The Criminal Justice Program offers 13 courses and four options of completion to accommodate a wide range of educational and vocational needs.
The first option is the Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. This is an academic transfer degree that requires the student to complete the core curriculum plus a minimum of 21 credit hours (seven courses) in the discipline by choosing from 10 different courses in criminal justice and forensic science. This seven-course requirement is an unusually broad background in the discipline's content area for students pursuing associate degrees giving LSCO criminal justice graduates an academic advantage over students completing programs with less stringent requirements.
The second option is the Criminal Justice Certificate, requiring a minimum of eight courses in the discipline, one of which involves field experience under the combined supervision and mentorship of the program director and members of local law enforcement agencies.
The third option is a Corrections Certificate. This is a 15 to16 credit-hour course of study that prepares the graduate for a career as a county jailer and which may also be subsequently applied to the completion of the Criminal Justice Certificate.
The fourth option, a Forensic Science Institutional Award, is one of the few programs of its kind in Texas. It not only allows students currently working in law enforcement to boost their skills, advance their careers or change careers to the dynamic field of forensic science, but the coursework required by this award may also be applied toward the other certificates and the Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice.
Students with felony convictions on record may be unable to complete some of the requirements of the criminal justice programs.