Criminal Justice

Designed for students interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement, law community based social services, and other criminal justice related fields and those who wish to earn a two-year degree and begin pursing occupational opportunities in the field of their choice. Prospective criminal justice practitioners should be aware that stringent entry0level requirements exist. Applicants are encouraged to consult with an advisor prior to entry into the program. Please consult with the program chair regarding changes to graduation requirements.

Associate in Arts Degree Criminal Justice - AAS-T

Brief Description

The AAS-T combines technical courses required for job preparation and college-level general education courses. These degrees are designed for the dual purpose of immediate employment and preparation for the junior year in a Washington state bachelor of applied science (BAS) degree program. The AAS-T degree generally will not be accepted in transfer-in preparation for bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degrees although the general education component of the degree will be accepted in transfer.

The Associate in Applied Science-T in Criminal Justice provides students with knowledge of the criminal justice system (law enforcement, court system, and corrections) and stages of the criminal justice process. The curriculum includes coursework in criminal justice and criminology, law enforcement and criminal justice ethics, criminal and constitutional law, and written, verbal, and non-verbal communications. The degree prepares students either for immediate employment or for transfer to a bachelor's degree program. Career pathways include the Washington State Patrol, municipal and county law enforcement agencies, federal agencies, law practice, corrections, private investigations, security and social service agencies.

Learning Outcomes

Degree recipients should possess the skills and abilities described below:

  • Apply basic investigative techniques for developing solutions to crime problems
  • Use critical thinking skills to understand and analyze verbal, non-verbal and cultural communications in the field of criminal justice
  • Define, explain and contrast the basic sociological, economical and physiological theories relating to the causation of crime
  • Demonstrate how the theories relating to the causation of crime, law building and law enforcement reflect the historical context of times and culture in which they were developed
  • Explain and analyze different social, legal and political responses to criminal behavior
  • Define and explain the different philosophies of policing and determine which philosophy a police department is utilizing by analyzing process, programs and organizational structure
  • Define and explain the ethics and ethical paradoxes that face criminal justice professionals
  • Define and explain the basic precepts of criminal law as it applies in the state of Washington
  • Define and explain the major reform movements which have substantially impacted the policing profession in America

Completion Worksheet

Download the completion worksheet for this degree [PDF]


Course No. Course Name  Credit Hrs.
Core Coursework
CJ& 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice  5
CJ 106 American Corrections System 5
CJ 109 Introduction to Juvenile Justice System 5
CJ& 110 Criminal Law 5
CJ& 112 Introduction to Criminology 5
CJ 202 Principles of Criminal Investigation  5
CJ 248 Ethics in Criminal Justice 5
Written Communication
ENGL& 101 English Composition I 5
CMST 280 Intercultural Communication 5
CMST 285 Nonverbal Communication 5
Choose 5 credits from the following: 5
ENGL 201 The Research Paper (5 Cr)  
ENGL& 235 Technical Writing (5 Cr)  
ENGL 271 Expository Writing (5 Cr)  
Choose 5 credits from the following: 5
CMST& 101 Introduction to Communication (5 Cr)  
CMST& 210 Interpersonal Communication  
Choose 5 credits from the following: 5
MATH& 107 Math in Society (5 Cr)  
MATH 138 College Algebra for Business & Social Science (5 Cr)  
MATH& 141 Precalculus I (5 Cr)  
OR any college level math course higher than MATH& 141 (5 Cr)  
Humanities & Social Science
Choose 10 credits from the following: 10
ANTH&100 Survey of Anthropology (5 Cr)  
ANTH& 206 Cultural Anthropology (5 Cr)  
ANTH& 236 Forensic Anthropology (5 Cr)  
POLS& 101 Introduction to Political Science (5 Cr)  
POLS& 202 American Government (5 Cr)  
PSYC& 100 General Psychology (5 Cr)  
PSYC& 220 Abnormal Psychology (5 Cr)  
PSYC 240 Social Psychology (5 Cr)  
SOC& 101 Introduction to Sociology (5 Cr)  
SOC& 201 Social Problems (5 Cr)  
SOC 270 Deviance (5 Cr)  
Natural Sciences
Choose 10-11 credits from the following: 10-11
ANTH& 205 Biological Anthropology (5 Cr)  
ANTH& 215 Bioanthropology w/Lab (6 Cr)  
ASTR& 100 Survey of Astronomy (5 Cr)  
ASTR& 101 Introduction to Astronomy (6 Cr)  
BIOL& 100 Survey of Biology (6 Cr)  
BIOL 150 Marine Biology (6 Cr)  
BIOL& 160 General Biology w/ Lab (6 Cr)  
BOTAN 110 Introduction to Plant Biology (6 Cr)  
BOTAN 113 Plant Identification & Classification (6 Cr)  
CHEM 100 Chemical Explorations (5 Cr)  
CHEM& 110 Chemical Concepts w/ lab (6 Cr)  
ENVS 207 Field & Laboratory Environmental Science (6 Cr)  
GEOG 106 Introduction to Natural Hazards & Disasters (5 Cr)  
GEOG 205 Weather, Climate, Vegetation, Soils (5 Cr)  
OCEA& 101 Introduction to Oceanography w/ Lab (6 Cr)  
PHYS& 100 Physics – Basic Concepts (5 Cr)  
PSYC 202 Introduction to Physiological Psychology (5 Cr)  
Criminal Justice Electives
Choose 5 credits from the following: 5
CJ 102 Policing Operations (5 Cr)  
CJ 200 Criminal Evidence & Procedures - Police Officer(5 Cr)  
CJ 204 Constitutional Law (5 Cr)  
CJ 206 Community-Oriented Policing (5 Cr)  
CJ 242 Law & the Police in a Multicultural Society (5 Cr)  
Total   90-91

Professional or technical program offerings and course requirements listed in this website may be altered by the college to reflect the needs of industry, student interests and availability of resources.

Career Pathways

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Contact info

Bellevue College
3000 Landerholm Circle SE Bellevue, WA 98007-6484 U.S.A.
Work: (425) 564-1000