Iowa Western Community College
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Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice

Just the Facts

Program Start Term: Fall, Spring, Summer
Program Length: 2 Years
Award: A.A.

Completed Online: Both
Completed in the Evenings: Day, Evening, Online
Pathway: Transfer Path
Career Cluster: Social Sciences
Program Locations:

About the Program

Challenging. Demanding. Exciting. Those words appropriately describe the field of law enforcement, and if it’s a field that interests you, Iowa Western's Criminal Justice program is the perfect choice. In two years, you can earn an Associate of Arts degree and become a probation officer or state trooper, or you can choose to transfer to a four-year institution to work toward a bachelor’s degree.

Iowa Western instructors have work-related experience in criminal justice, so you’ll gain first-hand knowledge of what’s involved in this field. Guest speakers and tours of correctional facilities also help prepare you for entry into law enforcement.

Day, night, and online classes are available, giving you flexibility with your personal schedule. Upon request, job placement help is offered. Who is hiring? To name a few: the Omaha Police Department, the State Patrol, the Border Patrol, U.S. Capitol Police, and private security companies.

Career Information

This program is designed for students intending to transfer on to a four-year institution upon completion of this two-year degree. However, jobs are available for students who earn an associate’s degree and want to directly enter the work force. Graduates of this program are prepared for careers such as police officers, child protective services workers, correctional specialists, drug enforcement agents, criminal justice administrators, and investigators.

Career Coach

Program Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

  • Explain the mission of each of the 3 core components of the criminal justice system. 
  • Identify the correctional remedies available within the criminal justice sentencing process.
  • Evaluate the importance of the U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights as applied to each of the 3 core components fo the criminal justice system.
  • Recognize ethical misconduct in the police, courts, and corrections components of the criminal justice system.
  • Assess the inherent mental, physical, and emotional challenges police and correctional officers face every day in the performance of their duties.


* Because career opportunities associated with this degree are so varied, salaries vary considerably as well. To explore careers and gather specific salary information, we encourage you to visit the following website: IHaveaPlanIowa