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Criminal Justice A.A.S

Are you interested in criminal justice? Passionate about equality before the law or you'd like to help victims of crime?

The Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice at St. Francis College will equip you with the knowledge and skills to make a difference.


Now available fully online as well as on-campus, the Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice provides the foundation to start your career, and the option of continuing to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, completed over a further two years full-time study or part-time equivalent.

Across the two-year program you will explore a wide variety of criminal justice disciplines, preparing you for a career in victim services, law enforcement, probation and parole, law offices, and criminal justice research organizations.

Details & Objectives

Program Details

  • Intakes: fall, spring, summer
  • Duration: two years full-time or part-time equivalent
  • Delivery mode: online or on-campus or hybrid
  • Total credits: 60

Program Objectives

  • Students will identify the function and interrelationships between the major components of the American criminal justice system.
  • Students will critically analyze key criminological theories.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between theory and criminal justice policy.
  • Students will explain the impact of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and class on criminal justice outcomes.


The curriculum consists of five core courses that cover the major functional areas of Criminal Justice, plus six elective credits available across victimology, prisons, prisoners and crimes of the powerful. Core courses include:

CJ 1020 Introduction to Criminal Justice

This course introduces the student to the structure, operations, and philosophy of the American system of criminal justice.

CJ 2010 Criminology

The course explores the study of crime causation, primarily from a sociological perspective. Students are introduced to theories that explain the nature, extent, patterns, and control of criminal and delinquent behavior.

CJ 2030 Policing in American Society

This course provides the student with a comprehensive review of the structure and function of policing in American society. The course covers the origins of modern policing, core aspects of police work, and basic constitutional laws governing policing practices.

CJ 2050 Correctional Systems

This course provides an overview of corrections in America. The course covers the historical trajectory of corrections and examines the role of various institutions such as jails, prisons, and community corrections. Policies and practices governing confinement, surveillance, and control will be examined. Students will be introduced to best practices in community corrections and reentry.

CJ 3000 American Criminal Courts (100% Online)

This course provides a survey of the basic elements of the American criminal court system. An overview of landmark judicial decisions relevant to criminal justice will be provided. Current legal issues, with particular attention to state laws in New York, will be addressed.

Institutes & Centers

The Sociology & Criminal Justice Department houses three centers:

  • Center for Crime and Popular Culture
  • Post Prison College Opportunities Program @ St. Francis College
  • Institute for Peace and Justice

These centers offer students the opportunity to hear lectures by experts in the fields of criminal justice and sociology including personal testimonies by those who have been wrongfully convicted such as Fernando Bermudez, film screenings featuring Q&A’s with directors/actors/producers such as the Compliance screening, book authors that discuss their recent research, world-renowned professionals working in criminal justice and security such as Gavin de Becker, and activists such as Jennifer Baumgardner who are dedicated to fighting for social justice. We also have frequent guest speakers, events, film screenings, and seminars.

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