Apr 22, 2024  
Catalog/Handbook 2015-2016 
Catalog/Handbook 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Criminal Justice, BS

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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 Criteria:

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 BS in Criminal Justice:

The BS 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; they may take most upper-division courses in any order. Although a preferred order is designed 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. The capstone course must be taken in the last semester prior to graduation. Students must have permission from the Department Coordinator to take CCJ 4900 Capstone Experience: Criminal Justice.

General Education Requirements (36 credits required)

Note: Students who have completed an AA degree at a public Florida college have already met the General Education requirements. Students who have completed an AA degree outside of Florida, or those who have earned an AS or AAS degree, but have General Education courses that vary from the requirements below, should consult with an advisor to determine if acceptable substitutions may satisfy some or all of Polk State College’s General Education requirements.

Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 1007.25(3) and SBE Rule 6A.14.0303, students must complete at least one course from a list of courses that are common to all state colleges and universities for each of the General Education subject areas: Communications, Mathematics, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. The options outlined below ensure that students who earn a degree at Polk State meet this statewide requirement.

Social Sciences (6 Credits Required)

Two courses are required. Students must select one course from List A; the second course can be from List A or List B.

Natural Sciences (9 Credits Required)

Program Requirements

AS Students

Technical Credits from AS Degree 42
General Education Credits from most AS Degrees 18
Additional General Education Credits 18



AA Students

Elective Credits from AA Degree 24
General Education Credits from AA Degree 36
Additional Technical Credits in Related Field 18


Note: Any technical credits earned after completion of the AA degree must be CCJ or CJL courses.

Total Credits for BS Degree: 120

Graduation Requirements for the BS Degree Program

  • Complete 120 credits as outlined above.
  • Earn an overall cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language through any of the following means: completion of two years of high school instruction in the same foreign language, completion of a college-level course at the Elementary-2 level (or higher) in a foreign language or in American Sign Language (ASL) (e.g., SPN 1131 First-Year Spanish II, FRE 1131 First Year French II, or ASL 1150 American Sign Language II), achievement of minimum scores on a foreign language proficiency exam approved by the Registrar’s Office, achievement of a score of three (3) or higher on the Advanced Placement exam in a foreign language, or completion of a high school diploma from a foreign country where the student studied in a language other than English.
  • Complete at least 25 percent (30 credit hours) of the program at Polk State College.
  • Complete at least 25 percent of the upper-division courses required for the BS program at Polk State College, including the capstone course.

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