Remember that Walden’s Title IV Code is 025042.
Through the Criminal Justice concentration, explore cognitive, behavioral, and psychological theories of criminal behavior from the serial killer to the terrorist. Discover and analyze types of victimization and how to work with victims of crime as you prepare for or grow your career in the fields of criminal justice, social service, or law enforcement.
Students may be eligible to transfer up to 135 credits. At least 45 credits must be completed at Walden.
Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.
Visit the video gallery to learn more about some of the following courses.
*Click here for Required General Education Courses by Program.
You can take these courses while you are taking general education courses, as long as you’ve completed the necessary prerequisites.
In addition to the three required courses, choose four additional courses from the other six described below.
Choose all four listed below or choose any four 3000-level or 4000-level courses from the other B.S. in Psychology concentrations.
Choose nine courses from general education, B.S. in Psychology, or other Walden bachelor’s degree programs. At least four credits must be at the 3000–4000 level. Your elective credits should total 45 to meet your program requirements. You may also be eligible to transfer previous credit to meet your elective requirements. Note on Minors: Electives can also be used to complete a 6-course minor.
Imagine life without cell phones, television, or the Internet. Recent technological developments have significantly altered all aspects of human life: at work; in play; and in personal, family, and social interactions. In this course, students examine the advantages, disadvantages, and controversies of living and learning in an ever-changing technological environment. By exploring multiple perspectives, students discover how technology is changing media, culture, business, health, human behavior, and overall access to information. In a dynamic, reflective, and engaging classroom environment, students use a variety of audio, visual, literary, and artistic resources, to engage in open dialogue. Students are also introduced to the tools essential to success at Walden. Students complete the course with a personalized success plan that provides a customized roadmap and tools that they can use.
Psychology, as it is known today, has roots in philosophy and in the natural sciences, such as biology and chemistry. In this course, the first of a two-course sequence, students explore major theories and topics related to the natural science aspect of the science of psychology. They examine methods of analysis, learning, memory, cognitive principles, and brain functioning as they relate to psychology, sensation, perception, evolution, motivation, and emotions. Students engage in practical discussions and application-based assignments to gain an understanding of how biological and physiological processes influence behavior. (Prerequisites: COMM 1001.)
In many ways, contemporary psychology is the study of how people interact, relate, and develop as members of society. In this course, the second part of a two-course sequence, students explore the principal theories, topics, and applications related to the social science aspects of psychology, including social, developmental, cultural, personality, and abnormal psychology. Students apply what they learn to case studies and real-life examples, focusing on how the environment influences individuals. (Prerequisites: COMM 1001.)
Many aspects of career and personal life require the ability to relate to people of different cultures and diverse backgrounds. Students in this course examine key factors related to understanding life in a multicultural world. They assess psychological concepts from a variety of perspectives and examine theories of culture. Students learn how professionals use psychology to understand oppression, acculturation, cultural aspects of cognition, mental health, physical health, aggression, and emotion. Sharpening communication and critical-thinking skills, students engage in peer discussions on a variety of topics, such as personal culture, cultural sensitivity in research, emotions, developmental theories, and attribution. Through these discussions, application-based assignments, and weekly assessments, students demonstrate their knowledge of how diversity and multiculturalism affect human behavior. (Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, or PSYC 1002, or PSYC 1003.)
A hallmark of science and advertising is the use of numbers to convince people that a particular point of view is correct. In this course, students examine basic statistical principles. They learn how to create and present descriptive statistics; test hypothesis; and use two-group inferential tests, correlation, and the chi-squared test. Students engage in a variety of assignments designed to provide practical application of content through common data analysis tasks, such as distinguishing between the different types of frequency distributions, calculating z-scores and interpreting their meaning for research, and interpreting studies with multiple levels of a factor. The goal of the course is for students to be comfortable using statistics and to better understand the importance of statistics in research. (Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, or PSYC 1002, or PSYC 1003.)
A variety of factors can cloud one’s interpretation of human experience. In this course, students learn about research methods that professionals use to test hypotheses in an objective and systematic manner to minimize biases, providing a framework for more accurate conclusions. They examine correlation versus experimental methods, validity and reliability, dependent and independent variables, qualitative versus quantitative research, and statistical versus clinical prediction. Applying course theories and concepts, students gain practical experience conducting a simple experiment for which they write results using American Psychological Association (APA) format and style. (Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, or PSYC 1002, or PSYC 1003.)
Ethical standards and principles apply to nearly all roles and settings in which psychologists engage. In this course, students gain comprehensive insight into these standards and principles as they examine them through the context of psychotherapy and counseling, assessment and testing, special populations, organizational and business settings, teaching, supervision, and research. Students demonstrate their understanding through analyses of case study scenarios and applications of ethics to various situations. Integrating concepts learned in the course with knowledge and skills gained throughout the program, students engage in a final capstone project through which they analyze, explain, and resolve an ethical dilemma. Through this course, students work toward becoming socially responsible social scientists and citizens. (Prerequisites: PSYC 1002, PSYC 1003, PSYC 2001, PSYC 3002, and PSYC 3003.)
Humans experience many developmental changes throughout the lifespan, but those of greatest significance occur from conception to young adulthood. In this course, students examine key theories related to various aspects of development in infants, children, and adolescents. Students apply social, biological, and cognitive maturation processes and perspectives to better understand their own development and personal experiences. They also discuss related topics, such as cross-cultural issues, attachment and temperament, language and personality development, and puberty and sexual development. (Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, or PSYC 1002, or PSYC 1003.)
Individuals are often influenced by others and by the social situations in which they find themselves. Students in this course examine the basic concepts and applications of social psychology, including attitudes, beliefs, and behavior; stereotyping; prejudice and discrimination; interpersonal relationships; group behavior; and the effect of environmental stress on behavior. They also learn how bias can sway objective conclusions as well as how ethical factors influence research in social psychology. Students apply principles and theories presented in the course to case studies and situations in daily life, including instances of stereotyping and discrimination. They also use these theories to understand strategies for helping others and reducing aggressive behavior. (Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, or PSYC 1002, or PSYC 1003.)
Psychological disorders form the basis of diagnosis in psychology. In this course, students examine a wide variety of common psychological disorders, including mood, thought, anxiety, substance abuse, sexual, personality, and dissociative disorders. Students also explore underlying causes, symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments. They examine concepts of normal and abnormal as related to psychology, methods used in the process of diagnosis, and the measurement of psychological functioning. Students also differentiate among disorders and learn limits to effective diagnosis. Applying concepts and theories learned in the course, students demonstrate their understanding through practical application and case study assignments. (Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, or PSYC 1002, or PSYC 1003.)
People commit crimes for a variety of reasons, and these crimes vary in their impact on individual victims and society. Students in this course examine a range of views, definitions, and perspectives on crime and criminology; the nature, causes, and typologies of crime and offenders; theories that attempt to explain why individuals commit crimes; and approaches to the prevention and control of crime. Students apply theories and perspectives to crime in real life as well as to crime presented in vignettes and case studies. Students devote special attention to the debate between social-responsibilities and social-problems approaches to criminology. (Prerequisites: CRJS 1001 or PSYC 1002 or PSYC 1003.)
Law enforcement officials characterize serial murder among one of the most abhorrent of all criminal behavior. In this course, students examine the interest in serial and mass murder in popular culture and explore typologies and theories of criminal behavior. They assess and discuss the history and evolution of profiling; roles, goals, and responsibilities of profilers; the use of profiling in criminal investigations; and populations victimized by serial and mass murderers. Students also apply typologies and criminal theories to real-world case scenarios. (Prerequisites: CRJS 1001 or PSYC 1002 or PSYC 1003.)
What makes a criminal unique? Criminal justice professionals confront criminal behavior in many forms. In this course, students explore theories and research that provide cognitive, behavioral, and psychological explanations of criminal behavior. Through the examination of such theories, students have the opportunity to gain the professional knowledge and sensibilities to be able to interact effectively with offenders. Students also investigate potential trends and current biological research that may change or advance the study and treatment of criminal behavior. (Prerequisites: CRJS 1001.)
Criminal justice involves more than retribution; it is twofold in that it must punish offenders and also address their needs and the needs of victims and the community. Students in this course explore the theory of justice and practices that emphasize repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. They learn the ways in which this effort contrasts with an adversarial approach to justice. Students learn about strategies involving stakeholders in actions that transform the relationships among victims, offenders, communities, and criminal justice agencies in their response to crime. They also explore and reflect on case studies and topical models for an in-depth understanding how professionals conduct restorative justice in the real world. (Prerequisites: CRJS 1001.)
While victim response is vital, it is also important to focus on the potential effects of crime on a community, such as economic instability, drug use, prejudices, and further criminal activity. Students in this course identify existing community resources that professionals use in conjunction with planned and ad hoc community responses to learn positive and effective intervention strategies that address the needs of individuals and communities affected by criminal incidents. They also assess the challenges inherent in such efforts and discuss ways to mitigate obstacles. Gaining new perspectives on possible ways to address the coordination of community response, students examine how victims perceive crime and/or change their role as a result of the crime. (Prerequisites: CRJS 1001.)
There are many considerations related to the perception, needs, and treatment of crime victims, which continue to lend to a growing area of study and legislation. Students in this course learn about the different types of victimization as well as the differences between direct and indirect victims of crime. They examine the role of criminal justice practitioners who work with and respond to victims. Students also assess and discuss the many ethical issues related to victims’ human and civil rights and the impact of these rights on criminal justice professionals and changing legislation. Through case studies and contemporary literature, students also analyze both current problems and future trends in victimology. (Prerequisites: CRJS 1001.)
Most people recognize and appreciate the individuality of human beings, including race and ethnicity as related to self-perception and to the perception of others. In this course, students explore their own racial and ethnic identities in the context of contemporary psychological knowledge as well as contemporary issues and challenges related to race and ethnicity. Students explore and discuss a variety of topics, including the development of racial and ethnic identities; social classification; privilege and stigma; perceptions of racial and ethnic identities; assimilation; inequalities in race and ethnicity; and the relationship of race and ethnicity to social change. Students apply psychological concepts to better understand their own sense of ethnic and racial identities and how these identities shape their experiences in the world. (Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, or PSYC 1002, or PSYC 1003.)
Researchers have demonstrated that there are few psychological differences between men and women. And yet history and conventional thinking indicate otherwise. This course introduces students to the basic theories, principles, and applications of gender and gender differences. Students explore distinctions between sex and gender, masculinity and femininity, and sexuality and sexual orientation; gender differences in social behavior, perception, and cognitive abilities; and cross-cultural research on gender and sexuality. Through discussions and applications, students debunk myths surrounding sex and gender similarities and differences, and they apply theories to case examples and individual experiences. (Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, or PSYC 1002, or PSYC 1003.)
Understanding the factors that drive us and others is a vital component in making positive decisions about our relationships, our careers, and challenges in daily life. Students in this course examine major concepts related to influence and persuasion as well as the relationship among attitudes, beliefs, and behavior. They analyze and discuss the psychology of attitudes, the link between attitudes and behavior, cognitive dissonance, media and consumer behavior, and politics and leader influence. They also examine how behavioral psychologists develop and test hypotheses of influence and persuasion processes. Students apply principles of influence and persuasion to case studies and to real-life experiences. (Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, or PSYC 1002, or PSYC 1003.)
While traditional psychology in the United States has been Western in focus, increased globalization has promoted an examination into human behavior from a broader perspective that includes the influence of cultural and global trends on individual and group behavior. In this course, students explore a variety of global perspectives in psychology as well as some of the issues and controversies facilitated by differing cultures. They explore and discuss trends and research methods in global psychology, indigenous psychology, psychotherapy in a global world, and the role of psychologists internationally. Students critically evaluate psychological issues from a global rather than a domestic perspective. (Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, or PSYC 1002, or PSYC 1003.)
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