Online Associate of Applied Science

Criminal Justice

The online Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice program is designed to meet the needs of those who are interested in pursuing a career in the criminal justice field.

Criminal Justice (AAS) coursework designed to provide students with a foundation in the knowledge, skills, and abilities for the criminal justice career field. Students who earn the associate of applied science degree are prepared for entry-level employment in policing, courts, and corrections. Policing and institutional corrections employment will also require the completion of a training academy.

The associate degree can be a requirement for entry-level employment in various criminal justice agencies and is often criteria for higher skilled jobs and higher pay scales. In some organizations, the associate of applied science degree can be a requirement or weighted factor in the promotion process. The student with an associate of applied science degree in criminal justice is qualified to apply for the positions of police patrol officer, court clerk, court bailiff, correctional officer, probation officer, parole officer, and some federal jobs with the necessary law enforcement experience.

Criminal Justice Major Core Courses

Students enrolled in the AAS Criminal Justice program develop knowledge and skills in the following major core courses:

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Report Writing in Criminal Justice
  • Criminological Theory
  • Criminal Law
  • Professionalism and Ethics in Criminal Justice

Students develop other necessary knowledge and skills in courses in the Support Core and General Education Core, including courses in communications, science, mathematics, humanities/behavioral/social science, and college and career success.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the criminal justice system’s operations and issues.
  • Apply legal principles to the police, courts, and correctional components of the criminal justice system.
  • Apply ethical decision-making models and professional standards to criminal justice situations.

Please Note: Students entering the criminal justice program should be aware that graphic images depicting violent crimes are utilized as teaching tools in various courses. Students should be prepared to view these images and to engage in discussions regarding these images as part of their required learning activities.

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Why Choose NAU?

Personal Advisor

Our support starts before you enroll – and continues to graduation day. You are assigned a personal enrollment advisor on day one, and will have an academic advisor after you enroll.

Transfer Credit Accepted

We offer free transfer evaluations and accept up to 75% of the program to transfer in from another institution/program.

Experienced Faculty

Our Faculty members are skilled professionals that work in the fields they teach, bringing practical knowledge and experience into the online classroom.

National American University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

National American University is approved by the Higher Learning Commission to offer programs and courses through distance education.

National American University has received specialized accreditation for its business programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) located at 11374 Strang Line Road in Lenexa, Kan., USA. The business programs in the following degrees are accredited by the IACBE:

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Management
  • Associate of Applied Science in Accounting
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Logistics
  • Associate of Applied Science in Management
  • Associate of Applied Science in Small Business Management


Program Completion Flexibility

As a standard, full-time student you can complete the program in as few as 15 months, however, you may choose your course load – take as many or as few classes at one time as you want.

Credit for Real-World Experience

Earn credit for prior learning which includes experiential learning or portfolio credits awarded by NAU, and evaluated corporate training certificates

Student Learning Resources

NAU offers multiple student learning services, from free tutoring, to our Ask-a-Librarian service (open 7 days a week), to free access to scholarly journals that are up-to-date in your field.

Ready for the Next Steps?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Our support starts before you enroll – and continues to graduation day. You are assigned a personal enrollment advisor.

Call us: 855.210.5641