traditional undergraduate on campus

Criminal Justice (associate degree)

The Associate of Science in criminal justice is a two-year degree program that provides a foundation in criminology, law enforcement and the justice system. Students also learn about the social issues affecting criminal justice as they prepare for a career in law enforcement or for a four-year degree in criminal justice studies.

Program Benefits

  • Graduate with the skills you need to be competitive in the job market. 
  • Learn from faculty who possess high degrees in their fields, who have relevant and valuable real-world experience and who make an effort to know you personally.
  • Enjoy our small class sizes and supportive campus community.
  • Take advantage of incredible internships and jobs available in the Nashville market.

What to Expect

As a student in Trevecca’s Associate of Science in criminal justice degree program, you’ll gain a solid foundation in the legal and justice issues facing society today. This field has a unique and crucial need for servant leaders who are equipped to make a difference, so our program explores criminal justice from a Christian worldview.

Coursework includes required general education courses along with core courses that help build your understanding of law enforcement, the court system and the correctional system. You’ll also learn about the social issues currently affecting criminal justice and the law enforcement employment marketplace. This program positions you for a career in criminal justice or for seamlessly entering our four-year degree program in criminal justice studies.

Why Choose Trevecca?

Founded in 1901 and a leader in online education for more than two decades, Trevecca helps students discover and pursue an individual calling by providing innovative instruction; cultivating a supportive, Christ-centered community; and establishing relationships that open doors.

Recognized nationally and locally for academic quality, Trevecca has earned a reputation for providing the world with servant leaders, problem solvers and difference makers. Trevecca’s holistic approach to education encompasses intellectual, social, emotional, physical and spiritual growth.

As a Christian university, we offer programs that explore the ways faith intersects with your field of study. This means you can gain your criminal justice degree in a supportive, Christian community with small classroom sizes and engaged faculty members who care about you and your goals.


Course Descriptions

Get details on all the courses you’ll complete as you work toward this degree at Trevecca.

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Financial Aid & Costs

Financial Aid & Costs

Nearly every student at Trevecca receives some form of assistance in paying for college. Learn all about the affordability of a TNU education and options for receiving aid.

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Career Opportunities

With an Associate of Science in criminal justice, you’ll be ready to advance your career and make a difference in the world. Your degree will position you to transfer into a four-year degree program or to be competitive in roles such as:

  • Law enforcement officer (federal, state, county, municipal agencies)
  • Probation officer
  • Parole officer
  • Correctional officer (jails or prisons)
  • Social service agencies (serving offenders and victims)


Course Descriptions

Get details on all the courses you’ll complete as you work toward this degree at Trevecca.

Social Science Research Methods and Design
CJS 3000

An introduction to the basic skills necessary in conducting empirical research in the social sciences. Topics covered will include the logic of science in sociology and the social sciences, literature reviews, design and measurement, use of primary and secondary data, ethical issues in research, and writing research reports. Emphasis is placed on field research and the methods for conducting and analyzing research in various social settings.

Human Diversity
SWK 3350

This course is designed to increase students’ awareness, knowledge, and understanding of diversity, human rights, and social and economic justice through exploring culture, socialization, power, oppression, privilege, and identity. Students will analyze individual and systemic forces that operate in society to oppress, marginalize, and impact the life experience of groups of humans. During this semester, students will engage in a substantial amount of self-reflection about their own identities while having the opportunity to listen and learn from others’ stories.

Introduction to Criminal Justice
CJS 2800

This introductory course surveys the American criminal justice system from the underlying philosophies that form the foundation of the system and proceeds through to the release of the offender into the community. The focus of the course will be on five main components of the system: criminal philosophies, criminology, law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. The history, nature, and relationships of the various criminal justice agencies will be examined. Various theories about the causation of crime and its cures will also be explored.

Criminal Investigation
CJS 3100

Includes instruction in general investigative responsibilities and techniques, including administration, preparation, investigative jurisdiction and responsibility, and the importance of substantive report writing. Students will be introduced to crime scene investigation-- its purpose and use.

Criminal Law and Procedure
CJS 3110

A comprehensive introduction to criminal law and accompanying procedure in the criminal justice system. The course covers common law and statutory elements of crime, including crimes against persons, property crimes, public morality offenses, and defenses to crime. A concise look at criminal procedure and the criminal court system is also provided.

CJS 3410

A study of the history and practice of probation, parole, community-based corrections, and detention facilities. Also included is a history and analysis of major correctional systems.

Policing in Society
CJS 3420

An analysis of the functions, problems, history, procedures, and structure of policing administrations, also including the politics of law enforcement.

CJS 3360

An examination of the causation of crime and delinquency. Classical, biological, psychological, and sociological theories of crime causation will be explored, as well as violent, property, white-collar, organized, and public order crimes. An examination will also be made of the extent and measurement of crime, delinquency, and victimization.

Juvenile Justice
CJS 3370

An examination of the nature, causes, and extent of juvenile delinquency. The course also explores the various segments of the juvenile justice system, including law enforcement, juvenile court, juvenile legal rights, and correction.

Introduction to Emergency Management
CJS 4000

An introduction to the structure and practice of homeland security and domestic preparedness. Preparedness and management of local, state, and national emergencies, disasters and threats will be discussed. Content will include emergency preparedness, first responders, personnel management, and incident management.

Investigating Terrorism
CJS 4100
This course will cover the general aspects of terrorism, including the difficulty in defining terrorism, the logic behind terrorist activity, the motivations and theories of current and historical terrorist groups, the structure of terrorist groups, and modern methods and modes to counter terrorist activity, including challenges and strategies to overcome and win the war against terrorism.
Senior Seminar/Practicum in Criminal Justice Studies
CJS 4400

A supervised practicum that provides the student with experience in an actual police, court, correctional or other criminal justice setting.

General Electives — 11-13 hours

*For a complete list of courses, tracks and other relevant information, view the program's course catalog.