can anticipate what is to come in the future.

Common Criminal Justice Classes

Every school has a slightly different set of courses it requires of students studying criminal justice, so you may not know about the specific classes you are going to take until you see your degree sheet. Here is a list of some of the most common criminal justice classes that may come up as you skim over your degree program:

  • Administration of Criminal Justice
  • Advanced Topics in Corrections
  • Applied Criminal Justice Research Methods
  • Applied Statistics in Criminal Justice
  • Community Corrections
  • Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
  • Constitutional Issues in Criminal Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Correctional Rehabilitation
  • Crime and Substance Abuse
  • Crime and the Life
  • Crime Victim Studies
  • Criminal Investigation
  • Criminal Justice Management
  • Criminal Justice Policy Analysis
  • Criminalistics
  • Cultural Diversity in Criminal Justice
  • Ethics and Criminal Justice
  • Evidence Analysis
  • Foundations of Corrections
  • Foundations of Criminal Justice Systems
  • Introduction to American Court System
  • Introduction to Criminal Law
  • Introduction to Law Enforcement
  • Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Theory
  • Juvenile Justice System
  • Offender Rehabilitation
  • Police Effectiveness
  • Research Methods and Statistics for Criminal Justice
  • Security and Loss Prevention
  • Terrorism and Homeland Security
  • Theories of Crime Causation
  • Theory and Philosophy of Corrections
  • Theory and Practice of Law Enforcement
  • White-Collar Crime

The classes at your school may be under different names, but the principles within them will be the same no matter what. As a whole, you will use these classes to learn how to investigate and resolve crimes so you can effectively do so in your career. Most degree-specific classes are three to four credit hours in value, but there are some occasional seminars that may only count for one or two credits. You can look over your degree sheet for more information about the amount of hours you will have to spend in criminal justice classes.

Electives to Supplement Your Criminal Justice Degree

While many of the courses on the list above could be considered electives, you will have the opportunity to take other electives in school that are not directly related to criminal justice. Popular elective options include:

  • Foreign Language (Spanish, Russian, French, German, etc.)
  • Oral Communications
  • Philosophy
  • Physical Education
  • Psychology
  • Typing

The goal of electives like these is to teach you skills you may need in your job, not the theories that actually go into the job. You need to learn how to be a good speaker no matter what section of criminal justice you choose to work in, and you also need to have a clear understanding of the human mind. You can take courses in college to make that happen.

The Basics

Aside from all of the courses mentioned above, you will have to take some basic courses just because you are attending college. These classes may include:

  • College Algebra
  • Freshman Composition I and II
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Lab Sciences
  • Political Science

You will get through these courses in the first few years of your degree program, and then you will be able to focus more heavily on your criminal justice classes. Your basics, electives, and degree-related classes will all come together to enhance your abilities in the field, and they will ultimately help you succeed as a criminal justice major. All you have to do is study hard and you will make it through all of your college classes without issues.

See Recommended School >