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Criminology and Criminal Justice, BGS

Police officer with badge earned online degree

Program Description

US News Best Online Programs Bachelor's 

The online criminology and criminal justice BGS is a degree completion program for students 21 and older.

The degree combines courses from the Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney campuses, meaning you’ll enjoy the best academic experience possible.

Courses reflect current trends in criminal justice and faculty have both real-life and research expertise.

A Growing 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 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.

Maximize Prior Learning

Get a head start on your degree using what you have already learned. The online Bachelor of General Studies degree program accepts transfer credit from all regionally accredited colleges and universities, as well as non-traditional credit from formal training experiences which have been evaluated and approved by specific agencies and committees.

Delivery Format

Home Campus: University of Nebraska Omaha

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.

For Military Students

  • Credit for military training, including 10 credit hours for those who have completed basic training and served at least one year on active duty
  • Scholarships just for active duty military, veterans, and military spouses
  • Policies and programs that support military during times of deployment, PCS, or demanding work schedules
  • Ranked 2nd nationwide for military and veteran student support, according to Military Times magazine
  • Access to the Office of Military and Veteran Services, a one-stop student support office and advocate for any current or prospective UNO students that have a military affiliation

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$335.00$25.00$11.00$4.00$375.00
3 credit hour$1,005.00$75.00$33.00$12.00$1,125.00

Non-resident tuition for some courses in this program may be higher than listed. Please contact a BGS adviser for more information.

Note: In addition to the costs outlined above, students will be assessed a $57.75 registration fee each semester they enroll in courses.

Tuition listed in the table above is for BGS area of concentration courses. Tuition for distance education courses in other subject areas, or offered by other colleges may be different. Distance education tuition may range as follows:

  • Undergraduate courses for Nebraska residents: $244.00 - $309.50 per credit hour 
  • Undergraduate courses for non-resident students: $335.00 - $885.00 per credit hour 
  • Graduate courses for Nebraska residents: $311.00 - $394.00 per credit hour  
  • Graduate courses for non-resident students: $393.00 - $1,075.75 per credit hour

For more information visit the UNO Student Accounts page, or contact a program adviser listed on the Admissions tab of this page.

To complete the online Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) Degree, students are required to:

  • Earn a minimum of 120 total credit hours
  • Earn 24 of your last 48 credit hours from UNO
  • Earn 30 credit hours at the 3000-4000 level, including nine hours from UNO in your area of concentration or six hours from UNO in two of your areas of emphasis
  • Maintain a minimum University of Nebraska system 2.00 grade point average

Requirements and information regarding transferring credits to the BGS Degree:

  • Students may earn up to 65 credit hours from non-traditional sources such as basic training/active duty military service or certain approved formal training experiences.  Official transcripts will be required (i.e. Joint Services Transcript (JST), American Council on Education (ACE) transcript).
    • A maximum of 64 semester credit hours may be transferred from a two-year/junior or community college.  The number is unlimited from a four-year college or university.  All institutions must be regionally accredited.
    • Only courses with a grade of "C-" or better will be accepted for transfer from a regionally accredited two- and four-year college or university.  All grades from a University of Nebraska campus will be included.
    • All credit hours transferable are converted to semester credit hours.
    • Grades earned at another institution do not become a part of the student's UNO cumulative grade point average, unless earned at another University of Nebraska campus:
      • University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL)
      • University of Nebraska Kearney (UNK)
      • University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)


For more information contact a program representative, listed under the Admissions tab. 

BGS General Requirements

English composition and writing
9 cr
Intermediate Algebra or equivalent
3 cr
Public speaking
3 cr
Natural & physical sciences
(7 hours from two disciplines, one course with a lab)

7 cr
Humanities & fine arts
9 cr
Social & behavioral sciences
9 cr
Cultural diversity Cultural diversity requirements include 3 credit hours U.S. diversity and 3 hours global diversity. Cultural Diversity courses are usually taken as part of the social sciences or humanities requirements or as part of the concentration.
Area of Concentration

Choose from coursework in criminology and criminal justice; at least nine credit hours of upper division courses (3000-4000 level).

30 cr

Secondary field 1

In each secondary field, all 12 credits must be from the same discipline. Courses from your area of concentration may not be used as a secondary field. A secondary field can lead to a minor.

12 cr
Secondary field 2

In each secondary field, all 12 credits must be from the same discipline. Courses from your area of concentration may not be used as a secondary field. A secondary field can lead to a minor.

12 cr
BGS Electives
25 cr


Download a list of courses that fulfill the general requirements.

Course Name
Course #
Core Courses

The Juvenile Justice System

CJUS 201

Prereq: CJUS 101GS This course is intended to introduce various components that comprise the juvenile justice system. Topics will include juvenile courts, role modeling, interaction between youth and the juvenile justice system, and the future of the juvenile justice system.


Criminal Law

CJUS 345

Prereq: CJUS 101GS Examines the foundation and elements of criminal law. Special emphasis is placed upon the definition of crime, criminal liability, defenses to criminal liability and the sanctions for committing crime.

Sex Crimes

CJUS 360

This course is designed to introduce the students to the growing problem of sex crimes. Areas covered will include prostitution, the role of fantasy in sex crimes, pornography, Internet related sex crimes, sex trafficking and tourism, pedophilia, dangerous sex crimes, and rape. Related laws, typologies of offenders, profiling offenders, and evidence collection will also be discussed.

Women and Crime

CJUS 370

The study of gender criminology, female offenders, and the incarceration and treatment of offending women; an examination of female victims of male violence including battering, stalking, and sexual victimization; an evaluation of women working in the criminal justice field, their employment and promotion rates, gender discrimination, and safety on the job.

Minorities and Criminal Justice


This course provides a survey of minority relations and criminal justice adjudication in America (law enforcement, judicial processing and corrections). Particular attention is focused on majority/minority relations and how these sentiments are reflected within the criminal justice process. While many minority groups will be examined, three will be emphasized: (1) racial minorities; (2) female victims and offenders; and (3) unique white ethnic subcultures.

Drugs and the Criminal Justice System

CJUS 430

This course focuses on the historical and contemporary pattern of psychoactive drug use in the United States and on the development of criminal justice policies intended to reduce or eliminate drug use and/or drug problems. Specific topics include major types of psychoactive drugs, the War on Drugs, the international context of drug production and distribution, and personal and social problems resulting from drug use. A major focus of the course will be the evaluation of different criminal justice strategies for reducing drug-related problems.


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.

Independent Study

CJUS 499

Prereq: senior standing, permission of instructor and department chair. An examination in depth of specific areas of the criminal justice system, with emphasis on the special roles of related agencies and disciplines.

Survey of Criminal Justice

CRCJ 1010

This course is designed to provide an overview of the justice process and the criminal justice system in general. Concepts of crime and justice are discussed as well as the rights of individuals in a democratic society. The law enforcement, judicial, juvenile justice, and corrections systems are explored.

Criminal Justice Statistics

CRCJ 3000

A course in the basic statistics of public sector research and public administration decision-making. The emphasis is on exploration of data processing and techniques as they relate to statistical analysis and on understanding the proper application of statistics.

Prereq: MATH1320 College Algebra

Sociology of Deviant Behavior

CRCJ 4130

This course is designed to investigate the etiology of many forms of norm-violating conduct. Emphasis will be placed on rule-breaking behavior as defined in the criminal statutes. (Cross-listed with CRCJ 8136)

Prereq: Upper-division CRCJ major; CRCJ minor; CRCJ1010 and jr/sr standing; or instructor permission.

International Criminology & Criminal Justice

CRCJ 4750

This course analyzes the dynamics of criminality and the social response to criminality across countries. Differences in crime and justice between developed and developing countries and between socialist and capitalist nations are emphasized.

Prereq: Upper-division CRCJ major; CRCJ minor; CRCJ1010 and jr/sr standing


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.

Candice Batton Ph.D., Associate Professor and School Director

Julie Campbell Ph. D., Chair, Associate Professor

Don Carey, Adjunct Professor, Retired Chief, Omaha Police Department

Brian Jackson, Adjunct Professor and Assistant Chief, Lincoln Police Department

Connie Koski, Adjunct Professor

Danielle Neal Ph. D., Assistant Professor

Chris Marshall Ph.D., Associate Professor

Kurt D Siedschlaw, J.D., Professor

Pete Simi Ph.D., Associate Professor

Abby Vandenberg, Adjunct Professor

Stacy Wagoner, Adjunct Professor

Beth A Wiersma, Ph. D., Associate Professor

Kyung Yon Jhi Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Guidelines for Admittance

To participate in this program the student must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have earned a high school diploma or GED


Application Checklist

  1. Apply and be admitted to the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

You may also be required to complete the online scholarship application in order to be considered for UNO scholarships.

Application Deadlines

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

All web applications must be submitted by midnight of the appropriate date and all paper applications must be postmarked no later than the respective deadline for students to be considered for admission.

Applications not received by the appropriate deadline will be returned to the student and fees paid will be refunded. Students will need to submit a new application for a future term.


Online Worldwide Educational Representative
Phone: 888.622.0332

Division of Continuing Studies Office
Phone: 402.554.2370

Office of Military and Veteran Services
Phone: 402.554.2349


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