What Are the Courses in a Corrections Officer Associate's Degree?

An associate's degree in corrections prepares an aspiring corrections officer with the skills and knowledge necessary for entry-level positions. Students study criminal procedures, ethics, communication and sociology. Schools offering Corrections degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Corrections Associate's Degree Overview

In order to graduate with an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in Corrections, students are required to complete required, professional development and elective courses, such as criminology, law enforcement and criminal justice. Students will also explore the procedures that are used in correctional institutions. Fieldwork may also be included.

The typical associate's degree program in corrections prepares students for work at the federal, local or state level, and you might work in private corrections facilities or ones managed by a public agency. Other career options for graduates of these programs include work as a parole officer, employment in a halfway house or in counseling.

Important Information About This Occupation

Common Courses Introduction to Corrections, Introduction to Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions, Client Relations in Corrections
Degree Level Associate's degree or non-degree certificate programs are most common
Online Availability Some programs offer blended or online study programs but most programs require some on-site work experience
Specialization Courses concentrating on mental health issues and drug and alcohol issues are available often available as electives.
Median Salary (2018)$44,330 (Correctional Officers and Jailers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)-7% decline (Correctional Officers and Bailiffs)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

General Education

Most associate's degree programs require at least 60 credit hours to qualify for the degree, and you could earn this degree in two years' time. General education requirements could include composition and computer classes, as well as psychology, government and science or mathematics courses.

Professional Development Courses

Associate's degree programs in corrections start the student with an introduction to criminal justice in corrections. Institutional corrections and correctional law may also be studied. The student could also take courses in client growth and development along with corrections client relations.


Students in an associate's degree program may be given some choice in elective courses, which could help you identify a specific career focus or explore a topic in greater detail. Examples of electives include:

  • Criminal procedures
  • Crime and delinquency
  • Ethical problem solving in police work
  • Juvenile services special issues
  • Social issues

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:

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