Criminal Justice

The Associate in Criminal Justice introduces the graduate to three facets of the Criminal Justice System (e.g., Police, Courts, and Corrections). This degree plan is broadly interdisciplinary in nature embracing the study of the humanities, law, and natural, behavioral, and social sciences. The curriculum seeks to balance theoretical inquiry with applied knowledge.

This degree plan is designed to prepare students to transfer to NMSU Las Cruces to complete a Bachelor of Criminal Justice Degree. NMSU Las Cruces, through the College of Distance Education, also offers an online Criminal Justice Bachelor’s degree with required upper division courses offered online. Note that 100 and 200 level Bachelor degree requirements are not part of that online offering therefore students who are planning on taking the Criminal Justice Online degree program are advised to take a second English 200 level course as the recommended elective in the Associate degree and to complete a second or heritage language sequence at the 200 level (that is, 211-212; 213-214).

Graduation Requirements

ENGL 1110G Composition I with a C or higher; placement into college-level math and reading courses or completion of developmental courses with a C or higher; cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.  A minimum of 15 of the 60 credits for the associate’s degree must be completed at NMSU or one of its community colleges. Individual academic programs may have additional requirements.

CJUS 1110G. Introduction to Criminal Justice

3 Credits (3)

This course provides an overall exploration of the historical development and structure of the United States criminal justice system, with emphasis on how the varied components of the justice system intertwine to protect and preserve individual rights. The course covers critical analysis of criminal justice processes and the ethical, legal, and political factors affecting the exercise of discretion by criminal justice professionals.

CJUS 1120. Criminal Law

3 Credits (3)

This course covers basic principles of substantive criminal law including elements of crimes against persons, property, public order,public morality, defenses to crimes, and parties to crime. May be repeated up to 3 credits.

CJUS 1996. Special Topics in Criminal Justice

1-3 Credits

Specific subjects to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. May be repeated under different topics for a maximum of 6 credits.

CJUS 2120. Criminal Courts and Procedure

3 Credits (3)

This course covers the structures and functions of American trial and appellate courts, including the roles of attorneys, judges, and other court personnel, the formal and informal process of applying constitutional law, rules of evidence, case law and an understanding of the logic used by the courts.

CJUS 2140. Criminal Investigations

3 Credits (3)

This course introduces criminal investigations with in the various local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Emphasis is given to the theory, techniques, aids, technology, collection, and preservation procedures which insure the evidentiary integrity. Courtroom evidentiary procedures and techniques will be introduced. Community Colleges only. (Note: students completing CJUS 2140 may not take CJUS 321.)

CJUS 2150. Corrections System

3 Credits (3)

This course introduces the corrections system in the United States, including the processing of an offender in the system and the responsibilities and duties of correctional professionals. The course covers the historical development, theory, and practice, as well as the institutional and community-based alternatives available in the corrections process.

CJUS 2160. Field Experience in Criminal Justice

3-6 Credits

This course is designed to provide actual experience working for a criminal justice agency and the opportunity to apply criminal justice concepts and theory to a field situation. Students already working in an agency will complete an approved learning project while on the job.

Prerequisites: CJUS 1110G, prior arrangement and consent of instructor and a GPA of 2.0 or better in major.

CJUS 2220. The American Law Enforcement System

3 Credits (3)

This course covers the historical and philosophical foundations of law and order, with an in-depth examination of the various local, state, ad federal law enforcement agencies and how they interact within the criminal justice system.