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University of Texas Online Consortium Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I obtain a degree by taking online courses?
Yes. The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice online in conjunction with the University of Texas Permian Basin and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

How does the online degree in criminology and criminal justice differ from the on-campus degree awarded by UTA?
Unlike the online degree, the on-campus degree offers a bachelor of arts, requiring 14 hours in a foreign language.

How do I apply and what are the general admission criteria?
Students must apply to and be accepted by one of the three participating Criminology and Criminal Justice Online programs. Criteria and deadlines for admission vary slightly from one university to another, but are the same as the traditional residence programs. In addition, students seeking admission must have successful completed 60-63 credit hours of college-level course work.

How much will it cost to take a course?
Tuition and fees will vary depending on which University of Texas System university is hosting the course.

What are the technological requirements for participating?
In addition to a confident level of computer literacy, certain technical requirements must be met to enable a successful experience. Technical requirements include but are not limited to a Pentium II (or equivalent) processor; an Internet connection; 32 MB system RAM; approximately 200 MB of free hard disk space; Netscape version 3.2 or higher or Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher; and a CD-ROM drive. The individual professors will determine software applications and texts.

What types of students tend to do well in the distance education environment?
Certain people are better suited to distance learning than others. The statements below tend to describe the profile for those who are likely to succeed within this environment:
• Meets the necessary technical requirements and is comfortable with the equipment
• Has the time and resources to dedicate to graduate-level course work
• Is comfortable with the written word and use of e-mail as a communication form
• Is self-disciplined, self-guided, and committed to earning the degree
• Has the ability to prioritize responsibilities and work independently
• Will ask for assistance when needed to build academic and social support systems
• Has much to benefit from this delivery method vs. residence programs (Examples: busy lifestyle, geographic isolation from campus, parenting requirements or restrictions, physical disability, corporate support to learn at work)

For whom is this degree appropriate?
Law enforcement personnel, juvenile justice practitioners and other service providers as well as pre-professional students interested in obtaining a four-year degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The program can be taken without relocating and while maintaining full or part-time employment.

Will my employer accept the CCJ Online as a “real” degree?
Yes, they will probably be impressed with your diligence in fitting your education around your demanding lifestyle by using distance education. The quality of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Online Completion program is being evaluated by an Academic Affairs Committee made up of faculty and/or administrators from each participating campus. All of the participating universities are accredited.

What resources and activities will faculty use in the program to provide students with experiences that are comparable to residency programs?
Class sizes will be limited and courses are designed to enhance interaction between faculty and students. Chat rooms, threaded discussions, and e-mail will be used to facilitate discussions. Team projects will be used to help students share their experiences with each other as part of the learning process.

Where can I get research materials, books, and other tools for this degree?
The University of Texas System Digital Library (accessible through the TeleCampus Library building) provides students with access to all of the digital library resources for each university. It includes an extensive listing of reference resources, databases, and news sources. Distance education students can purchase required books from several sources listed within the TeleCampus Student Services building. A Campus Enterprise Agreement has been established, giving students, faculty, and staff access to Microsoft’s computer software, including operating systems, desktop productivity tools, and infrastructure server and messaging products.

How many semester credit hours are required to complete the degree plan?
66 credit hours or 63 if the student has previously taken the Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice course. Students must take at least two courses from their home campuses. All courses taken from other universities participating in the online program can be transferred to students’ home campuses to fulfill degree requirements. Based on course load, students may complete the program in as little as two years or as many as six.