Login

Associate Degree Options for Aspiring Police Officers

Associate's degree programs in criminal justice prepare students for real-life scenarios when dealing with the law and individuals in the community. These programs often offer specialty tracks designed to train prospective law enforcement officers.

View popular schools

Essential Information

Students in criminal justice associate's degree programs are taught how to react to crisis situations and learn the fundamentals of criminal investigative practices, ethics in law, the psychology of a criminal, and skills for interpersonal communications. Graduates are prepared for the key aspects of being a police officer, including legal processes, in addition to the physical requirements needed to perform the job functions of a law enforcement agent. A high school diploma is required for entrance. Some programs may be completed in 18 months of full-time study and sometimes provide extensive online coursework.


Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Corrections Admin
  • Corrections, Probation, and Parole
  • Criminal Justice and Safety Studies
  • Criminal Science
  • Forensic Science
  • Juvenile Corrections
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Police Science and Law Enforcement
  • Securities Services Mgmt
  • Security and Theft Prevention Services

Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice

Law enforcement associate's degree programs are comprised of 60-64 credit-hours and usually have an equal split of general education requirements and law enforcement coursework. Core courses cover areas such as investigations, the court system, and criminal law. Subjects may include:

  • Investigative skills
  • Criminal law practices
  • Dealing with domestic violence
  • The law and juveniles
  • Use of firearms
  • Pursuit driving techniques

Employment Outlook

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary of police and sheriff's patrol officers was $58,320 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). The employment of police and detectives is expected to increase 4% between 2014 and 2024, which is slower than average for all professions. The BLS also states that law enforcement opportunities are available to individuals who qualify psychologically, personally, and physically as decided by various tests given to applicants by law enforcement agencies.

Continuing Education

Bachelor's degree programs, typically in criminal justice, are available to help prepare students for supervisory roles within a law enforcement agency. The curriculum provides training in areas relating to prevention of crime, cultural aspects of law enforcement, gang activity, forensic methods, and homeland security issues. Coursework totals 120 credit-hours, including 45 credit-hours of core curriculum.

Associate's degree programs that prepare individuals for careers in law enforcement offer coursework in topics like law, investigation, and psychology. Graduates can also enroll in more advanced degree programs that provide training in crime prevention and homeland security.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma of GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • A.S. Criminal Justice
    • A.S. General Studies - Criminal Justice

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice

    What is your highest level of education?

    • AA in Criminal Justice
    • AA in Homeland Security

    What is your highest level of education?

  • 7
    Southwestern College

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?