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Degree Overview

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Vida Simonaitis receiving her diploma at the South University Criminal Justice graduation 2022
Vida Simonaitis at the Criminal Justice Graduation 2022

Enroll in South University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program and learn how to better serve your community. With criminal justice courses that focus on the causes of crime and critical insights into the functions of the criminal justice system, this program builds on your knowledge in the field. Criminal Justice classes include topics like response by police, courts and corrections, crime and violence, ethical concerns, theoretical and applied criminal justice, causes of crime, and the process of adjudicating criminal cases. A Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice can prepare graduates to seek entry-level positions in the field*.

Please note: While you may be able to take some general education courses at this campus, all other courses, including specialized courses, will be taken online.

*South University does not promise or guarantee employment.

 

Admissions Requirements

General Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Note: Not all Online Program offerings are available to residents of all U.S. states. Please contact an admissions representative for further information.

To be admitted to any of the undergraduate programs at South University, the prospective student must provide proof of high school graduation as recognized by the state of residence on the date the degree was earned, or the equivalent (e.g. GED with no single test score below 145 or numeric score equivalent to 2.0 on old version or state-issued certificate designated as the equivalent of a High School Diploma) with a minimum CGPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. The prospective student must also complete the university administered placement tests prior to the start of the first quarter for campus students and during the first session of attendance for online students. South University accepts the International Baccalaureate Program diploma as meeting the requirement for high school graduation. Credentials earned outside the United States must be evaluated by a NACES or AICE-member credential evaluation service. Please speak with an admissions representative for more information.

Students with less than the minimum CGPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale may meet admissions requirements by submitting a minimum combined SAT (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math) score of 700 or 900 on the old SAT, a combined ACT score of 18, or a satisfactory score on the university-administered admissions examination (see the Admissions Office) or meet the criteria established for acceptance as a transfer student.

Students with less than the minimum CGPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale may be admitted provisionally for two quarters. Failure to achieve a 1.5 CGPA in the first two quarters of attendance will result in dismissal. Students may appeal the dismissal by following the Procedures for Appealing Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal Policy.

To facilitate the admissions process, unofficial documentation, such as copies of transcripts or grade reports, may be used to determine admission status. Transfer status cannot be designated, however, without some verifying documentation. Admissions test scores on university administered entrance exams will not be accepted from other universities. Prospective students must take a University administered admission exam, like the Accuplacer, at South University.

A student’s failure to provide acceptable verification of proof of high school graduation within 5 weeks from the start date will result in the following:

  • Removal from class
  • Cancellation of enrollment
  • No final course grades
  • No transcript

NOTES: Students who do not provide proof of high school graduation within the 5 week period will not be responsible for any tuition and related fees.

South University may grant exceptions to the 5 week period for unusual situations or circumstances. All exceptions must be submitted to the office of the University Registrar for approval.

Please see the policy on GPA Calculation for Admission for additional information

Admission of Transfer Students

Note: Not all Online Program offerings are available to residents of all U.S. states. Please contact an admissions representative for further information.

To be eligible for admission, transfer students must complete the application procedures and satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Submit a completed application for admission.
  2. Have earned 24 or more credit hours, or the equivalent (e.g. 16 semester hours), with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 from an acceptable accredited collegiate institution.
  3. Submit official transcripts (including verifiable faxed transcripts) from all colleges and universities attended.
  4. Submit self-certification of high school graduation or GED completion.

For transfer of credit practices refer to the applicable section under the Academic Affairs section of this catalog.

Transfer students accepted into South University who have earned 24 or more quarter credit hours or the equivalent (e.g. 16 semester hours), with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 from an acceptable accredited collegiate institution, and who are not required to take ENG0099 and/or MAT0099, will be exempt from taking the UVC1000 Strategies for Success. Students will select another 4 credit course in consultation with their Academic Advisor or Academic Counselor to fulfill the degree requirements.

Transfer students will be exempted from developmental courses on the basis of grades earned in credit bearing English or mathematics courses transferred to South University, if applicable, or SAT or ACT, or scores on the University administered entrance exam only if the exam was taken at South University.

Students with 24 or more quarter credits with less than a 2.0 GPA may be admitted provisionally for two quarters. Failure to achieve a 1.5 GPA in the first two quarters of attendance will result in dismissal. Students may appeal the dismissal by following the Procedures for Appealing Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal Policy.

Students who are citizens of countries other than the United States should refer to the section entitled International Student Admissions Policy.

Students who are transferring from or to a school within the University of North Carolina or the North Carolina Community College System should be aware of the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement approved by both governing Boards on March 1, 1996 and revised in September of 2008. This agreement may be found in its entirety at the following website.

For additional admissions information please see the admissions section here.

Course Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: 180 Credits

For students enrolled prior to April 2024.

Area I General Education Requirements: 64 Credits
Professional Development
Basic Communications
ENG1100 Composition I 4.0 Credit Hours
ENG1200 Composition II 4.0 Credit Hours
ENG1300 Composition III 4.0 Credit Hours

Choose one additional course from the list below:

Mathematics and Statistics
MAT2058 Statistics 4.0 Credit Hours

Choose two additional courses from the list below:

MAT1001 College Algebra I 4.0 Credit Hours
MAT1005 College Algebra II 4.0 Credit Hours
MAT1500 College Mathematics 4.0 Credit Hours
Natural Sciences (choose two)
BIO1020 Biology I 4.0 Credit Hours
BIO1021 Biology II 4.0 Credit Hours
CHM1010 General Chemistry 4.0 Credit Hours
Social and Behavioral Sciences

Choose one additional course from the list below:

Area II Foundation Requirements: 44 Credits
Elective Pool (eight courses or 32 credits)

Transfer students may transfer any course to help fulfill the elective pool requirements, provided the course meets the standards of the Credit for Transcripted and Non-Transcripted Work policy found in the Academic Affairs section of this catalog.

Non-transfer students, with their advisor's consultation and approval may choose courses from any department recommended and listed course or more broadly from any course offered by South University. Work from other fields must include any required prerequisite courses in the elective field.

A course can be used to meet only one requirement in Area I, Area II, or Area III, but not simultaneously in two areas. Students should work with their academic advisor or counselor to be sure they are making appropriate course choices.

Area III Major Requirements: 72 Credits
Program Electives (choose six): 24 Credits

Courses may be selected from this list to apply to Area II Foundation Requirements.

Capstone: 4 Credits
Note(s):

Acceptance into a South University Criminal Justice program or its completion does not imply or guarantee that a student will be able to obtain employment in law enforcement, corrections, probation/parole or related fields. The student should contact the national, state or local agency/institution in which the student intends to gain employment for specific requirements and the application process.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: 180 Credits

For students enrolled on or after April 2024.

Area I General Education Requirements: 64 Credits
Professional Development
Basic Communications
ENG1100 Composition I 4.0 Credit Hours
ENG1200 Composition II 4.0 Credit Hours

Choose one additional course from the list below:

Mathematics and Statistics
MAT1001 College Algebra I 4.0 Credit Hours
MAT2058 Statistics 4.0 Credit Hours

Choose one additional courses from the list below:

MAT1005 College Algebra II 4.0 Credit Hours
MAT1500 College Mathematics 4.0 Credit Hours
Natural Sciences (choose two)
BIO1020 Biology I 4.0 Credit Hours
BIO1021 Biology II 4.0 Credit Hours
CHM1010 General Chemistry 4.0 Credit Hours
Social and Behavioral Sciences

Choose one additional course from the list below:

Area II Foundation Requirements: 44 Credits
Elective Pool (eight courses or 32 credits)

Transfer students may transfer any course to help fulfill the elective pool requirements, provided the course meets the standards of the Credit for Transcripted and Non-Transcripted Work policy found in the Academic Affairs section of this catalog.

Non-transfer students, with their advisor's consultation and approval may choose courses from any department recommended and listed course or more broadly from any course offered by South University. Work from other fields must include any required prerequisite courses in the elective field.

A course can be used to meet only one requirement in Area I, Area II, or Area III, but not simultaneously in two areas. Students should work with their academic advisor or counselor to be sure they are making appropriate course choices.

Area III Major Requirements: 72 Credits
Program Electives (choose six): 24 Credits

Courses may be selected from this list to apply to Area II Foundation Requirements.

Capstone: 4 Credits
Note(s):

Acceptance into a South University Criminal Justice program or its completion does not imply or guarantee that a student will be able to obtain employment in law enforcement, corrections, probation/parole or related fields. The student should contact the national, state or local agency/institution in which the student intends to gain employment for specific requirements and the application process.

Outcomes

Offered at Austin, Columbia, Online Programs, Richmond, Savannah, Tampa, Virginia Beach, and West Palm Beach

Note: Not all Online Program offerings are available to residents of all U.S. states. Please contact an admissions representative for further information.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program is designed to give students broad perspectives on the causes of crime and critical insights to the functions of the components of the criminal justice system.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate mastery of skills in the areas of theoretical and applied criminal justice as well as in principles and practices to effectively solve a variety of field-based problems.
  2. Understand the causes of crime and delinquency, the process of adjudicating criminal cases, and the major components of the criminal justice system.
  3. Demonstrate effective communication and ethical skills as applied to the discipline.
  4. Develop the techniques to effectively interpret and make use of research methodology and to apply scientific reasoning to the study of crime and justice.

Courses in the program deal with crime, violence, and other forms of deviance and the responses to these problems by police, courts, and corrections; contemporary criminal justice issues; and ethical concerns and research. Students in the criminal justice program have the opportunity to receive preparation for further study in graduate or professional schools as well as to seek entry-level positions in the criminal justice system upon graduation.

Career Outlook

Students in the criminal justice program receive excellent preparation for further study in graduate or professional schools as well as for entry-level careers in the criminal justice system.
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Campuses offer flexible learning formats* including: on-campus, virtual instructions, and online courses.

*Clinical, practicum, and externship requirements exist in certain programs and require field experiences. Learning formats may not be flexible.

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Success STories

Outstanding Education for Remarkable Careers

We're committed to helping our graduates make an impact in their professional and personal lives. We applaud our alumni and the difference they make. Check out what some of our Criminal Justice & Legal Studies graduates have to say.

Alicia Parler 2010
Alicia Parler Grad Alumni
Class of '10
Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies-South University, Columbia

“The comradery among service men and women exists due to hardships and discipline soldiers confront together on a regular basis. More than anything, military life has taught me to appreciate my freedom as an American, something I took for granted before I joined. I learned self-discipline, which made me a better student, and ultimately, helped me realize my career aspirations. As soon as I stepped foot onto campus, and started contacting professors like Carolyn Horner, the whole experience from start-to-finish has been welcoming and encouraging.”

Linda Hunter 2010
Linda Hunter Grad Alumni
Class of '10
Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies-South University, Savannah

“I can go just about anywhere and say I have a bachelor's degree in Legal Studies from a university whose program is approved by the ABA, and professionals know what that means. I know my hard work and the degree will be noticed.”

blue cap and gown graduate icon
Peter Gross Grad Alumni
Class of '10
Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies-South University, West Palm Beach

“My classes at South University were inspiring, not just informative; a thorough curriculum absolutely gave me the background I needed to be hired immediately at my law office.”

Steve Knafelc 2013
Steve Knafelc Grad Alumni
Class of '13
Master of Science in Criminal Justice-South University, Columbia

“All of my classes were conducted online, and with my work schedule at the sheriff's office this was the best move for me to make.”

Tami Stuart 2011
Tami Stuart Grad Alumni
Class of '11
Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies-South University, Montgomery

“I knew I would need to pursue a career I could be passionate about, and something I would be happy doing for a long time. My father was an attorney and he taught me respect for the justice system. I remembered spending many happy hours in his office, when he would point to his statue of Lady Justice and explain the importance of justice being blind and the scales being fair. The fact that the Paralegal Studies program at South University is approved by the American Bar Association was a big part of my decision.”