Criminal Justice, Associate of Applied Science

Program Information

Do you desire to make the world a better and safer place? Do you believe in justice and protection? If so, studying criminal justice at San Jacinto College is an excellent place to begin.

Our program prepares you for a variety of exciting and meaningful careers—law enforcement, emergency management, homeland security, corrections, probation, parole, and even social work. We offer a degree plan that prepares you for a career in criminal justice—one of the most popular, fascinating, and fastest growing fields. Choose this path, and you will be serving society with a chance to make the world a better place.

The San Jacinto College Criminal Justice program:

  • Offers students a career that gives back to their community. When you study criminal justice at San Jacinto College, you are supporting safety as you train to serve as a professional in the criminal justice field;
  • Prepares students to specialize in studies for their long-term goals that can lead to rewarding careers in social work, the FBI, pre-law, homeland security, and emergency management; and
  • Is best for those individuals who want to pursue a challenging career in a criminal justice profession. Criminal justice is today’s new liberal arts degree.

Additional Information

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree offers the educational foundation needed in policing, social work, corrections, probation, and parole. In addition, the program has certificates that focus on educational direction and are centered around professional fields.

A working police officer who has completed a basic police academy and passed the state’s licensing exam may be eligible to earn credit for prior learning through San Jacinto College once he or she completes six hours of criminal justice courses. Students may contact the Department Chair for more information.

Career Opportunities

  • Police Officers
  • Parole Officers
  • Probation Officers
  • Adult Protective Service Officers
  • Child Protective Service Officers
  • Social Workers
  • Pre-law
  • Emergency Management
  • Homeland Security
  • FBI

Earning Potential

Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher: $18.98 per hour1

Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office detention deputy: $21.34 per hour1

Harris County detention officer: $40,186 per year2

Pasadena Police Department patrol officer starting salary: $65,936 per year3

Rosenberg Police Department police officer starting salary: $57,423 per year4

Webster Police Department police officer starting salary: $52,143 per year5

For more information, students may contact Central campus, 281-476-1873; or North campus, 281-998-6150, x7435.


Central Campus
North Campus


Criminal justice is an interdisciplinary program with enough flexibility to permit students to pursue diverse interest within the system. For example, an Associate of Arts (AA) allows students interested in social work probation, parole, law, or law enforcement to have a foundational understanding before transfer to the university for a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. Students directed toward probation, parole, or corrections work are advised to select courses from the transfer core. Students seeking an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Criminal Justice have the opportunity to earn three certificates on the pathway to that degree. The AAS transfers to a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science (BAAS) degree at many universities.

Associate of Arts Degree University Transfer Plan

Central and North Campuses

Students pursuing a four-year Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree should enroll in the Associate of Arts (AA) degree plan for a maximum of transferable credit. The AA is a 60-credit hour program, which may include the following courses in the major:

CRIJ 1301Introduction to Criminal Justice3
CRIJ 1306Court Systems and Practices3
CRIJ 1310Fundamentals of Criminal Law3
CRIJ 2313Correctional Systems and Practices3
CRIJ 2328Police Systems and Practices3

All students considering transfer should consult with a counselor regarding the specific requirements of various universities for this major.


No admission requirements.

Job entry requirements:

Some occupations in the criminal justice field require applicants to pass a background investigation, psychological exam, drug test, and physical examination.

Those entering law enforcement must pass all of the above as well as have no Class A or above convictions or no Class B convictions in the past 10 years.

Plan of Study

Central and North Campuses

Plan of Study Grid
First TermCredits
CRIJ 1301/CJSA 1322 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3
CRIJ 1306/CJSA 1313 Court Systems and Practices 3
CRIJ 1310/CJSA 1327 Fundamentals of Criminal Law 3
CRIJ 2328/CJSA 1359 Police Systems and Practices 3
CRIJ 2313/CJCR 1307 Correctional Systems and Practices 3
Second Term
CRIJ 1307/CJSA 1312 Crime in America 3
CJLE 1327 Interviewing and Report Writing for Criminal Justice Professions 3
CRIJ 2323/CJSA 2300 Legal Aspects of Law Enforcement 3
CRIJ 2314/CJSA 1342 Criminal Investigation 3
CJSA 1348 Ethics in Criminal Justice 3
Third Term
BCIS 1305 Business Computer Applications 3
CJSA 2323 Criminalistics II 3
CRIJ 1313/CJSA 1317 Juvenile Justice System 3
CJSA 1351 Use of Force 3
CJLE 1333
Traffic Law and Investigation
or Community Resources in Corrections
Fourth Term
SOCI 1301 Introduction to Sociology 3
HUMA 1301 Introduction to the Humanities I 3
ENGL 1301 Composition I 3
Speech 3
MATH 1332
Contemporary Mathematics (Quantitative Reasoning) (or higher)
or College Algebra
 Total Credits60

Capstone: CRIJ 2323 Legal Aspects of Law Enforcement or CJSA 2300 Legal Aspects of Law Enforcement