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Bachelor of Criminal Justice

Contemporary Justice



Join a noble profession. The Tiffin University Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Contemporary Justice degree builds a broad-based foundation of knowledge related to contemporary issues facing criminal justice practitioners today. Learning about U.S. law, community peacekeeping, administration, criminal investigations, ethics and social issues will prepare you for this challenging yet critical role of keeping citizens safe.

Jobs in criminal justice are demanding, rewarding and vital to safe, well-functioning communities. As a graduate of this contemporary justice degree program, you’ll have a solid foundation from which to pursue a position as a criminal investigator, detective, fraud investigator, intelligence analyst, police officer and prosecutor’s office investigator.

It takes a special person to work in law enforcement and confront the difficult issues facing our society today. Graduates of the Tiffin University criminal justice in contemporary justice degree program will be able to:

  • Describe the evolving role of criminal justice systems and their relationship to critical societal issues.
  • Employ a variety of means and media to communicate with both public and private stakeholders appropriately and effectively
  • Evaluate and apply appropriate management and leadership philosophies and approaches to practice in various criminal justice contexts.
Professional Contemporary Justice Training
  • Tiffin University partners with Terra Community College for the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy (OPOTA), allowing you to graduate with their degree in law enforcement and their OPOTA Certification – all in 4 years.
  • The program’s unique modular format divides the major courses into areas of community peacekeeping, administration, ethics and social issues, investigation and the law.
  • Small class sizes – always under 40, generally closer to 15 students per class – make possible a lot of individualized attention.
  • The program is designed specifically for ease of transferability for the working criminal justice professional.
  • An internship in the field is a required part of the curriculum, often leading to a first job in the field.
  • Tiffin University partners with The Washington Center Internship Program, which provides you unique opportunities to intern with federal agencies in Washington D.C.

Faculty who teach in the contemporary justice program bring in-depth knowledge and years of experience from the criminal justice field. Being an online program, many of the courses are taught by adjunct professors with vast practical experience. All this real-world experience adds great interest and depth to classroom instruction, as real-life examples of current professional practice are regularly applied to academic content.

As part of professional contemporary justice program, you’ll gain theoretical underpinnings of the field that will provide a strong foundation for your career. You’ll participate in a required professional internship, which will provide valuable insights and experience. And, you’ll have the ability to graduate with your four-year degree in addition to the Police Academy, all in four years. Working professionals in the field can complete their degree with extreme efficiency.

A Practical, Professional Education

As a graduate of the program, you’ll acquire in-depth knowledge and career-ready skills, including:

  • Crime scene processing/investigation – fingerprint lifting, impressions/casting, sketching and more
  • Evidence processing
  • Crime scene photography
  • Testifying in court
  • Interviews and interrogations
  • Search warrant
  • Report writing

Criminal justice professionals, specifically law enforcement officers, hold a lot of responsibility within their positions. Literally, lives depend on their education and training. It is important that our students go into the field fully prepared with the skills they need to serve the communities that have entrusted them in these positions.

Our professional, hands-on program enables you to learn these skills in the best possible way – by doing. We’ve had opportunities for students to work with police departments to help solve cold cases. Our students investigate mock crime scenes. They participate in professional internships – with U.S. Marshals; dozens of police departments such as Toledo PD, Columbus PD, Washington, DC PD and Detroit PD; and many smaller police departments both inside and outside of Ohio. With our partnership with The Washington Center Internship Program, you’ll have unique opportunities to intern with federal agencies in Washington D.C., such as the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and others. And, in your Research Design course, you’ll conduct original research on a criminal justice-related topic important to you – and you’ll have the opportunity to present your research at Tiffin University’s Annual Research Conference.

Ohio Police Officer Training Academy (OPOTA)

To be a sworn police officer in Ohio, you must successfully complete the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy (OPOTA). Tiffin University partners with Terra State Community College to include the cost of the academy in tuition and can be earned in just one semester.

This unique training academy is state mandated for all police officers and covers firearms, legal administration, human relations, traffic, patrol, driving, subject control, investigations, civil disorder, physical conditioning and other aspects of law enforcement. Students apply direct, hands-on practice in the crime lab, firing range and police cruisers. With experienced, certified instructors and hands-on application, our students consistently achieve passing rates on the state-certified exam. Once graduates of the program earn the certification, they are immediately eligible for full-time employment.


Transferable core: (24 credit hours)

  • COM 130 Introduction to Speech Communication
  • CST 111 Digital Literacy and Technology Readiness
  • ENG 141 Rhetoric and Introduction to Research Writing
  • ENG 142 Rhetoric and Academic Writing
  • MAT 181 College Algebra/MAT 185 Quantitative Reasoning/MAT 275 Pre-Calculus
  • MAT 273 Applied Statistics I
  • NAT 130 Foundations of Healthy Living
  • Pick one: ART 210 Art Appreciation/CUL 210 Comparative Cultures/ENG 201 Introduction to Literature/HIS 201 Introduction to Historical Events /PHI 110 The Art of Reasoning

DRAGON EDUCATION CORE: (13 credit hours)

  • DEC 100 (or open elective)
  • DEC 200 (or DEC 250 if transferring over 28 hours, or open elective)
  • DEC 300 (or 320 if transferring over 48 hours)
  • DEC 400
  • DEC 400L

CRIMINAL JUSTICE CORE (18 credit hours):

  • JUS 110 Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • JUS 201 Criminal Law
  • JUS 202 Criminal Procedures
  • JUS 361 Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice
  • SCS 300 Research Design
  • SCS 470 Internship 1 (May be substituted with SCS480, Immersion in Professional Problem Solving, with substantive criminal justice professional experience and prior Dean approval.)


  • ENF 150 Police and Society
  • ENG 301 Professional Communication
  • FOR 310 Threat Assessment
  • ENF 239 Applied Criminal Investigation Criminalistics
  • ENF 293 Criminology
  • Pick one: ENF 450 Crime Analysis/ENF 432 Death Invest./ENF 355 Forensic Investigation of Sex Crimes
  • COR 420 Agency Management
  • ENF 335 Law Enforcement Supervision
  • CDS 334 Technology and Crime
  • Any Philosophy class
  • SOC 265 Peach and Social Justice
  • Pick one: PSY 362 Abnormal Psychology/SOC 360 Multicultural Issues in Society

OPEN ELECTIVES: (30 credit hours)

This is a sample course sequence to illustrate course offerings for this major. Consult the official Academic Bulletin for detailed registration and advising information.


ENF 150 Police and Society – A study of the various response methodologies available to the patrol officer in assisting the citizen’s request for police service. Discusses traffic enforcement from the stop of the violator through traffic accident investigation.

FOR 310 Threat Assessment – An overview of threat assessment and threat management (TA/TM) in various organizations such as social service agencies, schools, places of employment and law enforcement. The history of threat assessment/threat management, events, legal responses, theories, research and models are included. Policies at aforementioned organizations are explored as are various remedy models. The Identify, Assess, Manage [Federal] model is introduced.

ENF 239 Applied Criminal Investigation Criminalistics – Emphasis on the investigation of specific crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, theft, auto theft and arson. Students will be required to investigate a “mock” crime scene, collect and analyze evidence obtained and present their investigation in a “moot” court.

ENF 293 Criminology – This course provides and introduction to the subject of criminology. Criminology is the study of both criminal behavior and crime itself, and as such, is one of the foundational courses for criminal justice. It explores the different schools of criminological thought, the different eras of criminology research and the theories proposed for crime and criminal motivation. Additionally, there is an emphasis on the development of the history of criminology as the basis for our justice system today.


Online – Offered in two terms per semester starting in January, March, May, July, August and October

The criminal justice field provides a challenging, yet rewarding, career. The field offers a high number of job openings across the country, as well as career mobility – police officers have the opportunity to work in a variety of areas within the field, including patrol, narcotics, detective’s bureau, administration, school resource officer and more.

  • Corporate Security
  • Corrections
  • County Sheriff’s Office
  • Criminal Intelligence Analyst
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Detective
  • Fraud Investigator
  • Highway Patrol
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Police Officer
  • Prosecutor’s Office Investigator
  • Secret Service
  • Bowling Green PD
  • Central Michigan University
  • Columbus PD
  • Correctional Officer
  • County Sherriff’s Office
  • Dublin PD
  • Federal Police Departments
  • Hamilton PD
  • Maryville PD
  • Metropolitan PD, Washington D.C.
  • Middleburg Heights PD
  • Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations
  • Private Security
  • Secret Service
  • State Police Departments
  • Tiffin PD
  • U.S. Capitol Police
  • Westerville PD

Both the Tiffin Chief of Police and Seneca County Sheriff are Tiffin University Criminal Justice alums.


Many law enforcement students that enter the field do not return to graduate school because a bachelor’s degree is more than sufficient to reach the top ranks of a majority of law enforcement agencies in the country.

If graduate school becomes part of your career plan, however, Tiffin University has a large online graduate program in criminal justice with a variety of concentrations. Our students in these graduate programs often have decades of experience in the field and come to us to get their master’s degrees to attain top administrative positions, such as Chief of Police.

Program Requirements


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“Tiffin University gave me my best friend and pushed me to my highest potential. The OPOTA program put me ahead in the hiring process and my bachelor’s degree set me apart from other candidates.”

Cassidy Ralph, Class of 2019
Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Law Enforcement
Police Officer with the City of Marysville Division of Police
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