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Degree Overview: Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree in Criminal Justice

Majors Overview December 16, 2013

An Associate of Science (A.S.) degree or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree is more common, but some schools offer an Associate of Specialized Business (A.S.B.) degree in criminal justice. These programs teach students about crime, law enforcement, and the legal system.

A.S. Programs in Criminal Justice

Students enrolled in associate degree programs in criminal justice are taught about crime; they also learn about how the legal system processes criminals, including through corrections and law enforcement. It takes about two years to complete the majority of associate degree programs in criminal justice. Students are assisted with gaining more information about the effects of crime on communities and are taught various theories that underscore correctional methods that will enable them to seek entry-level jobs in the field after they complete the course. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Program coursework in criminal justice associate programs commonly focuses on topic areas pertaining to crime and the law. Coursework usually includes hands-on training, allowing students the chance to make practical use of the knowledge and skills gained from the program. These include report writing, interrogation and crime scene investigation, in a real-world environment. Coursework may include subject areas such as:

•Court procedures
•Security procedures
•Terrorism
•Drug and gang crimes
•Policing
•Criminology
•Corrections
•Juvenile law
•Constitutional law

Career Choices

Those who graduate from a criminal justice associate degree program can expect to be able to seek entry-level jobs in the fields of security, corrections or law enforcement. They may find employment in prisons, police forces, sheriff’s departments and courthouses and aim for job titles such as:

•Security guard
•Police officer
•Corrections officer
•Court clerk

Continuing Education Choices

Employers of associate degree program graduates seeking entry-level jobs in law enforcement often expect candidates to attend a police academy or undergo other such internal training before embarking on their careers. Associate graduates may seek continued education by enrolling in a bachelor’s or master’s degree program in criminal justice.

Those seeking jobs involving correctional treatment or probation would benefit by earning a bachelor’s degree; some job givers prefer candidates with master’s degrees augmented by work experience. Additional training may be given to these professionals through a government agency or by their employers. Individuals who hold a Master’s degree in criminal justice can seek leadership and management roles in various related fields, including social services, law enforcement or corrections, in addition to jobs in government organizations.

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5 Program(s) Found
  • Offers associate and bachelor-level programs in Criminal Justice.
  • Program topics include criminal investigation processes and ethics, criminal law, juvenile justice and more.
  • A B.A.S. in Criminal Justice program is also available for students who already possess an A.A.S.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • *BestColleges.com Gold Medal of Distinction
  • **excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
  • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

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