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Criminal Justice

Police in the car, talking on the radio

Department: Criminal Justice

Program Type: Fire Science and Public Safety

Planning to Transfer? Learn more about the transfer process including the importance of choosing a major and transfer school.


The increasing complexities of our society and its laws are influencing more criminal justice agencies to consider candidates for employment with a college education. Elgin Community College's degree in criminal justice features opportunities to learn essential knowledge for preparedness to work in policing. Still, it does not cover the professional courses that lead to police certification.

We offer opportunities for police officers and other practitioners to receive credit for their experiences in this program. Coursework includes the philosophies of community policing, professional integrity and ethics, personal fitness, broad-based criminal justice education, and writing across the curriculum. The certificate is designed for individuals who want a basic knowledge or better understanding of the criminal justice field or those interested in law enforcement, corrections, probation, or private security careers. Get additional information, including course listings and class descriptions.

The AAS does not cover the professional courses leading to police or corrections officer certification.

Prepare for Immediate Employment

The future employment outlook for criminal justice is expected to be positive. This growth is driven by increased demand for security and law enforcement services in both the public and private sectors. This area of study is expected to grow much faster compared to other occupations with a result of 131,000 new jobs over the next ten years.

The BLS also predicts that job opportunities for police officers and detectives, correctional officers and bailiffs, and security guards will be particularly strong. Additionally, the need for forensic science technicians and cybercrime specialists is expected to increase as technology continues to advance. Overall, the criminal justice field is expected to offer a wide range of job opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in this field. Refer to Career Coach to learn more about related professions and compensation.

Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

Review the ECC catalog for details about the criminal justice plan of study and course descriptions.

Associate of Applied Science

Basic Vocational Certificates

Digital Forensics

A component of the Criminal Justice Program, the Associate in Applied Science in digital forensics focuses on computers and other digital devices used in nearly every facet of our business and personal lives. As a student in the Digital Forensics Program, you will examine how people communicate and store data and learn about the subsequent evidence trails left in electronic format. ECC’s degree in digital forensics will prepare you to identify, collect, and maintain digital artifacts to preserve reliability for admission as evidence in a court of law.

The Basic Vocational Specialist certificate in digital forensics is designed for practicing law enforcement, criminal justice, and private sector professionals who wish to expand their skills for work in the digital forensics field. Get additional information, including course listings and class descriptions.

The college also offers certificates in public safety communications for work as 911 dispatchers and telecommunications officers in police stations, fire stations, hospitals, or centralized city communications centers.

Learn more about the Criminal Justice department at ECC!

Earning an Associate Degree at Elgin Community College can set your career in motion.

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Criminal Justice