Community colleges offer associate's degree and certificate programs designed to lead to entry-level positions in the criminal justice field or transfer to higher degree programs. Some associate's degree programs award occupational degrees that prepare graduates to directly enter state and local law enforcement or entry-level positions in security and corrections.
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
10 Community Colleges with Criminal Justice Programs
Here's a list of some of the top schools offering criminal justice programs:
|College/University||Institution Type||Location||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Anne Arundel Community College||2-year, Public||Arnold, Maryland||Associate, certificate||In district: $4,464 in state: $7,374 out of state: $12,024|
|Wytheville Community College||2-year, Public||Wytheville, Virginia||Associate, certificate||In state: $4,380 out of state: $10,218|
|Community College of Aurora||2-year, Public||Aurora, Colorado||Associate, certificate||In state:$3,538, out of state: $13,256|
|Umpqua Community College||2-year, Public||Roseburg, Oregon||Associate's||In state: $4,678 out of state: $8,901|
|Florida Keys Community College||2-year, Public||Key West, Florida||Associate's||In state: $3,276 out of state: $10,726|
|Southwestern Illinois College||2-year, Public||Belleville, Illinois||Associate, certificate||In district: $3,420 in state: $12,120 out of state: $15,750|
|Gateway Community and Technical College||2-year, Public||Florence, Kentucky||Associate, certificate||In state: $3,704 out of state: $12,536|
|Santa Fe Community College||2-year, Public||Santa Fe, New Mexico||Associate, certificate||In district: $1,494 in state: $1,854 out of state: $3,249|
|Kellogg Community College||2-year, Public||Battle Creek, Michigan||Associate||In district: $3,488 in state: $5,402 out of state: $7,556|
|Quincy College||2-year, Public||Quincy, Massachusetts||Associate||$5,524|
*Source: National Center for Education Statistics
College Selection Criteria
Considerations for a criminal justice program include whether or not the school has an affiliation with a law enforcement entity.
- Students who are interested in criminal justice may consider whether they will ultimately need a 4-year degree, and if so, whether the community college program they choose is transferable.
- Some schools have direct affiliations with local police agencies and act as functional police academies for prospective peace officers, which may be helpful to students looking to gain hands-on experience.
Certificate in Criminal Justice
Some programs may require coursework in psychology, sociology and communication. In addition to criminal justice certificate programs, some schools offer specialized certificate programs in addiction studies, homeland security and emergency management.
Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
General education coursework is often required. Additionally, many programs offer - and some require - the completion of an internship with a criminal justice-related organization.
Certificate and associate's programs in criminal justice are widely available. Students may want to factor whether or not their credits will be transferable to a 4-year program and if the school they're attending has an affiliation with a police agency.