Colleges and universities first started offering criminology degrees in the 1890s, making this degree a great option for learners who want to study a long-standing discipline. Earning an online associate degree in criminology provides foundational training for several entry-level roles.

In addition to preparing graduates for jobs, online associate in criminology programs help shorten the time required to earn a bachelor's degree. Read on to learn about common coursework and relevant jobs.

Should I Get an Associate in Criminology?

Earning an associate degree in criminology provides graduates with an understanding of why crime happens and how society can respond effectively.

Earning an associate degree in criminology provides graduates with an understanding of why crime happens and how society can respond effectively. Whether degree-seekers aspire to work as detectives, security guards, correctional officers, or youth specialists, earning an online associate degree in criminology prepares them to succeed in criminal justice.

While an associate degree provides a foot in the door, prospective students should note that many roles require a bachelor's degree or higher. Still, associate programs can help learners save money toward a bachelor's degree and allow them to explore the field before moving forward.

Full-time students typically take two years to earn an associate degree in criminology. Part-time enrollees usually take about three years. While most roles available to graduates do not require licensure, many employers provide onsite training for new recruits.

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What Will I Learn in a Criminology Associate Program?

Coursework in an online associate program in criminology varies by school, but most cover the same foundational topics and teach the same skills. Criminology associate programs typically cover the U.S. criminal justice system, criminal investigation and procedure, the history of criminology, and preparing for a career in public safety.

In addition to learning more about the history of the discipline, enrollees explore how the criminal justice systems work and where they may best fit within it.

Prospective degree-seekers might encounter two types of criminology associate programs: associate of science (AS) and associate of applied science (AAS). An AS provides a good first step toward a bachelor's degree, while an AAS focuses more on preparing students for work immediately after graduation.

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What Can I Do With an Associate in Criminology?

Unlike some other industries, the criminology field tends to be less formal in educational requirements. Associate degree-holders can pursue many jobs within public and private criminal justice settings. Graduates may work for a private security or investigation company or they may apply for jobs with the local, state, or federal government.

New graduates can apply for entry-level jobs. Many of these roles provide room for professional growth without requiring an additional degree. Associate degree-holders can also pursue a bachelor's degree and potentially move up the ladder faster.

Popular Career Paths

Popular Continued Criminology Paths

How Much Money Can I Make With an Associate in Criminology?

Salary for graduates of an online associate program in criminology depends on factors like experience level, employer, and job title. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, police and detectives earned a median annual salary of $67,290 in 2020. All protective service professionals earned a median annual salary of $43,710 in 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in Criminology Programs

What is criminology?

Criminology is the study of crime, who commits crimes, why they do so, and how crime impacts society. The discipline uses this information to determine how to prevent future crimes and dissuade would-be criminals from acting.

What kind of jobs can I get with an associate in criminology?

Professionals need a bachelor's degree or higher to work as criminologists, but many employers hire graduates with an associate degree in criminology. Possible careers for associate degree-holders include police officer, private detective, security guard, and correctional officer.

How much does it cost to get an associate in criminology?

Tuition for an associate degree in criminology varies by school. Students can usually earn the most affordable degree by enrolling in a public school or community college as a resident student. Private school enrollees pay the highest tuition rates.

Is an associate in criminology worth it?

An associate degree in criminology can be a great fit for learners who want to work in the field but do not feel ready to commit to a four-year degree. Earning this degree qualifies graduates for a variety of entry-level roles, allowing them to enter the workforce quickly.

How long does it take to get an associate in criminology?

Most programs require approximately 60-65 credits and take two years to complete. If learners decide to pursue a bachelor's degree after, those two years of credits count toward their next degree.