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The mission of the Criminal Justice Program with Kean Online at Kean University is to prepare criminal justice professionals to contribute to the community, profession, and discipline through research and administration in the criminal justice system.

The program features an interdisciplinary curriculum that affords many options for graduates in pursuing their professional careers. Aspects of criminal law, criminology, policing, corrections, and victimology, as well as issues of race and gender are explored.  Students develop a broad understanding of the criminal justice system including correctional, courts, the juvenile justice system, application of the law, and policing.  Students develop critical problem-solving skills necessary to assess the ever changing challenges at the local, national, and global level.

The Criminal Justice Program provides a comprehensive curriculum and fosters in its students an appreciation and respect for community, sensitivity for diverse cultures and opinions. 

Message from the Executive Director 

I began my academic journey at Kean with a B.A. in Political Science and a concentration in Criminal Justice in 1979.  I have seen many changes in the criminal justice system in the years since, but some ideas remain constant.  Providing students with the tools they need to transform ideas into leadership and action for the benefit of the community continues to be our goal. 

At Kean, we provide rigorous programing, internships, community service, study abroad and exciting coursework designed and delivered by world-savvy faculty that benefits the traditional student and online learner alike.  We welcome you to the Criminal Justice program and we look forward to your joining us for the next step in your educational journey.

Dr. James Drylie, Executive Director of the School of Criminal Justice & Public Administration

Affordable Tuition 

affordable tuition ku


$462 per credit hour, with no additional program fees. Learn more about tuition by clicking here.


Criminal Justice Courses

Criminology is the scientific study of making and breaking laws. How society reacts to law breaking is an important component of our criminal justice system’s goals and objectives. Laws are sometimes arrived at by consensus, sometimes imposed by the powerful in society. Societies today are moving closer together regarding accepted human behavior and because most people share this common interest, the study of crime and its causes, and prevention strategies take on a global perspective.

Critically examines race, gender and other diversity issues within and faced by criminal justice systems in the United States and internationally.  Topics emphasize the importance of diversity issues in the development, organization and operation of criminal justice systems, diversity in offenders, victims and criminal justice professionals. Also examined, are problems of prejudice and discrimination. The course materials include historical, legal, social, and other sources of data that elucidate how diversity impacts societies and criminal justice systems.

Specialized correctional strategies, emphasizing competencies and resources needed for effective probation and parole work. Includes relevant sentencing criteria.
Prerequisite: CJ 2600.

The juvenile justice system in America, with theory and practice of controlling youth crime through formal juvenile institutions, and diversion. Parallels and differences with the “adult system” will be emphasized.

Prerequisite: Soc 1000 and CJ 2600 or permission of instructor.

General principles of criminal law, common law felonies, material elements of a crime, culpability, and criminal defenses.

Prerequisite: CJ 2600 or permission of instructor.

Course content will vary, and be selected from contemporary issues in law enforcement, court and legal issues, corrections and community-based corrections, and theory in criminal justice.
Prerequisite: CJ 2600

Career options

The field of criminal justice is truly diverse and there are academic and career opportunities available to students and professionals based a wide variety of interests. The traditional areas of corrections, probation and parole, courts, law, and law enforcement have expanded significantly. A majority of students interested in careers in policing and corrections are successful in entering the field of local, county, state, and federal service soon after completing the degree.

The criminal justice system continues to expand with new opportunities for continued studies and employment in victimology, intelligence analysis, crime mapping, forensics, and cyber security. 

A number of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies recruit Kean students. Online students are afforded the same opportunities through the Department website and information based web links. Job announcements are posted immediately, and students are regularly reminded of closing dates for applications.  Students are also encouraged to continue their studies at the graduate level.

Why online?

An online degree in criminal justice provides the flexibility of completing a four-year degree at a pace that matches your circumstances and schedule.

There are limitations of entering the workforce in the field of criminal justice for students with associates degrees, military service, and/or alternate route program experience.  The vast majority of entry level positions in the field of criminal justice require at least a four-year degree, but working and pursuing a degree at the same time limit one’s ability to attend classes during traditional time periods.  The online option is a way for students to pursue their degree while enjoying the freedom of anytime/anywhere coursework.

Online specific

The online degree program in Criminal Justice is as detailed oriented as the courses provided in a traditional classroom environment. Online courses are led by faculty who are recognized subject matter experts in their area of study, and the assessment of student learning matches what is currently in place in the classroom. The Online Criminal Justice course from Kean is as rigorous as the on-campus student’s.

Internships, Mentorships and Networking

The Department of Criminal Justice, as a part of the College of Business and Public Management, is supported by the Executive Board of Advisors of the College. The Board is comprised of corporate partners from a number of high profile companies, corporations, and firms. 

There are influential members on the Board with backgrounds in law enforcement who are instrumental in providing internships, mentorships and other networking opportunities for Kean students and Kean Online students.

Travel Learn Option

Annual Travel Learn Program London, England: students are offered the option to complete up to four credits and study the criminal justice system of England. This opportunity is available to all Kean students and alumni. Excursions are scheduled during the annual University spring break. Cost for the 10-day trip is all inclusive.


Criminal Justice program has a long-established chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society. Students with an overall GPA of 3.2 and a GPA of 3.2 in four or more criminal justice classes are eligible to join.

In addition to academic excellence, membership requirements include community service. Online students are able to work under faculty supervision in completing the required level of service. Membership is an excellent way for students to add a dimension to their individual credentials as they seek employment or to continue their education. 


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