Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Administration programs are designed to provide students with a basic introduction to criminal justice, law enforcement, the U.S. legal system, theories of crime and the corrections system. Students could learn about the history and current functions of the U.S. criminal justice system, as well as how to differentiate between local, state and federal systems of justice. They also study theories as to what causes crime in the country and learn the proper legal punishments for various offenses. Applicants to these 2-year programs need a high school diploma or GED. Graduates of the program may go on to earn their bachelor's and/or master's degree in the field.
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Administration of Justice Associate's Degree
The core courses provide students with a foundational background in several aspects of the criminal justice system. Many programs include electives that cover psychology, sociology, social issues or race relations. Completion of general education courses in humanities, history mathematics and social sciences is often required as well. Specific courses may include:
- Law enforcement
- The court system
- Community policing
- Juvenile crime
- Theory of criminal behavior
Popular Career Options
Many jobs in the fields of criminal justice and corrections require employees to have at least a baccalaureate degree. However, there are positions available to graduates of an associate's degree in administration of justice, including (some may require additional training):
- Correctional officer
- Police officer
- Juvenile hall counselor
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), police and detective positions were predicted to increase 4% from 2014-2024, which was less than average. Police and sheriff's patrol officers earned a mean yearly salary of $61,270 as of 2015. The BLS also reported that correctional officer and jailer jobs were predicted to grow only 4% from 2014-2024. These professionals earned an average yearly wage of $45,320 as of 2015.
Continuing Education Options
Associate's degree programs in criminal justice administration make for great entry points into bachelor's degree programs. Graduates can choose from among several specializations in the field, including law enforcement, corrections and criminal justice administration. Master's degree programs covering the administration of justice prepare students for management and leadership roles within the criminal justice field.
An Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Administration covers such topics as criminal behavior, the court system and more to prepare students for various careers in criminal justice and corrections. Graduates can expect slower-than-average but nonetheless positive job growth in the field; they also have higher education options available to them.