Criminal Justice Studies

Associate of Applied Science

Program Number: 



Financial Aid Available

If you want to contribute to your community by helping people and protecting them, a career in the criminal justice field may be very rewarding. This degree helps you develop the multidisciplinary base of knowledge, skills, and abilities you will need. Your coursework will address a wide range of legal and procedural subjects, plus written and verbal communication skills and knowledge of psychology and related contemporary social issues.

You can pursue specialization in law enforcement, corrections, or security using the knowledge and skills you gain in this program. Possible pathways also include pursuing a bachelor’s degree at one of many area universities with whom Western has a transfer agreement.

Courses are conducted at Western's state-of-the-art Public Safety Training Facility in Sparta and are taught by full-time educators, law enforcement officers, and supervisors recognized as leaders in law enforcement training. There is also the option to take evening courses at the La Crosse main campus.

Estimated Program Costs

Estimated Program Cost

Criminal Justice Studies

This program will cost about $9,900* based on tuition and basic program fees. There may be additional fees for books, materials, and testing. For more information on tuition costs, visit the Tuition Page.

* Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Graduation Employment Stats

Criminal Justice Studies 2014-2015 Graduation Employment Stats

Graduates Responding18
Employed in Related Occupation7
Employed in Non-related Occupations5
Seeking Employment1
Continuing Education5
Not in Labor Market0

Salary Data - Related Employment

Part TimeFull Time
Average Hours Per Week1941
Median Hourly Wage$13.90 $15.20
Hourly Wage Range$12.50 - $15.30$12.25 - $20.50
Median Annual Salary$13,660.00 $31,616.00

Respondents in Related Occupations

  • Asset Protection Associate; Shopko, La Crosse, WI
  • Campus Safety Officer; Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, Winona, MN
  • Civil Service Employee; City of La Crosse, La Crosse, WI
  • Police Officer; Arcadia Police Department, Arcadia, WI
  • Sheriff's Deputy/Jailer; Monroe County, Sparta, WI

Career Opportunities

Police Officer
Deputy Sheriff
Security Officer
Law Enforcement Officer
State Patrol Officer

Program Outcomes

  • Use effective communication skills
  • Apply mathematical concepts
  • Transfer social and natural science theories into practical applications
  • Demonstrate ability to think critically
  • Demonstrate ability to value self and work ethically with others in a diverse population
  • Use technology effectively
  • Make decisions that incorporate the importance of sustainability
  • Explain how criminal justice is a reflection of historical and contemporary American society.
  • Analyze historical and contemporary philosophical ideologies that shape the cause, nature, and extent of a crime.
  • Recognize how the criminal justice system addresses human behavior and social problems which affect individuals and society.
  • Describe crime causation and societal impact along with the concept of justice from different perspectives which demonstrate critical and analytical thinking.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the various roles of criminal justice practitioners.
  • Apply their knowledge of the criminal justice system, crime prevention and crime deterrence through community involvement.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the importance of cultural awareness in contemporary American criminal justice.
  • Demonstrate core values and ethics of the criminal justice practitioners.

Admission Requirements

College Requirements

$30 Application Fee
High School Transcript or GED/HSED

Program Requirements

Western Technical College uses ACCUPLACER, a computer-based, online assessment that measures your abilities in writing/sentence skills, reading comprehension, and arithmetic. This information will be used to place you in courses that best fit your academic goals. Based on your scores, you may need to take additional general studies course(s) along with the general studies courses required for your program.

Several options for waiving the ACCUPLACER test are available; view the exemptions here.

Learn more about placement tests and how they are used at Western: Placement Testing.

Additional Requirements:

To enroll in the Criminal Justice program, first apply for admission to the College, then read the program’s Essential Functions and complete a background check.  You can find links to these documents below.  In addition, you must complete a Request for and Consent to Release Information form for a driver’s license check.  The last step for admission to the program will be to complete an Intent to Enroll form. Please see the details below.

Transfer Agreements

Viterbo University

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