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Criminal Justice

Associate of Arts

The Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice offers you a basic foundation in criminal justice theory and concepts, legal issues, terrorism, and law enforcement objectives and administration. This associate degree program is designed to help you develop new skills necessary for a career in law enforcement or criminal justice, or to enhance your knowledge gained on the job if you are already employed as a law enforcement officer, investigator, agent, criminologist, or in other law-enforcement related fields.

Our criminal justice programs are among the most popular at the university, bringing you peer interactions and an expanded network of criminal justice professionals who are dedicated to safeguarding their communities and nation. Courses in this program are taught by highly credentialed and experienced instructors, many who hold key positions in government agencies or criminal justice organizations.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this online associate program is reviewed by an advisory council of industry experts for relevancy to today’s marketplace. Course topics include

  • Functions, limitations, and other aspects of law enforcement
  • Crime scene evidence collection, preservation, and investigation
  • Interrogation of suspects and admissibility of evidence
  • The U.S. criminal justice system and its administration
  • Juvenile delinquency and the juvenile court system
  • Interpersonal, group, and presentational communication skills
  • Emergency and disaster incident command
  • The U.S. court system, the arrest process, and legal concepts

View all courses.

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Examine historical, philosophical, and constitutional perspectives/limitations of law enforcement.
  • Describe the collection and preservation of evidence in basic crime scene investigations.
  • Identify the origins of modern terrorism, its impact on society, and the impact of cross-cultural communication.
  • Differentiate the criminological, sociological, legal, and political influences on the American criminal justice system.
  • Restate theories of juvenile delinquency.

Degree at a Glance

Admission Requirements

  • All AMU undergraduate programs require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. GED).
  • New undergraduate students may be asked to complete our College Readiness Assessment (ADMN100). If you have successfully completed 9 or more hours of college credit, you may reach out to your AMU admissions representative to inquire about waiving this requirement.
  • If you have previous college experience, you will be asked to submit your transcripts from previous schools where you earned academic credit.
  • There is no fee to complete the AMU admission application. View steps to apply.

Need help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an AMU admissions representative at 877-777-9081 or info@apus.edu.


Undergraduate Tuition Rates 

Per credit hour: $270 | $250 with military grant*

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, AMU offers a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans that caps undergraduate tuition at the military TA limit. See all military-affiliated student benefits.

Paying for School

Because our university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (the same as the Ohio State University, Univ. of Chicago, and U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few), we can accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Undergraduate Book Grant

Ebooks are provided at no cost if you are enrolled in undergraduate courses for credit. The undergraduate book grant is estimated to save $250 per academic semester if you are registered as a full-time student.

Transfer Credits

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

AMU has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.


School of Security & Global Studies

This program resides in the American Military University School of Security & Global Studies where many of the university’s flagship programs were created by experts from the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, the intelligence community, and private businesses throughout the world. The programs taught in the School of Security & Global Studies truly embody our Educating Those Who Serve motto because many of our students come from active-duty military and federal, state, and local government agencies.

The AMU faculty is committed to helping you apply educational theories to real-world challenges in preparation for leadership opportunities in criminal justice, public safety, public administration, national security, and more. Many of our professors are highly credentialed and respected leaders in their fields and currently work in the U.S. government.

At AMU, we understand your need for flexibility because most of our students are working adult learners who balance school around work and service commitments. This is why we offer 8-week or 16-week online courses that start monthly. Through an online virtual classroom, you’ll communicate with classmates and professors in forum communities as you work to complete your weekly assignments on your own schedule from anywhere in the world. And with our mobile application, you can work offline and upload your assignments when you reconnect – a strong benefit for deployed personnel.

We encourage you to browse the School of Security & Global Studies webpage to learn more about our what’s happening in the school and to find a program that’s right for you