The Boston University Online Master of Criminal Justice consists of nine required online courses and a choice of one elective.
This course explores potential answers to complex and important questions about criminal behavior by drawing on the social science of criminology. Criminology is the interdisciplinary study of the development of law, criminal phenomena and societal responses to crime. The primary emphasis of this course will be discussing and evaluating major explanations or theories of crime. Because criminology is interdisciplinary, we will examine theories that are ground in a range of academic perspectives, including sociological, biological, political, psychological and economic explanations for crime. Course lectures and discussions focus on the historical development of the theories, their major assumptions and propositions, their relevance for public policy and practice. As we progress through each explanation for crime, we critically evaluate the validity of different explanations for crime as well as criminal justice policies and practices that they support. [ 4 cr.]
The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the discipline of victimology, an emerging area of specialization in the field of criminology. Emphasis will focus on crime victims and their plight, the relationships between crime victims and other social groups and institutions, such as the media, business, politicians, special interest groups, and social movements. The issues of Justice and Redress from the perspective of the victim as well as general society will be stressed. An overview of victim prevention programs and victim assistance programs will be presented. Topics such as the Restorative Justice Model, Victim Repayment, and Victim/Offender Mediation will be included in the course content. While the course follows an interdisciplinary approach and is designed for general interest and appeal, it has particular relevance for students drawn from disciplinary interests in the fields of criminal justice, psychology, sociology, education, health care administration, and political science. [ 4 cr.]
Throughout this course, students will analyze the policy issues concerning juvenile justice and youth crime. Emphasis will be put on the scope and nature of youth crime and the young offender, as well as juvenile justice procedures, programs and institutional roles. Over the semester, students will also be asked to consider delinquency prevention programs, violent offenders, dispositional alternatives, and crimes against youth. [ 4 cr.]
The purpose of this course is to examine the nature and extent of corporate and white-collar crime, including detection, deterrence, and criminal liability sanctions, as well as, the social and legal changes related to corporate illegality. Students will use case materials which address securities fraud, money "laundering", professional deviance, and political corruption, in addition to other topics. Students will also analyze policy responses including RICO and other laws, regulations and court processing. [ 4 cr.]
This course will include a general introduction to the overt as well as underlying ideology, history, reasons and causes of terrorism. Both domestic and international terrorism will be discussed. Domestic hate groups will also receive particular attention. The roles of politics and the media will be discussed. Students will be exposed to the philosophies of terrorists and terrorism. Counter terrorism will also be discussed at length. Students are expected to participate actively in the course. There will be written assignments, a midterm, a class presentation, and a final paper. [ 4 cr.]
Police officers, corrections officers, probation and parole officers, youth service officers, federal law enforcement agents, and court professionals are all called upon on a daily basis to make critical decisions that significantly affect the lives of those entrusted to them. Students in this course will consider applications of ethical actions as they pertain to issues of social justice. Toward that end, we will forge a strong notion of our definition of just what constitutes social justice. [ 4 cr.]
Grad Prereq: upper-level or graduate standing.
This course introduces students to the use of quantitative data in analyzing the criminal justice system. It serves as an introduction to the statistical methods used in applied social science research and furthers students' understanding of the role statistical analysis plays in planning and policy development. [ 4 cr.]
This course introduces students to the practice, theory, and philosophy of social science research, with a special focus on criminal justice. It not only broadens students' knowledge of the ethical issues associated with research, but also introduces them to a variety of research techniques such as surveys, field research, and experimental designs. Research Methods will lay the foundation for students to become informed "consumers" of research, as well as "producers" of it. [ 4 cr.]
This course will examine the fascinating world of forensic psychology. It will examine the way in which the law and mental health intersect and forensic psychologists help the court in addressing a variety of cases and issues. The course will explore how expert opinions are formed and provided on a variety of issues including; not guilty by reason of mental illness pleas, competency to stand trial, prediction of future violence, sexual predators; psychopaths, the forcible medication of mentally ill patients, and civil commitment. The difference between sound and "junk" science will be discussed. [ 4 cr.]
This course is designed to help students understand and apply the nature of computer crime in the criminal justice field. Several theories (both micro-level and macro-level) will be presented and will be analyzed in depth and applied to computer crime cases both past and present. Students will see how major theories have been re-developed to be applied to computer crime, and by using these theories, students will both develop and explore different strategies for future law enforcement. Students will be presented with common types of fraudulent schemes, as well as several laws that have been enacted and developed specifically for computer crime. In addition, causes, victimization, legal issues, control strategies, and societal costs regarding the "computer-crime" problem will be explored and evaluated. [ 4 cr.]
The challenge of administering, managing, and leading today's criminal justice organizations is becoming increasingly complicated due to many factors, ranging from terrorism and cyber crime to politicization and privatization. This course provides students with not only a conceptual and theoretical basis on which to manage these complex entities, but also practical approaches to organizational effectiveness, integrity, and innovation. [ 4 cr.]
Visit the Boston University Online Course Schedule to view all current and upcoming courses.