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Requirements: A.A. Criminal Justice


Click here to view a pdf copy of the curriculum requirement sheet for an A.A. in criminal justice.


The Associate of Arts degree in Criminal Justice is a 60-credit, two-year program that qualifies students to work in all facets of the criminal justice field. Students receive comprehensive exposure to the various components of the criminal justice system. Students also receive training in specific criminal justice topics. Individually and collectively, criminal justice courses at Edinboro University increase a student’s knowledge, analytical and communication skills, and marketability.

What is the difference between the two-year Associate’s degree program and the four-year Bachelor’s degree program in Criminal Justice? Compared to the Bachelor of Arts major in Criminal Justice, the Associate’s degree requires fewer general education courses, fewer open electives, and fewer courses in the major. In particular, A.A. students in Criminal Justice do not take CRIM 500 (Seminar in Criminal Justice), CRIM 295 (Criminal Justice Ethics), CRIM 475 (Research Methods in Criminal Justice), or MATH 260 (Elements of Statistics); do not complete a 12-credit internship (or additional coursework in lieu of the internship); and take 12, rather than 21, credits in criminal justice electives. The difference, therefore, is one of depth of knowledge and training. Persons with an interest in criminal justice can contact the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice to talk to a professor about the comparative benefits of an Associate’s versus Bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University.

Many students who earn their Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice decide to pursue the Bachelor’s degree as well, either immediately or after working in the field for a time. The Associate’s degree program is designed to allow for an easy transition into the Bachelor’s degree program: All of a student’s coursework for the Associate’s degree will count toward the Bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at Edinboro University offers many of its Criminal Justice course online; this makes it easier for Associate’s degree students to complete the Bachelor’s degree requirements while continuing to work in the field.

Earning an A.A. degree in criminal justice

All Associate’s degree students take six courses that introduce them to the field of criminal justice and train students to analyze and critique the criminal justice system from different disciplinary perspectives. The six courses are CRIM 100; CRIM 210, Introduction to Corrections; CRIM 230, Introduction to Policing; CRIM 265, Introduction to Courts, Criminal Law and Procedure; CRIM 295, Criminal Justice Ethics, and SOC 232, Introduction to Criminology.

Associate’s degree students take an additional four courses (6 credits) of criminal justice electives. Students choose elective course in consultation with their academic advisor and consistent with their personal and career interests.