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Online Associate Degree in Criminal Justice

If serving and protecting others is your passion, prepare for a career in the field of corrections and criminal justice. With an online associate degree in criminal justice from one of the best online colleges, you’ll be able to communicate effectively with clients and colleagues so you can pursue a life of responsible service and leadership.


Mission and Goals 

The purpose of the Criminal Justice Associate degree is to prepare graduates for a career within the field of corrections and criminal justice. Students will be able to communicate and practice effectively with clients and peers, pursuing lives of responsible service and leadership.


  • Gain core knowledge base in criminal justice, preparing students for careers within the justice field and/or graduate studies
  • Develop an understanding of the roles of society & law enforcement in response to deviant behavior
  • Appreciate diversity and understand the impact of cultural factors within criminal justice system
  • Strengthen critical thinking skills through an understanding of deviance & clarifying personal values related to working with deviant populations
  • Cultivate an understanding of research & writing in regard to the criminal justice field

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What is an Online Associate Degree in Criminal Justice?

An associate degree in criminal justice is a program that provides you with the skills and knowledge you need to pursue a career related to the criminal justice system, criminal law, and social science. Our online criminal justice degree program will leave you with a strong, foundational skill set to excel in the field.

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Degree Requirements for Online Associate of Criminal Justice 

Each student pursuing an associate degree in criminal justice is required to complete at least 61 semester hours. This includes 31 general education hours, 18 hour of associate core requirements, and 12 elective course hours. Our experienced faculty aim to provide you with a core knowledge base to prepare you for your chosen career, enhance your understanding of the roles of society and law enforcement in response to deviant behavior, appreciate the diversity of humanity and understand how cultural factors impact those who get involved with the criminal justice system, and to strengthen your critical thinking skills by fostering an understanding of deviance and clarifying personal values related to working with deviant populations.

General Education Sections 

  • The English Language
  • Christian Faith and Values
  • Natural and Mathematical Sciences
  • Cultural and Aesthetic Values
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences

Associate of Core Requirements 

Elective Courses 

You may choose any of the courses that are offered within the School of Lifelong Learning. If a course has a pre-requisite, as long as you meet the requirements, and have not previously taken it, you can take the class. Your elective choices are vast and not limited to your degree.

Coursework is designed to give students a robust view of the career areas an online associate degree in criminal justice can be applied.  Courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Sociology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Policing
  • Corrections
  • Probation and Parole
  • Juvenile Justice
  • White Collar Crime
  • Police Patrol
  • Death Investigations

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Is an Online associate degree in criminal justice worth it?

As of 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 7% job growth for police and detective. According to the BLS, the field of Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration is expected to fill more than 795,000 openings by 2030.

When you work in the criminal justice field, you make a difference in peoples’ lives on a daily basis. You’ll protect the greater good by helping those in need and serving people. An associate degree in criminal justice can be put toward pursuing further educational opportunities and career advancements in a broad range of careers related to criminal justice.

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Top paying jobs with an Online Associate Degree in Criminal Justice

Associate in criminal justice jobs can be found in law enforcement, corrections, social work, and more. Graduates from UC’s online Criminal Justice program can find potential careers in well-paying and fulfilling roles such as:


A criminal justice degree from University of the Cumberlands can prepare you for a number of jobs in the protective services industry, including law enforcement. Employment of police officers and detectives is projected to grow 7 percent over the next several years with an average salary of $66,020 per year.


Perhaps instead of actively fighting crime, you’re more interested in passing along what you’ve learned. With a median annual salary of $79,640, employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 12 percent over the next decade.

Or you could pursue a career in other fields altogether. With the solid foundation of critical thinking and people skills a degree in criminal justice provides, you’ll be well prepared to pursue a variety of professional positions.


  • Shift Supervisor
  • Patrol Sergeant
  • Chief of Police
  • Criminal Justice Professor
  • Adjunct Professor
  • State Police Officer
  • Deputy Sheriff and Police Officer
  • FBI Agent
  • ATF Agent
  • Border Patrol Agent
  • Corrections Officer
  • Federal Air Marshal
  • Customs Enforcement Officer
  • DEA Agent

"12 Percent" Projected Growth Rate for Postsecondary Teachers by 20302

1Police and Detectives
2Postsecondary Teachers

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More Information on Online Associate for Criminal Justice Degree

Admission Requirements 

Do you have questions about the specifics for admission? Learn more about the Public Health admission requirements


Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees. 


Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information.


Learn from the amazing faculty that you'll learn from day to day. Learn more about the Associate of Criminal Justice Faculty


Do you have more questions about the Associate in Criminal Justice Degree? Check out our FAQ page for the questions that you have. 

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Are you ready for an AS degree in criminal justice that will give you the knowledge-base and skill-set you need to further your career? UC is here to help. Let’s talk about our test-optional college admissions process, scholarship opportunities and more! For more information about the associate in criminal justice online degree program at UC, fill out the form on this page.

National FOP University

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University of the Cumberlands is proud to support members and families of the Fraternal Order of Police. We have partnered with the National FOP University to offer members and their families exceptional academic programs that are structured to be some of the most affordable in the nation. FOP members can also apply to University of the Cumberlands free of charge.

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Career Path

A University of the Cumberlands degree prepares you for the rigors of the professional world.  Click the button to learn more about the exciting career opportunities you can pursue with this program.