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Criminal Justice Studies

Learn to serve and protect. Law enforcement professionals provide important peacekeeping functions. They also prevent crimes, investigate complaints, apprehend and assist in the prosecution of violators. Through your criminal justice degree and certificate classes at HCC, you will learn about the array of career options and prepare for the written and oral testing required for employment in the field. Possible opportunities include:

  • municipal police departments
  • county sheriff's departments
  • state and federal agencies
  • probation or parole
  • juvenile justice casework
  • corrections facilities
  • private investigative services

Fast Facts:

Graduates of Heartland's Criminal Justice Studies program work at the local, state and federal levels.

What Is The Occupational Outlook?

Employment of probation officers and correctional treatment specialists is expected to grow by 18% from 2010 to 2020. Employment of police and detectives is expected to grow by 7% during that same period. Continued demand for public safety will lead to new openings for officers in local departments. However, both state and federal jobs may be more competitive.*

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition

Your HCC Options

There are different paths into this field. Consider your career goals and personal interests, and then choose the option that best meets your needs.

1. Earn your Heartland degree and transfer to a four-year college or university:

Associate in Arts - Concentration in Criminal Justice - 60 credit hours
Associate in Science - Concentration in Criminal Justice - 60 credit hours

If you plan to complete the first two years of study leading to a bachelor's degree at Heartland and then transfer as a Criminal Justice major to a four-year college or university in Illinois, the Associate in Arts (AA) or Associate in Sciences (AS) transfer peparation program is the path for you. This 60-credit hour area of concentration includes general education requirements, required core courses in Criminal Justice, and recommended electives.

2. Earn your Heartland degree and transition directly into the workforce:

Associate in Applied Science - Criminal Justice Studies - 65 credit hours

If your goal is to move directly into the workforce after graduating from Heartland, you can earn an Associate in Applied Science degree.

3. Earn your certificate or industry credential at heartland:

Criminal Justice Corrections Certificate - 21 credit hours

If working in the corrections field immediately is your priority, then the Criminal Justice Corrections Certificate is an ideal option for you. You will still have the opportunity to continue working toward your degree.