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AAS in Civil Justice - Law Enforcement: Degree Overview

An Associate of Applied Science (ASCJ) program in criminal justice with an emphasis in law enforcement can provide introductory training in the field or boost the knowledge of experienced professionals.

Essential Information

This program can prepare students to enter the criminal justice profession by providing a variety of courses in law enforcement tactics and theory. Individuals already employed in the criminal justice system can complete these programs to strengthen their skills and advance their careers.

In order to apply to one of these two-year programs, students must hold a high school diploma or the equivalent. They should also be physically fit and be able to pass a criminal background check.


Associate of Applied Science in Civil Justice - Law Enforcement

Civil justice degree programs are designed to provide students with the background and competencies to work in law enforcement or in related criminal justice fields. Students can explore the foundational areas of the discipline, including investigation, law enforcement, corrections and parole systems, the court system and administration. Required courses might include:

  • Social psychology
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Criminal investigations
  • Gender, race and class
  • Juvenile law
  • Criminal law

Popular Career Options

Completion of in an ASCJ degree program can serve as preparation for a position as a law enforcement officer in many different jurisdictions. Opportunities may present themselves at the city, county, state and federal levels of government, from the sheriff's office to the FBI. Other job options might include:

  • Correctional officer
  • Investigator
  • Private security officer

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects demand for correctional officers and jailers to grow 4% from 2014 to 2024, which is slower than average. Growth for police and sheriff's patrol officers is expected to be 5%, which is about average. In 2015, the median annual salary for correctional officers and jailers was $40,530, while police and sheriff's patrol officers earned a median annual salary of $58,320, as reported by the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

Classroom training for police work is generally followed by training in a police academy and further on-the-job training. Careers in some law enforcement organizations may require additional study at the bachelor's level. Because requirements vary among jurisdictions, students may wish to consult with the department they are interested in joining.

An ASCJ in criminal justice with an emphasis in law enforcement provides basic instruction in legal and social science topics for students looking to start or advance their careers in law enforcement.

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