Why Study Criminal Justice?

Criminal Justice and the protection of our nation’s critical infrastructure are fast-growing fields. The associate degree in Criminal Justice provides instruction in the area of law enforcement, allowing the student to understand the workings of the criminal justice system.

An Associate of Science (AS) degree provides a solid foundation for those who plan to transfer to a four-year college.

School of Business and Professional Studies

Degree Tracks & Course Sequence

Associate of Science (AS): Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice – The criminal justice system consists of police departments, the courts system and departments of corrections, and offers employment opportunities at the local, state and federal levels of government as well as private/nonprofit settings. The associate’s degree in Criminal Justice prepares graduates for entry-level careers in law enforcement, corrections and court supportive services. In therapeutic environments, there are positions as victim/witness advocates, counselors and youth specialists. Many opportunities also exist in corporate security and retail security operations.

Earn a BS and an MPA in Criminal Justice in 5 years through RCC’s Partnership with St. Thomas Aquinas College!

Transfer Pathway:

  • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice (RCC) (2 years)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (STAC) (2 years)
  • Master of Public Administration-Criminal Justice (STAC) (1 year)

Degrees Awarded:

  • Bachelor’s degree (B.S.) and Master of Public Administration (M.P. A.-CJ) from St. Thomas Aquinas College

This accelerated, combined degree program at St. Thomas Aquinas College is designed to allow RCC students to obtain a Master’s in Public Administration-Criminal Justice in as little as 3 years after transferring to STAC. In addition to tuition incentives, students will be able to enter the workforce sooner through an accelerated program. The MPA program prepares students for a variety of professional careers, including those found in government, public service, and the non-profit sector both in criminal justice agencies and more broadly.

Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from RCC Required: YES

General Agreement Highlights

  • Students must graduate with an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice from Rockland Community College (RCC) with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to be eligible.
  • Students who meet the above requirements will be guaranteed acceptance to St. Thomas Aquinas College, will meet with and by advised by the MPA-CJ Program Director, and will transfer with junior standing.
  • RCC graduates will qualify for a 2+2+1 Transfer Student Scholarship for full-time study leading toward the MPA-CJ.
  • All transfer credits will be applied toward the completion of the articulated Bachelor of Science degree program in Criminal Justice.
  • Students must register at the receiving institution as full-time, matriculated students
  • Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress towards the degree, a cumulative GPA of 3.0, and a full-time matriculated status. (See graduate catalog for description of academic progress.)

Contact Patricia Szobonya at [email protected] or Kevin Barrett at [email protected] for more information about this opportunity.

Real World Ready

Listening to workforce needs

Graduates of Rockland Community College are provided with a clear path to meaningful careers that meet the needs of businesses and industry in the communities we serve. Our students are trained in specific skills that are needed by employers, and guided through a career path that leads directly to workforce opportunities. With affordable tuition, students who begin their college careers at RCC are ready to meet the demands of the real world.

Free Career Exploration Assessment [ACCESS CODE: pathways]

Student Success

At Rockland Community College, you are provided with a Student Success Team that will help you with your academic journey, career exploration, transfer planning, support service referrals, and more! Your Team includes your Dean, Program Director, Faculty Advisor, Student Success Advisor, Connection Center Counselor, Financial Aid Advisor, Peer Mentors, and if you’re involved in any of these special programs, your Athletics, Honors, TRiO, and Veterans Advisors. During your first semester, you will take an ‘Introduction to the School’ course that will outline the various College offices and departments that can help you on your path.

Get Advised

Career Outlook

Students who complete this degree program may find positions in the private sector with business corporations and security firms, as well as many government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Police Pre-Employment Certification is your one-way ticket to a fulfilling career in law enforcement! This program offers the education you need before taking the Civil Service exam.

It works like this. First, you enroll in the program to earn a certification that makes you a more marketable and qualified candidate for both full-time and part-time police officer positions. It’s important to note that the Civil Service exam is only given every 4 years, so it’s crucial to be prepared with the right training and education. After passing the exam and obtaining your certification, you’ll be employable to work at a law enforcement agency while undergoing training to become a full-time officer.


  • Obtain your Police Pre-Employment Certification
  • Pass Your Civil Service Exam (often completed before receiving the Police Pre-Employment Certification program)
  • Apply to part-time and full-time employment opportunities in Law Enforcement
  • Undergo about a month of final Law Enforcement Training to become a fully certified officer

Graduates from the program also have the opportunity to work for departments that do not require civil service testing, such as the District Attorney’s Office, certain local agencies, AMTRAK police, and others.

Apply Today! for the Police Pre-Employment Certificate Program (Opens in new tab)

Job Roles

Security Officer, Criminal investigator, Security Specialist, Case Manager, Investigator, Detective, and Intake Specialist


Department of Homeland Security, Government, Private Security, Justice Agencies, Correctional Facilities, Attorney Offices, and Higher Education


Police Officers

$80,210 NYS Average
National Average $70,000 annually

Detective and Criminal Investigator

$97,000 NYS Average
National Average $89,300 annually

Employment and wage data by occupation are based on the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, which collects information from approximately 51,000 businesses. labor.ny.gov

Alumni Spotlight

Get Started Today

Rockland Community College, State University of New York, offers a safe, supportive learning environment for thousands of students from diverse backgrounds. RCC has become the “first choice” for parents and students. Thanks to our affordable tuition, students can save $100,000 on a college education by starting at RCC and transferring to outstanding four-year colleges.