Program Overview

Bismarck State College offers an Associate of Arts degree in Criminal Justice. This program prepares students to transfer into a four-year school by providing a basic understanding of criminal justice. Concentration options include law enforcement, courts, corrections and security. This program will provide students with knowledge of various structures and systems within the criminal justice field. Students will also take sociology and psychology courses to aid in their understanding of human behavior.

Students who are considering applying for this major should possess excellent self-esteem, initiative, discretion, curiosity, objectivity, communication skill, ability to handle stress, and desire to interact with people in good and bad situations. They should also be aware that many employment opportunities within this field will require extensive background checks include drug screening, polygraph testing, and physical and psychological examination.

This program is comprised of 60 credit hours and is designed to be completed in two years. Students will take required criminal justice courses as well as general education courses. Faculty members will use an interactive approach to learning to help all students develop critical thinking and decision-making skills. There are often guest speakers who are experts in their field who will come to classes and share their experiences.

Completion of the program will prepare students for entry into a four-year institution or the job force. Possible career opportunities include Police Officer, Corrections Officer, Detective,Security Officer, Youth Bureau Officer, Narcotics Investigator, Parole/Probation Officer, County Sheriff, Highway Patrolman, Industrial Security Chief.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Associate

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree: No

    Accreditation & Licensing

    North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission


    Requires from 60-61 credits for completion. Application requirements: official transcripts.

    School Overview

    Bismarck State College is a public, four-year institution of higher education that focuses primarily on associate’s degrees, and is located in Bismarck, North Dakota. Bismarck State College was founded in 1939 as Bismarck Junior College. In 1984, the college became a part of the North Dakota system of Higher Education and in 1987, the school’s name changed to Bismarck State College.

    Bismarck State College offers associate’s degrees, bachelor’s programs, transfer opportunities, technical programs, and continuing education. Bachelor’s degrees and graduate degrees are offered in cooperation with other North Dakota University System institutions. BSC specializes in energy education, with degrees including power and process plant technology, ethanol training, nuclear power technology, and electric power technology. The school’s mission states: “Bismarck State College, an innovative community college, offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities.”

    Students can complete associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, in addition to certificate programs, from home through Bismarck State College’s online campus. The online environment varies among programs, but most often features shorter intensive classes extending from 3 weeks to 8-week sessions that are offered throughout the entire year. 


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