If you’re looking to jumpstart a life of protecting and serving your community, a career in criminal justice may be the perfect path for you. Perhaps you see yourself as a police officer, enforcing laws to keep others out of harm’s way. Maybe you see yourself as a corrections officer, helping to protect prison inmates. Or, perhaps you want to become a security guard for a multi-billion dollar jewelry store, or a detective investigating crimes. The options within the criminal justice field are countless, but what do you need to do before embarking on your journey? Just like with any great career, you’ll want to start with a great education.
The standard educational requirement for criminal justice careers today is an associate degree. This degree, earned from a reputable criminal justice school, will provide you with the knowledge and hands-on, practical experience in all aspects of the United States’ Criminal Justice system. You can expect to gain exposure to contemporary policing issues, historical development and ethics of the system, corrections procedures, investigative reporting, and more – leaving ready to launch a successful career.
So how do you break through a great criminal justice program? And what do you have to do to land the job? Here, we will “uncover the mystery” that is criminal justice degree requirements, and what is needed to become a successful professional in the field. For a point of reference, we will use Goodwin’s criminal justice program requirements in Connecticut.
Goodwin College Criminal Justice Degree Requirements
There are 21 core credits required for the Criminal Justice degree at Goodwin College, including:
- Introduction to Criminal Justice and the Law
- Criminal Procedures
- Introduction to Corrections
- Criminal Law
- Juvenile Justice in America
- 12 Credits of Electives
Students must complete the Criminal Justice major core courses with a minimum grade of “C-” in each course and a cumulative GPA of 2.3.
In addition to these major core requirements, all students enrolled in the associate degree program must complete a minimum of 24 credits in general education competencies. These can include criminal justice related coursework, such as Investigative Report Writing, Introduction to Psychology, and Ethics and Legal Issues. Students in the Criminal Justice program must also complete “Intellectual Discovery Strategies” or an additional elective. The total amount of credits required to graduate is 60.
About the Criminal Justice Program
Goodwin College is a criminal justice college in Connecticut that offers courses on your schedule. You’ll find class times that work with your life and fit your needs. We’re all about convenience, and we want our students to dive into their careers as quickly as possible. That’s why criminal justice classes are offered on both Days and Nights.
Not only is the program flexible and convenient, but it is second-to-none in preparing you for a life of service in Criminal Justice. After completing this program, you will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the development of criminal law and procedure
- Discuss the effects of a culturally diverse society on the Criminal Justice System
- Understand the ethical and legal issues of criminal justice professionals
- Assess the basic issues and problems in policing, the courts, and corrections in America
Requirements for jobs in criminal justice can vary, depending on the title and role you are looking to pursue. Once you’ve earned your associate degree in criminal justice, you may decide to go on to pursue your Bachelor’s Degree, which might be required for advanced careers such as a specialized federal agent. However, an associate degree alone can help you land a job as a juvenile justice officer, police officer, private detective, or crime scene investigator – dream jobs for many entering the criminal justice field. With your criminal justice degree in hand, you’ll have a wide variety of job settings to choose from, such as:
- Customs and Border Protection
- Drug Enforcement Agency
- Federal Bureau of Prisons
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- Law Enforcement
- Private and Personal Security Agencies
- Transportation Security Administration
The Goodwin difference means that your learning is based upon practical teaching and training, which will prepare you for your career in the real world. Our professors are law enforcement professionals who pass on their own experience and knowledge with students. These include police commanders, detectives, state troopers, military veterans, attorneys, etc. Their wisdom can give you more valuable tools to navigate the Criminal Justice world than any textbook around.
We also offer a lifetime of career placement and counseling support — for free, forever. Our Career Services team can provide resume and cover letter writing assistance, networking, workshops, mock interviewing, individual counseling, career fairs, and much more. We won’t rest until we “crack the case” and our Criminal Justice graduates are in careers they love.
Get your criminal justice career started today! Learn more about the Criminal Justice Degree online, or call 1-800-889-3282 to learn about Goodwin’s specific program requirements.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.