Criminal Justice

Humanities & Social Sciences

Degree awarded: Associate in Applied Science

Program Narrative

Northampton's 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.

Courses taught by experts in the field include hands-on education within a classroom setting. You'll obtain an understanding of the criminal justice system, be adept with the language and culture of the criminal justice profession, and gain the knowledge you need to live up to professional expectations. The program is fully available at the Bethlehem and Monroe campuses, as well as online. Course work is offered mainly in the daytime on campus, with some courses available only in the evening.

Program Features

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 police departments, prisons, or community correction and treatment centers. It can also prepare you for a career in state and federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Treasury Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Bureau. If you are interested in working for a specific agency, you should contact that agency early in your studies to determine the specific educational requirements you will need. Professionals in Northampton's Career Services and counseling offices, as well as instructors within the program, can assist you in meeting your career goals.

If your career plan includes a bachelor's degree with specialization in the field, you may want to consider the College's articulation agreements and dual admissions programs with DeSales University, Moravian College or Eastern Kentucky University's College of Law Enforcement. These special partnerships make the move to a bachelor's degree program easier, since we've already ensured that your credits from NCC will transfer. Full transfer also may be possible to other colleges and universities offering baccalaureate degrees in the field. Northampton's Academic Advising Office can offer you support and additional information.

The program can be completed in four semesters as a full-time student taking 15-16 credits per semester. The majority of courses are offered in the day, but three required courses are offered in the evening only. Courses are offered in the fall and spring only.

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

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the program will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of criminological behavior theory as applied by the criminal justice professional in the work environment.
  • Understand psychological and sociological theories of crime causation.
  • Know the functions, duties and roles of law enforcement officers at various levels in the criminal justice system.
  • Show knowledge of criminal law, criminal procedure, civil law and the courts as it relates to the legal system.
  • Exhibit awareness of the special needs and functions of the juvenile justice system.
  • Develop understanding of the corrections system in the United States.
  • Apply the ability to think critically and analytically in various criminal justice work settings.
  • Develop excellent professional writing and communication skills.
  • Exemplify the basic professional requirements for entry level positions through the criminal justice system.
  • Be prepared to transfer to a four year college/university.

Criminal Justice

Associate in Applied Science Degree

Course Code Course Title Credits
First Semester
CJST 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3
CMTH 102 Speech Communication 3
ENGL 101 English I 3
PSYC 103 Introduction to Psychology 3
SOCA 103 Principles of Sociology 3
Second Semester
CISC 101 Introduction to Computers 3
CJST 111 American Legal System 3
CJST 131 Juvenile Justice 3
ENGL 151R English II (Report Writing) 3
PSYC 255 Abnormal Psychology 3
SOCA 150 Deviance 3
Third Semester
CJST 115 Criminal Law 3
CJST 121G Criminology 3
CJST 145 Criminal Justice Ethics 3
SOCA 204 Social Problems 3
---------- Mathematics (QL) or Science Elective (SCI) ++ 3/4
Fourth Semester
CJST 125 Corrections and Rehabilitation 3
CJST 250 Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice 3
POLS 105G American Constitutional Law 3
---------- Arts and Humanities Elective (AH) 3
---------- Elective +++ 3
Total Credits: 63/64

 ++ Mathematics (QL) or Science (SCI) Elective must be chosen from the list of approved General Education Mathematics or Science courses. (NOTE: MATH 103 may not be used.) MATH 150 is recommended for students who intend to transfer.
+++ Elective credits may not be satisfied by a CJST course, except CJST 135, Law Enforcement and Investigative Techniques.

  • Completion of both POLS 105G and CJST 121G satisfies the Writing Intensive (WI) requirement.
  • CJST 250 is a capstone course and should be taken in the final semester with CJST 125.

Career Potential: Police Officer, Correctional Officer, Security Consultant, Community Treatment Facility Staff

Leading to: Federal Security Agency Positions, Criminal Law Enforcement