Department of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies & Social Work

Associates Degree - Criminal Justice

An Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Criminal Justice is an option for any student interested in working in the criminal justice system; but who is only ready to commit to a degree that can be obtained in two years by a full time student. Almost all the Criminal Justice/Legal Studies courses required for this degree are available online or face to face, depending on the semester. Students who earn an A.S. can use their courses toward a B.S. in Criminal Justice in our Department as well.

There are several possible job opportunities available with an A.S., including becoming a law enforcement officer or a corrections officer. Our department has a fully integrated Law Enforcement Academy. You can earn up to 21 college credits toward your degree while attending our academy. If you pass your POST examination and you are 21 years of age you have the minimum training required to become a police officer in most departments in Missouri (and many other states).

Our forensic investigation classes are a unique opportunity to learn from imminent professionals in the field. While these classes are part of our Master’s Degree in Forensic Investigation, our undergraduate students can also take these classes.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook estimates a 5% job growth rate from 2012 to 2022 for police and corrections officers. However, it predicts there could be high competition for some of these jobs. While a High School diploma meets a minimum qualification for some departments, a college degree is required for others.