Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice Administration

Dec 04, 2019

Essential Information

Online associate's degree programs in criminal justice are fairly common. Some can be completed entirely online, while others have some in-person requirements, such as internships. Common majors include criminal justice administration itself, or can be criminal justice courses. Students will require Microsoft Office or a similar program to participate.

Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice

Although online AABA degrees in criminal justice administration are rare to nonexistent, it's possible to find online Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees in criminal justice administration or criminal justice, which are similar programs. In an A.S. degree program, students learn the details of the criminal justice system by covering topics such as the judicial process, criminal evidence law, corrections and criminal justice management.

Information and Requirements

The A.S. degree in criminal justice administration is a 2-year program that may be completed entirely online using either a Mac or Windows operating system. Microsoft Office is utilized, though a similar version of free office software is available to those with a Windows system. High-speed Internet access is recommended, and students can access to their courses on a 24-hour basis. Students interact with their peers and instructors via an online discussion forum.

Course Topics

For an A.S. degree in criminal justice administration, students are required to take general education classes in computer information systems, English, math, arts, humanities and history, as well as in the social and behavioral sciences. Core courses focus on the criminal justice system in America.

Criminal Justice Administration

Students examine the American legal system and learn how criminal justice systems relate. The course trains students to understand criminal justice history, criminology, sentencing and criminal law. Throughout the course, learners begin to understand the various aspects of crime and criminal law.

Criminal Law

The course examines the importance of the criminal justice system and enforcing laws. Students learn to interpret laws and identify features of criminal procedures. They examine all aspects of criminal law, including crimes, limitations and reforms.


Correctional philosophies are explored, which analyze punishment in the criminal justice system. Students examine the theories and practices relevant to why and how criminals are punished in the American legal system.

Career Information For Graduates

With an associate's degree in criminal justice administration or a related program, graduates may be qualified for positions such as a security guard or gaming surveillance officer, as well as some entry-level jobs in jails, prisons or the court system. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that security guards and gaming surveillance officers were predicted to see an employment growth of 4% from 2018-2028 ( As of May 2018, security guards earned a mean annual wage of $32,050, while gaming surveillance officers earned $36,200.

Continuing Education Information

Armed security guards are typically licensed by the state, which requires applicants to be a minimum of 18 years old, as well as have additional classroom training. Background checks and drug testing are also required. According to the BLS, probation and corrections treatment specialists, as well as many law enforcement jobs require additional education, such as a bachelor's or master's degree. Online bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice administration are available. For some law enforcement positions, it's necessary to graduate from a police academy.

Associate's degree programs in criminal justice administration can be found entirely online, with some requiring internships. Graduates of these programs may be interested in future careers as a security guard or gaming surveillance officer.

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