Criminal Justice

Why Choose Criminal Justice

Do you feel strongly that protecting people from injustice is important? You’ll get the opportunity most others seldom do—a chance to make a positive difference in another person’s life. All while earning a good wage with excellent benefits.

The Criminal Justice Program is designed to provide students with the basic theoretical knowledge that will prepare you for transfer and for exciting, well-paid career opportunities in law, law enforcement, or corrections.

The program develops a high level of academic, personal, and professional competence demanded in a wide range of agencies.

Criminal justice has long struggled to evolve into agencies and organizations that reflect their communities. This degree program is welcoming of any individual seeking to increase their knowledge of the Criminal Justice system.

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female and male in a classroom

Cabrillo offers an Associate in Science in Administration of Justice for Transfer (A.S.-T), which is intended for students who plan to complete a bachelor’s degree in a similar major at a CSU campus. Students completing this degree are guaranteed admission to the CSU system, but not to a particular campus or major.

Many of our instructors are former police officers, FBI agents, corrections experts, and criminalists. Their practical knowledge enriches your learning so you get a crystal clear picture of what it’s really like to be in the criminal justice field.


Why Work Toward a Degree?

Although it is possible to start your career in Criminal Justice without a degree, having a college degree offers you an advantage. You are demonstrating commitment, dedication, and discipline when working towards a degree in Criminal Justice.

Additionally, California recently passed AB89, which specifically focuses on the maturity of police applicants entering the workforce. This bill states that police applicants must meet minimum standards as of 2024; to be at least 21 years old and meet specific education requirements. Those educational requirements are that the applicant have at least a bachelor’s degree. In addition, the bill requires the office of the Chancellor of California Community Colleges to develop a “modern policing degree.”

Therefore, come join the program. Let’s get your career started.

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What it takes

As a profession, the field demands the highest levels of integrity, honesty, responsibility, commitment, and a deep desire to help people. To succeed, you must demonstrate excellent communication skills, be able to lead and to follow, and be an astute observer and judge of human behavior.

A Typical Day

Your day will vary, depending upon what area you choose to specialize in.

Every day will be different, no two situations will be exactly the same, and you will always need to think quickly and be able to multi-task. You will be constantly tested: academically, emotionally and ethically. You may work indoors or outdoors in all kinds of weather, with all kinds of people and often in difficult situations.

As a law enforcement official, expect to encounter people who are not at their best—whether they’re violating a law, experiencing anger, emotional anguish, or even mental health issues. Writing concise reports and effectively communicating with others, such as your supervisor, a judge or jury, about your actions and the reason for them, are vital skills.


Ready to learn more and get started? Please contact Ginger Charles, (831) 477-5227 or