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Complete Your Bachelor’s Degree in CJ Online


A Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Criminal Justice (CJ) can be useful in advancing a law enforcement career. The experience and knowledge gained through a comprehensive CJ degree program can help officers and investigators fulfill their job duties effectively. Plus, a BS in CJ is an essential qualification needed to pursue many specialized law enforcement jobs, promotions, administrative positions and jobs with federal agencies.

Yet, if you are a working law enforcement professional, finding the time to finish a bachelor’s degree program can be difficult. Committing to a traditional academic schedule every week can be impossible if you are working full time, especially considering the extra hours often required in law enforcement.

As an alternative to traditional campus-based programs, Lamar University offers a fully online BS in CJ degree program. If applicants meet certain requirements, they can transfer in a substantial amount of academic credit from previous criminal justice study or peace officer training as well as work experience. Offering convenience, flexibility and streamlined, accelerated online courses, this degree program is designed with the working law enforcement professional in mind.

What Makes Lamar University’s Online CJ Program Convenient and Flexible?

With all courses taken online, this program allows students to work at their own pace at a time of their choosing. This can be of immense value to law enforcement professionals who need to schedule their academic studies around the busy workday and common on-call or overtime periods.

In the online college model, students with families do not need to sacrifice family time to go to class — they can work in the comfort of their own homes. Moreover, most of Lamar University’s online CJ courses are only eight weeks long (or have the option of eight- or 15-week durations), giving students the opportunity to focus or lighten their course load as their schedules demand.

How Would Lamar University’s Online BS in CJ Incorporate My Previous Education and Training?

Lamar University’s CJ coursework can help you integrate your professional experience, previous CJ education, training and current learning to form a more comprehensive and experiential understanding of criminal justice topics. But Lamar University’s BS in CJ also demonstrates the value the program places on experience along with outside education and training through its allowance of a number of transfer credit sources.

Certain credits from CJ courses completed during an associate degree program can be transferred to satisfy similar course requirements for Lamar University’s BS in CJ. Plus, professionals who have earned their Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) basic peace officer proficiency certificate from an approved training provider can also receive Police Academy Credit (TCOLE Credit) to satisfy these course requirements.

How Can I Get Academic Credit for My Work Experience?

Students with at least four years of professional experience in criminal justice can complete a course called Narrative for Prior Experiential and Technical Credit. This course helps students construct a narrative around their real-life work experience, integrating the knowledge and skills they have developed into the academic setting. Upon successful completion of this course, students are awarded up to nine credit hours to represent their experiential learning.

The benefits of earning a BS in CJ — including improved career prospects, earning potential and job performance — are many. The convenience of online courses and the ability to transfer in academic credit for work experience, previous education and training through Lamar University’s online BS in CJ can make completing a degree a reality for the working law enforcement professional.

Learn more about Lamar University’s online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program.


Texas Commission on Law Enforcement: Proficiency Certificates

Texas Commission on Law Enforcement: TCOLE History

The Balance Careers: Benefits of a College Education in Criminal Justice


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