Jul 16, 2024  
2021-2022 CNM Catalog, Volume 53 
2021-2022 CNM Catalog, Volume 53 [The CNM Academic Year includes Fall, Spring, Summer Terms]

Criminal Justice, Associate of Applied Science

School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety (HWPS)

The number of careers in the field of Criminal Justice continues to expand, involving careers in both the public and private sectors. These careers include law enforcement, corrections, the courts and security services. Security careers include private and personal security, commercial security, industrial security, public security, retail, information and Homeland Security. The U.S. Department of Labor projects continued job growth in all Criminal Justice fields of study.

The Associate of Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice provides the education needed for entry level employment in these career fields. It may also help you achieve promotion after gaining employment.

This program offers a varied schedule of courses to meet your needs, including traditional classes at varied times at the different campuses, on-line courses, an investigations and patrol lab, a computer lab with interactive learning programs, and intern programs with local agencies. This program may also begin with dual enrollment for high school students via the Pathways programs.

See Recommended Sequence of Courses

Educational Option

  • This educational option is an: Associate of Applied Science Degree
  • This educational option can be completed: Full-time or Part-Time
  • This educational option is designed for: Immediate employment and for transfer into a baccalaureate program
  • This educational option can be started: Any Term
  • Primary course location: Main Campus, Online.

Special Requirements

Physical Requirements

Many health programs require the student to be able to safely lift and/or move a minimum of 50 pounds. Some program electives may require a background check. Reasonable accommodations are made for students with disabilities. However, some disabilities may prohibit students from completing program specific competencies or gaining employment. Students with disabilities that may interfere with completing program competencies are advised to contact the School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety (HWPS) Office for more information.

Criminal Background

Internship electives generally require a background check in order to be placed with law enforcement and probation/parole agencies. In these instances, a felony conviction is a disqualifier for internship and there is no appeal process. However, internships are considered an elective and are not a prerequisite for graduation.

Additional Supplies

Additional tools, and supplies may be required for individual courses during the program

Educational Opportunities

Many of the courses in this degree are transferable and some may be applied to four-year degree programs.  CNM currently has transfer agreements with many colleges and universities in New Mexico and elsewhere.

Career Opportunities

It is well-advertised that the local policing agency (Albuquerque Police Department) is understaffed by a minimum of 400 officers. In addition, the rural agencies throughout most of the State of New Mexico and in agencies located in adjoining states are also considered to be understaffed. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that in 2016 there were 807,000 police officer jobs in the United States.  Additionally, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects a 7% growth in the employment of police officers from 2016-2026.

Police officers are traditionally employed by the local, state, federal governments.

Program Requirements


Minimum Credit Hours Required to Complete Degree: 62

* MATH 1220  Recommended