Justice Studies Associate Degree Programs

Courses in a justice studies associate program include ethics, criminology and the legal system. Learn about degree requirements, topics of study and post-graduation employment options. Schools offering Criminal Justice degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Justice Studies Associate's Degree Program Like?

A justice studies associate's degree program teaches you about the standards and practices of the American legal system, preparing you for jobs in law enforcement, corrections and other areas of criminal justice. Most of these programs are referred to as criminal justice studies and meant to be the foundation for a bachelor's degree.

Typically, an associate's degree program in justice studies takes about two years to complete. Most programs are designed for full-time students who attend class during the day, but there are also online and flex programs available. Some programs give you the opportunity to participate in an internship that allows you to observe and experience the realities of working in the criminal justice field.

Degree ConsiderationsFull-time, online, and flex options; internships available
Common CoursesEthics, criminal law, policing, juvenile justice
Career FieldsSocial work, corrections, security, victim advocacy
Job Outlook (2016-2026) A 16% increase in demand for Social Workers*
Median Salary (May 2018 $63,140 for Social Workers (including those with an OES designation)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

The courses you take in a justice studies associate's degree program give you a broad introduction to criminal, business and administrative laws. You learn about the history of the justice system and how it has shaped today's legal environment. Some courses discuss why individuals come into conflict with the legal system and how they can be helped and rehabilitated.

You take courses in criminology, ethics, and law. Additionally, you learn how the corrections system is organized and how the judicial branch functions in that system. Some programs include courses that discuss specific areas of justice studies, such as juvenile justice and policing. If you intend to pursue a bachelor's degree, your electives need to fulfill the requirements of the university you plan to attend.

What Can I Do With the Degree?

Earning a justice studies associate's degree can set you up for many career options. You could go on to work as a correctional officer, social worker, security officer or victims' advocate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that an associate's degree in criminal justice can also prepare you for work as a private investigator (www.bls.gov).

The BLS discusses various jobs in the criminal justice field that require bachelor's degrees to start. If you choose to earn your justice studies associate's degree and go on to a 4-year university, you can qualify for policing and agent positions with federal law enforcement agencies. Some police departments require job candidates to have one or two years of college education, but you also receive extensive training through a police academy. Additionally, probation officers often need to have a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • New England College

    New England College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at New England College:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Post University

    Post University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Post University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Northern Michigan University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Marquette
  • University of Cincinnati

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Blue Ash, Cincinnati
  • Youngstown State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Youngstown
  • Indiana University

    Campus Locations:

    • Indiana: Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Richmond, South Bend
  • York Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • South Carolina: Rock Hill