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Overview of Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Majors Overview December 14, 2013

Those interested in a career relating to law enforcement may want to look into an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program. Students learn the basics in different areas, such as the legal system, behavior of criminals, and different types of crime. Graduates may look forward to employment with correctional facilities, private security companies, and police departments.

A.A.S. Programs in Criminal Justice

Students enrolled in an AAS in Criminal Justice program are prepared to seek entry-level jobs as criminal justice professionals in the corrections, security or law enforcement field. Graduates who successfully complete these two-year programs can seek entry-level occupations in the industry or seek continued education by earning baccalaureate degrees at universities or colleges. The choice of tracks is offered to candidates planning to pursue a criminal justice program, including loss prevention, legal process, and corrections.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma; however, candidates may have to satisfy some more requirements before being admitted to an AAS program. Those who aspire to become a police officer or detective must meet some physical standards, and be 21 years old and a US citizen. A high moral character and submission to a criminal background check are also essential requirements.

Coursework

Coursework in the criminal justice associate’s degree program typically combines classroom lectures and lab work, in addition to supervised internships and seminars. General education courses must be augmented by criminal justice courses and classes relevant to the specific track of an enrolled student. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Criminology
•Deviant behavior
•Criminal investigations
•Forensic science
•White collar crime
•Juvenile delinquency
•Corrections law and liability
•Criminal justice research

Career Choices

A job growth rate of nine percent has been projected for correctional officers during the period from 2008 to 2018 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics); a corresponding job growth rate of 10 percent has been projected for police officers and detectives for the same time period. Associate’s degree graduates can choose from some career options such as:

•Detective
•Correctional officer
•Police officer
•Sheriff
•Bailiff

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates who don’t intend to join the workforce immediately may pursue continued education. Employers of criminal justice professionals may be satisfied with candidates holding an associate’s degree, augmented with work experience. However, those seeking employment with the Federal Bureau of Investigation must hold at least a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field along with an adequate amount of professional work experience.

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  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
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  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 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, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Education Connection is a 100% Free College Matching Service used by 50,000 People Daily.
  • Get Matched to the Right Forensic Science, Law Enforcement, Policing, Homeland Security and National Defense, and Criminal Justice Degree Program for YOU.
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