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"Degrees & Programs"


Criminal Law




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Total credits


Course length

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Please Note: Attendance and participation are mandatory in all University courses, and specific requirements may differ by course. If attendance requirements are not met, a student may be removed from the course. Please review the Course Attendance Policy in the Catalog for more information.

University of Phoenix reserves the right to modify courses. While widely available, not all programs are available to residents of all states. Please check with a University Enrollment Representative.

Course level: Undergraduate

This is an introductory course in the study of criminal law, general legal principles, and how the criminal law functions in and affects modern society. This course highlights a variety of key topics, including the concept of crime and the development of criminal law, defenses to criminal charges, and a number of specific types of crimes, including personal crimes, property crimes, public order crimes, and offenses against public morality. Legal issues affecting punishment will also be discussed, as will ways the criminal law impacts victims of crime.


What you'll learn

Course skills and outcomes

Week 1

  • Identify the sources, purposes, and jurisdiction of criminal law.
  • Describe the adversarial system and the concept of criminal liability.
  • Define accomplice liability and inchoate offenses.
  • Describe the elements of crime: actus reus, mens rea, and concurrence.

Week 2

  • Explain the nature of and types of defenses to criminal charges.
  • Compare justification and excuse.
  • Assess the legal aspects of competency to stand trial.
  • Investigate the determination of insanity in the criminal law.

Week 3

  • Define different types of homicide and the meaning of corpus delicti.
  • Distinguish between assault, battery, and sex crimes.
  • Distinguish between kidnapping and false imprisonment and robbery, burglary, and theft.
  • Describe computer and high-technology crimes.

Week 4

  • Identify crimes against public order.
  • Identify crimes related to drugs and alcohol.
  • Explain asset forfeiture as it relates to federal and state anti-drug legislation

Week 5

  • Analyze the resources related to victim advocacy and witness support.
  • Evaluate the goals of sentencing and alternative sanctions.
  • Define plea bargaining and intermediate sanctions.
  • Describe the Eighth Amendment and its relationship to capital punishment.


Why take courses at University of Phoenix

Accreditation that matters

We’ve been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( for more than 40 years.

Real-world instructors

Learn from instructors who bring an average of 25 years of working experience to the classroom.

Affordable and potentially reimbursable

Our tuition and fees are competitive and fixed. Also, check to see if your employer will cover you for this course.

Next Steps

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Call (844) 937-8679

Transfer Credits

Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer

Need to transfer credits to another college or university?

Before you enroll in a course, check with your school of choice to make sure they will accept our transfer credits and to understand any requirements or limitations. Then you can complete your course, and request your official transcript be sent to your school. That’s it!

How to request your transcripts