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Online Bachelor's Degree in Justice Studies: Public Safety and Justice

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Impact Public Safety Locally and Globally

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  • Duration 3.5 years
  • Cost per Credit $410
  • Credit Hours 120

Program Benefits

  • Build the skills to prevent and protect your community against disasters and crime
  • Access courses on your schedule through a fully online asynchronous classroom
  • Explore your professional interests through diverse elective courses and transfer up to 90 credits
  • Choose from 6 start dates per year

Cultivate a Safer Community

Learn to prepare for and protect against disasters, civil liberty violations and national security concerns with the online Public Safety and Justice major from The American Women’s College of Bay Path University (TAWC). The program offers a curriculum focused on current criminal justice topics, plus diverse elective courses that can be chosen based on your professional interests. Explore social equity, forensic investigations, emergency management and more.

A Online Curriculum that Supports Your Goals

3.5 Years

120 Total Credits

The online Public Safety and Justice degree requires the completion of 120 total credits, including TAWC’s undergraduate core courses, Public Safety and Justice major courses and a selection of electives to be chosen based on your professional goals.

To view the complete list of program courses, visit the curriculum for all justice studies programs.

Required Public Safety and Justice Major Courses

This course will be an introduction to the criminal justice system in the United States. Crime, criminals, victims, explanations of criminal behavior, law and the criminal justice system, policing strategies, police and the law, courts and courtroom workgroups, proceedings before trial, conviction by trial and guilty pleas, sentencing, community corrections, prisons and jails, prison life and juvenile justice are the topics that will be covered.

The scope of victimology, gauging the extent of criminal victimization, the costs of being a victim, remedying the plight of victims, restorative justice, victimization at work and school, and victim rights will be studied. Criminology and crime theory, different perspectives— classical, biological, psychological, and sociological – and measuring crime will be examined.

Prerequisite: CRJ 120

This course will introduce students to the principles of policing in the United States from its inception to the present. Police ethics, discretion, stress, culture, work, patrol operations, criminal and internal investigations, promotions, professional development and community policing will be examined.

Prerequisite: CRJ 120

The fundamentals of effective and professional criminal investigations will be studied, through the lens of the elements of criminal law. Crime scene procedures, evidence collection and preservation, forensic science technology, interview and interrogation techniques, use of informants to obtain information and intelligence, surveillance methods, writing comprehensive reports, identifying and arresting suspects, legal searches and the Fourth Amendment, investigating violent crimes against persons as well as property will be covered within this course.

Prerequisite: CRJ 120

Criminal Procedure will be examined with an emphasis on the varying, and sometimes conflicting, roles of professionals in law enforcement, including police, probation, parole, corrections, homeland security, and court administration. The course will cover police stop-and-frisks, probable cause, arrest, search and seizure, search warrants and affidavits, Miranda Rights, confessions and interrogations, line-ups and show-ups, investigations, informants, plain view doctrine, consent, exigent circumstances, right to counsel, due process, entrapment, and the exclusionary rule.

Prerequisite: CRJ 120

The basic organization and objectives of the American correctional system will be examined. Local, state, federal and private sector correctional systems and practices will be studied. Special categories of correctional clients – male, female, juvenile, sex offenders, mentally and physically disabled or challenged, geriatric, and HIV – will be considered.

Prerequisite: CRJ 120

This course builds a bridge from students’ general education to the work they do in the field of criminal justice. With the aim of preparing students for both professional life and graduate work, this writing-intensive course introduces disciplinary strategies for investigating provocative issues and for communicating to others about them. In this way, the course offers students time to learn and to practice more advanced skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening; in using appropriate software support in presentations; and in mastering information literacy in the field of criminal justice. The course emphasizes fundamental principles of communication with time-on-task and real world, discipline-specific models for communication tasks.

Prerequisite: CRJ 120, ENG 114, and ENG 134

Topics of study will include the burden of proof and burden of production for criminal trials, probation hearings, and parole violations; forms of criminal evidence; relevance; competency; direct and circumstantial evidence; exculpatory evidence; identification; authentication; expert testimony; admissions and confessions; the Hearsay Rule and its exceptions; character evidence; alibi evidence; and privileged communications. Criminal courtroom procedure, witness preparation, and both Grand Jury and courtroom testimony will be discussed. Multiple actual criminal case studies will be utilized throughout this course.

Prerequisite: CRJ 120, CRJ 222, and CRJ 275

This course will explore the different roles and responsibilities of the probation and parole officer in the criminal justice system. Emphasis will be placed on understanding an integrated model of supervision, developing of effective treatment plans, aftercare services, sanctions for non-compliance. The interplay between the police, prosecutors, judges, prison personnel, probation and parole officers will be examined.

Prerequisite: CRJ 120

This course will consist of an overview of the juvenile justice system in the U.S. The history and origins of juvenile court, causes of delinquency, the legal rights of juveniles, juveniles and the police, juvenile court trials and dispositions, juveniles in adult court, probation and dispositional alternatives, juvenile corrections, custodial sanctions and parole, and restorative justice will be considered.

Prerequisite: CRJ 120 and Junior or Senior status

Ethical dilemmas frequently encountered by professionals–police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers, parole officers, court officers, judges and correctional officers–within the criminal justice system will be thoughtfully explored within a discussion based classroom setting.

Prerequisite: CRJ 120 and Senior status

This course will discuss social issues that impact the concept of Justice. How does Justice impact such important issues as health, race, ethnicity, work, economic equity, equality, war, terrorism, and the environment? Students will be challenged to look at modern problems and issues and be aware of their impact on society.

This course is an introduction to analyzing conflicts to arrive at peace and justice. It examines conflicts from a variety of social justice perspectives. The course focuses on the ways that understanding people and organizations impact conflict and how organizations shape methods that may encourage or discourage conflict or peace. Such important issues as the economy, politics, the legal system, educational system, and the family may all be considered as points of conflict and resolution. The course also examines race, class, sex, and gender dynamics of justice within these institutions and how they encourage or discourage peace. The instructor will focus on contemporary concerns as noted by the instructor and students at the beginning of the term.

Prerequisite: GOV 100 and JUS 103

The Advocacy Leadership course is designed to produce future leaders and advocates in Justice with the skills to become forces of social and organizational change. Students will engage in discussions that promote how to get to know and understand their community as well as how to create organizational engagement and develop a mission in communities, justice organizations, business and political power structures as well as community organizing, and advocacy skills. This course will help develop a set of advocacy skills that can be applied to her future practice and/or community involvement including how to challenge people to create change, understanding mission as well as synergistic collaboration between community and the student’s organization. The student will learn to create an environment to develop creative change in organizations and society.

Prerequisite: GOV 100 and JUS 103

Each student in every concentration of Justice Studies will develop a project, paper, presentation or creative combination of media and other resources to exemplify and articulate their learning in their field. Students will use scholarly research, social realization during four years of exploration, new learning acquired and areas of future interest culminating in the student’s graduation. The student will discuss past learning and new areas to explore in their future.

This course is designed to facilitate students’ development of a nuanced understanding of how race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, and ability affect the operations of and experiences within the US criminal justice system by educating students on the serious issue of wrongful convictions. It focuses specifically on the issues affecting cases of those who are actually innocent of the offense(s) for which they have been convicted and incarcerated. It is an interdisciplinary course that examines this problem from the broad perspectives of law, criminal justice, public policy-making, psychology, forensic science, and race and gender studies.

The BA in Justice Studies: Rehabilitation, Advocacy, and Justice program requires 32 credits of major electives:

  • Experiential Elective (3 credits)
  • General Electives (29 credits)

Learn more about which courses apply to these credits by speaking with an enrollment counselor.

What You’ll Learn

The online Bachelor’s in Justice Studies: Public Safety and Justice major explores criminal justice through a non-traditional lens, focusing on social equity, national security and issues regarding the prison industrial complex. You’ll graduate with an expert understanding of public safety, prepared for criminal justice opportunities beyond the courtroom.

By Graduation, You’ll Have Skills to:

Public Safety and Justice Career Opportunities

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects social service to grow 10% through 2031, creating nearly 295,000 new positions for professionals in this field.1 With the online Bachelor’s in Public Safety and Justice degree, you’ll build the expertise required to fill a variety of in-demand positions within the field, such as police officer, corrections officer, intelligence analyst and more.

Explore Careers

Learn from Industry Experts

At The American Women’s College, your learning is expanded by the rich workplace experience our faculty bring to the classroom. Faculty are professionals who hold an array of titles in the fields they teach. Their involvement in the day-to-day challenges of their role and industry brings curriculums to life with real-world examples as you connect what you learn to what they share.

Faculty Spotlight

Each faculty member at TAWC incorporates real industry experience into each lesson. As a student, you’ll receive personalized, one-on-one support and graduate fully prepared to face the challenges of your chosen field.

Emily Thompson, MA, Director, Liberal Studies, Communications & Justice Studies

Emily Thompson began her teaching career in 2012 with the English department at Northern Virginia Community College. This formative experience instilled a passion for equity-minded pedagogical practices that make higher education as accessible as possible to all learner populations. Emily carried this passion for equity and accessibility when she joined The American Women’s College as an Academic Director in 2016. She strives to apply a student-centered mindset to every aspect of her academic programs.

Emily holds an MA in English Literature from George Mason University and is a Ph.D. Candidate at UMass Amherst, specializing in English Renaissance drama and theatre history. Her other areas of interest include performance studies, body studies, affect theory, posthumanism, and decolonized pedagogy. Her dissertation studies the affective encounters between stage and spectator during staged bodily violence in Tudor and Stuart tragedy.

Choose Your Major

Customize your BA in Justice Studies degree by choosing a major designed to help you achieve your professional goals.

BA in Justice Studies: Rehabilitation, Advocacy, and Justice

Build the skills to serve vulnerable women, children and families affected by the justice system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Explore our frequently asked questions for in-depth answers. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, reach out to us.

Choosing a major for your degree allows you to gain career-ready skills in a specific area of expertise. These specialty skills will allow you to stand out among other professionals in your field and better compete for the position you want.

You’ll complete 120 total credits to earn the online BA in Justice Studies: Public Safety and Justice degree. You can review courses now.

The online BA in Justice Studies degree can only be taken either online or on campus. The traditional on-campus BA in Justice Studies program also offers several majors. This allows you to study in the times and locations that are best for you throughout your entire program without a requirement of ever coming to campus.

The requirements for the online BA in Justice Studies program include:

  • Submit your application
  • Submit official high school transcripts. College transcripts are also required if applicable
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
  • You can learn more about our admission requirements on our admissions page

Yes. All students of the online BA in Justice Studies program are required to take the same undergraduate core courses. This provides the flexibility to change majors during the program without the risk of losing credits.

Those who hold an online BA in Justice Studies: Public Safety and Justice degree often pursue career titles such as police officer, corrections officer or probation officer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 20,000 new positions in this field are expected to be created by 2031. Learn more about your career options by visiting our careers page.

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. “Community and Social Service Occupations.” Retrieved from