Program: S6100 (from earned AS) or S6150 (from earned AA)
The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program at Polk State College provides students with a broad study of crime and society's crime control mechanisms, and prepares individuals for professional careers in criminal justice. Coursework includes a broad overview of the interdisciplinary field of criminal justice, drawing upon a study of criminology, sociology, psychology, law, public policy, and other related disciplines to develop insights into the causes of, and preventative measures for, criminal behavior. The program's curriculum includes content related to deviant behavior, criminal investigations, corrections, the court system, and criminal justice administration. Emphasis is placed on the ways law enforcement entities work together to implement laws. The roles of the Supreme Court and the U.S. Constitution are also studied. Graduates of the Criminal Justice Program are prepared for entry-level careers in the criminal justice system within law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole arenas, private and industry security, and other criminal justice fields. This program is also beneficial to current employees in law enforcement seeking incentive benefits or career advancement. In addition, program graduates are prepared for graduate study in criminal justice and related fields.
Admission to this program requires an AS or AA degree (or the equivalent) from a regionally accredited school or college, and at least a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 point scale. Students must meet the requirements for college-level mathematics, reading, and writing. Any deficiencies must be satisfied prior to admission to the bachelor's degree program. Students with an AAS degree are qualified for admission to the bachelor's degree program once they have met the above-mentioned requirements. Any deficiencies in General Education requirements must be satisfied prior to graduation with a bachelor's degree. If the student's associate's degree is from a non-regionally-accredited institution, but is nationally accredited, the degree qualifies for admissions, but a course-by-course evaluation is done according to Polk State College's transfer practices and policies.
A student who has previously earned an AS degree should select the following program code in the online application: S6100 Criminal Justice from Earned AS.
A student who has previously earned an AA degree should select the following program code in the online application: S6150 Criminal Justice from Earned AA.
If a student has earned both an AS and an AA degree, he or she should select the AS option (S6100).
Course Progression for the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice:
The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice curriculum is provided in a flexible format. Students are not required to complete all lower-division courses before enrolling in upper-division courses; however, students must take CCJ 3024 Survey of the Criminal Justice System as the first upper-division course. The content from this course provides fundamental information on the necessary components of the criminal justice system, allowing a foundation upon which other courses build. After completion of this course, students may then take upper-division courses in any order. Although a preferred order is designated for the program, there is sufficient reinforcement of key concepts across the curriculum, without redundancy of material, to enable students to be successful if courses are taken in a different order. This format accommodates working adults who typically enroll part time and must balance class enrollment with work and family responsibilities.
In order to promote timely progression toward graduation, most of the upper-division courses are offered at an accelerated pace, allowing part-time students to complete 9 to 12 credit hours each semester while enrolled in no more than two classes at a time. Students must take CCJ 4900 Capstone Experience: Criminal Justice, during the last semester prior to graduation and obtain permission from the Program Director before enrolling in this course.