Criminal Justice, B.A.

Criminal Justice, B.A.

Overview

You’re committed to protecting and meeting the needs of others, preventing the wide-reaching effects of crime, and bringing justice, healing, and restoration to your community — from within neighborhoods to prisons to schools.

A Restorative Approach

PLNU's program focuses on community relations and restorative justice in addition to traditional criminal justice practices. Restorative justice seeks to not only protect the community from crime and hold offenders accountable, but also to heal those wounded by its effects for the purposes of fostering lasting peace and equity in our society. Restorative justice practices center on respecting and serving all involved in the justice system — victims, offenders, and the surrounding community. 

Prepare for Leadership & Responsibility

PLNU’s focus on special topics such as community relations and restorative justice — taught by experienced criminal justice faculty and industry leaders — will prepare you for true leadership roles with greater responsibility and influence.

Career Support That Helps You Succeed

Receive guidance from career advisors who help you succeed while you work through the program, as well as help you to shape and reach your professional goals after graduation.

Convenience to Fit Your Life

Our curriculum is designed with busy, working adults in mind with two formats of study: hybrid (in-person classes one night a week), or entirely online. Whichever study option you prefer, your coursework is designed to be flexible to your needs and help you balance your other life commitments. 

Hybrid Format

For those who prefer in-person learning, PLNU is partnered with community colleges across San Diego County, bringing professors directly to a campus near you one night a week with the rest online. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about enrolling in new classes or adapting to a new schedule each semester. For the CJ hybrid format, only the second 60 semester units of coursework are available through PLNU.

Online Format

If you prefer the flexibility of online learning and the ability to set your own schedule, the online format is for you! Students applying for the online CJ program can start the program with as little as zero college credits completed. In the online format, PLNU offers all general education, elective, and pre-requisite courses needed for completion of the CJ program (courses are fully online). With entry points every eight weeks, you can start whenever you're ready!

 

CJ, Hybrid

CJ, Online

Who is it for?

Those who enjoy in-person learning and cohorts.

Busy working adults who prefer independence.

Program start

Fall and SpringSix start dates year-round

Program Structure

Face-to-face one night a week with online coursework.100% online and asynchronous (fully flexible).

Location(s)

MiraCosta College
Southwestern College

Online — at your own pace

 

“The criminal justice system provides a unique arena to ensure justice and facilitate restoration. At PLNU, we intend to train our students to see opportunities for transformation in every situation, becoming agents of hope in communities they serve.”

Kevin Modesto, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Family Sciences

Man works on homework outside.

Military Tuition Discount

PLNU offers a flat rate of $250 per unit for all active duty service members who enroll in this program.

Application Information

Are you ready to take the next step and apply?

We’re here to make the entire process a simple one. We’ll walk you through the application process, answer your questions, and get you one step closer to earning your degree.

Hybrid:

  • Spring 2023 — January 9, 2023
  • Fall 2023 — August 28, 2023

100% Online: 

  • Spring 2023 Quad I - January 9, 2023
  • Spring 2023 Quad II - March 13, 2023
  • Summer 2023 Quad I — May 8, 2023
  • Summer 2023 Quad II — July 3, 2023
  • Fall 2023 Quad I — August 28, 2023
  • Fall 2023 Quad II — October 23, 2023

Start Application

Application Checklist

Note: The application is completed entirely online with the exception of transcripts, which can be submitted electronically or directly to PLNU, and test scores, which should be submitted electronically.

  1. Submit online application for admission. 
  2. Submit official transcripts from each institution attended.

    Official transcripts must be sent to:
    Point Loma Nazarene University 
    Office of Graduate Admissions
    3900 Lomaland Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92106

    Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to: 
    gradprocessing@pointloma.edu

Start Application

Note: All students are expected to have some proficiency with computer technology (email, Internet, word processing, etc.).

*Prospective students who meet the other criteria but do not have the required semester hours for entrance or are lacking in the core requirements will be advised how to correct any deficiency. An enrollment counselor will assist these students with the development of a written pre-admission educational plan, which may include bridge courses taken at PLNU. Only courses from an accredited institution where at least a grade of a “C” has been earned will be accepted by transfer. Prospective students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement can be considered for admission under exception. Contact your enrollment counselor for details.

**General Education deficiencies may be completed after admittance, but at least 20 hours must be completed prior to starting the program cohort. Three hours of appropriate prior learning credit (see below) may be used to meet one of the general education areas — with the exception of English composition and math.

***The PLNU General Education Learning Outcomes (GELOs) will be addressed and measured within the PLNU degree program to ensure the outcomes we value are demonstrated.

Career Opportunities

Completing a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from PLNU can help prepare you for careers that make a real difference in your community, such as:

  • Police, Corrections, Parole, or Probation Officer
  • Security Officer
  • Social Worker or Victim Support Specialist
  • Paralegal or Law Clerk
  • Surveillance Officer
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Detective, Private Detective, or Investigator
  • Emergency Management Director
  • FBI, DEA, or Customs Agent
  • Homeland Security Officer

A Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice will also prepare you for graduate-level study in criminal law, criminology, victimology, and other areas related to criminal justice.

Jessie Schmitte Headshot

Student Profile

Jessie Schmitte: Both Sides of the Coin

Jessie Schmitte, Criminal Justice, B.A. (20), shares how his experience at PLNU helped accelerate his career and led to his current position as a district representative for the California State Senate.

Read More

What Can I Do With A Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice? 

A bachelor’s in criminal justice prepares you for an innumerable amount of job options. You could go into the field as an agent, or work in a lab or office. Whatever path you choose to take, a criminal justice degree can aid you in professional prospects as a degree that’s both fulfilling and appealing to potential employers.  

The following careers are some of the most popular jobs for those with a Criminal Justice, B.A.: 


Intelligence Analyst 
Average annual salary: $74,000
An intelligence analyst carefully researches and considers multiple sources to make analytical judgments and then passes on their findings through detailed reports, presentations, and other modes of communication to policymakers, either in the public or private sector. Their typical job responsibilities include organizing contacts who act as sources of information and monitoring online threads, forums, etc. where information is compiled.  

What it takes to be an intelligence analyst: 

  • Problem-solving
  • Communication
  • Research and writing
  • Decision making
  • Flexibility

Forensic Science Technician
Average annual salary: $56,750
Forensic science technicians conduct crime scene investigations while gathering evidence and information, but they also analyze evidence, images, and other elements pertinent to the investigation. They then perform comprehensive scientific and technical analyses in order to obtain results and answers. The added responsibility and technical skills may also lead to a greater potential salary, so if you're interested in using science to discover the truth, you may want to further investigate this career option.

What it takes to be a forensic science technician: 

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Attention to detail

Victim Advocate
Average annual salary: $42,866
Victim advocates are trained to support victims of crime. Their typical responsibilities include offering emotional support, victims’ rights information, help in finding needed resources, and assistance in filling out crime victim-related forms. Victim advocates frequently accompany victims and their family members through the different aspects of criminal justice proceedings.

What it takes to be a victim advocate: 

  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Organizational skills

Using Your Criminal Justice Degree: 

Whether in a lab, behind a computer, or in the field, a degree in criminal justice will help you find a career where you can serve others. Receiving a Criminal Justice, B.A. from PLNU will open up countless opportunities for potential jobs and career paths. 

Apply to PLNU today or get connected with one of our counselors for additional support and answers to any questions you may have.

Financial Aid and Student Support

We take seriously the role of providing you with financial, academic, and career support so you have the tools you need to be successful at PLNU and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Financial Aid and Student Support

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I work while completing the program?

Yes! Our hybrid or online program formats were designed with busy working adults like you in mind!

What scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available to me?

You will have the option to apply for a number of scholarships through Student Financial Services. This program qualifies for state and federal financial aid options. Contact your enrollment counselor for more information.

Do you accept transfer credits into your program?

Yes! We will do a pre-evaluation of your unofficial transcripts to determine which of your courses will transfer into PLNU, and make sure you know exactly what you have left to take.

How long does it take to complete the program?

This depends on which modality you choose, how many units you have completed, and the number of units that you want to take per semester. Your admissions counselor will talk through options with you.

How many days a week do classes meet?

Our hybrid program classes meet one night a week from 6-10pm. This night will be the same for the duration of your program. Our fully online program does not have any class meetings.

How large will the classes be?

Class sizes are estimated to be 20 to 30 people.

What’s the difference between this degree completion program and a traditional undergraduate program?

The program provides greater flexibility and affordability than most traditional undergraduate programs while maintaining high academic quality by integrating evening courses. The program is ideal for students looking to advance in their careers while balancing work and family life.

PLNU is a Christian university, but I am not a Christian. Would I feel out of place in this program?

We welcome and encourage people of all backgrounds as students in our programs. Issues that relate to faith may be discussed in some classes, and engaging in discussion with individuals with alternative points of view will be encouraged as learning opportunities. Students will work within a learning community that is supportive academically, spiritually, and emotionally.

Is there an internship requirement?

Yes, as part of the coursework in the final semester of the program, an 80-hour internship is required of every student.

Can I complete the internship where I work now?

The priority of the internship is that the student have the ability to apply their learning in a new environment where they can learn new things. If your workplace can provide that type of environment for this practice, we will work with you to determine the scope of your internship.

Can I go to law school with this degree?

Yes, the law concepts learned in this program can prepare students for a law school program.

Do I need this to be a police officer?

No, the field of criminal justice is broad and varied, and job opportunities range far beyond that of a uniformed police officer.

What is restorative justice?

Restorative justice is aimed at creating a just and peaceful society. The criminal justice program at Point Loma Nazarene University recognizes that conflict involves injustices that must be addressed; the approach taken is to provide perspective from a relational understanding of wrongdoing that focuses on the impact on people and relationships rather than focusing only on the rules.

PLNU goes beyond traditional criminal justice programs by providing scholarly education of the justice process that includes restoration, focusing not only on the details of crimes, but also what the systematic causes of crimes are in the community and how they can be addressed. In this way, a healthier and safer community is created for all, strengthening the community to prevent future harms.

What types of benefits or aid do you have for military members?

  • PLNU offers a tuition discount flat rate of $250 per unit for all active duty service members who enroll in one of the following PLNU Adult Undergraduate Degree Programs: Bachelor of Business Administration, Organizational Leadership B.A, Child Development B.A., RN to BSN, Criminal Justice B.A., Computer Information Technology B.A., Strategic Communications B.A., Integrated Studies with an Emphasis in Education B.A.
  • PLNU accepts VA educational benefits, including the Post 9/11 GI Bill®.
  • PLNU also participates as a Yellow Ribbon School, which means in most cases you can pursue a private education without having to pay out-of-pocket, not even for fees or books.
  • Because you are a person who has provided military service to our country, we will also waive your application fee.

Course List

For information about the courses required for the Criminal Justice, B.A. program, view the PLNU Catalog. 

Course Information

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