Criminal Justice

Program Highlights

• Prepare for an opportunity in the diverse career fields of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice
• Join a well-paid workforce with incomes starting at $55,170 for police and sheriff’s patrol officers in New Mexico and $70,000 nationwide*       
• Enroll in flexible online courses that meet Quality Matters review standards

• Upon completion of the Criminal Justice program, students can use the 2+2 program and continue with 100% online programs at NMSU Las Cruces to earn a bachelor’s degree.

What do our criminal justice graduates do? Begin a career or transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree.
The Associate degree in Criminal Justice prepares students for careers in the diverse and challenging field of Criminal Justice including Law Enforcement, Adult Corrections, Juvenile Correction, Adult and Juvenile Probation and Parole, Private Investigations, and Security. After graduation students will have the education needed to help their application for entry level employment stand out as well as improved promotion opportunities in the career field. Students will also develop a strong foundation in logical reasoning, oral and written communication, lab science, humanities, the arts, and the social and behavioral sciences and be prepared to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice or another field.

How long does it take? 2 years, more if you need it.
The Associate Degree in Criminal Justice requires 60 credit hours, can be done 100% online, and completed in two years. Can’t attend full-time due to family/work? Not a problem. Given the flexibility of our online schedule, students can take more time if needed and our advisors can help create a plan to graduate based on a student’s personal needs. Even though the program is online, some classes can also be taken on campus. Additionally, students can get real world learning through our intern host sites.

* (2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Graduates of this program will:

  1. Explain basic terms and concepts related to criminal justice systems, including law enforcement, courts and corrections.
  2. Evaluate and express the role of law enforcement officers and other participants in the criminal justice systems from investigation through corrections in the context of given fact patterns or real-world scenarios.
  3. Apply the rules and responsibilities of law enforcement officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys and other participants in the criminal justice system to given fact patterns or real-world scenarios.
  4. Analyze given fact patterns or real-world scenarios from the perspectives of defendants, victims, law enforcement officers and other participants in the criminal justice systems.
  5. Demonstrate an awareness of how issues such as race, gender, sexual orientation and mental health arise in the criminal justice system.

Arts and Science Division

New Mexico State University Alamogordo
2400 N. Scenic Drive
Alamogordo, NM  88310

Division Head:
Dr. David C. MacWilliams

Division Office Location:
Pro-Tech 122C.

Division Phone:

Division eMail:

Division Website: