Jun 21, 2024  
Catalog/Handbook 2023-2024 
Catalog/Handbook 2023-2024

Criminal Justice (Crime Scene Investigations), BS

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Program: S6125 (from earned AA) or S6175 (from earned AS)

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree at Polk State College is designed to provide students with information and skillsets related to crime and criminality, as well as society’s crime control mechanisms. The curriculum includes content related to deviant behavior, criminal investigations, corrections, the court system, and criminal justice administration. It prepares individuals for professional careers in criminal justice.

The degree provides a broad overview of the interdisciplinary field of criminal justice, drawing upon the following knowledge bases:

  • Criminology
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Law
  • Public Policy
  • Causes and Prevention of Criminal Behavior

Graduates of the Criminal Justice Program are prepared for entry-level careers as law enforcement, corrections, probation, and parole officers; private or industry-based security personnel; and other criminal justice opportunities.

This degree is also beneficial to current employees in law enforcement who are seeking incentive benefits or career advancement. In addition, those who successfully complete the program are prepared for graduate studies in criminal justice and related fields.

Concentration in Crime Scene Investigations

The Crime Scene Investigations Concentration of the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program provides the student with opportunities to master techniques for identification, collection, preservation, analysis, and development of physical and latent evidence. The student develops essential skills needed to conduct criminal investigations, protect and record vital evidence, ensure accurate evidence analysis, interpret amendments related to evidence collection, and document the crime scene and evidence for presentation in a court of law.  

Students entering this baccalaureate program with an Associate in Arts degree must choose program code S6125.

Students entering the program with an Associate in Science degree must choose program code S6175.


Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs):
Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate is able to:
PLO 1: Compare and contrast the basic theories, patterns, typologies, and causes of crime.
PLO 2: Examine the roles and challenges faced by the police, courts, and corrections.
PLO 3: Apply criminal justice theories, as well as legal and ethical principles, to crime-related problems.
PLO 4: Differentiate between the structures, functions, and interactions of key institutions in the field of criminal justice.
PLO 5: Implement policing philosophies by incorporating analysis and evaluation of criminal evidence, investigation strategies, and surveillance techniques.
PLO 6: Evaluate correctional philosophies and analyze historical and current dilemmas in corrections.
PLO 7: Outline legal due process, criminal procedures, the defendant’s rights, the victim’s rights, and constitutional rights.

Crime Scene Investigations Concentration:
Upon successful completion of this program concentration, the graduate is able to:

PLO 1: Demonstrate the essential skills needed to conduct criminal investigations, including identification, collection, and preservation of the evidence in a crime scene.
PLO 2: Record vital physical and latent evidence to be presented in a court of law. 
PLO 3: Distinguish and discuss the amendments related to evidence collection.
PLO 4: Demonstrate and apply critical-thinking skills, analytical abilities, research competencies, and effective written and oral communications.

Criminal Justice BS Program Curriculum

General Education Requirements (36 credits required)

Note: A student who has completed an AA degree at a public Florida college has already met the General Education requirements. A student who has completed an AA degree outside of Florida, or who has earned an AS or AAS degree but has 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 State Board of Education (SBE) Rule 6A.14.0303, a student 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 each student who earns a degree at Polk State meets this statewide requirement.

Social Sciences (6 Credits Required)

Two courses are required. The student 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 Student

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


AA Student

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

Note: Technical credits include all lower-division courses with a CCJ, CJL, CJC, or CJE prefix, as well as ASC 2560.

Crime Scene Investigations Specialization Requirements (12 Credits Required)

These courses are required for all baccalaureate students who wish to obtain a concentration in Crime Scene Investigations.

Total Credits for BS Degree: 120

Civic Literacy Competency

Pursuant to Rule 6A-10.02413 of the Florida Administrative Code, effective in the Fall 2022 Semester, competency in civic literacy is a requirement for all students receiving an Associate in Arts or baccalaureate degree. Competency in civic literacy must be demonstrated through one of the two options listed below:

Option 1:


  • Successful completion of the Florida Civic Literacy Examination with a score of 60% or better.

Option 2:

Completion of one of the following assessments with the score indicated:

  • The Advanced Placement (AP) Exam in Government and Politics: United States with a score of three or better.
  • The Advanced Placement (AP) Exam in United States History with a score of four or better.
  • The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) American Government Exam with a score of 50 or better.
  • The Florida Civic Literacy Examination with a score of 60% or better.

Note: All approved accelerated credit is listed in Credit-By-Exam Equivalencies. The Credit-by-Exam section of the Florida State Articulation Committee website provides further details.

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 the minimum score on a foreign language proficiency exam approved by the Registrar’s Office, achievement of a score of three 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 (i.e., 30 credit hours) of the program at Polk State College.
  • Complete at least 25 percent of the upper-division courses required for the baccalaureate program at Polk State College, including the Capstone Course.

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