Criminal Justice

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

A police officer leans casually against the open door of his squad car, posing for a portrait.

Serve and protect your community with a career in criminal justice. Gain crucial insight into the U.S. legal system, corrections, and probation while learning how to create a safer and more just society. Personalize your education to match your career goals.

Career Outlook: Law Enforcement

The criminal justice field offers a variety of rewarding career opportunities. Criminal justice professionals often work in areas such as law enforcement, the courts, security, probation, and corrections. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects demand for law enforcement professionals to grow 3% by 2030, with roughly 68,500 job openings available each year. The average salary for police and detectives was $66,000 in 2021. A four-year degree in criminal justice opens up additional career paths in forensics, criminology, and more.

A.A.S. Program Overview

Learn how to make a positive impact on your community while gaining a strong background in criminal, procedural, and constitutional law. Our degree program teaches you how to communicate effectively with criminal justice professionals. You'll take courses in criminal law, corrections, probation practices, law enforcement, parole, and youth or community service. Discuss current issues in criminal justice and gain hands-on experience with the latest law enforcement technology, including mobile data terminals, body cams, and forensic tools.

Real-World Experience with Community Partners

Complete a 225-hour co-op internship with one of our many city, county, and state partners. As long-standing members of the local community, our faculty have strong working relationships with law enforcement agencies, district attorney offices, public defender offices, and other criminal justice organizations in the Finger Lakes. Our internship program matches student interests with our community partner needs, so you'll gain first-hand experience doing meaningful justice work while shadowing experts.

Choose from Three Concentrations

Our flexible program lets you choose from three criminal justice specializations to learn the industry skills most relevant to your preferred career path. In addition to several core classes that all criminal justice students complete, you'll have the opportunity to advance your knowledge in one of the following concentrations:

Focus on criminal procedure and prepare for police academy.

Learn about criminal procedures, investigation techniques, and the daily responsibilities of police work. This concentration prepares you for the NYS Police Officer / Deputy Sheriff Exam and an entry-level position with a law enforcement agency. After successfully completing an agency-sponsored police academy training, you'll begin your career as either a patrol officer or deputy sheriff.

Focus on correctional facilities administration and inmate supervision.

Discover what it takes to successfully manage the daily operations of a jail, prison, or other correctional institution. You'll learn how to enforce rules, supervise inmate activities, and maintain a safe environment. This concentration prepares you for the NYS Correction Officer Civil Service Exam and an entry-level position in a correctional facility. After successfully completing an agency-sponsored correctional services training academy, you'll begin your career as a correctional officer.

Focus on case management and how to appropriately respond to various offenses.

Study counseling techniques and communication strategies that can help rehabilitate people with criminal records. This track prepares you for the NYS Probation Officer Civil Service Exam and an entry-level position in probation work. Within the first six months of employment, you're required to complete two additional NYS training programs, which include the Fundamentals of Probation Practice and peace officer training.

Online Learning

Over 50% of our criminal justice courses are available online. Online learning provides a convenient and flexible way to earn an education. Study on your time and from a location that fits your busy schedule. Learn more about FLCC online learning.

A.A.S. Program Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this degree program, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of the component parts of the Criminal Justice System.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the procedural safeguards in the adjudication of a criminal matter.
  • Knowledge of the four (4) major areas of jurisdiction of the New York State Family Court and the procedural steps in each area.

Career Pathways

Many graduates of our program work in law enforcement at state and local agencies. Others have careers in private security, the court system, and the U.S. Border Patrol. Some potential career options include:

  • Correctional Officer
  • Drug Enforcement
  • Forensic Science Technician
  • Police Officer
  • Private Security
  • Probation or Parole Officer

Seamless Transfer Opportunities

Graduates have also pursued four-year degrees in criminal justice or a related field at regional colleges and universities, including:

  • Nazareth College
  • Roberts Wesleyan University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • St. John Fisher University
  • SUNY Brockport
  • SUNY Canton
  • SUNY Fredonia
  • SUNY Oswego
  • SUNY Potsdam

Some of our graduates who hold an advanced degree in this field have started careers in the Drug Enforcement Administration, Probation, U.S. Marshall's Office, U.S. Secret Service, and various New York State courts.

Low-Cost Tuition and Scholarship Opportunities

Earn a quality education at an affordable rate. With our low cost-per-credit and general scholarship opportunities, you can maximize your potential with minimal debt. 80% of students are awarded scholarships or financial aid that help with the cost of college.


Our criminal justice faculty bring decades of real-world law enforcement experience to the classroom. A practicing attorney and former sergeant teach the majority of our law enforcement and criminal justice courses. Our adjunct faculty also bring a range of specialized knowledge to FLCC. From patrol officers and chief of police to corrections administrators, our instructors have the experience and connections needed to help you get started in criminal justice.

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