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Crime is a constant in any society and there will always be a need for trained professionals within the criminal justice system. If you’re passionate about helping others and want to take pragmatic steps that will make your community safer, a criminal justice degree can open doors to a range of rewarding career opportunities.

AAS in Criminal Justice Degree Program

Vista College’s Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Degree is a comprehensive online program that can be completed in 100 weeks.* Courses cover topics related to crime and criminology, legal procedures and court systems, recidivism and rehabilitation, and more. Additional courses in English composition, social science, and other general knowledge topics supplement the program’s core curriculum and teach broad problem-solving skills potential employers value.

Graduates of our online Criminal Justice Degree program typically apply for work in local police departments, correctional facilities, social agencies, and other community organizations.


*Successful, Full-time enrollment is required to achieve stated completion dates.

The criminal justice system is incredibly complex. When lives and safety are at stake, professionals must know how to navigate both the letter of the law and the complex social issues that go into enforcing it. Attention to detail is essential, as a mistake or oversight by anyone on the front line of criminal justice can have life-altering consequences. As well, individuals must be empathetic communicators who can think quickly and solve problems in stressful situations and are able to:

  • Prevent and investigate crimes and process offenders
  • Ensure proper legal procedure is followed at all stages of an investigation
  • Advocate for the rights of victims and increase community confidence in institutions of justice
  • Take steps to combat the root causes of crime

You’ll Learn How To:

  • Understand the nature and causes of crime and the factors that drive criminal behavior
  • Respond to crime and criminals while ensuring due process is followed
  • Promote community safety and restorative justice
  • Deal safely and humanely with individuals who have mental health and addiction issues
  • Be an advocate for vulnerable populations

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