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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Criminal Justice Administration

Majors Overview December 17, 2013

Those interested in the administrative side of criminal justice may want to look into an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree emphasizing in criminal justice administration. Associate degree programs teach students about corrections, courts, criminal law, and policing.

A.A. Programs in Criminal Justice Administration

Schools don’t usually offer an Associate of Arts in Business Administration with a major focus in criminal justice; however, students interested in the concentration could choose to enroll in an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration. Specific knowledge and real-world business acumen relevant for a career in the criminal justice field are combined in the coursework related to these two-year programs. Business administrative skills and interpersonal skills apart, practical areas of criminal justice are taught to students, including firearms safety, arrest tactics and self-defense. Students also learn about other laws and local traffic. They are imparted understanding on the historical context of evidence, criminal procedures, policing and corrections. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Coursework includes classes in juvenile delinquency, investigation and related areas and combines lectures, discussions and courses. General education courses are augmented with education about legal process, probation and community relations. Some course titles taught may include topic areas such as:

•Criminal justice system
•Court systems and practices
•Law enforcement
•Behavioral science
•Police systems

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete an Associate of Arts Degree Program in Criminal Justice Administration can seek entry-level jobs in various organizations such as security firms, courts and police departments. Those who seek employment with a federal agency are expected to have completed a bachelor’s degree program; (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Commonly, they may choose from various career titles such as:

•Security coordinator
•Police officer
•County clerk

Continuing Education Choices

Those who graduate from the program may choose to seek entry-level jobs immediately after completion or could opt for continued education by earning a bachelor’s degree program in a related field such as law enforcement or criminal justice. Apart from formal training, additional training may have to be imparted to prospective law enforcement professionals who can seek supervisory and administrative positions after they have obtained adequate experience in the field.

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