Criminal Justice

Oregon law enforcement agencies are facing a growing need to replace large numbers of retiring officers. Additionally, the prison industry and areas of law enforcement such as crime analysis are predicted to expand in the 21st century. Law enforcement agencies commonly seek candidates who have at minimum a two-year degree, with preference often given to candidates with a four-year degree. 

Agencies look for candidates who can demonstrate they have the qualities necessary for success in the law enforcement field, candidates who:

  • Can think critically, solve problems and construct quick, practical solutions while working independently.
  • Have above-average interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills.
  • Are nonjudgmental about the diverse populations of people with whom they work.
  • Can pass stringent physical ability tests, background checks, and psychological assessments.

The Criminal Justice program is designed to teach critical thinking and communication skills that will help students become competitive candidates for an exciting and rewarding career in law enforcement. Students will have opportunities to form ties with local police agencies and gain experience with ethnic and cultural diversity through work at a local community service agency. 

Students interested in a two-year degree should pursue the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Those interested in transferring and completing a four-year degree should consider the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree. If interested in transferring into the Crime and Justice option of the Sociology program at Oregon State University, see the Sociology section for more information and talk with an advisor. 

Both the AAS and the AAOT degrees are designed to be completed in two years, assuming that the entering student has tested into WR 121 English Composition.