Our legal and criminal justice system is a vital ecosystem of specialists who ensure the security of our communities and the rights of citizens and individuals. It’s a steadily growing field that needs skilled professionals who value integrity and justice.

About Salem’s AA in Criminal Justice

With an Associate of Arts (AA) in Criminal Justice, you can develop the foundational knowledge to pursue a job as a police officer, corrections officer, and other entry-level criminal justice roles. We’ve designed this AA in criminal justice program to teach you what you need to know to take the first step into the criminal justice field or prepare for further study with our bachelor’s degree in criminal justice program. Even when pursuing jobs for which a college degree isn’t required, having an associate degree in a criminal justice field can make your application more competitive. You can earn a criminal justice associate degree entirely on-campus in Salem, West Virginia, or through our convenient, fully online program option.

 Our criminal justice associate degree program incorporates a more comprehensive, globalized view, allowing you to explore diverse perspectives on politics, justice systems, and crime challenges. Our program faculty prioritizes teaching not just the concepts but also the critical thinking and ethical decision-making skills you will need as a criminal justice professional.

What Can I Do With an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice?

The Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice degree is aimed at either readying you for a bachelor’s degree track or stepping right into fields such as law, public safety, corrections and security. Graduates can apply for entry-level positions as:

  • Police Officer
  • Correctional Officer
  • Bailiff
  • Private Detective or Investigator
  • Security Guard
  • Gambling Surveillance Officer

What will I learn from Salem’s Associate Degree in Information Technology Program?

With the associate degree in criminal justice program, our goal is to prepare you to make a positive impact in the areas of protective services, law enforcement, corrections, crime prevention, general security, and more. It’s about more than the techniques and the fundamental concepts. It’s about looking at the history and context surrounding our modern judicial system and challenging you to think about how it works from every perspective as a criminal justice major. This includes understanding the role and challenges faced by police departments, federal agents, and other agencies involved in the fight for justice.

 Upon completing the AA in Criminal Justice, graduates will demonstrate:

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  • Understanding of constitutional and criminal law, citizens’ rights
  • Proficiency in criminal investigations, modern investigation procedures, and trial process
  • Awareness of current challenges in criminal justice: crisis intervention, domestic violence, terrorism
  • Skills for employment in criminal justice or admission to bachelor’s degree programs

What Classes Will I Take in the AA in Criminal Justice Program?

The criminal justice curriculum introduces you to a spectrum of ideas, theories and practices related to the criminal justice system in the United States. The coursework is designed to give you a strong foundation, and it can provide you with core principles to help you start or advance your career. The Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice degree program requires the completion of 60 semester credits — with at least 24 general education credits and at least 15 credits from the Criminal Justice core. Some of the core courses you’ll be able to explore are:

  • CJU205 Criminal Law
  • CJU210 Criminal Evidence and Constitutional Procedure
  • CJU230 Criminal Investigation and Forensics
  • CJU233 Crisis Intervention
  • CJU242 Domestic Violence
  • CJU270 Terrorism
  • CJU405 Constitutional Law
  • CJU408 Criminal Justice Research and Statistics
  • CJU440 Ethics in Criminal Justice

All hours earned in a Salem associate degree track can be applied to the requirements of our bachelor’s degree track.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose Salem University?

Since 1888, Salem University has built upon our tradition of accessible, affordable higher education by constantly innovating and looking to the future. We aim to develop lifelong learners who embrace problem-solving with a global perspective. We offer:

  • Accelerated undergraduate and graduate programs of study with continuous enrollment via distance education or on-campus
  • A unique one-course-a-month format that allows students to focus on a single subject at a time and build their knowledge in a way that feels natural
  • Online courses are structured to work within the constraints of full-time employment, allowing you to earn your degree with minimum disruption to your busy schedule
  • Supportive faculty and staff who serve as thought leaders and mentors
  • A beautiful 100-acre campus situated in the Smoky Mountains where programs of study are available for campus residents and commuter students

Admission Requirements

Admission to Salem is open to all qualified applicants regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or ability/disability. Anyone wishing to attend Salem can obtain the necessary application from the Office of Admissions or apply online. The completed application should be submitted to the Office of Admissions at the earliest possible date. The University admits students on a rolling, monthly start basis. Acceptance is within the discretion of Salem University; some programs have additional admissions requirements.

Take the Next Step

If you’re interested in getting started on your degree from Salem University, request more information by filling out a quick form or start a live chat with us today!