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Online Criminal Justice Associate Degree Programs

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When finding the right online criminal justice associate degree program, there are many factors to consider. Each school offers different programs, so you’ll want to find one that fits your specific needs and interests. So what are the best programs out there? We’ve gathered a list of the best online associate’s degree programs in criminal justice. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is an Associate of Criminal Justice Degree?

An associate of criminal justice degree is a two-year degree that provides students with the basic knowledge and aptitudes required for a career in the criminal justice system.

The curriculum typically covers criminology, law enforcement, corrections, and juvenile justice. Students can also gain hands-on experience through internships or practicums.

There are many different programs available. It’s essential to research before choosing one. Some of the top programs include Arizona State University, the University of Cincinnati, and Wayne State University.

Pursuing a Criminal Justice Associate’s Degree

There are countless reasons to pursue an associate program in criminal justice. Perhaps the most important reason is that it can provide a pathway to a successful and fulfilling career. But there are other reasons, too.

The criminal justice system is a critical institution in our society. It is responsible for enforcing the law and maintaining order. That’s why it’s vital to have qualified professionals working in this field. An online criminal justice associate’s degree can provide you with the skills and knowledge to work in this field.

Criminal justice professionals protect our safety and security and uphold the law. They do this by investigating crimes, arresting criminals, and prosecuting them in court. They also work to prevent crime and maintain public order.

Other reasons include:

  • The criminal justice system is constantly evolving. Professionals need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.
  • An associate degree in criminal justice can provide you with the latest information and skills.
  • There are many career opportunities in the criminal justice field. You can work as a police officer, detective, court reporter, or probation officer with an associate degree, among other positions.
  • The job outlook in criminal justice is good. The demand for qualified professionals is increasing every year.

Criminal Justice Associate’s Degree Careers

Police Officer

Average Annual Salary: $61,000

Police officers play a critical role in big and small-picture situations. They protect our communities, investigate crimes, and ensure everyone follows the law. To become a police officer, you need to have an associate in criminal justice.

With overtime and special assignments, many officers earn much more than the average median salary.

If you want to help make your community a safe place to live, becoming a police officer is the perfect career.

Correctional Officer

Average Annual Salary: $44,000

Correctional officers work for prisons and jails, and their job is to keep inmates safe and secure. They may also be responsible for rehabilitating inmates.

To become a correctional officer, you need to have an associate in criminal justice.

If you want to help inmates rebuild their lives and prepare them for release into society, becoming a correctional officer is the perfect career for you.

Fish and Game Warden

Average Annual Salary: $50,000

Fish and game wardens protect our natural resources by enforcing laws that regulate hunting, fishing, and trapping. They educate the public about the significance of these resources.

To become a fish and game warden, you need to have an associate in criminal justice.

As a fish and game warden, you can help preserve our natural resources and promote responsible outdoor recreation.

Crime Scene Technician

Average Annual Salary: $41,000

Crime scene technicians work with police officers and detectives to gather evidence at crime scenes. They may also be responsible for processing the evidence they collect.

The crime scene technician must document and keep all evidence for potential use in future criminal trials. Another key responsibility is laboratory analysis of evidence discovered at a crime scene. And the courtroom presentation of these findings depends on the organization with which they work.

To become a crime scene technician, you need to have an associate in criminal justice.

Security Officer

Average Annual Salary: $25,000

Security officers protect property and people by maintaining a safe and secure environment. They may work in schools, hospitals, or businesses.

Because the tasks performed by security personnel are diverse, their training needs may as well. Generally, all security officers receive on-the-job instruction, although specialized security education might include computer systems and weapons training.

Becoming a security officer requires an associate in criminal justice.

Private Investigator

Average Annual Salary: $53,320

Private investigators operate in various settings, assisting attorneys, businesses, and individual clients in exploring personal histories, and locating missing people. They also assess unsolved crimes or criminal accusations.

Law firms hire private investigators to check facts and authenticate witness credibility. Private detectives are also essential in insurance company investigations regarding fraudulent claims.

Private investigators conduct surveillance, do research on the internet, and investigate computer crime in various settings.

Most private investigators have prior experience in the criminal justice sector, and most states require them to be appropriately certified. Private detectives may make more than $79,000 per year. However, this depends on their qualifications, background, and employer. The typical salary in 2020 was $53,320.

Bailiff

Average Annual Salary: $36,000

Bailiffs are responsible for ensuring order and security during legal proceedings and trials in courts. Like correctional institution officers or highly specialized security personnel, Bailiffs deliver documents, protect juries, and enforce courtroom procedures.

Bailiffs sometimes are also in charge of calling witnesses to the stand, giving them the oath, and convening the court by announcing the judge’s arrival.

Bailiffs may also be deputized as bailiffs and serve legal processes, such as wage garnishments or summonses, using force if necessary. They must complete the same training as other correctional officers and have equal chances for progression or transfer.

Bailiffs work primarily in a courtroom, which means they generally do not experience the same levels of anxiety or illness that custodial occupations might induce. Unfortunately, bailiffs tend to have fewer opportunities for employment with private businesses than do correctional officers.

Police Dispatch

Average Annual Salary: $43,290

A bachelor’s in criminal justice is not necessary for employment as a police dispatcher. However, having a solid understanding of law and crime can be quite helpful. Police dispatchers are in charge of receiving emergency and non-emergency calls. And determining the best course of action for emergency responders.

Most police dispatchers, like firefighters and emergency medical technicians, work with several other emergency services. As a result, dispatch must determine which of the three emergency services is required, if not all three at once.

Police dispatchers will radio in the caller’s location and situation to the responding organizations. Then they track the status of first-response agencies and sometimes offer medical advice over the phone until they arrive.

Top 19 Online Criminal Justice Associate’s Degree Programs

1. Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice – East Mississippi Community College

The online criminal justice associate’s degree, offered entirely online, is meant to help students prepare for transfer to a four-year bachelor’s program.

Students will get to study topics like:

  • Corrections and juvenile
  • Police administration
  • Organization and law enforcement

Accreditation & Requirements

East Mississippi Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The program is also 100% online and requires you to have a high school degree or equivalent to be accepted. You’ll also take admission tests such as the ACCUPLACER and ACT/SAT and need to provide an official high school transcript/GED score.

View More About the AA in Criminal Justice from East Mississippi Community College

2. Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice – Purdue University Global

Prevent and detect crime. Prepare for crime analysis, law enforcement, and other opportunities. Finish your degree online at one of the foremost providers of public safety programs in the United States.

Some of the things you’ll study include:

  • Criminal investigation
  • Criminology,
  • Criminal law
  • Select from various electives in criminal justice, corrections, public safety, etc.

Accreditation & Requirements

The HLC accredits Purdue University Global.

You also need a high school degree or equivalent to pursue this associate’s degree. Additionally, you’ll go through a criminal background check and be required to provide official high school transcripts.

View More About the AAS in Criminal Justice from Purdue University Global

3. Associate of Science in Criminal Justice – Campbellsville University

Campbellsville University’s Online Associate of Science in Criminal Justice program provides students with a curriculum to help them pursue job opportunities in the legal/criminal justice sector.

Students study a mix of courses that understand the fundamentals of crime and the procedures to prevent and respond to crime.

Accreditation & Requirements

Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The minimum education to pursue this degree is high school education or equivalent. You will also undergo ACT/AST admission tests and need to provide an official high school transcript/GED score.

View More About the AS in Criminal Justice from Campbellsville University

4. Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice – Point University

Take the interdisciplinary approach to the law enforcement industry in the online Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice program. The AA degree prepares students for entry-level employment in supporting jobs. Students may also continue their education in a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program.

The program’s curriculum includes liberal arts, basic information, and abilities in human interactions, social and behavioral science fields, crime, criminal law, criminal procedure, and criminal behavior studies.

You’ll be able to have successful interpersonal interactions, problem-solve, think critically and assess the differences in people’s reactions and treatments based on race and ethnicity, gender, and age.

Accreditation & Requirements

Point University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The school’s minimum education requirement for enrollment is a High school diploma or equivalent. Additionally, you’ll need to provide an official high school or college transcript(s) or GED score.

View More About the AA in Criminal Justice from Point University

5. Associate of Science in Criminal Justice – South College

Suppose you believe in justice and public safety and have a quick-thinking mind with sound ethical judgment. In that case, the Criminal Justice system may be for you.

Criminal justice work can take the form of counseling, victim advocacy, law enforcement, security, corrections, probation, homeland security, or investigations.

The Writing and Math Labs at South College provide additional student assistance. Dedicated writing and mathematics labs are available to help you with your fundamental courses.

Furthermore, online tutors are available. Internships play a significant role in the online AS in Criminal Justice program, enhancing job prospects after graduation.

Accreditation & Requirements

South College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The minimum education you need to join this program is a high school degree or equivalent. You also need an official high school transcript/GED score.

View More About the AS in Criminal Justice from South College

6. Associate of Science in Criminal Justice – Southern New Hampshire University

You gain a strong foundation in the American legal system, criminal law, and social science when you earn your AS in criminal justice online from Southern New Hampshire University.

This degree program includes Introduction to Criminal Justice, Research Methods for Criminal Justice, and Cultural Awareness in Criminal Justice.

Accreditation & Requirements

SNHU is a private, non-profit institution that has been granted accreditation by the New England Commission of Higher Education and other bodies.

Earning your Degree from SNHU helps you get a high-quality education recognized by employers, professional certificate organizations, and other higher learning institutions.

View More About the AS in Criminal Justice from Southern New Hampshire University

7. Associate of Science in Criminal Justice – Colorado Christian University

Begin a career with an AS criminal justice degree online at CCU. Students explore the US criminal justice system through a primarily Christian worldview. Studies examine life issues from free will and redemption to human nature and other scriptural principles.

Some of the topics covered include criminal courts, ethics, and criminology.

The instructors have actual-world expertise in the criminal justice system and bring it to the online classroom. Because of their smaller class sizes, students receive more individualized attention and interpersonal networking possibilities.

Graduates of this program may pursue careers in law enforcement, paralegal work, transportation, and other fields. Colorado Christian University offers an online associate degree in criminal justice program designed specifically for adult students to help them progress academically and professionally.

Accreditation & Requirements

Accredited by the HLC (HLC), Colorado Christian University’s AS in Criminal Justice is 100 percent online. Students need a minimum of High School or Equivalent education to apply. Other application requirements include an official high school transcript/GED score.

View More About the AS in Criminal Justice from Colorado Christian University

8. Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice – Saint Leo University

Get a head start on your professional life by making your community safer. Students get to study the law enforcement basics. These include the ideas of investigation and the systems of court.

Accreditation & Requirements

Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

You need a minimum of high school education or equivalent to pursue this associate program. You also need an official high school transcript/GED score.

View More About the AA in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University

9. Criminal Justice – AS Degree – Penn Foster

The Criminal Justice – AS Degree from Penn Foster College gives students the knowledge to help them take the first step toward a career in criminal law, police administration, or criminology.

Based on training and not real-world experience, there is no requirement for class attendance for this online criminal justice degree. Students study law enforcement, crime prevention, security, and the legal system in a purely virtual environment.

Penn Foster College’s Criminal Justice – AS degree can give you a rewarding career where you protect people’s rights, community rules, and the rights of businesses.

If you have completed coursework in the past, it may be possible to get credit for it at Penn Foster College. You need to meet Penn Foster College’s requirements. by completing a basic skills assessment. This assessment will help us determine which math and reading courses are best suited for you.

When you have chosen the level to begin, students take courses like Information Literacy and Criminal Justice Orientation. These courses teach students to use search engines and databases, both online and in libraries.

Students complete graded projects that are a component of the standard curriculum throughout the year. Other subjects include Criminal Procedures and Ethics in Criminal Justice.

Pro-Tip: People in Minnesota can get an Associate of Applied Science degree by completing this program.

Accreditation & Requirements

Penn Foster’s accreditation is from DEAC (The Distance Education Accrediting Commission).

Penn Foster schools have maintained high integrity and success, as evidenced by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission’s (DEAC) excellent qualifications.

The MSA-CESS has granted public high school accreditation to Penn Foster High School. It is accredited in grades 9 through adult by Penn Foster Career School.

The International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) authorized Penn Foster Career School to provide continuing education and training.

All Penn Foster programs get approval from DANTES, which allows US military personnel to get tuition reimbursement. Applicants should possess their high school degree or equivalent to join this program.

View More About the AS in Criminal Justice from Penn Foster

10. Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice – Liberty University

The AA Criminal Justice degree online at Liberty University accommodates the hectic schedules of modern workers. The adaptable online curriculum allows professional participants to acquire a career-oriented education or pursue future career ambitions.

The program equips students with the fundamental stepping stones in the field of justice with a foundation in knowledge and skill to assist them in getting well prepared for careers in related fields.

The learning schedule is asynchronous and 100% online.

Accreditation & Requirements

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The SACSCOC is the regional body accrediting for southern states.

As an applicant, you must submit a high school self-certification form verifying that you have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent.

View More About the AA in Criminal Justice from Liberty University

11. Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice – National American University

This online Criminal Justice AAS program allows students to think critically about crime causation and consequence.

Students build their skills to employ current evidence-based approaches while researching, correcting mistakes, and recovering from injury.

As future leaders, AAS online degree graduates join the ranks of outstanding public servants in their communities.

Accreditation & Requirements

The National American University received its accreditation from the HLC (HLC).

A high school diploma or equivalent work experience is the minimum education requirement. The application requirement is an official high school transcript/GED score.

View More About the AAS in Criminal Justice from National American University

12. Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice – Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Tech’s entire Criminal Justice curriculum is available online for those seeking to further their career or move on to higher degrees without putting their lives on hold. Students who select Florida Tech’s AA in Criminal Justice will learn how to communicate effectively in the context of a crisis.

Students will exhibit critical thinking abilities to detect and solve problems. They also learn how statistical analysis reveals crime trends and affects criminology and justice policy.

After graduating with a degree in Criminal Justice, students will learn about the relationships between historical, legal, sociological, and psychological influences on the legal system. They will also understand the causes of criminal and delinquent behavior, their effects, and how to prevent them.

Accreditation & Requirements

This university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

To enroll, you should have your high school diploma or equivalent experience. What’s more, you need to submit an official high school transcript/GED score.

View More About the AA in Criminal Justice from Florida Institute of Technology

13. Associate of Science in Criminal Justice – Rasmussen University

At Rasmussen University, the Criminal Justice Associate’s Degree helps students develop critical thinking and decision-making abilities necessary for making life-or-death decisions under pressure.

You’ll study from experts who know what they’re talking about, and the curriculum will change with you during your time at Yale. As a student, you’ll get hands-on training from seasoned professionals to prepare you for life after graduation.

You learn to recognize situations by looking at verbal and non-verbal language signals. You’ll develop the skills to respond positively to rapid-paced and constantly changing scenarios. At the same time, you’ll acquire practical, real-world expertise from classes in criminal law, juvenile justice, due process, and ethics.

This online degree is delivered using Flex Choice®. This unique education delivery enables blending traditional online coursework with self-directed assessments—a more cost-effective method of earning credit for what you already know.

Accreditation & Requirements

Rasmussen University is accredited by the HLC (HLC).

A high school diploma or equivalent is needed to pursue this program. A criminal background check and an official high school transcript/GED score are required.

View More About the AS in Criminal Justice from Rasmussen University

14. Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice – Highland Community College

This online Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice program is for individuals who wish to pursue jobs as cops or attorneys after they have finished their education.

The program equips individuals for immediate employment in such professions as state and local police, highway patrol, private security, courts, and prisons. General education, basic criminal justice classes, and electives that appeal to the students’ interests are all included.

Accreditation & Requirements

Accredited by the HLC (HLC), Highland Community College requires a high school diploma or equivalent education to qualify for this program.

Other requirements include an official high school or college transcript/GED score.

View More About the AAS in Criminal Justice from Highland Community College

15. Associate of Science in Criminal Justice – Indiana Institute of Technology

The online AS in Criminal Justice degree leads to careers in the criminal justice system and is an excellent place to begin studies at other institutions.

The criminal justice curriculum examines the criminal justice system while also examining the components that make it up, such as the police force, courts, and corrections system.

Accreditation & Requirements

The Indiana Institute of Technology accredits the HLC (HLC).

A high school diploma or equivalent is obligatory to join this program. Additionally, you must provide an official high school transcript/GED score.

View More About the AS in Criminal Justice from Indiana Institute of Technology

16. Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice – John Tyler Community College

The online AAS in Criminal Justice degree prepares students for work as local, state, or federal police or jailers, commercial and industrial security personnel, and private or government investigators.

The curriculum helps students develop the skills they need to have successful careers in criminal justice. This skills-development approach includes courses in ethical behavior, the criminal justice system, juvenile justice, and law enforcement.

The learning is institution-paced, asynchronous, and based 100% online.

Accreditation & Requirements

This community college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The program requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent and an official high school transcript.

View More About the AAS in Criminal Justice from John Tyler Community College

17. Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice – Hinds Community College

Hinds Community College’s online AAS in Criminal Justice degree program equips students for work in municipal, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The curriculum includes courses that are both general education and career-focused.

These courses include:

  • Criminal law
  • Corrections
  • Juvenile justice and criminal investigation

Accreditation & Requirements

Hinds Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The minimum education needed to pursue this associate program is a high school diploma or equivalent.

The admissions tests include ACT/SAT and ACCUPLACER. You also need an official high school or college transcript/GED score.

View More About the AAS in Criminal Justice from Hinds Community College

18. Associate in Science in Criminal Justice – Jefferson Community College

This online criminal justice associate’s degree is ideal for people interested in law and justice and criminal investigation. Graduates may consider enrollment in four-year colleges or law enforcement academies. Many graduates start careers immediately after earning this degree.

The curriculum provides a solid basis in criminal law and policy. It emphasizes crime prevention and detection, apprehending suspected offenders, and keeping the public safe.

You’ll study criminal evidence, administrative law, technical writing, psychology, sociology, and American government while also learning how to solve problems, communicate clearly and effectively, and lead.

To best match their interests and professional goals, students can enroll in electives that provide more in-depth knowledge. Such themes include community corrections, sex-crime investigations, and interviews and interrogations.

Accreditation & Requirements

The Middle States Commission accredits the Jefferson Community College on Higher Education (MSCHE).

The minimum education you need to access this program is a high school diploma or equivalent. You also need an official high school transcript/GED score.

View More About the AS in Criminal Justice from Jefferson Community College

19. Associate in Arts in Criminal Justice – Lansing Community College

The online AA in Criminal Justice program from Lansing Community College helps students gain acceptance into a bachelor’s degree program and enter law enforcement or corrections jobs.

The program includes courses in a variety of areas, including:

  • Theory of patrol and criminal law
  • Criminal causes and conditions
  • Juvenile and criminal justice

Accreditation & Requirements

Lansing Community College is accredited by the HLC (HLC).

You need a high school diploma or equivalent to join this program. The admission tests you’ll undergo include ACT/SAT and a placement test.

You must also submit an official high school transcript/GED score.

View More About the AA in Criminal Justice from Lansing Community College

Find an Online Criminal Justice Associate’s Degree Today!

There are many great programs for associates in criminal justice. Each program has its strengths and weaknesses. Research with GetEducated.com to find an online criminal justice associate’s degree program that fits your needs and goals.

Whichever school you choose, make sure that a reputable organization accredits it. Checking accreditation status will ensure that you receive a quality education and can pursue a career in criminal justice.

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