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Best high school classes for a career in criminal justice

How to choose online courses to prepare for criminal justice jobs

Careers in criminal justice tend to fall into three categories: law enforcement, corrections, and court law. Each branch has a high demand for new talent. Wisconsin students who want to become federal agents, police officers, prison guards, or judges should all get started with the right high school classes offered online by eAchieve Academy.

Our curriculum covers everything you need for an eventual career in criminal justice. Sign up for part- or full-time classes in science, math, English, social studies, and plenty of electives. We have AP classes to improve your GPA and earn early college credit. By taking eAchieve classes in high school, you can prepare for a criminal justice college and your eventual career.

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High school classes for a career in criminal justice

Recommended high school classes for criminal justice

If you want to have a career in criminal justice, you need to prepare by taking the right classes in high school:

Science courses

Law enforcement agents often deal with science while investigating crimes. They need to know a wide range of forensic science, biology and chemistry. eAchieve has introductory and advanced classes to teach high school students interested in Criminal Justice.

Biology and Chemistry are two commonly required classes for Criminal Justice majors. Take the eAchieve classes in high school to get a head start on your college planning. Introductory Biology is available for 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade while Chemistry classes are limited to grades 10-12. Chemistry has one prerequisite, Algebra 1. AP Biology and AP Chemistry courses are available for students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade.

Anatomy and Physiology is recommended for anyone who wants to deal with forensic investigations. There are two prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry.

All High School Science Courses

Math Courses

Math is essential in practically all criminal justice work. It’s recommended that students have a strong math background before pursuing a degree and/or career in criminal justice. Solid math skills will help you with things like collecting, analyzing & interpreting data, investigating traffic accidents, reconstructing crime scenes and more.

To build a functional foundation in the types of math skills required for criminal justice jobs, high schoolers should take algebra, statistics, and calculus. If you aren’t ready for all of these math classes in high school don’t worry – you can still give yourself a head start in college and/or the workforce by mastering the level of math you’re in, and considering how specific techniques apply to real-life problems in a criminal justice context.

All High School Math Courses

Health & Physical Education courses

If you plan to become a field agent for a law enforcement agency, you’ll need to be in great shape. Police officers and investigators need to be able to track down clues and chase after suspects. Health and PE classes from eAchieve teach you about general fitness.

All High School Health Courses

English courses

Writing is an important part of the legal system. Police reports, legal rulings, and warrants all need to be well-written. eAchieve English classes cover writing and reading comprehension. Lawyers and judges in particular need to be skilled writers.

All High School English Courses

Foreign Language courses

Knowing multiple languages can expand your job opportunities in law enforcement. Many courts and law enforcement agencies need bilingual (or trilingual!) agents. eAchieve language classes include beginner and AP-level Spanish, French, German, and Chinese. Knowing these languages can open you up to international law enforcement opportunities.

If you plan on going to law school, a Latin course will help you better understand legal terminology. Since law school admissions are competitive, you’ll want every advantage possible. The study skills you learn from eAchieve can be applied to studying for your LSAT (Law School Admission Test).

All High School Foreign Language Courses

Information Technology (IT) courses

Cybercrime needs cyber security solutions. Become the first line of defense with a computer-based Criminal Justice career! eAchieve Academy has multiple IT classes available for high school students. Classes cover programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JAVA.

Advanced students are welcome to take AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A. These classes expand to the Python programming language.

All High School IT Courses

Social Studies courses

Social studies courses are designed to give you a broader understanding of how the world works. Courses covering social issues, world history, government, and criminal law are all recommended for future Criminal Justice workers.

All High School Social Studies Courses

Other ways to prepare for a career in law enforcement

Several Criminal Justice careers require additional schooling and training beyond college graduation. Police academies and law school are the two most common examples. eAchieve Academy career-planning resources help our students find the right path for their academic and career goals.

Taking a challenging combination of regular, honors & AP classes and always striving for the best grades possible will help you prepare for even bigger challenges in college and look good on your applications.

Criminal Justice admissions at top colleges & universities

After high school you’ll want to get into college to get a Criminal Justice degree. eAchieve Academy graduates have been accepted into colleges and universities across the United States. We’ve even had students accepted at international institutions. While some police academies only require a high school diploma, many prefer four-year degrees. Law schools require all students to have undergraduate degrees.

Additionally, eAchieve Academy has electives and service learning courses to maximize your transcript for colleges. Our optional classes cover music, art, cooking, astronomy, and foreign languages. These classes look great on a transcript and give you a chance to expand your skills.

Find out the top high school classes needed for college admission in Wisconsin and nationwide.

High school classes for future criminal investigatorshigh school classes for criminal investigators

Criminal investigator roles are one of the main reasons high school students become interested in the criminal justice field. Demand for qualified criminal investigators (which can include detectives, crime scene investigators, special agents and more) is predicted to increase in coming years. To become a criminal investigator you should choose classes that help you develop the required skills for crime scene investigation.

Specific high school classes to take for criminal investigation jobs include:

Criminal Law
Our online criminal law course introduces high school students to the background and current operations of our legal system. You’ll get an overview of constitutional law, law enforcement, the trial system and corrections.

Forensic Science
Students learn to observe, collect, analyze and evaluate evidence associated with criminal cases. Through scientific reasoning and critical thinking, students evaluate the use of scientific principles as they apply to criminalistics and other life situations.

Psychology
Understanding a criminal’s motivation is a key part of solving a crime. Studying psychology can help you gain insight into mental processes and behaviors as well as common disorders. It can help you evaluate people and relationships, develop theories and communicate them clearly. We also offer AP Psychology online.

Social Issues
Our online social issues class looks at the complex relationships between human behavior, culture, and society. The point of this class is to teach students about how people perceive both the positive and negative aspects of living in a human society. Increasing your understanding of different perspectives and behaviors will be extremely helpful in a criminal investigation context.

Composition
Criminal investigators need to be able to compose and organize written reports and analyze written evidence. English classes like Composition and Communication can also help you develop language skills you’ll need for interviewing, persuading and building an argument. A strong foundation in English builds critical thinking abilities you’ll use when examining both people and facts.

Spanish 1 (& 2, 3, 4)
Spanish is the fastest-growing foreign language in the US, and becoming fluent is easier the earlier you start. Being able to speak Spanish or another foreign language not only makes your job as a criminal investigator easier, it can give you an edge over other job candidates, and leverage to negotiate a higher salary. In addition to regular foreign language courses we offer AP Spanish and AP French online.

AP Computer Science Principles
Online research, computer forensics and surveillance are just some of the technology-based tools CIs can use to gather evidence to build a strong case. The more comfortable you are using computers and software, the better prepared you’ll be for any number of jobs, not just crime investigation.

Government
Government is a required high school course, and it’s especially helpful for students interested in pursuing a criminal justice career. You’ll learn about the structure and functions of the different branches of government and get the opportunity to develop an issue-based research project.

You’ll at least need a high school diploma to get hired in an entry level position and start a career path toward criminal investigator.

Many students serious about becoming a criminal investigator choose to get a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s degree, as these can help you earn better pay and faster career advancement.

High school courses needed for criminology

Criminology is a relatively new role in the broader criminal justice field. Criminologists study and analyze all aspects of crime in order to develop policies that will prevent criminal behavior. They also advocate for fair and humane treatment of criminals in the corrections system.

High school prerequisites for criminology

Like to figure out why people act the way they do? Want to help prevent crime? A job in criminology might be the perfect fit.

Because criminology requires examining data and identifying patters, strong math skills are required. But criminologists aren’t necessarily restricted to a lab or office setting. Criminology can also involve interviewing criminals and working in partnership with law enforcement professionals and politicians.

Skills needed for a successful career in criminology include research, organization, analysis, writing and interpersonal skills. Recommended high school classes to prepare for a college degree and eventual job in criminology include:

To be a criminologist you’ll need at least a Bachelor’s degree and possibly a Master’s. The more math, science and social sciences you take in high school, the better prepared you’ll be for college-level coursework in those same areas.

eAchieve Academy has the resources to help you prepare for many Criminal Justice careers:

More About eAchieve Academy

From police academies to law school, you need a high school degree for any Criminal Justice career. A diploma from eAchieve Academy is exactly the same as one from any other Wisconsin public school. Of course, we have a lot of advantages over a brick-and-mortar school.

Our fully accredited, K-12 public charter school offers FREE enrollment and tuition for Wisconsin students under the age of 21. No matter which WI school district you live in, you're welcome to apply at our online public charter school.

Online classes at eAchieve offers students flexible, customized approach to learning. Students receive personalized learning plan and the support they need to excel academically. All our teachers are Wisconsin-certified teachers averaging 20 or more years of classroom experience.

Sign up for our online classes to get your diploma and start a Criminal Justice career path. Learn more about how eAchieve Academy works.

Contact eAchieve for more information or to enroll in criminal justice courses online.
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