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Criminal Justice, BS

Police officer earned online criminology degree

Program Description

The online bachelor of science in criminal justice is a degree completion program designed for students who may already have earned an associate's degree or who have completed the majority of their general education courses.

This online criminal justice degree program combines courses from the Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney campuses, meaning you’ll receive the best academic experience possible. Courses reflect current trends in justice and faculty have both practitioner and research expertise.

Gain Real World Experience

A highlight of the online criminal justice degree program is the intensive internship that will provide hands-on experience in the field. The internship is completed at a location convenient to the student.

Students benefit from the connections of the school and faculty. Past placements have included the Nebraska State Patrol and National Security Agency.

A High-Demand Field

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts sustained growth in the field of criminal justice, a field that is extremely diverse.

Professionals with an undergraduate degree in criminal justice pursue employment with municipal, county, state or federal government agencies, or with private corporations in the areas of law enforcement, corrections, the court system and juvenile justice.

Hiring standards in the field are becoming increasingly competitive, giving job seekers who have completed a four-year undergraduate degree in criminal justice a distinct advantage.


Delivery Format

Home Campus: University of Nebraska at Kearney

Method of Delivery: 100% Online - what's this?Program can be completed fully at a distance. Courses are asynchronous, meaning students and instructor may access content at any time and do not have to be connected to the Internet at the same time. If your program includes an internship or practicum, experiences may be completed in the student's local area.

All online courses are accessed via the Internet and use a learning management system. Technology requirements may vary by program and course, but all campuses have basic recommended requirements. High-speed Internet is required.

Interaction with professors and other students may include:

  • E-mail
  • Online discussion boards
  • Phone or video conferencing
  • Other forms of electronic and print communication

Supplemental materials for some courses may include:

  • Printed material and scanned documents
  • Digital resources accessed through university libraries
  • Videos accessed via the Internet, CDs or DVDs
  • Other media

To be successful, students taking online classes should be reasonably comfortable using a computer and the Internet. Learn more about online student tips for success.

Academic Year 2015 - 2016

Tuition rates are effective for the academic year listed. Tuition is subject to change.


Nebraska Resident:

 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$257.25$25.00$11.00$4.00$297.25
3 credit hour$771.75$75.00$33.00$12.00$891.75


 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$379.00$25.00$11.00$4.00$419.00
3 credit hour$1,137.00$75.00$33.00$12.00$1,257.00
Note: In addition to the fees outlined above, a $3.00 academic success fee will be assessed per credit hour and a $4.00 student records fee will be assessed each semester for both resident and non-resident students.

Choose from two majors:

  1. Criminal Justice Comprehensive - requires a total of 19 courses, or 58 credit hours in the major
  2. Criminal Justice Traditional - requires a total of 12 courses or 36 credit hours in the major plus an additional 24 credit hours for a minor, for a total of 60 credit hours

Both major options include nine core courses, which are required for every student. Students may start their program in any semester, including summer.

Required Courses 28 credit hours CJUS 101GS, CJUS 103, CJUS 215, CJUS 230, CJUS 326, CJUS 340, and CJUS 480; plus choose from CJUS 250 or SWOK 440; and take 6-9 credit hours CJUS 475 
Criminal Justice Electives   21 credit hours  Elective criminal justice courses are dependent upon selected criminal justice major. Students should work with their adviser when choosing electives.
Social Science Electives  9 credit hours Elective criminal justice courses are dependent upon selected criminal justice major. Students should work with their adviser when choosing electives.

Note: Recommended prerequisites include an associate's degree or the majority of the general studies requirements completed.

Students are strongly recommended to have had completed the general studies courses necessary for a bachelor's degree independently, before beginning the degree completion coursework. If general studies courses are not yet complete, students will need to work with the program coordinator to determine best options for completing the necessary courses.

Course Name
Course #
Core Courses

Introduction to Criminal Justice

This course is intended to provide a broad understanding of the functional components of the criminal justice system and their interrelationship. It will also provide a basic understanding of the American crime problem.

Orientation to Criminal Justice

CJUS 103
This course provides a review of academic, professional and career planning issues of a criminal justice major.

Correctional Services and Systems

CJUS 215
This course covers the historical development of corrections leading to an analysis of our correctional process and systems in contemporary America.

The Police Service

CJUS 230
This course is intended to introduce students to the major developments and problems in policing. Topics will include rights and responsibilities of the uniformed officer, patrol and manpower distribution theories, police unionism, ethics and corruption, community relations, and the police subculture as a distinct value system.

Criminal Justice Research Methods I

CJUS 250
A course intended to give students some fundamentals in planning, research, and grant writing for criminal justice subsystems, (Program planning and evaluation).

Theories of Crime and Criminal Law

CJUS 326
This course is intended to introduce students to the philosophical foundations of criminal law, as well as the various theories that have been proposed to address criminal offending and the prevention of crime. Students will evaluate each theory within the context of the crime and the criminal justice system in the United States

Criminal Evidence, Procedure and the Courts

CJUS 340
The emphasis of this course will be on the concept of evidence and the rules governing its admissibility. There will also be theoretical and pragmatic considerations of constitutional requirements affecting evidence and procedure.


CJUS 475
6 or 9

Prereq: junior or senior standing, permission of instructor and department chair. Designed to give students on-the-job exposure to their areas of interest within the criminal justice system. Offered only as credit/no credit.

Senior Seminar: Professional Ethics and Career...

CJUS 480

Senior Seminar: Professional Ethics and Career Development

Graduating seniors must take this class in the school year they plan on graduating. This is a capstone course for the criminal justice program and will include assessment methods. Emphasis of the course will be on ethics in the criminal justice profession and the continued development of skills that will aid in the student's career development.

Fundamentals of Research in Social Welfare

SOWK 440
This course will introduce students to the concepts and principles of social work research methodology, educate them about the ethics and politics involved, and promote their understanding of research issues relevant to diversity, multiculturalism, as well as social and economic injustices

University of Nebraska online programs have the same quality instructional faculty as on campus; individuals from a variety of backgrounds, who embody the combined qualities resulting from research experience and professional/field experience.

The online Criminal Justice program draws faculty from the Kearney, Lincoln and Omaha campuses, which means you'll interact with some of the top experts in the field the University has to offer.

Beth A Wiersma, Ph. D., Associate Professor

Julie Campbell Ph. D., Chair, Associate Professor

Kurt D Siedschlaw, J.D., Professor

Kyung Yon Jhi Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Timbre Wulf Ludden Ph D, Assistant Professor

Guidelines for Admittance

To participate in this program the student must have completed most general studies courses for a bachelor's degree. Please contact a program representative for more information.

Application Checklist

  1. Apply and be admitted to the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
  2. Contact Program Coordinator for further instructions for the UNK online criminal justice degree completion program.

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester August 1 
Spring Semester December 1 
Summer Sessions April 1 



Online Worldwide Educational Representative

Program Contact
Tami Fosher
Phone: 308.865.8892

Military/Veteran Student Adviser
Mary Sommers
Phone: 308.865.8520

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