The Associate in Criminal Justice program is part of BGSU Firelands.   

BGSU Firelands Criminal Justice students investigating a mock crime scene.
  • Available at Firelands Campus
  • Available at Firelands Campus

Associate of Applied Science in

Criminal Justice

The associate degree in criminal justice provides students with an essential understanding of government, legal systems, people and their cultures to be successful in administering and enforcing laws.

This program allows students to easily transfer into the four-year program offered at BGSU Firelands and at Bowling Green State University. Students who complete the associate degree requirements will be slightly more than half way through the bachelor’s degree curriculum.

This program addresses the needs of students entering the career chain and prepares them to grow with the increasing challenges of the profession. Emphasis is placed on superior academic attainment and effective verbal and written communication skills, with a core program concentration providing a thorough exposure to understanding government, law, people and their cultures.  

  • Setting: Full-time, part-time, in-person 
  • Prerequisite required: 2.5 cumulative GPA and a C or better in CRJU 2100 
  • Adjectives for a successful student: Dedicated, self-motivated, open-minded

Students can expect to:

  • Learn ethical practices in the pursuit of justice. 
  • Gain an awareness and understanding of the criminal justice system and its role in a democratic society, from structural components of various institutions to problems confronted in the law enforcement and corrections agencies. 
  • Understand the organizational structure and policy procedures of police agencies in contemporary society, as well as an appreciation for the issues and dilemmas the institution confronts. 
  • Acquire an understanding of the law—criminal, civil and personal liability/injury, due process, equal protection under the law and the role investigations play in the process, focusing on investigation techniques and the evaluation and preservation of data. 
  • Obtain knowledge of the nature, causes, treatment, and prevention of crime and evidence from the physiological, psychological, and sociological perspectives.

Students gain a greater understanding of the criminal justice
environment through community-based learning.

The Criminial Justice program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.


Tracy McGinley 

Teaching professor and program advisor, criminal justice 

Message from the director: Criminal justice is a unique field to work in and offers the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of people on a regular basis. Criminal justice professionals participate in a variety of professions that offer different interactions daily. The criminal justice degree offers opportunities for a variety of employment opportunities. Students from BGSU Firelands go on to work in local law enforcement, F.B.I. corrections, probation, parole, the recovery field, victims’ assistance programs and law. Depending on the career path for which the student is interested, they may have to continue their education or seek training and experience. Students are given opportunities for community-based learning. Students can complete the degree at Firelands at an affordable rate.

Updated: 05/29/2024 08:32AM