Criminal Justice

Program Description

This Criminal Justice program prepares students for transfer to a four-year college or university. Goal is to acquire basic understanding of the criminal justice field. Criminal justice courses provide a working knowledge of the various bureaucratic structures and systems with sociology and psychology courses aiding in the understanding of human behavior. Major concentration options include law enforcement, courts, corrections and security.

Faculty members use an interactive learning approach in classes to help students develop critical thinking and decision-making skills. Experts and community practitioners often visit classrooms to share everyday work experiences.


Students interested in criminal justice should possess excellent self-esteem, initiative, discretion, curiosity, objectivity, communication skill, ability to handle stress, and desire to interact with people in good and bad situations. High school students will benefit from social science courses in sociology, psychology, political science and government. Courses in English, speech, computer science and foreign languages, physical fitness and health sciences also are helpful.

Prospective students should be aware that employment candidates are subject to extensive background checks that may include drug screening, polygraph testing, physical and psychological examinations, and oral and/or written proficiency examinations.

Program Requirements

Students who complete the curriculum requirements earn an Associate in Arts degree.

BSC has cooperative agreements with Dickinson State University and Minot State University and several other four-year institutions that allow students to continue with a bachelor’s degree on the BSC campus. Those transferring to other institutions should consult the catalog of that institution for possible BSC course substitutions.

Contact your BSC advisor for assistance with transfer planning.

Career Opportunities

Those who complete the two-year program may also find employment in certain sectors of the criminal justice field, but careful consultation with program personnel is recommended before such a decision is made.

Career possibilities: Police Officer, Corrections Officer, Detective, Security Officer, Youth Bureau Officer, Narcotics Investigator, Parole/Probation Officer, County Sheriff, Highway Patrolman, Industrial Security Chief.

Additional Information

BSC’s criminal justice students have opportunities to apply their academic learning in professional work settings through internships and cooperative education placements with a variety of local law enforcement and affiliated criminal justice agencies.


Joe Ellefson • Schafer Hall 202

Associate in Arts

College Degree Requirements

Note: Courses listed on degree plan are suggested. Students should consult with their advisor concerning their unique transfer decisions.

Total Degree Credits60-61
Plan of Study Grid
1st YearCredits
Arts & Humanities  
PHIL 210 Ethics 3
Communications I  
ENGL 110 College Composition I 3
Communications II  
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition II  
Introduction to Professional Writing  
POLS 115 American Government 3
PSYC 111 Introduction to Psychology 3
Enrichment Course Matrix 2
Math, Science & Technology  
Select one of the following: 3-4
College Algebra  
Elementary Statistics  
Math, Science & Technology  
CSCI 101 Introduction to Computers 3
Social & Behavioral Sciences  
CJ 201 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3
SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology 3
2nd Year
Arts & Humanitites  
General Education Matrix (Arts & Humanities) 3
General Education Matrix (Arts & Humanities) 3
Communications III  
COMM 110 Fundamentals of Public Speaking 3
CJ 210 Introduction To Policing 3
CJ 220 Criminal Law 3
CJ 226 Criminal Investigation 3
CJ 254 Juvenile Justice System 3
CJ 270 Introduction to Corrections 3
SOC 252 Criminology 3
Math, Science & Technology  
Select one of the following pairs: 4
Concepts of Biology
and Concepts of Biology Lab
Introduction to Forensic Science
and Introduction to Forensic Science Lab
 Total Credits60-61