Female criminal justice professional in court room
What does it cost?

Approximate Annual Cost: Check out our tuition calculator for information on estimated costs.

63.4% of Perimeter College students receive financial assistance.
How long will it take?

Approximate program length: 2 years

Where will I take classes?
Alpharetta, Clarkston, Decatur, Dunwoody, Newton, Online

This program is available fully in-class, in a hybrid format or fully online.

Application Deadlines View Admissions Requirements

  • Fall Semester (starts in August) — Due by August 1
  • Spring Semester (starts in January) — Due by December 1
  • Summer Semester (starts in late May) — Due by May 1

Criminal Justice Pathway, A.S.

The Georgia State University Criminal Justice (CJU) pathway seeks to develop leaders with the knowledge to pursue careers in the fields of courts, corrections and policing. The study of criminal justice often serves as a jumpstart and introduction for students planning on attending law school.

The Criminal Justice Pathway Advantage

Whether you are interested in a career in law enforcement, our corrections institutions or pre-law—or want to know more about how the United States criminal justice system works—the criminal justice pathway offers up-to-date, real-world information for a wide range of career options. Designed by dedicated faculty with backgrounds in criminal justice, criminology and law, the criminal justice program provides students a strong foundational knowledge of the criminal justice system.

During this program, students will gain insight into the three facets of the United States criminal justice system:

  • Judicial System/Courts
  • Corrections
  • Policing

A note on pathways: A pathway is an advising guide to help students prepare for their intended bachelor’s degree major. By following the course of study outlined in the appropriate Associate of Arts or Associate of Science pathway, students will have the necessary prerequisite courses to continue in their chosen disciplines. A pathway is not a major and will not be represented on the diploma.

Students should consult with advisers to confirm availability of online courses and requirements or additional costs that may be associated with courses. Students should check with advisers about which campuses offer the courses they need. Typically, core courses required for pathways can be taken at most locations and online, while pathway-specific courses may require attendance at a particular location.

Why Our Criminal Justice Pathway Works

Honest and Open Dialogue

Students learn from a program that stresses critical thinking and an integrated view of the criminal justice system, highlighting the relationships among the many different individuals and institutions involved and the need for professionalism and transparency across all aspects of law enforcement, the courts and corrections, including our juvenile justice system.

Your Success Matters

You will work with the undergraduate advisement center throughout your time at Georgia State at Perimeter College to make sure you are enrolling in the correct courses. Because earning an associate degree requires general education classes, you will find yourself speaking more clearly and effectively, and critically evaluating the materials you read by the time you graduate.

Careers Connected to the Criminal Justice Pathway

Career Fields

The Criminal Justice (CJU) pathway seeks to develop leaders with the knowledge to pursue careers in the fields of corrections courts, and policing:

  • Corrections Officer
  • Court Reporter
  • Criminal Court Officer
  • Cyber Crime
  • Detective
  • Fish and Game Warden
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Law Enforcement
  • Legal Assistant, Paralegal

What Does It Pay?

Criminal justice is a broad field encompassing many careers and salaries. Even for the same role and rank, salaries can differ due to several factors, such as where you live and who your employer is. In all fields of criminal justice work, there are ample opportunities for promotions and salary increases.

  • Annual salary for police officers ranges from $42,000 to $50,000.
  • Annual salary for corrections officers ranges from $35,000 to $47,000.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the higher your level of education, the higher your earning potential. In many police departments, officers with an associate or bachelor’s degrees are paid more 🔗, even if they hold the same rank.

Career Advancement

  • Studying criminal justice and earning an associate degree means you may be eligible for higher rank and pay grade in your chosen field while continuing your education if desired.
  • Careers which benefit from studying criminal justice and earning an associate degree include law enforcement and correctional officials, including probation and parole officers.

Police officers working on campus

Program Details

The Criminal Justice pathway requires 42 hours of Core Curriculum and 18 hours of courses appropriate to the pathway.

For up-to-date curriculum requirements, please visit the Undergraduate Catalog.

The Criminal Justice program empowers students to:

  • Understand the unique approach to studying crime (and criminal justice) offered by various social science perspectives and understand how historical and contemporary social, political, and legal contexts have shaped the criminal justice system.
  • Be able to apply criminological theories to explain deviant and criminal behaviors.
  • Understand the role of social, cultural and political factors in the criminalization of non-conformity.
  • Be able to discuss how features of the larger social structure (e.g., race, ethnicity, social class, family structure, gender, neighborhood characteristics, etc.) influence the application of law and law enforcement, including the confluence of resultant criminogenic factors.

Develop an understanding of the purposes and functions of law enforcement in a modern, democratic society.


For help with applying or admissions, please review our website or contact us at 404-413-2500.

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Atlanta, GA 30303