Criminal Justice, Associate in Applied Science



Northampton Community College’s (NCC) Criminal Justice program offers you a wealth of opportunities. Whether you want to enter the workforce after two years of study, transfer to a four-year program, or enhance your education as a professional already employed in this field, NCC's program is for you.

All courses are taught by experts in the field.  Learning takes place within a classroom setting, combined with out-of-class relevant experiential learning opportunities such as paid & unpaid internships, volunteer service learning opportunities, job shadowing, department & agency tours, and other hands-on options. You'll obtain an understanding of the criminal justice & juvenile justice systems, be adept with the language and culture of these occupations, and gain the knowledge you need to live up to professional expectations. The program offers students flexibility and is fully available at the Bethlehem and Monroe campuses, as well as online. Courses are offered mainly in the daytime on campus, with some courses available in the evening, and all courses available online every Spring, Summer & Fall semester.


The program serves three types of students: those seeking entry-level employment in the field, those already employed in the system who seek professional advancement, and those who plan to pursue a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, criminology or related disciplines.

Our program readies you for employment in the local, state, or federal level components of law enforcement, Prosecutors’ Offices, Public Defenders’ Offices, courts, corrections, probation, parole, treatment, and the Juvenile Justice System. It can also prepare you for a career in private sector security or for the military branches of service. If you are interested in working for a specific department or agency, you should contact a program success navigator or your advisor early in your studies to determine the specific educational requirements you will need. Professionals in NCC’s Career Services and Counseling offices, as well as experienced instructors within the program, can assist you in meeting your career goals. 

All of our instructors are either current or former criminal justice or juvenile justice professionals, so they speak with the voice of experience; not just from a textbook. Additionally, students who have acquired prior discipline-related learning or training experiences might be granted course equivalent credits based upon NCC’s life-experience portfolio assessment process.

If your career plan includes a bachelor's degree with specialization in the field, you may want to consider transferring to one of the four-year schools that we have an articulation agreement with such as East Stroudsburg University, Keystone College, Penn State-Lehigh Valley, or the University of Pittsburgh. These special partnerships make the move to a bachelor's degree program easier, since we've already ensured that your credits from NCC will seamlessly transfer. Full transfer also may be possible to other colleges and universities offering baccalaureate degrees in the field. NCC’s Academic Advising Transfer Specialists and Success Navigators can offer you support and additional information.

The program can be completed in four semesters as a full-time student taking 15-18 credits per semester, or by taking fewer credits each semester, and enrolling in summer classes. The total degree credits are 64-66 credits depending on which courses are completed.

Contact the Admissions Office at 610-861-5500 for further information.

Career Potential: Lawyer, Detective Investigator, Crime Scene Technician, Police, Probation, Parole, Court, Corrections, Security, juvenile justice, or other Public Safety Officer positions

Leading to: Local, State or Federal Criminal Justice, Security, Law, and Public Safety positions


Graduates of the program will:

  1. 1. Describe and analyze the criminal justice system and its components, functions, participants and their roles.
    (CJST 101 – Intro., CJST 111 Am. Legal Sys., CJST 131 –Juvenile, CJST 225 - Corrections)

  2. 2. Explain and evaluate criminological and related theories as applied in the fields of criminal and juvenile justice.
    (CJST 121G - Criminology, CJST 131 - Juvenile, Soc. and Psyc. courses)

  3. 3. Appraise and evaluate issues of ethics and diversity in the field of criminal justice.
    (CJST 101 - Intro, CJST 245 - Ethics, CJST 250 – Contemp. Issues)

  4. 4. Analyze and critique the administration of justice and maintenance of order in a free society by the public and private sectors in theory, policy, and practice.
    (CJST 101 – Intro., CJST 121G - Criminology, CJST 135 - Law Enforcement)

  5. 5. Assess and interpret law and its role in society’s attempt to regulate human behavior.
    (CJST 111 – Am. Legal Sys., CJST 115 - Crim. Law, POLS 105G – Con. Law)

  6. 6. Demonstrate effective communication and behavioral skills appropriate to the field of criminal justice.
    (CMTH 102, ENGL 101, ENGL 151[L or R], CJST 121g, POLS 105g, Soc. and Psyc. courses)




First Semester

COLS101College Success

1 credits

CJST101Introduction to Criminal Justice

3 credits

COMM101Introduction to Communication

3 credits

ENGL101English I

3 credits

SOCA103Principles of Sociology

3 credits

PSYC103Introduction to Psychology

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:16

Second Semester

CISC101Introduction to Information Technology

3 credits

CJST111American Legal System

3 credits

CJST131Juvenile Justice

3 credits


ENGL151LEnglish II

3 credits


ENGL151REnglish II

3 credits



3 credits


3 credits

Total Credit Hours:18

Third Semester

CJST115Criminal Law

3 credits


3 credits

CJST245Criminal Justice Ethics

3 credits

SOCA204Social Problems

3 credits

Mathematics (QL) or Science (SCI) Elective +

3/4 credits

Total Credit Hours:15-16

Fourth Semester

CJST225Corrections and Rehabilitation

3 credits

CJST250Contemporary Issues Criminal Justice

3 credits

POLS210GAmerican Constitutional Law

3 credits

General Education Elective (AH)

3 credits

Elective ++

3/4 credits

Total Credit Hours:15-16

Total Credit Hours: 64-66

+ Mathematics (QL) or Science (SCI) Elective must be chosen from the list of approved General Education Mathematics or Science courses. (NOTE: MATH103 may not be used.) MATH150 is recommended for students who intend to transfer. BIOS104 is recommended as the Science Elective.


++ Elective credits may not be satisfied by a CJST course, except CJST135.

  • One course must be designated Diversity and Global Awareness (D).
  • Completion of both POLS210G and CJST121G satisfies the program-related Writing Intensive (WI) requirement.
  • CJST250 is a capstone course and should be taken in the final semester with CJST225.