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.

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

Courses in this program are taught by highly credentialed and experienced instructors, many who hold key positions in government agencies or criminal justice organizations. 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 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 admission 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 our 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 admission representative at 877-777-9081 or info@apus.edu.


Undergraduate Tuition Rates  

Military-Affiliated Students* = $250/credit hour

All Other Students = $270/credit hour

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, we offer 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

The university 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.