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Graduates of the Criminal Justice Certificate of Achievement program who reside in the State of California are eligible to complete the Associate of Science degree program online.

At a Glance

  • Complete your Degree in less than 2 years

  • Offered online “anywhere, anytime”

  • Affordable tuition varies by location, learn more now

About the Program

What Will I Learn

Carrington’s criminal justice program prepares graduates for employment opportunities in public and private sectors. Employment opportunities range from security guards to loss prevention officers*.

The degree program will include a broad base of general education course offerings focusing on:

  • Computer literacy
  • English writing and composition
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social sciences

*Applicants for jobs in the criminal justice field may be subject to pre-employment screenings such as, but not limited to, criminal background checks, drug and/or alcohol testing, physical and/or psychological examinations, and credit checks. Unsatisfactory screening results may disqualify an applicant for a position in the criminal justice field. Additional government-required training programs or years of relevant experience may be necessary to obtain employment in this field.

Program Outcomes

The Carrington College Criminal Justice program puts an emphasis on private security/loss prevention. We prepare graduates for entry-level employment in public or private sector jobs in the fields of private/retail loss prevention and community service. Residents of California are eligible to complete the Associate of Science degree program via the online degree-completion option.

Upon completion of the Criminal Justice program, graduates will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the US criminal justice system, including an understanding of investigative rules and methods 
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and professionalism

About Online Learning

At Carrington, we believe learning should be at the pace of the student. That’s why we offer online options to allow students to learn “anytime, anywhere” while continuing to work their current job. 

Earning an associate degree in criminal justice requires 27 semester credit hours of general education courses and 33 semester credit hours transferred in from the certificate program. Students can complete the degree in as few as 72 weeks (not including breaks).

All it takes to get started is unrestricted access to a computer with reliable Internet access and an email account.

Career Opportunities

Security guards protect our communities and their citizens and our program prepares graduates for entry-level employment in the security sector. Between 2018 and 2028 employment of security guards is expected to grow 4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.1

In May 2018, the national median wage for a security guard was $28,490 per year or $13.70 per hour.1 For detailed regional information please visit 

Security guards provide surveillance and protection for their employer and they must remain alert for anything unusual. They can work in different fields like retail loss and prevention, private security, and transportation security.

Cost & Financial Aid

Education is a major investment, but it’s an investment in your future. Every student comes to Carrington with unique financial needs. Carrington College is committed to helping you achieve your education goals. We participate in most financial assistance programs, both federal and state, as well as private financing. Each program has different requirements and application instructions. Student loans, grants, and scholarships are available to those who qualify.

For complete information on current tuition costs, please see the Academic Catalog

The best way for us to understand your financial needs is to meet in person. Call (602) 492-1086 to set an appointment with our Student Finance Department so we can help you develop your personalized financial plan to achieve your educational goals.

Accreditation and Approvals

Carrington College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC/WASC), 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, 415 506 0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at

For comprehensive information on Carrington’s accreditation and approvals, visit

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* Required Field

*Associate degree is only available to CA residents.

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers, on the Internet at (visited December 14, 2019).  Data reflects a national projected percentage change in employment from 2018-2028 and may not reflect local economic conditions.