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The Criminal Justice Associate Degree program at Vista College provides the solid educational foundation you need to get started as a Criminal Justice professional. You can earn your AAS Degree in Criminal Justice online or by attending classes during the day or evening at one of our campuses in Texas.

Earning your AAS Degree in Criminal Justice from Vista College will lay the groundwork for you to look for employment in the criminal justice field. Whether you want to work for a public or private organization, criminal justice professionals work in many industries and fill a wide variety of positions, such as private investigators, insurance investigators, youth counselors, social workers, security officers, and lawyers.

You’ll Learn How To:

  • Understand criminal thinking
  • Interpret criminal evidence
  • Make sense of criminal behavior
  • Apply basic criminal law
Course # Course Title Credits
CJ100 Introduction to Criminal Justice 8
CJ101 Fundamentals of Criminal Law 8
CJ102 Courts and Criminal Procedures 8
CJ103 Corrections 8
CJ104 Ethics 8
CJ105 Victimology * 8
CJ106 Organized Crime * 8
CJ107 Police System and Practices 8
CJ208 Crime and Criminals * 8
CJ209 Criminal Investigation * 8
CJ210 Criminal Behavior * 8
GE201 Introduction to College Mathematics 9
GE202 Introduction to Computer Science 4.5
GE203 Introduction to Psychology 4.5
GE206 English Composition I 4.5
GE207 English Composition II * 4.5

Introduction to Criminal Justice

CJ100

This course provides an introduction to the criminal justice system. The primary goal of this course is to develop a general understanding of the criminal justice system’s purpose and response to crime in society. The course focuses on the history and philosophy of the American criminal justice system; the development of law enforcement, courts, correction, and the modern operations of these agencies; and, how they function together.

8 credits
70 theory hours
20 lab hours

Fundamentals of Criminal Law

CJ101

This course examines criminal law from the aspect of historical evidences and classifications of crimes and criminal responsibility. Topics include the elements of criminal offenses, principles of criminal liability, complicity, defenses, justifications, excuses, crimes against persons, crimes against property, and crimes against public order.

8 credits
70 theory hours
20 lab hours

Courts and Criminal Procedures

CJ102

This course examines the role of the judiciary in the criminal justice system in detail; the different levels and jurisdiction; the prosecution of offenders; the basic right to counsel; the concept of pretrial release; the purpose and function of the grand jury; the procedural processes of adjudication; types and purposes of sentencing; the rules of evidence; rules concerning trial procedure; the disposition of criminal cases; and the various means of structured sentencing.

8 credits
70 theory hours
20 lab hours

Corrections

CJ103

This course examines the history, philosophy and components of the American corrections system. It provides an overview of the origins of correctional systems in the United States; and, examines the programs that make up the correctional system to include jails, probation, parole, intermediate punishments, and prisons.

8 credits
70 theory hours
20 lab hours

Ethics

CJ104

This course is an intense examination of the ethical considerations faced by personnel in the criminal justice industry. The topics include an examination of cultural values and mores, understanding what constitutes moral and ethical behavior; and, how it all applies to the everyday decision making process.

8 credits
70 theory hours
20 lab hours

Victimology

CJ105

This course is a comprehensive and balanced exploration of victimology, a controversial issue in criminology that seeks to provide a better understanding of how society and the criminal justice system treat victims as a whole. Over the past two decades, much of the data comes from statistics gathered through the FBI’s annual NIBR Report and Bureau of Justice Statistics National Crime Victimization Survey.

8 credits
70 theory hours
20 lab hours

Organized Crime

CJ106

This course introduces the student to Organized Crime. It reviews the beginnings and evolution, both foreign and domestic, of Organized Crime groups. It will also cover the theories of organized criminal behavior, the businesses that organized crime groups participate in, how we look at terrorism as it relates to organized crime and how to control the spread of organized crime.

8 credits
70 theory hours
20 lab hours

Police System and Practices

CJ107

This course provides an introduction to the inner workings of the police department to include administration, CID, special operations teams, internal affairs, school resources, and other specialized community policing groups, with special emphasis on patrol procedures.

8 credits
70 theory hours
20 lab hours

Crime and Criminals

CJ208

This course introduces students to the study of crime and criminal behavior as well as to theories of crime causation. It reviews different types of crime and examines crime control policy.

8 credits
70 theory hours
20 lab hours

Criminal Investigation

CJ209

This course provides students with instruction in the fundamentals of criminal investigation by examining the processes involved in identifying and arresting criminal suspects, identifying the types of crimes and offenses, and in preparing for court.

8 credits
70 theory hours
20 lab hours

Criminal Behavior

CJ210

This course introduces the student to Criminal Behavior. It reviews the origins of criminal behavior. It will cover human aggression and violence along with juvenile delinquency as it relates to criminal behavior, criminal psychopathy and mental disorders as they relate to crime. The course will cover a broad spectrum of topics including homicide, family violence, sex crimes, multiple murders and school/workplace violence. Finally, the course will offer insight into terrorism, property and public order crimes, violent economic crimes, crimes of intimidation and how substance abuse and alcohol relate to criminal behavior.

8 credits
70 theory hours
20 lab hours

Introduction to College Mathematics

GE201

Introduction to College Mathematics covers basic math topics such as solving for whole numbers and equations, understanding proper and improper fractions, converting decimals and figuring percentages. Other topics covered include calculating simple interest, annuities, loan amortization, checkbook reconciliation, and business statistical problems such as mean, median and mode.

9 credits
90 theory hours

Introduction to Computer Science

GE202

This course introduces various information and communications technologies and explains how information systems are used to solve problems.

4.5 credits
45 theory hours

Introduction to Psychology

GE203

This course includes the study of the theories and concepts of psychology including the scope of psychology, biological foundations and the brain, sensation, perception, motivation, personality, learning/memory, emotion, states of consciousness, personality theories, cognition, life-span development, and applied psychology.

4.5 credits
45 theory hours

English Composition I

GE206

This course introduces students to critical reading and writing, research techniques, citation and documentation formats, as well as the use of correct grammar and sentence structure to communicate effectively.

4.5 credits
45 theory hours

English Composition II

GE207

This course builds on the skills learned in English Composition I. It develops written communication skills with an emphasis on the use of the writing process, the analysis of readings, and the practice of writing for personal and professional applications.

4.5 credits
45 theory hours

Program Availability

Ground Campuses

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